Here's How To Properly Remove Press-On Nails At Home

Generally speaking, a fashionable ensemble and a well-groomed mane are enough to make you look pulled together. But a dazzling set of nails are like the icing on the cake. Manicured nails can be costly and take time to complete, but they put you in a good mood and help you break destructive nail-biting or cuticle-chewing habits (via Orly). However, nail beauty comes with a price.

Although acrylic nail polish and gel extensions keep your nails looking beautiful for extended periods of time, the removal process can injure your nail plate, leave your nails brittle, and cause permanent discoloration, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Besides, not everyone has spare time to spend at a salon and the upkeep of a manicure can be a high-maintenance and costly pastime to pursue. 

For those who love nail art but are not a fan of expensive trips to the salon, press-on nails are a great alternative. Versatile and customizable, these ready-made artificial nails, which can be purchased at drugstores or online beauty shops, keep your nails looking fresh and immaculate at your convenience. Not only are they easy to put on, but they're also easy to take off. Here are some fool-proof tips for properly removing press-on nails at home.

The removal process

"Press-ons are easy to take off because they're usually just plastic," celebrity nail artist Julie Kandalec told Allure. "They come off fast and easy versus something like acrylic or gel. They're easy on, easy off, and that's why I love them."

The first step to ensure easy, damage-free removal begins with finding the right nail glue from the beginning, as celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards told One fortified with aloe vera will keep your nails moisturized and protected. Once you're ready to take off your press-on nails, some tools you will need include liquid soap or pure acetone, nail clippers, cuticle nippers, a metal pusher or an orangewood stick, a nail buffer, and a small bowl.

"The best way to remove press-ons is to soak them in a small ceramic or glass bowl filled with acetone-based nail polish remover," Edwards said. After your soak, if the nails don't fall off easily, grab an orangewood stick or a metal pusher and lift them off gently. Then, buff away any leftover glue from your nail with a buffer and hydrate your nails with cuticle oil or follow up with a nail strengthener.

Extending the life of press-on nails

The key to making your press-ons last for a long time is to opt for high-quality products, which should be firm yet soft enough to be filed to a size and shape that best fits you, according to Smitten. And even when your press-on nails have pre-lined adhesive, always use a high-quality glue also to really ensure the press-ons adhere well to your natural nail. Quality glue dries quickly and, as mentioned previously, will include ingredients to protect the health of your nails. It's also excellent to keep on hand for quick fixes if your falsies loosen. 

Before putting on press-on nails, apply rubbing alcohol to your nail plates to make sure there's no excess natural oil, which can compromise the adhesiveness of the glue (via Clutch Nails). For at least two hours after application, avoid submerging your falsies in water. You can wash your hands, but don't soak your press-ons for too long or they will fall off prematurely.

Press-on nails are strong and durable. By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can make sure your press-ons last up to two weeks and can be removed easily when the time comes.