I take zero credit for discovering the glory that is Impress Press On Manicure. All of the credit goes to my best friend, Megan. It all started in December when Megan picked me up in her car. She casually adjusted her radio and I noticed her fingernails were NEON TIE DYE. I flipped out, especially because her nails looked like acrylics. Megan lives in PENNSYLVANIA. Where did she find a nail salon to do flawless neon tie dye patterned acrylics in eastern PA? Did she get them done in Jersey instead? What was the name of this salon? She's an RN so she never has her nails done anymore but then she goes and gets neon tie dye acrylics without telling me??
She clued me in that her nails were actually press ons. Impress Press On Manicure nails. From Target. And on closer inspection they had silver glitter in the tie dye swirls. Sold. We went and I picked myself up a box, thinking I could wear them on some kind of beachy vacation or during the summer or other places where neon tie dye are appropriate. Nope. I was so excited about them that I applied them the same day and wore neon tie dye nails for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was too easy and it all happened so fast. Each nail has an adhesive backing that's covered by a tab sticker. All you have to do is open the package, wipe down your nails with this little towelette that's included to prep your nail (I'm assuming you're working with a bare, polish free nail here), pull off the tab to the nail, stick it on and press down firmly for a couple seconds. I did it standing at my kitchen counter. The most annoying part of the whole process is filing down the little tab ridge on the tip of the nail. They include a little file in the package which gets the job done but I think it's best to cut the tab off with a straight edge nail clipper before filing. That's all you have to do. The entire process takes five minutes, tops, when getting acrylics at a salon takes twelve times long and that's not even including how long it would take to create the great nail art.
Unfortunately, I don't have any real photos of my nails aside from a shitty Macbook selfie and an Instagram where my nails weren't even the focus but it will have to suffice.
Another close up from my Instagram, with a bonus shot of me in 1997 down the shore. Look at what a lil Jersey girl I was. Poofing my hair in elementary school. Also, bonus thinspo of my chicken legs. Maybe if I diet enough I can be that teeny again!!
These are the press ons in their packing. They're exactly that brilliant and vibrant in real life On very, very, close inspection (like, holding the nail directly to your eyeball inspection) you can tell that the tie dye was printed onto the nail rather than painted on with polish. Who would know but you though? I think you have bigger problems if you know some freak who is going to inspect your nails at that close a range.
The packaging is pretty good too. You can see from my first picture that I have two kits worth of leftover nails stored in the original packaging and that's useful enough for me. I've also seen people save the packaging and paint the inside of the clear "bottle" with nail polish to create a phony nail polish bottle to hide things in on the down low. I don't know your story or what you'd be hiding in there but I'm not going to tell you how to live your life.
Aesthetics aside, these press ons solve any nail related crises you might have. I used them as last minute as I possibly could when I was attending a wedding a couple weeks ago. I had a couple minutes before we had to leave for the church and I was still hustling to get my makeup done and had given myself way less time than I needed. My nails were covered in an old, chipped manicure and I absolutely didn't have time to repolish them, let alone to do it neatly and carefully because I couldn't afford to get any polish on my cuticles. Plus, I was seriously worried about how long I'd have to wait for my nails to be dry to the touch. I didn't want to risk smudging the polish while adjusting my dress or shoes OR transferring nail polish onto my outfit. I was really ~classing it up~ that day. I was wearing Banana Republic. Greatest thing ever: I was wearing a free Banana Republic dress. My boyfriend had ordered some clothes from the Gap who have some kind of freaky hybrid site with Old Navy and Piperlime and Banana Republic. The beautiful genius who packaged his shipment accidentally threw in this nice black dress with a shimmery black baroque pattern on it. This dress was over $200 on the website. I saw the size at first and was disappointed because it was too small for my chest to fit and I thought we were going to have to send this free fancy dress back where it belonged. Then, I remembered those stores vanity size something awful. I'm always confused when I see Old Navy jeans commercials because a model DOES NOT fit into a pair of those jeans. I do not fit into those jeans and I'm not model sized. So, this seemingly slightly too small Banana Republic dress actually fit me perfectly. It was as if I ordered it myself, if myself would ever pick out something with a knee length skirt. I was kind of bummed over how fancy and conservative it was when I remembered I had a wedding to go to in a couple months. It was my solution to that age old "Ugh, what do I wear to a wedding???" question. I didn't have to go dress shopping, dress shopping came to me and for free. SO, I was not about to ruin this free Banana Republic dress with a nail polish stain. I had a manicure all planned but it just simply wasn't going to happen.
My boyfriend had to run to CVS and I took a shot in the dark. I instructed him to buy Impress Press On Nails, any color or pattern that would match my outfit. I'm sure he heard that ringing noise in his ear that people hear after a bomb goes off. I'm sure he feels more comfortable buying my tampons than he did buying these. He ended up coming back with the long version of the nails in a salmony shade that looked a lot like butter London's Trout Pout. I had used the time he took to take the old polish off my nails and gather all my things together. I applied the press ons in the car en route to the ceremony and they looked great. Several people complimented me on them and they lasted all night and then another five days after that. I even added a gold glitter gradient and some rhinestones around day four because I was getting bored of them and those suckers weren't ready to come off.
I liked the long length better but it also made me appreciate just how short the short lengths really wear. You have total control of your hands with the short length and can pretty much forget they're even on. Plus, the short lengths have a much wider range of designs and patterns whereas the long length are just the mainstays of French, pink and red.
The only other time that I've used these nails was for a weekend getaway because the pattern was just too good to pass up. I just tossed them into my bag and went.
That Instagram is me in a photo.
I literally applied these while sitting on a bench in Philadelphia's 30th St Station. I probably looked like a fucking weirdo but who gives a shit. Jersey is as Jersey does. The point is that these nails are super convenient to apply in the most last minute of situations. They're fly nails for lazy people. I just sat on a bench in a train station and made my nails incredible out of my lap.
You can see that there's a bit of tip wear but nothing too major. How sick is this design? It's like jellyfish inside a lava lamp. I got these on clearance at CVS so I think this pattern might be gone for good.
Equally sick is this pattern, called "Shout", which I plan to try soon:
These are also cute and would be nice for a dressy event:
Again, these are also available in standard reds, pinks and French manicure. You could even pick up one of those shades and add your own nail art like I did above with the orangey nails.
Impress Press On Nails are advertised to last from 5 to 7 days and that estimate is right on the money. I've had 6 days of wear every time I've used them and they're never too damaged by that day. The tip wear shown above is the worst that has happened to me. In my experience, the bottoms of the nails start to lift slightly when the nails reach the end of their life. You'll kind of feel it if you run your hand through your hair - a strand might drag underneath the bottom of the nail. I take an orange stick and wiggle them off at that point - no acetone needed. Some are a bit more stubborn than others so I bet you could get that full week of wear if you wanted to. I've even worn these nails for around 4 hours in a pool and hot tub and only one fell off. The little towelette that you prime your nails with has some kind of magical properties to it and really helps the press ons grip to your real nail. I've never had any kind of damage to my nail as a result of these fakes. If anything, they help my nails by giving them a little break from the chemicals in my nail polish and remover.
I would majorly recommend these bad boys for a vacation. You could apply them in a car, on a plane, on a train (Would you? Could you? In a car?) and not have to worry about packing nail polish, nail polish remover and the rest of your nail care items. I don't know about you but nail polish remover is one of top things that I wouldn't want to leak all over my luggage and it would definitely give me some peace of mind to just leave the stuff at home. You could get away with just throwing a package or two of these in your bag for a week long trip with a nail clipper and some cuticle oil or hand cream, if you're feeling extra crazy. My friend didn't pack her Seche Vite on our weekend trip because she was counting on me to have it but all I had packed was my one package of Impress Press On Manicure.
The price for these press ons is $8 a kit (if you're paying top dollar). Again, the kit includes 24 nails of varying sizes, a file, a prep towelette and a little polish shaped container. You don't need anything else to apply them but I think a nail clipper is worth it. These little guys are so convenient to run out and get for nail emergencies or just for days when you're lacking some kind of neon sparkle tie dye and want to fill that void.
*As a side note: I saw a middling review on drugstore.com about how these press ons are prone to popping off in the shower. The comment ended with a little aside about how the person had to "file the surface of my nails a little" to get the adhesive to stick which meant these press ons left her real nails "roughed up". OH MY GOD. Don't drill or file the surface of your nails, you dinguses. The little pads that are included are the business and these nails will stick if you follow the directions. Don't drill or file the surfaces of your nails and then complain that they don't work. DON'T DRILL OR FILE THE SURFACE OF YOUR NAILS, PERIOD. I just want what's best for you and in terms of drugstore priced press on nails, these are it.