Easy At-Home Manicure: All About Press On Nails + Gel Manicure Decals

Confession: I am THE worst at doing my own nails. Gel manicures are one of the indulgences I believe to be 100% worth it. I don’t know what it is– I can’t ever get the polish smooth, the shape right, or my cuticles as meticulous as at a salon. For years I insisted on bi-weekly gel manicures. Which… of course… can get pricey.

When I moved to Savannah a year and half ago, I got kind of frustrated in my search for the perfect nail salon. You know how it is. They were all either super pricey or did a terrible job. Ultimately I fell in love with Polished Beauty Lounge, but before finding them, I basically quit getting salon gel manicures after discovering the joys of press-on nails.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve surely seen me rave about my favorite nails, the Impress Press-On Gel Manicure. SO easy and super foolproof. They’re still my favorite, but I have tried out some other brands of press-on nails, as well as a few nail decals that I find to be amazing options as well, especially if nail art is your game.

This post is in no way sponsored, but since we’re all in quarantine and nail salons are a no go, I know that we’re all kind of thinking what the heck am I going to do about my nails?!

I cannot paint my nails for the LIFE of me lol. Like… it’s just a no. For me, the easiest way to fake a salon mani is to go the press on route. I’ve tried a few different kinds and feel super comfortable giving thoughts.

Impress Press On Gel Manicure

Impress Press-On Gel Manicure

Impress Nails are my absolute favorite and by far the easiest and quickest option. The nails come pre-glued and all you have to do is pull the tabs and press them down. No glue, no mess. The packs come with typically 3 different nail color/patterns to mix up your nail art. Truth be told, I find most of the nail art tacky and end up only using the solid colored nails!

Kiss Nails

Kiss also makes the Impress nails, but the Kiss brand nails come with glue instead of tabs. My sisters swear that these last longer than the Impress, but I don’t necessarily find that to be true. They do, however, feel more secure than the Impress. But they’re also more work and are easier to mess up… since we’re introducing the glue now.

Tips: Do the manicure right before you go to bed and make sure you don’t wet your hands or apply any lotions or anything to your hands after pressing on the nails. In the morning, cut down and shape the nails as needed. For me, the nails are too long. I like them super short. If you do clip the nails, clip them on an angle on the sides, not straight across.

Best At Home Manicures - Static Nails

Static Nails

Static nails come in super trendy colors and shapes and the glue lasts forever. They’re reusable, so you can keep using the nails! I find they last longest when you apply the glue both to the nail and to your natural nail.

Tips: No lotions or oils an hour before you apply the nails. I also like to follow the same rules as with Impress: apply the nails before you go to bed and don’t wet them or apply lotion until the next morning. I actually don’t cut these down because they’re perfect as is. I like to use the smallest nails with the long length and then I also cut down the nails that are too big for my fingers so I get two full sets!

Best At-Home Manicure - Dashing Diva Gel Nail Decals

Dashing Diva Nail Decals

I find the gel decals to take the longest to apply, but they look great and are pretty easy. All you do is peel off the decal, smooth it over the nail, fold down, and file off the edges.

Tips: No oils or lotions an hour before you apply the stickers. These work best on longer nail lengths. Take your time, these took me the longest. Make sure you smooth out the nail with the orange stick and then file the edges. I clipped the excess and THEN filed, which proved to be helpful.

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