How to Apply Press-On Nails with Adhesive Tabs

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Press-on nails have evolved over the years from tacky to popular, and are currently the new all-over-TikTok trend. They are affordable, stylish, and come in different shapes, lengths, colors, and designs.

In less than ten minutes, you’ll have your fingers looking beautiful and flawless.

Some work with nail glue, and others come with adhesive tabs. In this article, we’re going to go over How to Apply Press-On Nails with adhesive tabs.

When applying press-on nails, you should:

  • Ensure your hands are clean and prepped
  • Measure each of your nails to ensure each artificial nail fits
  • Carefully stick the adhesive tab on your nail bed, reveal the sticky part, and apply the press-on nail

We will go through all the steps you should take when applying press-on nails using adhesive tabs. Read on, and you’ll be a pro in no time.


How to Apply Press-On Nails With Adhesive Tabs

Press-On Nail Adhesive Tabs

Applying your press-on nails with adhesive tabs is easy and can even be fun. However, you’ll need some materials and tools to apply your nails. 

See our article on what press-on nails are made of for some background.

Applying your press-on nails with adhesive tabs is easy.

  • Press-on nails kit with adhesives
  • Nail file
  • Acetone

When you have these ready, you may begin.

Press-On Nail Adhesive Tabs

Step 1. Prepare your Nails

The first thing to do is prepare your nails. Clean your cuticles and file them down. Dry nails can be easily damaged, and too much moisture will ruin your fake nails. Ensure you remove excess moisture from your nail beds while preparing to apply press-on nails. Moreover, your artificial nails may have trouble adhering to your real nails if there’s oil on them. 

Step 2. Get your Press-On Nails Kit 

Some kits include glue, but glue can be messy and frustrating to use. Alternatively, adhesive tabs are quite easy to use. Your press-on nails kit should include:

  • Adhesive stickers
  • A nail file
  • Alcohol wipes
  • A wooden stick
  • Every other thing you need to make your nails look flawless

Step 3. Select your Nail Sizes

It’s essential to pick out the nail sizes before you apply. Your nails shouldn’t be too big for your nail bed, but they should rather sit snug and look natural.

There are different nail sizes in the kit. Try some on to figure out what size suits you best.

Measure each nail to ensure each press-on fits properly, starting with your little finger.

Measure each nail to ensure each press-on fits properly, starting with your little finger.

Step 4. Clean your Nails

Although your nails have been prepped, you still have to ensure they are spotless and have no oily texture. Clean your nails with soap and water, and remove all traces of polish. You want to ensure there is a clean base for your press-on.

Use an alcohol wipe to clean each nail bed thoroughly.

Step 5. Add the Adhesive Tab

Press-On Nail Adhesive Tabs

There are different sizes of adhesive stickers available. Select the best-sized adhesive tab for your nail, take it out of the pack, and carefully place it on your nail bed. Ensure it’s centered.

You may use tweezers to place the adhesive tabs on your nail bed, as you may find it difficult to do so with your fingers. After adding the adhesive tab to your nail bed, remove the top lining to reveal the sticky part.

Select the best-sized adhesive tab for your nail.

Step 6. Press the Nail

Apply the nail onto the sticky part and ensure it’s properly placed. Once it’s placed the correct way, gently press the nail onto your nail bed for about 20 seconds.

Step 7. Repeat the Procedure

Repeat the process for the rest of your nails. You can file your nails down, and you may also choose to file the tips if you want to alter the nail shape. If you have clear press-on nails, you can paint them after applying them.

Are Press-On Nails Safe to Use?

Press-ons are one of the safest types of artificial nails you can use. They are safer than acrylics and gels, as they leave minimal damage, have no odor or dust-driving application, and require no filling. 

For acrylic nails to stick, you must buff your natural nails to a paper-thin state before applying them, which isn’t good for your nails. Press-ons don’t require that much buffing. 

Additionally, you need to take regular breaks from acrylics, but not necessarily from press-ons.

Keep in mind that glue-on press nails sometimes hurt a bit for a little while, but adhesive press-ons usually don’t.

How to Make Press-On Nails Last Longer 

Press-on nails come in various colors, shapes, and designs and can last for about two weeks. However, in some cases, they may chip or come off in a matter of days. This is usually due to poor maintenance or incorrect application.

Here are some tips on how to keep your press-on nails from falling off:

  1. Ensure your nails are perfectly clean before applying your falsies. Use rubbing alcohol to remove all residual oil from nails, as dirt or oil can prevent the press-on nail from fully sticking to your real nail. The smallest quantity of oil or residual polish is enough to compromise the integrity of the adhesive.
  1. Before applying press-ons, examine your nails to determine what nail set suits them. It’s vital to choose the right set for your nails. When your press-ons are too big or small, they may have trouble sticking to your nail bed for a long time.
  1. Keep your nails short. Stiletto and almond-shaped nails are fun, but they are more likely to snag on something and accidentally pop off.
  1. Moisturize your hands, especially your cuticles, before getting your manicure done. After application, rub cuticle oil into your fingertips to boost the health of your nails.
  1. Use a top coat, as it has several benefits. A top coat will give your nails a glossy and professional look and assist your falsies in staying on longer. It will also strengthen your nail surfaces and make them more resistant.
  1. Stay away from water for at least two hours after application. To make things easier, you may apply your press-ons at night, right before going to bed. Press-on nails are designed to come off after dipping them in soapy suds for a few minutes. Consequently, you want to avoid submerging your nails underwater, so they’ll stay on for longer.


Unlike other artificial nails, press-on nails don’t harm your real nails. However, when applied or removed incorrectly, you may damage your real nails. You must be careful when applying them and even more careful when removing them.

Follow the steps listed above when applying your press-ons, and the tips will help you maintain them. We hope your nails keep being healthy and flawless. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).