Press-On Nail Supplies: What Do You Need?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Press-on nails were once a bit tacky, but they’re back! They are a popular way to get that salon look without going to the salon.

You can get great nails, in the privacy of your own home! It’s also a relatively cheap and easy business to start that can be rewarding. 

So, what are the press-on nail supplies that you need?

  • You will need the nails, the bottom and top coat, mounting tape, a cuticle pusher, and a UV lamp for press-on nails.
  • Containers for press-on nails to store the nails in to keep them organized
  • Acetone-based nail polish is important when you wish to remove them

It’s important to have the right supplies to apply the nails correctly. Failure to do so will result in nails not lasting long or not sticking at all. Let’s check out what equipment you need.


Press-On Nail Supplies

1. The Base and Top Coats

No products found.

If you have purchased press-on nails already painted, then you won’t need the base and top coat. If you use press-on nails that you can decorate yourself, you will need both a base coat and a top coat. 

The base coat will prepare the nails and give the polish something to stick to. The top coat protects the polish and nails, so they last longer and don’t chip. Top coats are either glossy for a wet look or matte, which is flatter.

A favorite of ours is a No products found..

2. Storage Containers  

Press on Nail Storage

Found to be very helpful are nail storage containers to organize all your press-on nails. Many nails are packaged in cellophane bags, making it much easier to organize your life!

Alternatively, you may wish to label the insides of the nail boxes with the sizes, making it easier to grab and go! 

Remember, press-ons are reusable if you’re careful with them and clean them fully after you take them off.

Most containers will allow you to fit up to three kinds of nails in each compartment. You don’t even need to buy containers labeled specifically for nails. If you have plastic containers at home, any container will do the job. 

3. Adhesive Tabs or Nail Glue

Press on Nail Adhesive Tabs

You can use cheap double-sided tape, but that’s not going to make your nails last long. A better strategy is to use adhesive tabs  specifically-designed for press-on nails.

The nail mounting tabs hold the press-on nails in place so they won’t fall off during your day-to-day life. It works the same as double-sided tape, just offering more adhesion. 

And of course many nails are designed to work with nail glue, so you can go in that direction, too, and they’ll last even longer!

4. Good Quality Gel Polishes

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish

A girl can never have enough colors.

When you buy undecorated press-on nails, you need plenty of polish if you change them up every few days.

You can buy a polish that changes with your mood or when you go out in the sun. If you want your polish to last longer, purchase a good quality gel polish. Normal nail polish chips and wear on the ends in a few days. 

We love Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polishes  because they don’t need UV light to dry!

5. Nail Art Tools

Nail Art Tools

If you love decorating your press-on nails, you need some nail stamps (and a stamper) , and dotting tool . You can also use these for geometric designs and cow prints in addition to dot designs.

Using the polish brush gives you uneven, gloopy dots. This tool allows for precise clean edge dots and lines.

6. Acetone


To remove the press-on from the skin, you must soak them in an acetone-based nail polish remover placed in a small glass or ceramic bowl for a few minutes. Yes, acetone is harsh on your nails and skin, but it’s the most efficient way to get fake nails off your real nails.

The nail glue must soak until it dissolves and either falls off or the nails unstick enough to be easily removed.

7. Wax Pencil

No products found.

This is a must-have if you intend to use rhinestones!

Pick up your rhinestones easily. Without a pencil, I wouldn’t touch rhinestones. They’re available in a variety of designs and last a long time.

Use a pencil sharpener to sharpen the pencil and place rhinestones on your nail art with the tip of the pencil.

8. Cuticle Pusher

Cuticle Pusher

You use a cuticle pusher to push the cuticle back. There are three types of pushers: metal, plastic, and wood.

It’s easy to push back your cuticles with wooden cuticle sticks with a contoured beveled edge.

9. Press on Nails

Glamnetic Press On Nails

Nails with a press on top, also called glue on nails, became extremely popular in the 90s and early 2000s. These nail extensions are prefabricated, typically from ABS plastic. You can glue the nails on top of your natural nails or tape them with double-sided tape.

There are many excellent brands out there, but if you don’t know where to start, Kiss Impress and Glamnetic are good choices.

10. Nail Glue

Nail Glue

Double-sided tape is usually included with press-on nail packs. The good thing is that you can glue the nails on them if you want them to last a long time.

To avoid the artificial nails coming off, apply glue to the artificial nail’s base and at its tip.

And don’t be stupid and try to use a household glue like Krazy Glue! It’s not safe!

11. Nail Lamp

UV LED Nail Lamp

Depending on how you want to decorate your nails, you may need a nail lamp. You need a nail lamp if want to use Gel Polishes that require UV or LED lamps, but you won’t need a nail lamp if you’re using traditional lacquer polishes or modern air-dry gels as we mentioned above.

12. Press on Nail Kit

Press on Nail Kit

Typically, press-on nail kits  come with a cuticle pusher, nail file, and acrylic glue.

Nails are usually packaged in five compartments, each with multiple sizes, making it easier to find the perfect press-on for your nail shape and length.

13. Nail File

Nail File

As a result of the metal base of sapphire nail files, they are ideal for a stronger and thicker nail, as well as acrylic tips. The non-abrasive end is usually shaped like a cuticle pusher, while the other is designed to clean dirt under the nails.

With just one tool, you can accomplish several tasks.


With the information you have just read, you should be able to start applying press-on nails in no time.

Pick some pre-made designs, or get some supplies and make your own! It can be a learning curve so check out some tutorials first to understand how to apply them properly. Play around with shapes, lengths, and designs and see what you can come up with.

Good luck!

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).