Are Your Press-On Nails Too Curved? Here’s What To Do

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When you shop for press-on nails, it can be hard to tell what you’re getting until you’ve got the package home and opened up. You may find that you run into problems once you start to apply them.

Are your press-on nails too curved for your natural finger nails?

Many of us have fairly flat fingernails with a flat C-curve. This makes finding the right press-ons a bit harder. If you’ve got flat fingernails, it’s easiest to pick the right press-ons for your nail shape from the get-go. But if it’s too late for that, we’ve got some tips to help you secure your press-on to your natural nail, even if the curve is a bit much.

However, press-on nails can sometimes be too curved and look unnatural, or they may sit unevenly on your natural nails and potentially lead to nail fungus. We’ll explain below.

Let’s take a look at what you can do.


Press-On Nails 101

Kiss Press On Nail

Acrylics and gels, shellac and silk wrap, these are all great manicures… but they can get expensive! Press-on nails offer an affordable option that can really look great.

They are a type of artificial nail that can be applied in minutes and can last up to two weeks (depending on how you attach the nail).

Press-on nails are usually made from synthetic plastic materials and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. You can use them for everyday style, or even for special occasions such as weddings, prom, or other formal events. 

The cost of press-on nails is lower than getting a manicure done at a salon, which is great if you only need your nails done occasionally. Oh, and you can even reuse them if you’re careful with the press-ons while removing them!

The best part is they don’t require any special tools or skills to apply correctly or remove.

Press-on nails are perfect for those who don’t want to spend much time on their nails, but still want a polished look.

Are Your Press On Nails Too Curved?

Some of us have relatively flat nails plates, which can make finding the right press-on nails very difficult. The curvature of the nails can cause the nail to be lifted from the finger, which creates an uneven surface on top of the nail.

This can lead to a break in the nail or even worse. Nails that are too curved may also cause discomfort for people with sensitive fingers or brittle nails.

If you apply a press-on nail that is too curved, and end up leaving an air pocket between your natural nail and the press on nail, that void can be dangerous. If you get your nails wet, water can get into that void and lead to nail fungus. This is more common with acrylic nails, but is still a risk for press-ons.

Therefore, it is important for people who wear press-on nails to know how much curvature their natural nails have to avoid these problems. 

1. Buy the right press-ons from the start

Kiss Everlasting French Tip

If you know your nail beds are flat, pick a press-on that is flexible and good for flat beds. Many have had success with the Kiss Everlasting line of press-ons. These are designed to be “flexible fit” and are a great option if you’re struggling with flat nail beds.

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2. Use nail glue instead of adhesive tabs

Glamnetic nail glue

Yes, the adhesive tabs that often come with press-ons are easier to use than nail glue, and way less messy. But nail glue adheres better and will make your press-ons last longer. And for those with flat nail beds, nail glue will help get a good bond across the entire nail bed.

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You can press down on the press-on nail to flatten it out, but don’t push so hard that the nail glue dribbles out beyond the nail and onto your skin and cuticles.

You can press down on the press-on nail to flatten it out, but don’t push so hard that the nail glue dribbles out beyond the nail and onto your skin and cuticles.

3. Don’t try to apply curvy press-on nails to flat nail beds.

If you try to apply press-ons that are way too curved for your natural nails, you’ll run into trouble.

You will notice a huge gap between fake nails and real nails. Even if you try to fix it with good-quality nail glue, the nails will tend to pull after they are dry.

However, if you mistakenly purchased curvy nails for your flat nail beds, you have an option: you can try to gently reshape them (you should do this as a last resort, and there’s a chance you can ruin your press-ons with this method).

Boil Em!

First, grab a pan and boil some water. Bring down to a simmer/gentle boil. Next, place your press-on nails in a small strainer and gradually dip them in the simmering water for a few seconds.

Make sure you don’t dip your nails for too long in hot water as they might lose their decoration or deform their shape.

Next, get an aluminum filter or strainer and place the press-on nails on a smooth surface. Press down each nail hard to shape it flat. 

The heat helps the press-on nails to become flexible for a while. And after applying pressure, they will become a bit flatter according to your preference.

You might also notice stress marks at the back of press-on nails, but they shouldn’t negatively affect the design.

This method is risky, and will prevent you from returning the press-ons. By doing this, understand that the press-ons may be damaged in the process.

How to Apply Press-On Nails

Many of us are not very skilled in the art of applying press-on nails. However, with this step-by-step guide, you can learn how to apply them like a pro.

1. Clip Your Nails

Use your nail clippers to trim your nails to an appropriate length. Trim the edges of the nail so that there are no rough edges or sharp points that could damage the press-on nail when applied. Also, push back any excess cuticle skin that may be hanging over the edge of the nail bed. 

2. Clean Your Nails 

Clean the dirt and grime off your fingers and nails with soap, water, and a nail brush. Clean nails are super important when applying press-on nails. The glue needs to stick to the nail and not to any dirt or oils on your nail.

3. Pick Out Your Nail Sizes

Press-on nails come in different shapes and sizes to suit everyone’s needs. It is important to pick the right size for your nails before applying them to your fingers. Select a press-on nail about halfway up the size of your natural fingernail for best results.

The most common length is the “medium” size, which ranges from 1 to 3 inches long. Number zero is considered the largest nail, whereas numbers 11 and 12 are pinky fingernails.

4. Apply One Nail at a Time

Apply nail glue to the press-on, and gently press in into your natural nail. The more you press down, the more contact there will be between the curved press on and your flat nail bed. But if you press too much, the glue can escape and get onto your fingers and cuticles, which you don’t want.

Press medium.

5. Apply a Top Coat

Paint each press-on nail with a clear top coat for extra protection and shine. It will strengthen your press-on nails and prevent them from bending easily.

You can also apply nail polish on them before initiating the press-on nails process if that’s what you prefer. However, this is an optional step.

You can now enjoy beautiful, salon-quality-looking fingernails!

Are Press-On Nails Safe for Your Natural Nails?

Some people use press-on nails because they’re looking for a temporary solution to their nail problems, like a broken nail or chipped polish. Others love them as a replacement for the more expensive and time-consuming process of painting their nails. 

Press-ons are safer than acrylic nails. However, some surveys have shown that they can cause damage to the natural nail bed if they’re not removed properly and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Usually, nail technicians have to buff your natural nails, making them paper-thin for the acrylic nail process. As a result, the process is more harmful to sensitive nails.


Don’t apply press-on nails that are too curved for your natural nails. It won’t work well, they’ll lift, pop off, or worse.

If you’ve got flat nail beds, pick a press-on nail that works for your nail shape. Try the Kiss Everlasting  flexible nails we mentioned, or talk to your local manicurist for recommendations based on your nail shape.

If you’re stuck, you can try the quick boil method we mentioned above, and use nail glue for added strength compared to the adhesive tabs.

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).