Using nail glue is one of the easiest methods to apply your Fake Nails or Press on Nails. And it is usually the method that I and most other nail technicians use and recommend.
But Nail Glue does have its drawbacks such as potential allergies and for some people, it can be too strong or harsh on their nails.
Now thankfully they are other methods you can use to apply your fake or Press on Nails and in this article, I am gonna explore them in detail.
The Best Nail Glue Alternatives and Substitutes are:
- Nail Tabs (Easiest & safest method)
- Using Acrylic Mixture (More durable & longer-lasting than nail glue)
- Gel Nail Polish or Polygel (Works best on transparent press on nails or tips)
- DIY Nail Glue (Using a mixture of clear nail polish & clear glue)
1- Nail Tabs
Nail tabs are specially made double-sided tape that can be used to glue fake nails or Press on Nails onto your nails. They come in various sizes that allow them to fit comfortably with your various nail sizes.
Now the main drawback with nail tabs is that they are not as durable and long-lasting compared to nail glue. But they are milder and gentler on your nails and they allow for your Press on Nails to be reused
Pros of Nail Tabs
- Very Gentle on your nails Nail Tabs won’t damage your nail plate and they don’t require harsh chemicals like acetone to be removed
- Easy to Remove – Just soak your nails in warm soapy water for 1-2 minutes.
- Ideal if you want to reuse your Press on Nails – this is because nail tabs allow the press on nails to be removed without damaging them.
- Very Affordable
- Easy to Apply
How to Use Nail Tabs to Glue Press on Nails
- Firstly you need to prep your nails, you can start by washing each of your nails with soap and warm water.
- Next using a cuticle pusher, push back and remove any cuticle on your nails.
- Then use a nail buffer to gently buff your nails.
- The final step to prepping is to wipe your nails with either rubbing alcohol or acetone.
- You see by prepping your nails before applying the nail tabs allow them to adhere better to your natural nails.
- Now to apply the nail tab I recommend pasting the nail tab onto your nail rather than onto the Press on Nail.
- You see this allows you to control exactly where the nail tab is placed allowing you to cover most of the nail.
- Next, remove the top cover of the nail tab and then place the Press on Nail onto the nail and firmly hold it for 20-30 seconds.
- Finally, gently rub the Press on Nail onto the nail. This helps to remove any air bubbles or close any gaps.
For more detailed instructions, you can check out the video below.
Cons of Nail Tabs
- Won’t Last Very Long – Will last for 1-2 days
- Not Very Durable – Are prone to coming off easily especially when exposed to warm water.
- Some brands of nail tabs can be bulky which makes your press on nails feel raised.
- Can’t really be used on nail tips only full covered glue on nails.
Where to Get Nail Tabs
Now if you plan to use nail tabs for your Press on Nails and you want them to last longer, you can click here to read my 9 Tips to Make Press on Nails Last Longer.
2- Acrylic Mixture
Acrylic Mixture can be used to glue your Fake or Press On Nails onto your nails. And by Acrylic Mixture, I am referring to the liquid and powder mixture used to make acrylic nails.
Using Acrylics is probably the most durable and long-lasting method you can use to glue on your Press On or Fake Nails.
Pros of Using Acrylic as a Nail Glue
- Very Durable – Can withstand pressure, heat, and exposure to water.
- Long-Lasting – Once applied correctly it can last 3 weeks or longer.
- Can be used on both Nail Tips & Full covered Press on Nails
Cons of Using Acrylic as Nail Glue
- Harsh on Your Nails – Just like nail glue, acrylic isn’t gentle on your nails, especially when removing them.
- Hard to Remove – To remove them you are gonna need to soak your nails in acetone for 10-15 minutes.
- More Expensive – Since you got to have the acrylic liquid and acrylic powder.
- A bit more technical to apply – when compared to using nail tabs or nail glue.
How to Use Acrylic as a Nail Glue
- Firstly, you need to prep your nails by washing them with warm water and soap.
- Secondly, use a cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back and to remove any cuticle on your nails.
- Next, use a nail buffer and buff your nails.
- Then proceed to wipe your nails clean with either acetone or rubbing alcohol.
- Now if you have a no lift nail primer you can apply a coat of it onto your nails.
- Next, soak your brush into the acrylic liquid and then dip it into the acrylic powder. Making a semi-solid bead.
- Apply the bead onto your nails and then cover the nails with the Fake or Press On Nails.
- Finally, hold the Press on Nails in Places for 10-15 seconds for the acrylic to dry.
You can see check out the video below for step-by-step instructions.
Who Should Use Acrylics as a Nail Glue
Acrylic is great as a nail glue if you:
- Had an allergic reaction to nail glue.
- Want extra long-lasting and durable Press on Nails
- Your nails are constantly being exposed to heat and moisture.
Recommended Acrylic Liquid & Powder
Kiss has a great affordable Acrylic Kit that has everything you need to use acrylics as a nail glue which includes the acrylic liquid and powder.
3- Gel Nail Polish or Polygel
In some cases Gel Nail Polish or Polygel can be used as an adhesive to glue your Press On or Fake Nails.
But the main issue with Gel Nail Polish is that it isn’t very consistent as glue. This is because its effectiveness depends on the color of the press on nails.
You see Gel Polish is best used with Fake Nails that don’t have an opaque or very dark color. This is because if the Press on Nail has a very dark color the UV or Led light won’t be able to pass through and cure the polish.
But for Press on Nails that are somewhat clear or transparent the Gel Polish can be a very strong adhesive allowing the nails to stay on for 1-2 weeks.
Can Regular Nail Polish Work to Glue Press on Nails
By itself, regular nail polish isn’t strong enough to act as a glue to hold down your Press on Nails or Fake Nails.
How to Use Gel Polish to Glue Press on Nails
I found a really good video that would guide you step by step on how to use gel nail polish to glue your Press on Nails. You can check it out below.
Recommended Gel Polish or Polygel to Work as Glue
I highly recommend using a Gel Base Coat or a Clear Polygel as the glue and a no wipe top coat to make it last longer.
Polygel tends to be easier to use especially for beginners since it is thicker and the press on nails tends to hold onto it easier.
4- DIY Nail Glue
A mixture of clear glue and clear regular nail polish (Base Coat) can work as a quick and easy DIY Nail Glue. Citation.
Now, this glue isn’t very durable but it should be able to hold your fake nails for a day or so depending on the amount of activity that you do.
You can check out the video below to see how to make the mixture.
Citation and References