In the poetic words of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” We all don’t have enough time. This is just a fact. Before critics of my time management skills start citing “How I Hacked Time” articles and “I’m a Mom of 17 Who Meal Preps, Works Out, and Travels in the Same Day,” links, this is clearly not the tale for you. I get it, some people have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé. I do not.
Not having enough time is a component of my life that I’ve accepted. In my feminist quest to “have it all”—which happens to include a finished manicure—I’ve realized I’m never going to get to the salon.
To combat my scheduling faults, I’ve turned to an old friend. It’s a staple from my high school days as a tacky teen who watched way too many music videos and aspired to play the love interest for Pharrell (still do, by the way). It’s the accessory that went best with every denim skirt and Juicy Couture jumpsuit: A fresh set of press-on nails.
Some may say the look is trashy, but to my haters, I wave my long, fierce fingernail in your face because you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
All the greats have pressed (or glued) on nails. Florence Joyner, the face of the long nail movement, opted for acrylic nails but press on nails can easily achieve the look.
Jennifer Lopez’s manicurist Tom Bachik revealed to InStyle that all her best nail looks were custom press-on creations.
And of course, last but not least, the sensational Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th district (covering the Bronx and Queens) in the House of Representatives. She recently took a 1am train ride back from D.C. and treated herself to a glass of wine and DIY manicure. “I am having a glass of wine and giving myself a press-on manicure,” wrote AOC on Instagram Stories. She continued to defend the press-on manicure movement by expressing that they weren’t “corny anymore!” and speaking of their worth as “quick, and inexpensive.” Case closed. DSA members, we ride at dawn, nails fully pressed on.
If you take anything away from this, it’s that strong women wear press-ons and that Mount Rushmore should be replaced with FloJo, AOC, and me in a few years when my work really picks up—stay tuned.
As an expert onpress-ons and a soon-to-be face of Mount Rushmore, there are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from my experience.
1. It’s all about the shape. You need to find the correct nail size for your cuticles. Anything too big or too small will look crazy.
2. Get a powerful glue. Press-on kits either come pre-glued or with glue. I recommend investing in a quality glue so you know they will stay put. Try this one from Nailene.
3. Shape them! It’s best to shape the nails after application so it gives off a more natural feel.
4. Add jewelry. This step isn’t necessary, I just think it looks cool.
Shop the nine of the best press on nails below.