This story originally appeared on InStyle.com.
When it comes to beauty, I absolutely need to have my nails manicured, and 2020 threw me for a whirlwind when salons shut their doors for months on end. I'm not good enough at painting my own nails, but I am quick on my feet, so I opted for another solution: press-on nails.
I was a little apprehensive at first because I always assumed that press-on nails looked unrealistic or plastic, or that they only came in shapes that I'm not a fan of. I almost always have almond-shaped nails, so I was surprised when I came across the Static Nails Almond Pop-On Reusable Nails. It was the first set of press-on nails that looked exactly my go-to style: Along with the almond shape, I usually stick to nude tones like beige, taupe, or a neutral pink, and Static has all of those options.
As soon as I began wearing them, I received so many compliments. When I posted them on Instagram, I was floored by how many inquiries I got about my nails. I'm genuinely impressed with how realistic they look, and people don't know that they're press-on nails unless I tell them.
I really have to highlight the durability of these nails: The latest pair that I used lasted six weeks! Because they're reusable, I used them for three different rounds of pop-on manicures. I really only ever switched them out if I'm looking to change the color of my nails for a few weeks.
hellogiggles - 16 Available at Nordstrom
I already had a nail glue at home, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Static Nail kit includes non-damaging nail glue, a nail file, a buffer, and a cuticle tool. With all of this, application is so easy and takes me no longer than 10 minutes. I have pretty small nail beds, so I have to test a bunch of different sizes for each of my nails, but I've never had an issue finding the perfect sizes. For reference, each kit comes with 24 universal nails, with 12 different options for each hand to fit petite, average, and larger nails.
The press-ons should only be applied to clean, natural nails for the best results; you can use nail polish remover to get rid of excess oils. For application, apply a generous layer of glue onto the fake nail and your own nail and press down with your thumb for about 25 seconds, ensuring that you're putting pressure on the entire nail. You can customize the size and shape with the file and buffer after, if you'd like.
One of my favorite things about the impossible-to-chip nails is that they don't require acetone for removal. To remove them, you gently push under the nail to lift the sides, and they should easily pop off from there. If it's not that easy, the brand instructs you to soak your nails in hot water for a few minutes to help them soften—however, I've never had to do so. When I'm done with one pair, I just put them back into the packaging and save them for another time.
Try the nails that turned me into the queen of press-on manicures for just $14 at Nordstrom.