If you’re looking for ways to get in the Halloween spirit beyond decorating your front stoop with pumpkins, a festive manicure is a great solution. Specialty designs and nail extensions at the salon can be costly, but press-on nails allow you to have perfectly painted nails in all shapes, colors, and sizes — and they usually only run you about $10 a set.
To find press-on nails that evoke the Halloween spirit, look for colors such as black, orange, a witchy green or blood red. You can also find press-on nails with Halloween-related designs such as pumpkins, ghosts or spiders.
Before applying your press-on nails, you’ll want to make sure your bare nails are prepped and ready — this will ensure even application of your nails and will help them stay longer.
First, use nail polish remover to remove any remaining nail polish from a previous manicure. Cut and file your nails to the desired length, which should be shorter than the press-on nail length you’ve selected. Push back your cuticles using a cuticle pusher (these are often included in press-on nail kits).
Your press-on nail kit most likely includes alcohol wipes. The last thing you should do before applying the press-on nails is to clean your nails with the included alcohol wipes. This helps ensure that there your nail is free of any oils, which can interfere with the press-on adhering properly.
If your press-on nail kit includes nail glue, apply a small amount of the nail glue to your nails and the back of the press-on. (When applying glue to the press-on nail, only apply glue to the part of the nail that will adhere to your nail, and don’t apply glue to the free edge.) Line up the press-on nail with your nail and hold it down for 30 seconds to ensure the glue takes hold.
If your press-on nail kit includes double-sided nail stickers, adhere one to the back of each press-on nail you plan to use. (Some nail kits will have the double-sided nail stickers already adhered to each nail, in which case you can skip this step.) Line up the press-on nail with your nail and hold it down for 30 seconds to ensure the sticker takes hold.
Whether you’re using glue- or sticker-based press-on nails, a good practice is to test the nail size on each finger prior to applying any glue or stickers and lay out the nails you intend to use in order. If you’re between nail sizes, it’s best to size down rather than up.
In general, press-on nails that are applied with glue last longer than press-on nails that are applied with stickers. Most sticker-based nails will last around three to five days, though they can stay for up to a week if you care for them properly. Glue-based nails usually last around a week, although some brands (like Glamnetic) have extra strong glue that can last up to three weeks.
If you work with your hands or spend time doing dishes, you may be better off with a shorter press-on nail style that has less chance of chipping or breaking off.
To make your press-on nails last longer, avoid submerging them in water for at least 24 hours after application. Soaking nails in water can prematurely break down the glue bond.
These witchy tips come in a sparkling dark green, reminiscent of a spooky potion. The square-shaped press-ons include 12 sizes per hand (24 pieces total) and they come with jelly glue and a liquid glue, so you can pick your preferred application method.
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The eerie design on these French-tipped nails is made to look like they were dipped in dripping blood. The round nails can be applied with included double-sided nail stickers and, if necessary, filed down with the included nail file.
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A classic black manicure never goes out of style — and it’s the perfect Halloween-ready look. These almond-shaped press-ons by Glamnetic are applied with a small tube of nail glue which lasts up to three weeks. Remove these carefully, because they are reusable!
If you prefer a more literal interpretation of Halloween nails, try these short press-ons which are splashed with spooky designs such as skeletons, spiders, pumpkins and haunted houses. With 48 individual nails in this stick-on set, you can mix and match designs or share them with a friend.
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From a trusted press-on nail brand, these almond-shaped tips come in a wickedly delightful orange hue that’s part of Kiss’ limited edition Halloween collection. The kit comes with 28 nails in 12 different sizes and a pink gel nail glue.
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Talia Ergas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.