Is it worth it to use acrylic or press-on nails? It's a common question on the minds of many manicure enthusiasts looking to experiment with new designs. Sure, it's cheaper than traditional nail art and just as pretty but, let's face it, it does come with a handful of hassles.
You see, having fake nails isn't just another beauty choice, it's a lifestyle decision. Believe it or not, there is a certain level of commitment needed to maintain these wearable pieces of art. Like intricate makeup, sporting acrylics or press-on nails require effort and some adjustments to one's daily life here and there.
Fake nails lovers Toni, Wirda, Chantal, and Pamela share their experience with using acrylic and press-on nails — why they prefer it over regular manicures, the challenges of wearing fake nails and what makes the hassle worth it.
Minor manicure dilemma
Even mundane practices like typing on your phone can feel like a challenge. "I opted to use it only for a few hours since I can't even send a text properly" was what Toni had to say about her first experience with press-on nails. But as time passed, she eventually "just got used to it". The only tech-related thing she's still having some trouble with now is using computer keyboards as she admits that the fake nails slow down her typing speed.
Another frequent dilemma that fake nail lovers face is it's difficult to get anything small or thin like coins or cards that they accidentally drop. With long nails, the action is not to pick up but to scoop the item off the floor with your pretty claws. "Oh my gosh, I hate it when that happens because it will take me ages to pick it up, but usually kind strangers will notice that I'm having difficulty and they would help me," said Wirda who has had a fascination for press-on nails since she was a teenager after seeing it on Khloe Kardashian and on Pinterest.
Sometimes, it can even be downright harmful. Pamela shared that at the beginning of her fake nails journey, she accidentally poked her eye and scratched her face more than once. Ouchie! But don't worry, these days, Pamela has become a press-on nail expert and even bought a special contact lens applicator which helps her take out her contacts with ease even with fake nails on.
What makes fake nails worth it
With all the hassle they bring, you may be wondering if it is really worth it to use acrylic or press-on nails; it may be a mystery while some still opt for them. If you're one of the baffled ones, let us enlighten you. Here are some reasons why acrylic and press-on nails can be a good option especially during these times when you can't frequent nail salons as much as you used to pre-pandemic.
Gives instant length
For some, growing out long nails isn't easy. It was certainly the case for Toni who got into fake nails because she just couldn't keep her natural ones long enough for nail art designs. "My nails easily break; as a kid, my nails were always over-trimmed, and now my nails are so small," she said and added that her unusually small nails are often the subject of attention. "I envy the ones with long and strong nails, they look so feminine and lady-like. This is why I'm into press-on nails now."
With press-on nails, all she has to do is to correctly glue on the designs on that's it — instant length without worry for any potential nail breakages.
It's easy to maintain and cheaper in the long run
It may seem counterintuitive to say that press-on nails are easier to maintain than regular polish but it's actually true. Nail polish tends to chip easily especially if it's not professionally applied (with base and topcoat). On the other hand, once glued on to your nails, acrylic and press-on fake nails stay put and don't chip for a long time. "Press-on nails are also more affordable since you can reuse them for more than three times," Chantal said.
All ladies interviewed for this article agreed that fake nails are much cheaper than going for a manicure touch-up every week. The price of fake nails ranges from USD5-USD65 depending on the design; the simpler it is, the lower the price. Wirda shares that her go-to salon in Singapore, which offers affordable fake nails services but still does a great job is One Love Nails.
During times when quarantine measures were strict, fake nails were especially helpful in maintaining nails. "Press-on nails were my nails’ best friend during the lockdown. It’s hard and risky to go to nail salons or to go outside generally, in this time of crisis. With fake nails, it will just take you five minutes to put it on," Chantal said.
"The acrylics I have are reusable and easy to maintain, the glue is strong and it lasts longer than expected because I try to be really careful with it so the gems won't fall or the nail itself won't break," Toni shared her experience with using acrylics from Nailed By Levy during the quarantine period.
It's easy to mix and match with outfits
Because of its wide design variety, ready-to-use fake nails are great for spicing up your look. "I think it's worth it because the little details add more beauty and style to your whole look and it really looks artsy and sophisticated," Toni said. Aside from aesthetic benefits, it's also become a way to express individual personalities.
"Through these nails, we are able to express our style, who we are and what we like," Pamela said. As someone who often meets with clients — personal meetings before the pandemic and video calls now — it's important for her to have presentable nails because it signals professionalism. "Unconsciously, people tend to look at nails, and especially for me who is very expressive with hand gestures, that means you have to keep it looking clean and neat," she added.
It's an instant mood booster
Even though some critique fake nail users as high-maintenance gals, overall, for these ladies, fake nails are an instant mood booster. "The truth is, being finicky about your nails or appearance isn't always a bad thing. If you have those standards, then those are your standards. You don't need to lower them for anyone," Pamela said, as she shares that having nice nails really boosts her mood.
Wirda shares the same sentiments. "It puts me up in a good mood when I have pretty nails. On top of that, it's great for the 'gram too," she said.
Chantal says that it's even a great conversation starter and she'd often get flattering compliments and questions asking where she got her fake nails. Sounds like a nice way to make friends!
Caring for your real nails
It may be a surprise but acrylic and press-on nails don't cause damage to your real nails when cared for properly. The first thing you need to master is putting fake nails on properly. "The most important step is to trim your real nails so that it won't chip off if you take press-on nails off," Pamela said.
However, for some, the act of removing fake nails can be drying to natural nails because one popular method of removing press-on nails is by soaking your fingers on acetone until they come off. For this, Wirda takes nail vitamins daily. "It keeps my nails strong, but it's also equally important to get them professionally removed," she said.
After reading this, are you convinced that it's worth it to use acrylic and press-on nails?
Next, check out the five items you need for a nail-care-at-home kit.