How to Gel Cure Press-On Nails

No beauty product category has undergone as epic a rebranding as press-on nails. With so many shapes, styles and finishes, press-on nails are one of the best inventions ever! They're affordable, easy to apply, and healthier than traditional gel or acrylic treatments. In addition, they can be removed relatively quickly without the need for large amounts of acetone products.

Since nails are so popular right now, beauty TikTok is full of fake nail tips. Tiktok user @sagittariusicedlatte has a suggestion for curing press-on nails with gel to make them last longer. “If there's any real advice I can offer to anybody in the world, it is this: buy cheap press-on nails — don't glue them, gel cure them,” she advises in the clip, flashing her colorful claws.

Is It Safe to Gel Cure Press-On Nails?

Yes, it is generally safe to use a gel curing lamp on press-on nails, provided that the press-on nails are designed to be compatible with gel polish and curing processes. However, it's important to follow the instructions provided with the press-on nails and the gel polish, as improper use can cause damage to the nails or the press-on product. Additionally, when using UV or LED lamps for curing, it's advisable to protect your skin from prolonged exposure to UV light.

What are Press-On Nails?

Press-on nails are pre-shaped and often pre-decorated nails that can be applied at home. They come in various sizes to fit different nail beds and are attached using adhesive tabs or nail glue. Press-on nails have become increasingly popular due to their convenience, affordability, and the wide range of styles available. They offer a quick solution for a professional-looking manicure without the need for a salon visit or the skill required for DIY nail art.

What Is Gel Curing Press-On Nails?

Gel curing  is a nail application that uses softgels and LED or UV light. This method is commonly used with Apres Nail Gel - x extender, but can be used in other ways.

In order to do gel cure press-ons at home, you would need several professional tools, including a gel lamp, cuticle drill, an electric file, and a base gel polish. However, these items should only be used by experienced professionals.

Benefits of of Using Press-on Nails

1. Enhanced Durability: Gel top coats can significantly increase the lifespan of your press-on nails. The gel provides an extra layer of protection against chipping, peeling, and wear, making your nails look freshly manicured for a longer period.

2. Improved Appearance: Gel coatings give a high-gloss, salon-quality finish to press-on nails. This can make them look more professional and polished compared to standard press-ons.

3. Better Adhesion: The gel can help to create a stronger bond between the press-on nail and your natural nail. This reduces the likelihood of the press-ons lifting or falling off prematurely.

4. Flexibility in Design: By using a gel topcoat, you can add additional nail art or embellishments to your press-ons. The gel can secure these additions better than traditional nail glue or adhesive tabs.

5. Protection for Natural Nails: The gel coating acts as a barrier, protecting your natural nails from damage and staining that can sometimes occur with colored polishes or adhesives used in press-ons.

6. Easy Removal: Despite their durability, gel-cured press-ons can be removed relatively easily without causing damage to your natural nails, provided that proper removal techniques are used.

7. Cost-Effective: Gel curing your press-ons at home can be more cost-effective than regular visits to a nail salon for gel manicures, while still achieving a professional look.

Remember, to achieve the best results and maintain nail health, it's important to apply and remove gel-cured press-ons correctly and to give your natural nails breaks between applications.

How to Gel Cure Press-On Nails

With the right tools, you can cure your press-on nails at home. Some of the supplies you will need are a build gel like Beetle Nail Polish Build gel, an LED or UV lamp like Beetle Mini Nail LED lamp, and a press-on of your choice. However, not all press-on nails may work. You must ensure that the press is transparent enough for the curing light to pass through. If the color of the press is completely opaque, then light cannot pass through and solidify the gel.

Once you have all the tools, you can follow the steps below to cure your press-on nails.

1. Get your nails ready

Use the nail clippers to trim your length and file to shape your liking. It's also a good time to make sure there's no polish residue on your nails!

2. Apply the Builder Gel

Grab your glue foundation and paint the deck with nail polish and your press-on. Be careful because it can irritate your skin if you use it incorrectly.

After applying the gel to both your nail and the press-ons,  proceed to place the press-on nails on your real nail.

3. Cure the Nail Under the LED Light

Finally, put your nails under the LED/UV light. You will need to keep pressure on the nail until it is properly and fully cured so bubbles do not appear. It would take  around 30 to 60 seconds.

The Risks of Gel Curing Press-On Nails

If this is not done correctly, you can have permanent damage to your nail plate, or mold and fungus developing underneath the press-on where it has not been applied properly. Before you gel cure all of your press-on nails, you should be aware of the risks associated with this unique application method. 

Just remember: never try to pick or pry off your press-on nails.  Picking off the press-on would result in highly damaged nails that are tender to the touch and would take couple months to completely grow out.

To safely make your press-on nails last longer, you can adhere them with both sticky tabs and nail glue.  A basic nail prep kit with all of the tools you need.  For shorter wear, skip the adhesive tabs and only use glue.  When you’re ready to remove them, just soak them in warm, soapy water and they should slide right off.

Back to blog