Press on toenails exist, have you heard about this and would you try them?


This is an absolutely ridiculous story which I love on so many levels. On Friday I was going through the talkshows’ YouTube channels looking for new interviews to cover. I found this segment with Drew Barrymore and Ross Matthews talking about an article on Allure. It’s by Marci Robin and is called “Press-On Toenails Are My Weird Secret for a Cute, Quick Pedicure.” This was the first time I had heard that press on toenails exist and I was intrigued. I’ve been having issues with toenail fungus and it’s getting better but one of my big toenails is still half the size of a regular toenail. What if I could just cover up my toenails? Of course this isn’t a problem now but in summer after we get the vaccine and I’m dating three guys it will be an issue. Maybe press on toenails are the answer for me! The journalist almost sold me on them, but I have reservations. More on that in a moment. Here’s some of what she wrpte. She’s used the press-on toenails from Impress and Kiss and there are also ones you glue on.

My solution at the time was something people scoffed at when I said it out loud but either marveled at or didn’t blink an eye when executed: press-on toenails. I found a “French pedicure” set by Kiss, and while I’ve never really loved the white-tip look, they fully did the job. They made it seem like I had not-ravaged, nicely polished toenails, staying put through not only the wedding but several days after. I’ve never forgotten them and, in fact, remember them quite fondly.

For reasons I can’t even begin to explain, I’ve moved past my more than 30-year nail-picking habit, and both my finger and toenails have grown out quite nicely. I’m not the most talented polish applier, but that’s been OK — I became a nail-salon regular for manicure and pedicures. But once the pandemic made that impossible I found myself at a loss.

The demand for this solution must be high because there are so many more options than when I chose the French pedicure over literally nothing else. Kiss and its sister brand Impress is still the go-to for both adhesive-back and manually glued-on styles, and there truly is something for everyone’s tastes: the Impress Press-On Pedicure (just $8) comes in several bold and subtle sets with glitter, nail art, and even different textures.

[From Allure]

The verdict is that these are great for special occasions and when you need your toes to look cute in a pinch. I looked for these at my local CVS and they don’t have them unfortunately. It wouldn’t matter anyway, no one is seeing my feet at this time. I don’t have the issue of not being able to get pedicures or manicures though. I hate people touching my feet and have done my own pedicures for decades. It’s been four months since I’ve polished my toes, which is the longest I’ve ever gone, although of course I trim them. My main issue with these press-on toenails is that I hate the long toenail trend and keep mine short. It’s so weird to me that women get French manicures on their toes! Your toenails are supposed to be short! These can always be cut or filed down though.

You can get the Kiss press-on toenails and the Impress press-on toenails on Amazon, but the article notes that they’re under all $10 at the drug store and Impress goes for $13-14 on Amazon. If you’re interested in the Impress brand you may want to try looking locally first.

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43 Responses to “Press on toenails exist, have you heard about this and would you try them?”

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  1. KinChicago says:

    I have long been of the opinion that the price paid at a salon or spa for a pedicure is the luxury of not being interrupted.
    Because home is absolutely effing impossible.
    So yes, this might be a viable option for me.
    Because I cannot even brush my teeth at home without multiple interruptions.

  2. Ann says:

    I saw these at Sally’s ages ago but I didn’t buy them. It did seem too weird lol. My toenails are ravaged by psoriasis and I do miss having pretty feet and toes. I might try them next summer if people are saying they’re good.

  3. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    My MIL is a nail tech and she was telling me last year how important it is not to cut your toes because long toenails look nicer. I thought that was crazy until I tried it and they really do look nice! My problem is that I run so eventually they break or get long enough that they hurt in running shoes. Also, I was playing with my kids in the backyard and my long big toenail got caught in a root and it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. I would try these press on versions for the nail art, especially right now when I don’t feel comfortable in the nail salon.

    • FHMom says:

      Omg. Your nail got caught in a root?! That sounds horrific.

      I would definitely try these in the summer. My feet are in slippers these days, so I never have to look at them.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I have long toes and if I let the nails grow long my feet look absolutely ridiculous, hahaha. Also, as you pointed out there is the hazard of catching them on things, or even bending / breaking them if shoes aren’t fitting properly.
      I always trim them but it’s a moot point in any case, because it’s cold outside and I am not showing my bare feet to anyone, lol.

    • megs283 says:

      Ugh, I’d feel like a dog, with toenails clacking on the floor! I also got a toenail snagged on something when I was younger, it was not pretty.

      • KhaoManee says:

        Ha! I sh#t you not, I once worked with a woman whose toenails were a good 4 inches long. She wore open toe sandals and her toenails clicked on the marble floors off our office!! She was a temp so I never got to see what the hell she wore on her feet in the winter! No way she could get boots on those tootsies!

  4. whatever says:

    I’m sorry, but the idea of long toenails grosses me out. It just makes me wonder what’s lurking under that toenail. Ew. And I couldn’t imagine sharing a bed with someone with long toenails. They must scratch you all the time. And the feeling of them scraping the insides of my shoes. Ugh.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I’m hearing you, whatever. From time to time, I’m still hearing the advice about not cutting the toenails short. I just can’t keep them long; they are really uncomfortable for me. The girls at one of the local nail salons (where I live, in Sydney), cut them perfectly for me. I know some people think they look prettier long, but I think they look like talons. I’ve found that with a good cut, file and varnish, they look pretty. Even my doctor commented on how nice they were. I told her I get them done in the salon 15 metres from her surgery!

    • Snazzy says:

      yes exactly! I hate long toenails – can’t even look at them!

    • Aoife says:

      Exactly my thoughts. It really makes me feel queasy, I can’t help it. Feet can easily get gross enough without long toenails added into the mix. Bleeeeugh!

  5. Callid says:

    I got a pack of these from a walgreens in Orlando about 13 years when I was holiday from the UK. I thought they were weird at the time but did look like I’d had a pedicure with very little effort, I hadn’t thought about them since though!

  6. Giddy says:

    Not only have I heard of them, I have some on my toes right now! Pedicures are a luxury that I treat myself to, but with Covid that has not been an option. I’m absolutely horrible at applying polish and found the Kiss nails last week. Right now I have the French nails on my fingers and a polish looking ones on my toes and I am very, very pleased! I especially adore the French look fingernails, but my toes look cute too! Also,I hate long toenails! The press-on nails can be cut and filed to the length wanted!

  7. MsIam says:

    I use press on nails for my fingers so I was intrigued by these. But my toe nails are pretty rough and uneven on the surface so I don’t know how well these would stick. I’ve had the embarrassment of having a fingernail fly off so I don’t want to experience that with my toes.

  8. Barbara Owens-DeWitt says:

    Red Aspen sells them as well and they are better quality than the others.

  9. Carol says:

    For years i have often used the thumb nails of a hand press on nail package, to use on my toes; which were always my problrm nail. They looked great in a pinch.

  10. Miranda says:

    I took ballet seriously for most of my life (from around age 4 until I went to college), and pre-COVID, still attended recreational classes once or twice a week. Thanks to pointe shoes, my toes and toenails are…not cute. To the point that I can’t remember the last time I wore open-toe shoes in public. So I understand using fakes for the sake of vanity, but press-ons don’t seem sturdy enough. I also play guitar and keep my fingernails short for that, but agreed to wear press-ons as a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding, and I couldn’t keep the damn things on for longer than like, an hour. And your toes generally have to take way more punishment than your fingers. Fake toenails seem like they’d almost need to be riveted on!

    (As a side note, I used to know a fellow ballerina whose natural toenails basically fell off, so she’d PAINT THE SKIN and thought she was fooling people. It was a sad-ass sight.)

    • KhaoManee says:

      Your friend made you wear press ons for her wedding? Are y’all still friends? That’s a little too bridezilla for me, man!

      • Miranda says:

        To her credit, that was one of very, very few bridezilla moments, so I gave her a pass. And I kinda got the last laugh because, like I said, they kept popping off. So I spent most of the wedding with 3 nails on one hand and 2 on the other, which looked so much worse than if I’d just refused to begin with!

  11. amilou says:

    I’ve been wearing a set of Kiss French Manicure press-on toenails for a few weeks, and they are AWESOME.

    The only problem I’ve had is that I kept stubbing one of my big toes at home when I was wearing sandals, and I cracked the nail twice. I just re-glued it in place and eventually replaced it.

    As someone who is low maintenance and likes to keep my nails as short as possible, I’ve never been a mani/pedi person. But here at the holidays, I decided to dip into the press-on pool. I’m a fan.

    • detritus says:

      I like em too. And you can clip them shorter if they are too long.

      Sally’s (a beauty supplier outlet) had some and so does Walmart for those looking.

    • KhaoManee says:

      I think they would be great for a special occasion. The ones in the pics above look nice. I just couldn’t stand wearing them all the time though.

  12. JanetDR says:

    I don’t think that these would last long (at least for me, I stub my toes a lot) and I would wonder about what might be growing underneath if I’m wrong.
    I never get manicures because my nails chip easily, especially in cold weather. But I miss the pampering of pedicures and polish lasts much longer on my toes. Plus I just can’t get at my heels the same way. I can’t imagine that I could manage to apply these as well as I could throw on some polish if I felt the need.

  13. Turtledove says:

    For toenail fungus, EmuAid Max is pricey but works.

    The best thing to do is NOT paint them nor wear press ons while you deal with the fungus. The pandemic was a great time for me as no one was seeing my feet. Now, the fungus is gone. I have ot been getting pedicures as again, my toes aren’t out and now it is winter in New England. But I keep my nauls trummed and used a buffer so they are super shiny. They look great.

  14. Pam says:

    I tried press on fingernails this weekend. I got the glue all over my fingers. Nightmare!

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Gross lol.

  16. original_kellybean says:

    Years ago, I had my big toenail fall off because of running. Of course, it happened in the summer so I had to use a press on toe nail until it grew back. I don’t even wear open toed shoes but I just felt weird not having a toe nail.

  17. Jules says:

    The headline alone is gross… I can’t even imagine trying this.

  18. lucy2 says:

    I have some of those Color Street stick on nail polish strips, and they have some that are bigger for your toes. I’ve never tried it though. I have a bad lower back so doing my own toenails is uncomfortable, I like a professional pedicure. I don’t splurge on much other stuff like that, but that’s the one I try to continually do.

  19. Linda says:

    Long toenails and crusty heels are my kryptonite. You don’t have to have pretty feet but for God’s sake keep them presentable if you’re going to display them in public.

    • Ponytail says:

      I don’t have pretty (or even acceptable) feet, so I rarely wear sandals (haven’t worn a pair in about 15 years) but unfortunately, not everyone shares my attitude. When it comes to public transport in the summer, I’ve learned to keep my eyes averted.

  20. Elo says:

    I love press on toenails. I have a really long toenail bed, so I am unable to cut my toenails super short and French pedis are a reality for me. I love the press on French pedi. They are great for special occasions if you don’t have the time or don’t want to spend the money to go to a salon.

  21. Qzie says:

    I’ve fallen in love with ManiMe! They are peel-off, stick-on gel nails for fingers and toes (I’ve haven’t tried the toes yet, because I just haven’t gotten there…). The company just won an Allure Award for a best new product, and it’s pretty cool–you take pictures of your fingers and the curvature of your nail and then they send back stick on gels that are custom fit to you own nail. If the first set is a little off, you give them feedback and the next set will be tweaked to your perfection. So easy, you clean your nails first, then put them on, file them to shape and wait an hour before getting wet. They peel right off when you are over them.

    I’ve had a set last well over a week, and the great thing for me is that that have all the go to neutrals I tend to wear on the reg–but also a lot of famous nail art people, so for the first time I’ve allowed myself to get crazy with some nail designs. Also, my best thing about these stick on, peel offs: I’m not sitting there at night picking gel nail polish off obsessively, ruining my nail bed. In fact, although my nails are dry AF from all the hand sanitizer I use, my nails have never been longer and my nail beds look beautiful, it took 3 months or so to repair the damage I inflicted on myself from picking off gel polish. Also, oddly enough my cuticles look healthier, I always love when I used to go the salon how they looked after a manicure, tidy and clean. But now, after 6+ more months not getting them trimmed, I’m realizing that maybe it is best to just push them back on your own and use some oil on them.

    The cost is $15-$25, but that’s how much it is in a salon anyway.

    I do miss going to the salon a lot for personal “me time” and just peace–and I’ll probably return for a great pedicure–but for right now I’m just digging these ManiMe nails. I sound like an ad, but truly it has been one of the most fun things to do during this frigging pandemic. Almost like a sticker project for an adult woman!

  22. DeltaJuliet says:

    @Celebitchy what is that product that you are using on your toenails again? I was going thru old posts but I can’t find that one and I need to take care of this gross issue!!!

    TIA!

    • Celebitchy says:

      So I use Kerasal now but previously used an all natural product called FootCure. The Footcure got the bad part of the nail off but nothing more was happening so I switched to Kerasal. That got the nail lighter but it’s still thicker and isn’t coming off or changing. I might get that expensive Emu stuff Turtledove mentioned but it’s $50 and reviews are mixed so I don’t know.

      • DeltaJuliet says:

        Thank you! I’ll give those a shot. Can’t keep ignoring my ugly toenails….or hiding them with polish.

  23. Anina says:

    I used nail strips last year a few times and they damaged my nails. They were difficult to remove and caused horizontal ridges, dryness, and peeling. Be careful when removing them. It took 6 months with daily application of jojoba oil for the nails to heal and the ridges to grow out.

    Too bad because I really liked the designs.

  24. Flffgrrrlr says:

    I think these might be a great idea. I have really really horrible looking toenails from years of long distance running. I’ve usually lost about 3 at any one time and what remains is thickened, blackened and warped from being bashed and bruised. So my question would be whether these things stay on – you might want to wear them for an event, but I’d probably need to take off to run? Or wouldn’t I?

  25. nb says:

    I used these when I had a big toe nail fall off from trauma, but only the big one and I painted the rest to match. I didn’t want to deal with doing a full set on the rest of my small toenail beds. I bought stronger glue than what it came with though and it lasted quite a while once I had a little bit of new nail growth underneath. I had no complaints about it and it was a great option for me not to feel so strange in the summer missing a nail.

  26. TheOriginalMia says:

    I bought press on mail and toe nail polish. Haven’t gotten around to doing my toes but I regularly do my nails. Cheaper and safer than going to the salon.

  27. Ash says:

    Similar to the ballet poster above, I teach Barre classes everyday during the week and if they aren’t falling off, my nails are ingrown and look hideous. I’ve had to paint the toe itself too many times to count!!😩 I’d love to try these!