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Here’s How to Get A Gorgeous Manicure Without Going To The Salon!

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kiss nail tutorial — kiss french nude nail package

No more smudges, chips, or frustration.

Imagine not having to go to a salon to spend your hard-earned time and money on a set of pretty nails. Or not having to sift through your nail polish assortment, meticulously apply the color, and wait for what feels like forever for the polish to dry. Oh, and imagine that your manicure doesn’t chip, crack, or budge over the next seven days. It’s actually all a reality with acrylic nails (I’ll even show you how to apply them in this DIY)!

kiss nail tutorial — open contents of kiss nail package

Why try acrylic nails?

My manicure experience has transitioned over the years. It started with painting my own nails, but then gel came along, so I opted for professional salon manicures. After discovering at-home gel polishes and lamps (and frankly, seeing how much money I was tossing away), I opted to give myself the gel treatment at home. And while I love saving money (and happen to do a pretty great job as my own manicurist), there are certain looks I simply can’t achieve.

Because I can’t master the perfect French tip or grow my nails out long enough to experiment with various nail shapes, I’ve turned to Kiss nails. Plus, I find the matte offerings from fake nail products to look so much better than any matte top coat I’ve tried.

kiss nail tutorial — kiss nail packages

My two latest pickups are the Salon Acrylic French Nude and Salon Acrylic Natural Stiletto. I know some of you are probably thinking that the pointed shape is a little over the top 😂 but I definitely plan to file those down into more of an oval shape when I apply them.

Now on to the application:

kiss nail tutorial — set up for applying kiss nails

Kiss Acrylic Nails Application

Print

Directions

1

Make sure your nails are cleaned and prepped using a file to smooth out edges. Rough up the top of the nail for better adhesion. Wipe away any dirt, oils, and filings with acetone nail polish remover.

2

Measure for the right fit for your nail beds by placing the acrylic nails on top of your fingertips. Arrange the nails in order in front of you.

3

Flip the nails over so the underside is facing up. Then apply a drop of nail glue to the acrylic nails.

4

Apply a tiny drop of glue to your nails.

5

Align the acrylic nail with your cuticle and press down, holding the nail in place for 5-10 seconds.

6

Apply all nails to one hand, and then move on to the opposite hand following the same instructions above.

7

If the acrylic nail set has tabs, bend the tab down and back up to break off from the nail.

8

File the nail as desired to change the shape, length, or to smooth out any rough edges left from the tab.

9

After 5 minutes, wash hands, apply hand lotion, and enjoy your beautiful manicure!

10

TO REMOVE KISS NAILS: Clip down the nail to your actual nail length.

11

Rough up the top layer to remove the protective coating.

12

Either soak nails in a bowl of acetone or use aluminum foil to wrap an acetone soaked cotton round against the top of the nail.

13

To make a foil nail wrap, soak a cotton ball in acetone, place it on a square of aluminum foil, and wrap the foil around the finger.

14

Leave on until the nail is soft.

15

Wipe off the softened nail and wash hands to remove remaining acetone.

16

Hydrate your nails and skin with hand lotion and/or cuticle oil.

What to know before applying acrylic nails

kiss nails tutorial — finished hand with kiss nails

Durability

Fake nails can last between 1-2 weeks, but that depends on the level of activity your nails endure. If you’re constantly washing dishes or have your hands in water, the nail glue can break down faster, meaning there’s a higher chance the nails could come off.

The same goes for if you participate in activities that could put a strain on your fingertips, such as boxing, workout classes or gardening. By no means am I saying you can’t wear fake nails if your hands are always active, but keep in mind that the more pressure on the nails, the more likely they are to come off sooner.

Learning curve

It takes a bit of practice to apply these on the fly. I also think the step with adding glue directly to the fingernail isn’t necessary. It’s a touch too much glue for my liking, though I could just be heavy handed with the drops.

Getting used to typing or other everyday activities may also seem strange at first if you go with a longer nail style. Trust me, after a couple of applications, the process of applying, wearing, and removing the nails will become a breeze!

Nail damage

As someone who is always applying gel polish or nail glue to my precious extremities, let me tell you that constant and continued use of this kind of product can be damaging to fingernails. It’s encouraged to not try to pry off the nails when removing, but to instead follow the proper removal technique outlined above.

If you peel off the nails, you risk ripping off a protective layer and making your fingernails weak and brittle. This also causes them to be more prone to breakage. I like to give my nails a break between manicures by applying a strengthening polish and giving my cuticles some love with hydrating oil.


kiss nail tutorial — kiss nail packages

All in all, if you don’t like fussing with polish and want impeccable looking nails, you should give the Kiss acrylic nails a shot. It’s not only natural styles either—they have solid colors and fun nail art, like this fun tropical design, perfect for your next vacation!

And if the idea of nail glue freaks you out, look for the ImPress brand of nails. It’s the same concept, except there’s a thick sticker adhesive already applied to the underside of the nails, so you simply peel, stick, and go. The Hip2Save team loves them!


kiss nail tutorial — finished kiss acrylic nails application

What do you think of my manicure?

Let me know if you would try out these nails for yourself in the comments.


Emily (emily@hip2save.com) loves a good deal, especially when it comes to fashion finds, home decor, and all things self-care!

Emily is an evergreen writer specializing in health, beauty, fashion & living frugally. She has degrees in Business & Communication. Connect with Emily on LinkedIn


Join The Discussion

Comments 54

  1. Sorozco

    Yes! The KISS brand press-on nails are great quality! Mine usually last around 2 weeks. At $7 a pop, it’s a great quick alternative to heading into a salon. And less damage.

  2. NN

    Very well done tutorial! I’m not sure if I’ll get the nails or not but I adore a clear easy tutorial with pictures 🙂

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the sweet comment 💛

  3. Mary

    That tutorial makes me want o try them.. so easy to understand… THANK YOUUUU!!!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Of course! 😀Let me know how it goes if you try them out!

  4. Casey Meyers

    To each there own but for some fake nails can mess up your real nails. Had fake nails once when I was a teenager and it left ridges on some of them. Thankfully I never got them again.

  5. Mamaofthree

    Just scanning through the description tells me it’s way too time consuming for me!

    • jlg

      The press on ones would be a great option for you then! I can’t believe they actually stay on so long. People always ask where I got my nails done, & when I tell them I did them & they’re press on nails, they’re amazed (& jealous because the same nails cost them $30+ at a salon!)

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I totally agree with jlg—the press-on nails are easier and a bit quicker to apply so you may want to start there. But I would say after doing these kinds of acrylic nails a few times, I can get the full set on from start to finish in about 5 minutes, though the removal process takes much longer. I just diligently listed out every step in the tutorial including the removal for anyone trying these for the first time.

  6. Ziggystardust

    No matter how much time and effort we put into the application process, my daughter and I have never been able to make these last even a week 😕
    I’ve always wondered if it was the glue quality?

    • jlg

      Seriously try the press on ones. I have tried every single brand & type of glue on nail, & at very best I end up having to reglue 1 or more nails back on every 24 hours. The press on ones VERY VERY rarely come off accidentally (if applied correctly…clean hands free of lotions, etc are a big factor & selecting the right size nails to fit your nails is also important.)

  7. Jane

    I’ve noticed the quality varies from package to package ( maybe it’s the glue?). I did use them for my wedding though. Saved me a lot of money and people couldn’t tell !

  8. Brittany

    The Impress “Press on Nails” are my absolute favorite! They are perfect for when I need nicer looking nails for event or work meetings and I just don’t have time to go and get them done. For me, the traditional glue on ones still seem to damage my nails and somehow I always manage to get it on/around my fingers. With the ones that have the glue backings they usually last me 5-7 days and the great thing is there is zero nail damage for me. Plus the price of them makes it much more affordable than getting the SNS dipped nails at the nail spa (which usually run me around $40+tip and last around 2-3 weeks).

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes! So many of us on the team love the ImPress nails! Super easy, look great, so much cheaper than the salon, and they last a decent amount of time. I’m glad to hear other people love them too!

    • Janice

      My favorite as well!!!

  9. Ksantos128

    How does this work with car seats? Even when I would get my nails done, they would break constantly putting the kids in and out the car seat!

    • Casey Meyers

      They have something to help getting kids out of the car seats if you have nails its called The Car Seat Key.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      I haven’t exactly tested this but I heard that the Bucklebee is great for people with long nails when unbuckling car seats. https://amzn.to/2HUbPGt

      Hope that helps!

    • Ksantos128

      Thank you! I need to look into that! I appreciate the feedback

  10. Dee

    Am I the only one freaking out about the acetone spilling on that beautiful wood surface??

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      HAHA! I should have definitely been more precautious with having more protection for the table but I promise I was careful!

    • Janine

      That’s the first thing I noticed above was that the Acetone was on top this beautiful wooden table!! 😬🙃☺️ can’t wait to try Impress! I wash my hands so much!

  11. Elizabeth

    Thank you 🙂

  12. Michelle Killough

    I use these all the time and LOVE them! So much quicker, sanitary, and cheaper than going to the salon!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      So glad you already love this product—and I totally agree!

  13. Michelle C

    Thank you for the post. I have not tried “fake” nails of any kind since I was a teenager. Once I had them on and a guy shook my hand. When we pulled away, most of my nails were in his hand so I vowed from then on to NEVER wear fake nails. I get them done at the salon for around $30 and they last about 6 weeks. I never really thought about them again but this post makes me want to try them and see if they have improved over the last 20 years LOL!!! Thanks H2S for bringing back my funny memory today 🙂

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh my gosh, that makes for quite an awkward situation 😆Let me know how it goes if you end up trying them out, and hopefully they stay ON your fingernails this time!

  14. OregonLexy

    I use press on’s I used to apply nail polish 💅 to my real nail but some how developed an allergic reaction

  15. OregonLexy

    Since I work in the kitchen I don’t need fancy nails. I love looking for clearance so I’ll save them for either parties or other special events I’ve found some Kiss press ons for less than $4

  16. Mellisa

    Wow, sponsored or not, it was nice of her, Hip2Save, to put this information out there. Why the attitude?

  17. JA

    I bought gorgeous press on nails for my daughter to wear to Homecoming and she got so many compliments. They were covered in jewels and that stilletto style. Would definitely get them again

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Those sound gorgeous! What a fun idea for a school dance too!

  18. 3babiesmommie

    I converted to these instead of salon nails as well! I use super glue and they last longer! Dollar tree has these in smaller quantities right now for $1!!

    • Lisa E.

      Do you only use one drop of super glue per nail?
      Going to buy these for vacation and I want them to last .
      Thank you for your comment.

  19. ElleS

    Thank you for this awesome post! I have only worn press-on nails once, and that was about 25 years ago. Your post makes me want to give them a try again! Many thanks!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed the post—let me know how it goes if you give them another try!

  20. Cheryl

    I have been using these for about a year now,. I LOVE these. Mine stay on for approximately two weeks. This is one of the best bargains you will find and your nails will look great. I always like the really short ones and my nails look great and don’t get in the way.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Couldn’t agree more. I love that you get such extended wear out of them too, that’s fantastic!

  21. Sarah

    I said good bye to salon since I started wearing these nails. Saves so much time money and you can do it in 15 mins.;) a winner

  22. Sara

    Sponsored or not, it was very informative and so much better than suffering through an annoying beauty blogger on YouTube.

  23. Nicole

    Do you have a link to the shorter nails and press on ? Never done these before but interested in trying them out…

  24. Carol

    Thank you for the information – I’m going to give it a try!

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Sure thing, Carol! Enjoy!

  25. Nancy

    Fake fingernails and fake toenails are the best! I save 2 hours not sitting in the salon. I rarely lose one, but keep the small container in my purse. It takes seconds to replace one with a spare or reglue if you haven’t lost it.

  26. Carol

    CVS has a sale buy 2 get one on some of the nails and $2 off – this was online – not sure about the stores

    LOVE YOU GUYS!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Aww, thanks for the sweet comment, Carol! We sure appreciate YOU! And thanks for sharing your find with us! We’ll be sure to check that out!

  27. Marie

    I feel handicapped with longer nails, like a dog wearing snow shoes, however, I think those nails look extremly nice and natural. I would never guess they were glued on.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you, Marie! I totally agree—super long nails don’t work that well for me, but these are sized perfectly. A week later and they’re still on and I keep forgetting that they’re not real! 😆

  28. Marie

    They have impress nails in short! I’m going to try those. Thanks for the tutorial.

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad you enjoyed it! Have fun with the ImPress nails!

  29. Elizabeth

    These look gorgeous! I would think you spent a lot getting them done. 🙂 I’m going to try the press on’s. Thanks for the great post!! ❤

    • Emily (Hip Sidekick)

      So sweet and thank you for the compliment! I’m glad it’s been helpful!

  30. Stacey

    Just discovered Impress Nail and love them!

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