Broadway Nails, makers of some of the most interesting press-on nails (notably, the Chrome and Color Changing nails), has just released a brand new type of nail: the ImPRESS Press-On Manicure. It's a little different from all the press-on nails I've tried before.
It comes in several styles, including some really nice nail art designs like these (left to right: TGIF, Holla!, Over The Moon and Vixen), but also some single color plain styles.
The packaging is really unique. It comes in a plastic nail polish bottle. And it's not just for looks, it's actually functional:
You unscrew the cap and then press the sides of the "bottle" to flip open the clamshell package. Yes, it is an extra step and a little excess packaging, but this style of packaging ensures that you won't spill your press-ons if you throw the package in your purse. The old-style packaging with two plastic trays is notorious for creating a nail-storm, nay, a nail-splosion when tying to open or store them. These seal tight, no way to spill them until you open them. Plus, the idea is cute. A manicure inside a nail polish bottle.
The nail is gently curved, but extremely flexible. These aren't stiff, brittle fake nails. You can press them flat or pinch them into a tube and they won't crack. Note the plastic tab on the front.
Each nail comes with its own built-in adhesive tab. No glue required. All you need to do is peel off the protective plastic film and you're ready to apply.
This is the style I tried; it's called TGIF. It's a glossy black creme base with circles, dots and a few glitter accents. The pattern is different on each nail size.
To apply these, you should first wash your hands and remove all nail polish from your fingers. No color, no treatment, no basecoat. After polish removal, use the enclosed (not pictured) alcohol prep wipe and thoroughly clean each nail. Select the nail sizes appropriate for you. It's faster to size your nails ahead of time and have them all arranged in order. They are standard tip sizes, so if you already know your numbers, it'll be even faster.
Peel off the plastic film from the nail you're going to apply, and press it down firmly onto your natural nail, being sure the nail is straight and level. Rub it a little to be sure the glue sticks. Continue the same way for the rest of the nails.
There is no dry time, but I would recommend going easy on your nails for the first half hour after application. The adhesive needs a little time to set.
So... how do they look?
Hmmm.... a little wonky. They're very flat and wide on me and they look pretty thick. I don't know if you can tell from the angle of these pictures, but the nail is bulging up from the cuticle end. It's very obvious in real life; nails aren't supposed to look tall. The wide flare combined with the length makes them look a little too fake for me, but I think I can remedy that.
There we go. A little better. This is how they look after I've filed them down and shaped them a little more square. Still fake looking, but not as immediately obvious.
The shape is a little better, but there's still this problem:
There are large gaps under each nail. This is not only unsanitary, but annoying. These gaps are due to partially to design and partially because of my nail shape.
The glue only comes halfway up the nail, so if you have long nail beds like mine, they will always have a gap. These appear to be intended for people with very short nail beds, people whose nails do not extend all the way to the fingertip (very good for people who are chronic nail biters especially) and people who have a very flat, non-curved nail plate.
In order for me to wear these again, I'd have to remove the pre-applied adhesive tab and use my own nail glue. That way I'd get even coverage across the entire nail and no gap.
Removal is super easy. Just drip a little acetone around the edges, or run hot water over your nails for a minute, then peel up the nail from the sides. It feels very wrong, but it comes off with virtually no damage to the nail. The ones that were stuck on a little harder made my nails a little rough, but nothing as dramatic as peeling off actual nail glue.
What I liked:
- Lots of really nice colors and designs.
- Included adhesive tab is not your Mama's stick-on nail adhesive. It actually bonds to the nail like glue and doesn't pop off if the breeze hits it just right.
- The nails are very shiny and smooth. The design isn't easily damaged or scratched.
- They're cheap and accessible.
- Very, very, very easy to apply.
- Zero mess. No glue. No fingers glued together, or to tables....
- Can be filed for size and shape. You can also use tip cutters or nail clippers to bring down the length if they're far too long for you.
- Super easy removal.
- Strong, durable wear.
What I didn't like:
- The giant gaps under my nails. These were not made for a nail shape like mine. Your hair gets caught in them, junk and moisture accumulate under them so they're very unsanitary and they're just plain annoying.
- They look very obviously fake on me. If you have wide, flat, short nail beds, they'll probably look more natural on you. On me, they looked thick and tall, too wide and awkwardly unnatural. They were very thick.
- The thickness of the adhesive tab causes them to stick up more than a traditional, glued-on fake nail. This also contributes to the thick appearance.
- They were uncomfortable. They're so blunt that you can't scratch or pick things up with them. They didn't hurt and they were secure on my nail, but the thickness and the gap drove me insane by the second day. I had intended to wear them for a full week but I just couldn't.
- They smell weird, like styrofoam or something similar.
- None of the sizes were really a perfect fit for my nails. The closest ones were a little too small, but the slightly bigger ones looked too big and clunky.
Overall, I was not ImPRESS'ed with these (Ohhhh, that was cheesy. I'm sorry.) but they won't be the same for everyone. If you have short, wide, flat nail plates, these will probably be perfect for you. I have long, moderately narrow and extremely curved nails, so these are not for me. The application and removal are easier than any artificial nail I've ever used, and the adhesive tab is shockingly strong, so I have to give it points for that. The designs are nice and the packaging is innovative. But, sadly, they just looked too thick and fake on me, and the fit was so poor that I don't think I'll be wearing these again.
The Broadway ImPRESS Press-On Manicure is available in 36 styles, both solids and patterns, and can be purchased at most drugstores. There's also a virtual dressing room on their site where you can try on all the styles to see how they'll look against your skintone. Just be sure to have your speakers turned down, or else the sudden loud sound effects and music may startle you and make you spill your coffee... not like that happened to me or anything...
(This was sent for review.)