One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2019 was to learn how to paint my nails. (I know, I know, I have a lot going for me.) I could tell you I wanted to do my own nails to save money on manicures, but honestly, I just really don’t like sitting in a chair for 40 minutes while a stranger touches my hands. Yes, I’m also one of those people who doesn’t like massages; don’t ask me why I am the way I am—couldn’t tell you.
Anyway, after a couple tries, I got pretty good at doing my nails, so I pretty much ditched my manicure habit, save for every few months when I had them shaped by a professional. All of this is to say that after years of only wearing nail polish intermittently, I became someone who had to have some color on her nails. My go-tos are Essie Licorice and Essie Blanc, thank you for asking.
Cut to a couple months ago, when I saw an article about the return of press-on nails. I was intrigued: Would they look obviously fake? Would I be able to apply them myself? Would I be able to type and text?
I was curious enough to order two pairs from Static Nails, which, based on my preliminary research, is one of the most popular brands. I bought two sets of Reusable Pop-On Manicures: a long, black, almond-shaped set and a long, white, coffin-shaped set. For my first application, I decided on the black set, which I envisioned would make me feel like an Instagram model with a dream and a discount code for flat-tummy tea.
Being the impatient person I am, I didn’t read the instructions super carefully, but reader, let me tell you, the application process could not have been more foolproof. First, you choose ten nails that best fit your own nail beds and set those aside. This is key because once you apply one, you’re not going to want to have to search through itty-bitty nails (each Static set comes with 24 nails to fit petite, average and larger nails). After dabbing a little glue—which also comes with the set—onto the back of the fake nail and all over your own nail, you place the press-on up to your cuticle and hold it there for 30 seconds. That’s it. After 30 seconds, it should feel totally secure. All in all, the entire process took less than ten minutes.
Once they were on, I felt like a different person, which is to say, I felt like a bad bitch. They stayed perfectly in place for four days, at which point it was easy to pop them off without having to tug. The amount of glue you use determines how long they stay on. My worries about taking them off to reveal that my natural nails had been destroyed were unfounded, though I did wait 24 hours to reapply polish just to let them breathe for a second.
The only downsides were actually self-inflicted. It turns out, my lifestyle and my job (which involves a lot of typing) were not conducive to the claws I so desperately wanted. To be completely honest, they made just about every task more difficult, from putting on makeup and washing my hair to texting and rubbing my eyes. In the future, I’d choose a more sensibly-lengthed pair and save the super-long styles for special occasions (when I’d apply a little less glue so they’d pop off before Monday morning).
Still, Static Nails let me live my glam fantasy for a few days, and for that, I’m grateful—and in awe of women who wear these babies 24/7.