Nailing It: Which Type of False Nails are Best For You?

If you're looking to treat yourself in the salon anytime soon, then perhaps you've considered having fake nails fitted.  These nails, sometimes known as 'falsies', are a quick and easy way of achieving the look of long and perfectly-shaped nails, popular among all kinds of styles and subcultures.  You can have them painted and manicured just like ordinary nails, too.  There are several different methods to choose from, but the most common are press-ons and acrylics.  This guide aims to illustrate the differences between the two and help you to decide which process suits you best.


If you've ever done your nails yourself at home, this is more than likely the method you went with.  Press-on nails are prefabricated plastic shapes that are glued to the base of your nail and cut into shape.  They come in many colours, but you can decorate them as you like too.  If you're doing them yourself, they can be decorated prior to placing them if you'd like to be able to use both hands, but you may find that some of the design must be cut away or covered in order to get the best fit to your nail.  In order to get the best of both worlds, having them applied by a professional nail technician is recommended.  The nails are hard and difficult to snap but of the two main options would probably be the flimsiest.  The result is also not quite as polished-looking as acrylics.  However, they are usually much cheaper.

Acrylics or Gels

Acrylics and gel nails both work the same way, with some minor differences in finishing/hardening.  Essentially, liquid layers are painted directly onto your nail; when these harden, they form into an extremely natural-looking base that can be shaped, cut and decorated as you like.  Because they're painted onto the surface of the nail, they look much less 'false' than press-ons.  However, the process is vastly more complicated, and getting an expert finish is next to impossible when attempting them by yourself, especially for the first time.  As such, if you want a good effect, you should head into the salon.  They will be more costly than press-ons.  However, when applied correctly, the quality of both acrylics and gels is markedly better.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to take care of your new nails and remove them only by following the advice given to you by your nail technician.  This prevents damage to your nail beds — and preserves them for the next manicure!