Because a salon-style manicure is all in the details, creating the perfect press-on requires true craftsmanship. Nail length as well as cuticle shape, nail curvature, and design are all factors that play an important role, and must be considered along with sizing. Is the industry putting in the effort? Some brands are paying attention, but the perfect solution isn’t out there yet.
Currently, the most size-inclusive press-ons on the market are by Olive & June. The brand offers 21 sizes for a total of 42 nails in each pack — almost double your typical set — in widths ranging from 5 mm to 16.5 mm. The Best of Beauty-winning press-ons are available in four different shapes (squoval, round, oval, and almond) and lengths (extra short, short, medium, and long).
“We conducted a fit study of over 1,000 people to determine the right range of widths and heights, thickness, curvature, and wear of each press-on nail and worked with our scientists and engineers to develop the most inclusive mix of extended sizes,” says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder and CEO of Olive & June.
“Everyday I wake up to DMs from people who found their sizes after struggling to find press-ons that fit with other brands. A few of my besties have clubbed thumbs, and they’ve been wearing our press-ons since before they launched, because they helped us create the custom molds for the nails. Hearing that people are able to find their best, most natural-looking fit is all we hoped for,” Tuttle says. (Several Allure editors past and present with clubbed thumbs also endorse the brand.)
While Dashing Diva has a more limited size range than O&J (6.2 mm to 13 mm wide) the brand has done research to ensure the fit is inclusive for a variety of nail curvatures. Kyunghee Ma, head of product development for Dashing Diva, says the brand relies on 30 years of research and data to determine the sizing of their press-ons. “Our data is based on our R&D team’s consistent tests of sizing with real consumers in all parts of the world,” she says, adding that the team works to understand the minute differences in nails such as the curvature of nail shapes and cuticle shape. The brand’s resin nails are flexible and designed to accommodate all nail curvatures, and are also thinner at the cuticle and become thicker towards the nail tip, allowing the nail to sit flush against the cuticle line.
If you’re struggling to find your perfect set, there are some hacks to help your press-ons fit as snugly as possible. “I wouldn’t recommend taking a set of nails out and just popping them on,” says manicurist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough, who often turns to press-on nails for red-carpet looks and photo and video shoots. Instead, if you have smaller nail beds, she recommends customizing the sizing by sizing up and then scaling the width down using a nail file.