I Tried Press-On Toenails and (Secretly) Kind of Liked Them

They're actually pretty cool. Trust me.
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Nora Crotty
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They're actually pretty cool. Trust me.
Plastic and fantastic: The finished product.

Plastic and fantastic: The finished product.

No one in our office could control her gag reflex when I opened up a press package I received on Monday. The air was brimming with a mixture of confusion, dismay and disgust. PRESS-ON TOENAILS. Plastic, glittery, fake toenails -- just like those awkward faux fingernails you bought at CVS as a kid, but for your feet. Ew.

Obviously, I had to try them... it's kind of my job. And to be totally honest, as creepy and freaky as these things are, once they were actually on, it wasn't nearly as weird as I'd anticipated! Bear with me, here, people.

The application process is fairly straightforward. From the 24 "nails" included in a pack of imPRESS's Press-On Pedicure, you choose the 10 that most closely fit the size and shape of your own toenails. I was surprised how well mine matched up, though it was definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole thing. If you're unsure about which nail to go with, size down. 

Once you've gotten your picks lined up in the correct order, clean and shape your IRL toenails with the provided file and towelette. I trimmed mine fairly short, figuring it was better to have the fake nails extending past them than the other way around. And then... it was time.

Application in process.

Application in process.

Each nail has a clear plastic sticker on the underside that you pull off in order for it to stick -- and the smaller nails also have an easy-to-hold tab on one end that snaps off once you've positioned the nail in the right place. After it's on, press down on the nail for a wee bit et voila! You've got instantly perfect pedicured toes, no messy polish, glue or drying time involved. (After about an hour, you can also trim the faux nails to the desired length.)

Here's the thing: As creeped out as everyone was by them, there's no way in hale that anyone outside our office would have any idea they weren't my real nails. It just looked like I have a super glittery, candy corn-y, probably sort of pricey pedi that would never, ever chip. And seriously, who wouldn't want that?

I was sure at least a few nails would fall off the first time I put socks and sneakers on over them, and most certainly after doing intervals on the treadmill at the gym that night. But they didn't! Nor did they after I showered, or after sleeping (and probably scratching my toes against my legs during), or after two days of being smushed inside my pointy-toed leather flats. If nothing else, these things are hardy. According to imPRESS, they last up to seven days.

Two-and-a-half days after I first put mine on, I decided it was time for them to go (just for the sake of this article -- really, I would've rather kept them on). As far as removal goes, the instructions give you the option of either peeling off the nails from the sides or applying nail polish remover around the edges first. I didn't have any trouble popping them off, though my real nails did look a tad bit worse for the wear afterwards. Nothing a fresh coat of polish can't fix.

In all, I'd say my experience with plastic toenails was a strangely pleasant one -- and yes, I'd actually wear them again. I'm almost a little sad that my crazy candy corn set isn't re-stickable -- but at only $7.99 a pack (when they hit shelves at Walgreens and Kmart over the next few months), it's not like I can't afford to buy more. 

Would you try a press-on pedicure?