I received a complimentary imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails to test and review through my participation in the Influenster VoxBox program. The specific set I tried is a black and silver crackle pattern called “Working Girl” that retails for $7.99.
What they say:
Introducing imPress Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails, the revolutionary way to apply polish! Featuring advanced nail technology, you can get a salon-perfect manicure in seconds – simply peel off, press on, and you’re done. There’s no drying, a killer shine and a manicure that lasts up to a week! And, imPress is so easy to remove, you can change it up to match your mood as often as you want. Check out all 36 colors and patterns, including trendy brights, classic darks and animal prints. With imPress, your nails will always be your best accessory.
imPress Manicure retails for $5.99 for colors and $7.99 for patterns, and is available at CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, KMart, Walgreens, Walmart and more. For a full list of online and in-store retailers, visit imPressManicure.com, where you can download an exclusive coupon and virtually try on all the colors and patterns!
I must admit that when I first learned about the products that would be included in the Holiday VoxBox I was the most interested in the press-on nails. I’ve always been curious about press-ons because growing up in my parents’ household I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup, and fake nails were included in that ban. By the time I left for college and was away from my parents’ judgmental eyes I had grown used to the functionality of short nails. Even now as an adult I always keep my nails very short. I love arts & crafts, baking, cooking, and even gardening which are all very hands-on activities that make long nails rather impractical. However, every once in awhile I consider growing my nails out slightly and sometimes I manage to go a few months without clipping, but eventually the frustration of the upkeep gets the better of me and I chop my nails off again. And that’s the main reason I so excited to try the imPRESS nails. They allow me have the appearance of a long-nail manicure but without the permanence of one. They’re kind of like the nail equivalent of a hair weave or extensions. When I get bored with the look, I can simply remove the press-on nails.
All of the press-on nails in the kit come housed in a plastic container shaped like a nail polish bottle. A cute touch.
The black cap slides right off, and the “bottle” opens up like a clam shell to reveal the nails inside.
There are a total of 24 nails and an alcohol-wipe (a.k.a. Prep Pad) included. At first I thought that that meant that I would be able to get two full manicures out of this kit with a few spare press-ons in case of accidents but unfortunately that’s not the case. There are actually 12 pairs of nails and each pair is a different size. When I compared the press-on nails to my real nails only 5 pairs were good size matches. Most of the other 7 pairs were either too narrow or too wide. I could make a few of them fit some of my nails, but there was no way I’d be able to get another full set to match both hands 😦
Each press-on nail comes with a plastic tab. The tab indicates the more rounded “top” of the press-on nail which needs to be placed along the cuticle edge. The straighter, square cut edge is the “bottom” of the nail.
To activate the press-on nail, you simply pull on the clear, plastic tab to expose the sticky underside. The consistency of the sticky part of the nail is like a mix of double-sided tape with the stretchy, stickiness of rubber cement.
For a majority of the nails, removing the plastic tab was a cinch but I ran into some difficulty with a few of the press-ons. Some of the tabs didn’t pull away and separate from the sticky underside of the press-ons easily, so I’d end up with the sticky tape/rubber cement material stretching and bunching up in a ball like this:
The black and shimmery silver crackle pattern I received is called “Working Girl” and by that I can tell that the people at imPRESS/Broadway Nails have a good sense of humor. This pattern is fun but also very loud, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking about conservative office ladies when they named this manicure set. No, I’m pretty sure they’re talking about that other type of working girl. You know, like Julia Roberts and Laura San Giacomo in the film Pretty Woman.
Here’s how the the underside of the nails look. You can see the black plastic extending beyond the tips of my fingers.
As I mentioned earlier I’ve grown accustomed to short nails so I couldn’t tolerate the full length of the press-ons for more than a couple of hours. Honestly, I don’t know how people can type with such long nails! It felt so awkward.
Originally, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to clip the nails but I was getting so frustrated with them I took the risk anyway. Turns out the nail clippers cut through the press-ons more easily than my real nails which was surprising to me since the plastic felt pretty firm and strong to the touch. I trimmed them down until they were only about 1-2 mm longer than my natural nails. Later on, I checked imPRESS’ website and they say that the nails can be cut and filed to your desired length and shape, so I appreciate that these press-ons are customizable.
I didn’t do any heavy lifting, major cooking or engage in any activity that would be extremely rough on the hands while I was testing these press-ons but I didn’t purposely go easy on them either. I still washed dishes, took out the trash, washed my hands regularly, showered and shampooed everyday with these nails on. You know, normal daily activities that most people do.
The main problems I ran into using these press-on nails all involve the adhesive backing. If you look at the underside of one of these press-ons, you’d see that the adhesive isn’t on the entire underside. There’s an adhesive-less border a little less than 1 mm in width that runs along the entire perimeter of the press-on, and I suppose that gap is there so you can lift and remove the press-ons more easily if you run into problems. However, because there’s a little gap between your real nail and the press-on, moisture can get into the crevices and weaken the adhesive.
In the photo below, you can see a noticeable gap between my natural nail and the press-on nail on my index finger.
On the packaging, imPRESS claims their press-ons will last up to a week. I got three full days of use out of these nails before some of the press-ons began to really loosen up. The condition of the manicure still looked great but the adhesive just wasn’t working anymore.
And here’s how the press-ons looked after I removed them at the end of Day 3 which leads me to another problem I had with these nails: they are major lint magnets!
There’s only a tiny 1 mm gap on the underside of the nail that doesn’t have any sticky adhesive, which means that a majority of the underside is sticky. Imagine doing everyday tasks with sticky tape on your fingers. Picture eating a bag of chips. Now imagine looking at what’s on that sticky tape at the end of the day. Yeah, not pretty.
When I went to pull away the press-ons, which were pretty loose to the point of falling off by the end of Day 3, they were only sticking to my nails by a narrow strip. In addition, I noticed that there was also a bit of moisture trapped in the space between the press-ons and my real nails because the surface of my real nails was slightly wet.
For a last minute event or a temporary change of appearance, I can see the imPRESS Press-On Manicure working really well. They come in a range of colors and patterns, are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at most drugstores. The material is sturdy, application and removal are easy, and the finish lasts for several days without dulling. I managed to get three full days of wear out of the press-ons before the adhesive loosened up but the manicure itself never lost its shine or original luster. The imPRESS press-on nails are also very customizable; you can trim and file the press-ons to suit your style.
The only major problems I had involved the adhesive. It doesn’t completely cover the entire underside of the nail which allows moisture to seep in between the press-on and the real nail, loosening the adhesive bonding. The adhesive also results in a lot of dust and debris sticking to the underside of the nail.