How Long Do Temporary Nails Last? (A Few Helpful Tips)

Especially during the pandemic, with so many nail salons and spas necessarily closed to help slow down the spread of COVID-19, more and more people have taken to doing their own nails at home. While this may mean simply painting them with nail polish, temporary nails have also been getting their day in the spotlight.

With this increase in popularity also comes a lot of questions about exactly how they work and how long they can last for. The “temporary” label has a tendency to throw people off, or make them think that these nails will peel off the same day you put them on. That couldn’t be further from the truth! This article will separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to temporary nails.

What Do I Need To Put On My Temporary Nails?

Before getting into the how, let’s first gather the materials we’ll need to successfully put on temporary nails. Most of these tools can be found in your regular manicure kit, and are inexpensive to purchase. You’ll need…

  • The temporary nails kit (obviously)
  • Nail polish remover and cotton pads
  • Nail glue
  • Nail file and buffer
  • Nail scissors or clippers
  • A small container of water for soaking your nails
  • Temporary nail kit

How Do I Put Temporary Nails On?

Now that you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you’re probably wondering… how do I put these things on?

You’ll want to start by getting your natural nails ready for the application by taking off any existing temporary nails or removing any nail polish. Soak your fingertips in warm, soapy water for at least five minutes, or until your nails feel soft to the touch. Dry thoroughly.

Next, trim and file your nails, but don’t go too short so that your nails have a base to attach to. Smooth with your nail file, and push your cuticles back. Finish by buffing the surface of your entire nail.

Lay out your temporary nails on a flat surface. Use the nail glue that comes in your kit to attach the temporary nails to your natural nails, shaping with a file if they don’t fit naturally. It’s best to use a spiral pattern with the glue to attach the nail. Press each nail for about 10 seconds to secure them. Voila! Beautiful, temporary nails.

How Long Do Temporary Nails Last?

Now, for the most important question! Now that you’ve applied your new temporary nails, how long can you expect them to stay on for?

This really depends on a few different factors – the quality of the nail and glue, how much you use your hands on a daily basis, and how well they are applied.

Generally, quality nails will last between six and eight weeks before needing to be replaced. However, toward the end of that time period the growth will become more and more obvious, and some people choose to visit a professional salon to have them filled in (we’ll discuss this more below).

How Long Is Too Long?

Yes, you can definitely keep your temporary nails on too long. As we discussed above, with optimal care, temporary nails will last between six and eight weeks. 

After that, you’re putting yourself at risk for fungal infections, weakening and breakage of your natural nails, and just generally having them grow out so far that they don’t look good. Usually, the three month mark is where most people start seeing these issues, but it’s not recommended that you wait that long.

How Can I Make My Temporary Nails Last Longer?

Making your nails last longer starts by choosing the right size for your nails. Many times when nails grow out unevenly or fall off prematurely it is simply due to using a nail that is either too big or too small for your natural nails. The poor fit leads to a much shorter lifespan. 

Proper application is important as well, and is why a lot of people elect to have a professional put them on the first time. However, once you understand how to apply them correctly, it’s a breeze to continue to do at home yourself. 

Regular hand moisturizer is another tip to extend the lifespan of your temporary nails. Moisturizer keeps not only your hands but also your cuticles soft and healthy, which gives your nails more of a healthy base to be placed on. It also helps stop the nails from drying out and falling off prematurely.

Finally, consider visiting a nail salon to have your nails filled it at around the three week mark. The gap between the cuticle and the temporary nail becomes more obvious at this point, and filling them in can double the amount of time your nails can stay on.

Temporary nails are a great way to change up your style regularly without having to worry about chipping nail polish. Knowing how to get the most out of them, and how long you can expect to enjoy them for, can help keep your nails healthy and beautiful for years to come.

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