Make Fake Nails Last Longer: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

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Discover ways to make your nails last longer with a step-by-step guide.

Fake nails are a great type of nail enhancement. They are easy to apply, very accessible, and much cheaper than some other types of nail enhancements. However, their only downfall is that they don’t last very long.

As they are only stuck on with a bit of glue, fake nails only last up to roughly 7 days. This may not be long enough for some, and you may want to know how to make your fake nails last longer.

In this post, I’ll be sharing ways to make fake nails last longer, a step-by-step guide. I’ll be sharing how to apply fake nails to help them last longer and a few tips on what you can do to extend the amount of time your fake nails last.

Make Fake Nails Last Longer: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

The way you apply your fake nails can affect how long they last. So, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply fake nails to make them last longer:

1. Prep your natural nails 

Prepping your nails is the main part of applying fake nails; how you prep your natural nails determines how your fake nails sit and how they last. Start by washing your hands, using soap and warm water, make sure you clean your nails and the surrounding skin to ensure there is nothing on them and they are clean.

Once you’ve washed your hands and dried them thoroughly, wipe your nails with alcohol wipes or acetone-soaked lint-free wipe. Then, push down your cuticles gently using an orange wooden stick. These two steps will ensure your nails have no oil, dirt, or any other type of residue on them, and the nail bed is completely clean as this will make sure that the glue adheres fully and the fake nail has a stronghold.

Now that your hands a clean and your nails are free from oil, file over your nails. This will help make sure there is a flat surface for the fake nail, and it also makes your nails a rougher surface for the glue to adhere to, as this helps strengthen the hold and, in turn, make your fake nails last longer.

2. Find your size nails

Before applying the fake nails, you need to size them up first. When picking the right size, make sure that the fake nail fits from each side of your natural nail, and when held against your nail, it’s flush with your cuticle. You don’t want it to be too big or too small; otherwise, when it comes to gluing them on, they won’t fit, and it’ll be too late to change it as the glue will have dried.

Not only that, but if the fake nails are ill-fitting, they’ll look a bit tacky and unprofessional. Tip – if you can’t find a nail that fits your natural nail or your nail’s in between sizes, go with the bigger size and file the edges slightly until it’s a better fit. Make sure to file both sides, so it’s even.

3. Apply the glue

Now you’ve got all the right sizes; you can start gluing them down. Put a small layer of glue on both your natural nail and the fake nail, and leave for a few seconds for the glue to get tacky. Then apply the fake nail to your nail; make sure it’s pushed right down to your cuticle and is straight before pressing down.

When you’re happy with the way it’s sitting, press down for about 30 seconds to ensure the glue is sealed and the nail is secure. Repeat for each nail. Once you’ve applied all the nails, you can apply a top coat to add an extra layer of protection and to add a shine to make them look more professional.

That is how you should apply your fake nails if you want to make them last longer. These are all key steps to ensure they have a stronghold for as long as possible.

Tips to make your fake nails last longer

Here are some other ways to make your fake nails last longer:

Invest in a strong glue

The glue you use will have an impact on how long your nails last, so it is important to make sure you use a good glue. Most fake nails come with their own glue; however, they tend to be quite weak as they consist of cheap ingredients, so the fake nails fall off quite quickly with little force.

To help your fake nails last longer, you can buy a higher quality glue that has stronger adhesion; they may be a little pricy compared to the fake nails, but it’ll be worth it as they’ll last longer, and the ingredients are going to be slightly better for your nails. Not only that, but once you’ve bought the glue, you can use it time you wear fake nails, so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

Buy high-quality fake nails

There are many types of fake nails and many different brands, so it may seem like a good idea to get the cheaper ones, but this may not be the case. Some of the cheaper brands use cheap products to make the fake nails, which makes them easy to break, and they won’t last in good condition for long, which is not what you want.

A lot of the cheaper fake nails are thin, and they look very artificial, which can give them a very tacky, cheap look. Higher quality fake nails are still thin, but because they are made from high-quality materials, they are much more durable and give a more professional look.

It’s best to go for a well-known brand if you’re starting out with fake nails, just to make sure they’re good quality and they’ll last a decent amount of time. 

Apply fake nails at night

This tip may seem a bit random or one you’ve not thought of, but this can really help your fake nails last longer. Applying them at night gives the glue enough time to work, adhere fully and make sure they have sealed completely.

At night, you’re less likely to use your hands as much as you do during the day, so you won’t interfere with them or do anything to reduce the strength of the glue, like washing your hands. In addition to that, it’s also a nice way to wind down for the evening. It’s a peaceful and calming activity to relax and have time away from all the distractions.


Fake nails are a much less permanent type of nail enhancement, so no matter what you do, they won’t last as long as other alternatives, but these are a good few ways to help make them last a few extra days. Fake nails are good as they have less risk of damage, as they only require a small amount of chemicals, and they only need a little bit of glue.

However, if you are looking for something more long-lasting, you should try acrylics or even get a gel manicure. These options last longer as they are made from more durable products.

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