Press-on pedicure? Yes, that’s a thing. For those of us who would love to have some slammin’ nail art on our toes to kick around in this summer, or every season, for that matter, imPress has the answer.
I met up with celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards at a New York City poolside mani-pedi party. Edwards’ A-list client roster includes Vanessa Williams, supermodels Jasmine Tookes and Gigi Hadid, and pop star Rita Ora, who wore a set of imPress nails in the video “For You (Fifty Shades Freed).”
Edwards gave me the pro tips on how to achieve the perfect pedicure using the set of blood-red, diamanté-crusted press-on pedi-nails in Break the Ice that I had chosen for my look.
“I can’t stress how important it is to use the prep pack that’s included with the kit of the 24 nails,” Edwards told me. “Cleaning away oils allows the specially formulated adhesive that’s rigid against the fake nail and flexible when applied to your own nails grip better and stay longer.”
During this press-on pedicure session, three costumed bathing beauties appeared at the lip of the pool and dove in with a splash that completely wet my clothes and my bag as they backstroked into a synchronized swimming routine. A bevy of pool attendants descended on me with towels, followed by very sweet, red-faced and apologetic PR people profusely mopping up my shoulders.
Despite the distraction, I was undeterred. What’s the real deal with these nails?
“So how long do the nails last with swimming and showering and doing dishes?” I wanted to know.
“About 10 days on the hands and five days on the feet before they get loose and need to be reglued or refreshed with a new set,” Edwards said before she floated away to greet another of the 50 or so bloggers and beauty editors streaming in and sipping cocktails.
It took the manicurist about five minutes to adhere and then clip the press-ons to match the length of my natural nails. Most of the nails were perfectly sized to begin with, which would be a bonus for DIY days. Thoughts? One, I was actually shocked at how natural and pretty the nails looked. Two, I kinda got instantly hooked on the idea of insta-nail art.
Then it was time for me to get the mani to match my pedi. I had been clocking and coveting Edwards’ rose-gold nails from the second I walked in—except for one thing: Her press-on nails were long. I’m a writer and a mom who cooks for a family of four, so long nails don’t work for me on the daily.
“We’ve got midlength nails now,” Edwards said, whipping out a display board with a fabulous rainbow of nail choices. “These nails work really well for people with long nail beds.”
I chose a holographic white set perfect for summer. Edwards instructed the tech sizing my nails to each finger to file just a little off the sides and bottoms of a few of the nails that were just a touch too wide for me to give the nails some extra realness, so that they would fit perfectly on my nail bed and not overlap with my cuticle. That’s one of those pro tricks—like tweezing around the top of your eyebrows to get the cleanest, most perfect shape—that make all the difference. The nails are also reusable—so it’s worth the little extra effort. In seven minutes flat I was done: I had a set of short, sexy, perfectly polished and practical nails.
Besides convenience, what’s the upside of press-on nails?
“It’s the best way to rehab your nails when you’re transitioning out of gel nails,” Edwards explained. Prolonged wearing of gels can cause thinning and breakage.
I love my manicures in bold colors. I’m also a fan of weekly polish, which often results in yellowing nails, so periodically I need to put myself on polish probation and go with lighter colors or no polish at all.
“If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or recovering from an illness like cancer, this is also a great, chemical-free way to enjoy nail polish,” said Edwards.
So how do the nails hold up? I’ve done two workouts—no treadmills or elliptical machines, but barre and cycling classes—and the press-on pedi is still impeccable. They were undetectable to me in my combat boots, sneakers or heels. Even though I was poolside for the event, I didn’t test them in the water—although I probably should have jumped in, since I was already wet—but as soon as summer comes, I’ll let you know how they hold up at the beach.