Just under a year ago, a friend got me into press on nails. I had acrylic for years up until covid-19 began, and then once it grew out/came off, I was doing gel polish at home. Gel polish is a whole thing with the UV lamps and needing to soak it off, so I gave it up as my mental health deteriorated and did nothing for a pretty long time. Ever since I started doing press ons, I haven't gone more than a couple of days without them because they're so fun and so easy. I can handle it even in my lowest moments and I love that about it.

There are a lot of cute designs out there, especially by Kiss, but obviously you can't just go out and get every design you can possibly think of. There are lots of people on Etsy selling press ons they design and hand paint, but they are (understandably) pricey, and half of the appeal of press ons for me is that they are a fraction of the cost of a salon manicure (broke ass bitch life!). The friend who introduced me to press ons started making her own last summer and linked me to the tools in her arsenal so I could do my own too. The basic things needed are:

You'll need nail polish obviously, but you can also get nail stickers, gems, and cabochons if you want to get really ornate with it. I have a nail polish collection that dates back to when I was a teenager, so I am glad that I can finally use them again (and that they haven't completely dried out). I had also purchased some water decals from an Etsy seller and made my first 3 sets today using those and some of my old polish.

One thing I learned is that water decals are not easy to work with. The Kuromi ones were especially bad as it seemed like the film was too thin and it was cracking and crumbling just trying to place it. The flaws in my application aren't too noticeable though, so overall I would call it a success. In hoping for longevity, I used Krylon glossy clear spray paint as my top coat; I'm used to my press ons easily lasting 2 weeks, so I'm hoping it helps keep these looking nice for the entire duration of wear.

I have saved some nail art stickers on Etsy to pick up with my next paycheck and I am hoping to make some more sets with those soon. Pastel goth is my favorite aesthetic but I have very few pastel nail polishes, so I will have to get a couple of bottles too. I'm eyeing China Glaze's Too Yacht to Handle and OPI's Mexico City Move-mint 👀