Manufactured vs. Custom Press Ons

Manufactured vs. Custom Press Ons

Apr 01 , 2021




It’s April’s Fool - but this is no gimmick. It’s time to finally settle the score on which is the best - manufactured or custom press on nails? For nail enthusiasts, there is certainly a noticeable difference, but is it enough to pivot to one side of this conversation? We did the ultimate #pressonchallenge and spent two weeks in our favorite store quality press ons and our favorite custom press ons from an artist, and the results were eye-opening. Here’s what we’ve discovered - but we’ll let you be the judge:  

If it bends, it will break:

Consider this the nail bible 101. We all know that even the die hard press on lovers will admit that while press ons are a great and healthy alternative to acrylic nails, they do not last as long as a full set. But we think it’s fair to assume that press ons should last up to two weeks (with proper care). We found  that with store-bought press ons, it was a struggle to get a full week’s wear. But custom press ons proved to be more durable and able to withstand more intense hand activity (excessive dish washing, workout routines, etc.). The middle ground - since the store-bought nails have more quantity in a box, it was easy to replace when they broke, which isn’t the case with custom press ons which is more limited with quantity. Guess this one is a draw. 

Score: 1- Manufactured; 1- Custom

Pictured: Store-bought, Manufactured) 


Real polish matters:

As you might have figured out by now, custom press on sets use REAL polish. And it makes quite the difference of giving a more natural aesthetic appeal. Every store-bought press on kits that we tested used a colored coating, but it was not a real polish top application (although it gives the illusion of one). The faux nail itself was colored, making it less appealing. Especially if you’re someone looking to color match for a pedicure it could be difficult when you don’t have an actual polish color to reference. 

Score: 1- Manufactured; 2- Custom

(Pictured: Frostbite, Custom) - Various shapes and styles available


Creativity thrives where artists resides:  

Yes, you read that correctly. Actual nail artists design and give life to custom press on nails — which make them more individually unique and wildly appealing. It’s similar to having the Midas Touch of an actual artist, without the hassle of scheduling an appointment, and sitting in a chair. However, with manufactured press ons this level of creativity was almost nonexistent. They are produced in excessive bulks, so designs are rather basic with a wide-set appeal. Or in other’s words - you may be caught out with the same design, which can be the ultimate spoiler if you’re wanting to pass off an authentic and natural look. 

Score: 1- Manufactured; 3- Custom 

(Pictured: Don’t Flake on Me, Custom - Color Shown: Rich Auntie) - Various shapes and styles available


There is certainly a clear winner here - custom press on nails truly triumphs manufactured press on nails. If you’re looking to support local nail artist and manicurists, shop the latest 20-pack kits (if you’re unsure of your size) or custom looks here that are all designed by real artists! 

Leave a comment