why won't my nail glue stick

Artificial nails look stunning, but the process becomes a bit frustrating when you ask yourself, “why won’t my nail glue stick?”

In the past, you had to go to a salon whenever you wanted to try a new acrylic manicure design or modify your existing acrylic nails.

However, times have changed, and you can now have manicures that rival those done in a professional salon without ever leaving your house.

The first step is to add nail glue to your home kit so that you’ll be ready to begin when the time comes.

But what if the glue fails to perform as expected, and you’re left scratching your head and wondering how to get glue on nails to stay on?

From low-quality nail glue to mistakes during the application process, So many things can cause nail glue to not stick.

Tip: Take special care when buying nails and ensure press-on tips are in accordance with the size of your nail bed. 

Why Won’t My Nail Glue Stick after Application?

my nail glue dont stick after applying

Artificial nails with a press-on design are meant to be worn atop your natural nails.

They’re readily available in a wide array of colors and designs, and, if applied properly, can last for two weeks or more.

In other cases, though, they may chip or come off in a matter of days. This occurs when there is an error in the application process.

You may experience the same because of a failure to maintain the press-on nails after application.

If you want your manicure to last as long as possible, you need to identify the problem area first. 

You Use Substandard Nail Glue

Nail glues are an integral part of any nail art toolkit. They facilitate the application of press-on, acrylics, and other nail art components (such as foil or gemstones).

Manicured nails with the right glue can withstand whatever you throw at them.

But before you buy your nail glue, make sure it’s simple to remove, dries quickly, and lasts a while.

Remember, a longer-lasting manicure is possible with the use of high-quality materials from the outset.

Just like good quality nail glue, your nails should also be of top quality. 

You Use Low Quality Press-On Nails

low quality presson nails

Press-on nails of good quality should be available in a range of sizes. They should be resilient enough to be filed to the desired form and made from a soft and durable material.

Your press-on nails may already have an adhesive coating, but adding a strong glue will ensure they stay there.

A high-quality nail adhesive, once dry, should keep your nails in place for up to two weeks.

If your press-on nails start to peel off, you may quickly and easily reattach them using the right nail adhesive.

Tip: Be mindful of clipping your natural nails short before applying glue to wear press-on nails. 

You Don’t Apply Glue Correctly

Any mistakes during the application of nail glue can lead to problems and cause your nails to pop off.

It’s best to use less nail glue initially while applying it.

Don’t apply too much adhesive to the nail because it can be difficult to remove from the skin without making your fingers stick.

If you end up spilling, you can avoid getting any on your skin by placing your finger at a downward angle. 

How to Apply it for Perfect Adhesion?

apply for perfect adhesion

Simply apply a very thin layer to your nails. Hold the nail down for 10 seconds while the glue dries to secure the artificial nail.

Maintain a firm pressure on the nail for 10 seconds to let the adhesive set. You should try not to move your hand while holding the artificial nail in place.

A common issue here is about the glue falling off quickly.

To avoid it, spread a little layer of your preferred nail adhesive across each of your fingernail beds. You really don’t require much.

You should also put a small amount of glue on the press-on nail. Not in the nail’s center, but at the cuticle!

What to Remember When Applying Glue

To make your nail glue work effectively, you need to prep your nail first.

what to remember applying glue
  • Don’t leave any natural oils on your nail before applying the glue.
  • Be sure to dehydrate the nail plate properly before using any adhesive.
  • Don’t rush when you’re trying to remove the cuticle.
  • Never fill your nails excessively to avoid damaging the nail plate.

Other than these, you should remember that it’s not a good idea to use super glue to attach your press-on nails.

Super Glue might harm your natural nails because it was not intended for usage on the body.

Because of this, the labels of the majority of super glue products contain a warning against using it near or on the skin.

Tip:  Always use the right amount of glue and handle one finger at a time for flawless results.

What to Do to Make Your Nails Stick Properly?

what to do make nails stick properly

Using the right quality nail glue is of paramount importance, but many other factors may also lead to problems in adhesion. 

Always use the Right Nail Size

No amount of glue would do its job properly if your nails are of the wrong size.

Measuring your nails and purchasing press-on sets that can be filed to fit is essential.

If your press-on nails are too large or too small, it will be difficult to keep them on for an extended amount of time. 

Consider Your Lifestyle

Take some time to consider just how much you rely on your hands and the tasks you perform with them on a regular basis.

Long stiletto nails aren’t a good choice if you do a lot of dishwashing because they’ll definitely break within a few days. 

Press-on nails that are a little longer and more tapered may suffice if you aren’t doing a lot of heavy lifting.

It’s totally up to you to figure out what works best!

Each length and form is available in a wide variety, but picking the right length will help them stick better. 

Always Prep Your Hands and Nails

prep the hands and nails

When applying press-on nails, it’s easy to ignore your hands and cuticles.

Before applying press-on nails, it’s crucial to moisturize your hands, especially your cuticles.

By doing so, the press-on nails will have a far better chance of bonding to your natural nails and staying put.

Simple cuticle maintenance and cuticle oil or another moisturizer will do the trick.

Here’s what else to remember:

Dehydrate Your Nails

If your natural nails are unclean when you apply press-on nails, they won’t last as long as if they were bonded to a clean surface.

Use alcohol or acetone to remove the oils from your natural nails and dehydrate them.

You can use pads that have already been wet or a bottle and a cotton round. 

Try Some Buffing

To make your press-on nails last, buffing is another crucial step.

Buffing up the surface of your natural nails with a tool is all that’s required.

This will ensure that your press-on nails and nail adhesive remain firmly attached for as long as possible. 

Don’t Forget the Base Coat

do not forget base coat

Using a high-quality base coat in conjunction with nail strips is another method of nail protection.

The base coat acts as a protective layer between the adhesive and your natural nails, extending the wear time and preventing the color.

A good base coat may also help strengthen weak and brittle nail tips, moisturize cuticles, and encourage healthy growth. 

Never Ignore a Top Coat

Don’t forget a top coat to make your nails stick and look shiny.

Applying a high-quality top coat will give your manicure that professional look you’ve been striving for.

You’ll get more use out of your press-ons because of this step’s protective effect, and they’ll look better for longer as a result. 

Protect from Water

protect from the water

Press-on nails need to dry for at least 24 hours before they can be immersed in water.

If you soak your press-on nails in water, the glue bonding may weaken and the nails may peel off, reducing the longevity of your manicure.

Tip:  Use a thin layer of glue only and apply gentle pressure for 30 seconds to help press-ons stick better. 


Using the right type of adhesive will save you from asking, “Why won’t my nail glue stick?’

Still, it makes great sense to consider other factors causing your nails to pop off and chip shortly after application. 

Handling the application process correctly is the most critical thing to keep your nails intact for long.

So, follow every step carefully!

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