As a chronic nail biter, I have tried every trick under the sun to end the habit; gel nails, painted nails, that nasty tasting liquid that coats your fingers, even picking the cuticles instead of the nail itself. But nothing worked. Eventually it dawned on me that actually I prefer having very short nails as I’m quite heavy handed. A lot gets done with my hands day to day and you don’t realise what a hindrance long nails can be to someone who isn’t used to them, until you’re trying to glue one back on after it pinged off from being caught on your seatbelt.
Sometimes though, a girl just wants to look nice. I think there’s some stigma around fake nails, as if having them implies you are faking your way to something that you’re not. Like you’re only good if you can grow beautiful, natural long nails. But we dye our hair, tint our eyebrows, even wear fake lashes. So why should a set falsies be seen any different. It doesn’t make someone a tart because they’re wearing red talons.
My experience with store bought fake nails has always been disappointing. You pay £8 for a set of french tips, only to find one has fallen off and mysteriously disappeared before dinner. What a waste. So I asked around, did some research, and it turns out the answer was very cheap and accessible.
Sometimes it feels as it the answer to all problems is this shop. Want Harry Potter make-up brushes? Primark. Want the knock-off lookalike Chanel sandals for less than £10? Primark. Want a Chip Beauty and the Beast bag? Primark. It is fast fashion heaven. So, filled with magazine articles and positive feedback, off I trotted after work to roam the isles for my new nails.
I came away with 3x packs. All came with glue. Total cost? £5. I thought the orange and metallic chrome would be good for better weather, so I started with the grey.
I matched them to the right fingers and lined them all up biggest to smallest. I did have to file a couple down around the edges as they were too big and touched the skin around my nail. No part of it should be touching the skin or cuticle.
You’ll need a strong pair of scissors to snip the end off of the glue that comes in the pack. I’d heard people say they didn’t get on with that glue and bought their own to use. The day before I had watched a video of a woman’s dressing gown catching fire for no reason other than supposedly a bit of glue dripped onto it. In fact if you read the VERY small print, it does say it’s do not make contact with clothing/fabrics as it’s combustable… For £2, I’d expect nothing less. Make your own judgement. if you have a preferred glue then use that.
So very carefully – fabric a safe distance away – I squeezed the glue out onto my nails, lined up the correct nail, and stuck on making sure to press down for at least 30 seconds. Again, no part should touching the cuticle. It needs to go up to but not touch. After one hand was done, I tentatively tested it’s strength by pressing down on the tip and it didn’t move. Onto the next hand.
Once the nails were on, I took nail scissors and cut them right down. A.) because I simply can’t operate on nails that long but B.) to decrease the pressure on the end of the nail so they last longer without coming off. Then out came the nail file and I filed them down to the end of my finger tips, ending in a square shape.
Please excuse my cuticles. (See, I told you – tried everything…)
All in all, they don’t look too bad. One was properly wonky but filed down it was barely noticeable. The matte finish looks nice as well but of course you can gloss over it in a clear if you wanted.
Baths, showers, pot washing and handwashing – still solid. I was very impressed as I have my hands in water a lot. It makes me nervous to wash my hands whenever I have my nails done as inevitably from past experience that’s the beginning of the end. However they stayed put. Nice. Even typing at work, there was no movement, but I think that’s because they were filed right down they weren’t being stressed.
How long did they last?:
Well I got a good 3 days out of them before the first one came off – Seatbelt! But I had carried the glue with me in my bag for such an occasion so I whipped it out and stuck it back on there and then. And to give it it’s credit it stayed put. At the end of the third day, I was shopping in Primark (again) admiring the shorts, to look down and discover I had a naked index finger on my right hand. I then spent a good five minutes subtly rummaging round on the floor under clothes looking for a piece of fake nail before giving up and walking away. One nail down, not too bad.
When I got the till, I had lost another one. This time index finger on the other hand. At least there was some symmetry.
The next morning in bed I grabbed a pillow and another one came off. This time I peeled them all off. I couldn’t be bothered to put new ones on.
All in all for the cost I think they’re a bargain. You could easily wear them on a night out and save yourself £30 at the nail salon. I was even asked if I’d had Shellac. They come in so many shapes/colours/styles that there is something for everyone. Will they last a whole week? Probably not but you could just stick them back on? To be honest for £2 I wouldn’t expect to get a week out of them, but then I wouldn’t be disappointed in that because it’s not like you’ve bought them for £8 in Boots. They’re a fun treat that won’t break the bank and look great for special occasions.
I would buy them again. In fact I have three new packs upstairs waiting for me…