Everyone knows the joy of getting a fresh manicure. Ever since becoming an adult, it’s become a personal habit for me to get a new set of gel nails done every few months; I never truly feel completely done up without them. As much joy as it brings me, however, it’s a truly expensive habit to have; I ended up kicking it because of the cost. I’m not alone – many people relate, resulting in a high demand for cheaper alternatives to salon-grade manicures. Korean beauty companies have come up with a solution – press on gel nails, which completely look the part while only costing around a fraction of the price.
Press on nails often come in two versions: nail tips, and softer, more flexible nail stickers. Nail tips definitely look much more like gel nails, as they provide the thick, three-dimensional look characteristic of a good gel nail manicure. The downside is definitely that they may feel less comfortable on the nails, and are slightly harder to apply well, and may fall off more easily. Nail stickers, on the other hand, are thinner and easier to apply, but don’t quite pass as easily for gel nails. They make an easy, neat way to dress hands up, though, and will definitely suit most people’s lifestyles.
They also work exceptionally well for short occasions – if you can’t seem to justify getting a manicure just for a single night but still want to impress, stick-on nails are a great option.
Here are some of the press-on nail brands most-loved by consumers both in Korea and overseas, for the designs and the ease they offer.
Most well-known for their nail tips – aptly named the MagicPress line – Dashing Diva is probably the brand that most people think of first when looking for an alternative to gel nail manicures. Known to provide an easy, long-lasting application, this is the collection that most customers still gravitate towards, as they imitate the salon look well.
Besides that, Dashing Diva’s newest range consists of a thin sticker that affixes strongly onto your nail with help from UV gel lamps, effectively extending the lifespan of your press-on manicure.
Available in a wide range of designs from colorful, eye-catching lines studded with raised jewels to barely-there natural designs in nude colors, there’s bound to be one out there perfect for anyone. Besides color, customers are also provided lots of choice on shape and length of their press-on manicure, allowing them to find a design that truly suits their tastes well.
The cost of most Dashing Diva products average at an affordable 10,000won, allowing for customers to try plenty of styles without breaking the bank.
If Dashing Diva customers prefer the raised, three-dimensional stick-on lines, Gelato Factory customers flock to the brand for their lightweight products that don’t obstruct daily activities and barely feel like they’re there, all while maintaining a perfect look and feel. (This is despite the fact that Gelato Factory does carry the raised, thicker nail tips). Much like Dashing Diva, they’ve come out with a new line promising heightened lasting power with the help of UV lamps.
Gelato Factory also offers a truly wide range of products for their customers’ diverse tastes. Their recent releases feature translucent designs mimicking the trendy syrup nails, as well as plenty of shimmery ones perfect for some extra sparkle in the summer. Where Dashing Diva releases simpler, single-color designs, Gelato Factory’s designs feature adorable graphics of trendy motifs like flowers and butterflies.
Their raised nail tips feature a lot of added parts like tiny chain designs and large jewels that promise to make your hands the center of attention.
Most of Gelato Factory’s prices are below 10,000won, making their prices extremely friendly – a draw for a younger crowd.
Arguably the first brand to release a product range that works with help from UV lights (often used in salons to ‘set’ gel nail polish and make it resistant to chips) which is currently the technological trend leading the pack among the industry, Ohora is every bit the innovator, despite being a relatively new face. Their new technology has earned them many loyal customers, making Ohora a new favorite amongst consumers.
Ohora’s newest collection features rainbow-hued colors, as well as cat eye and glitter finishes. Featuring motifs such as seashells and crescent moons, they are sure to appeal to those who enjoy having fun with their nails as a mode of expression.
They also have a collaborative line with gel nail artists that updates often. If you’ve ever wanted to visit any of these well-known stores but were apprehensive because of the cost, this is the time to get your favorite designs at a friendly price.
Besides selling just press-on nails, Ohora also sells a comprehensive collection of tools and nail care products. Ohora’s gel lamp in particular is small in size and portable, making it perfect for quick manicures on the go.
Priced slightly above 10,000won on average, Ohora is available for sale on their official website.