Privilege Blog

Turns Out, Press-On Nails Are Fun, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:18am

I rarely get manicures. After all, I spend a fair amount of time pulling weeds and lopping branches, not good for nails. Sure, when I know something fancy’s coming up–a wedding, a party, a spiffy vacation–I’ll go to the nail place. 99% of the time their efforts last for maybe a day or two, but since that’s long enough for the event, eh.

The only time my lackadaisicality annoys is surprise events when I aim for something between black peacock feathers and comic sweatpants, but my gardening fingernails hold me back. The line between Sturdy Gal and Artsy Cousin can be hard to tread.

And that’s why, when a friend asked if I’d try her new product and maybe post about her new business, after my first “Me? Surely not me,” I thought, “Wait!” And why I’m showing you CliqOnU nails as worn by yours truly.

Even we who cannot for the life of us paint our right hand with our left hand can Make An Occasional Surprise Good Showing without inordinate fuss. This is good.

Essentially, and those of you who do this with regularity may guffaw, I simply glued these on. Will wonders never cease.

They come in little kits,

with 24 nails in varying sizes for both hands. This is Gray Lace. The lace was a step too far for me but it was optional so I failed no test.

(Evidence that more adventurous styles are available.)

But How Do I Put Them On, Really?

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Nail polish remover. They send one towel per kit but if you’re me you will want more.
  • Tweezers. Again, if you’re me you have no small motor coordination and that’s why you can’t paint your nails in the first place, so tweezers help in picking those little doodlebugs up.
  • A magnifying glass. Yes, a niche tool, for those of us who need new glasses but haven’t gotten them because pandemic.

And here’s what you do.

  • Take the nails, one by one, and see which fit. They are embossed with little numbers so you can keep track of your nail sizes for the future. However, that’s where you might need the magnifying glass. Then lay out your selections, on a handy-dandy extremely glamorous brown paper bag.

  • Now, wipe your nails off with the included polish wipe. (If you want the press-on nails to stay on as long possible, the company also recommends that you file the surface of your original nails. A little emory board is included.)
  • Then take the little spiked cap, which is not yet attached to the tube of glue, and which you have been very careful not to lose even though it’s small, and poke a hole in the narrow end of the glue tube. This glue is super, by the way. Do Not get it on your fingers. However, nail polish remover will take it off.
  • Now put 2-4 small drops of glue on the first nail you want to try. Then put down the glue, pick up the tweezers, grab the correct CliqOnU nail, and slowly slide it down toward your cuticle. (These are the special clumsy person directions, AKA if I can do it so can you.) You have several seconds before the glue is dry; use them to get the alignment right. Then put down the tweezers (seriously, special directions) and gently press on the nail with your thumb and roll your thumb back and forth. Count to 20. Or 30. (Impatient people also get special instructions.)
  • Repeat until you’re done.
  • Admire.
  • The extra nail polish I recommend is in case you get some glue on your fingers. But don’t let it touch the CliqOnU nails because it dulls the finish.

So I put these on yesterday. Today, all that I attached after I’d figured out the process (important detail) are still in place. And, most importantly, they do not feel strange at all. They feel like fingernails. Wonders in fact will never cease. (Denim jacket, Madewell; black jacquard pants, Dries van Noten; t-shirt, UNIQLO, shoes, NEOUS; glasses, healthcare insurance). See, I’m smiling crookedly at how the nails keep up with the shoes and the Dries without leaving the tee and denim behind.

Should you be inclined to give CliqOnU a whirl, right now they are having a 30% off sale for Mother’s Day. Might be a good time to try bright red. (You can cut and file these. I know. I did it for a couple of the gray ones.) Nails are recyclable and the company itself donates 10% to an organization called ZOE to fight human trafficking.

Have a wonderful weekend. Trying new things is super fun.


No commissions generated by any links. Product given to me for feedback, review proposed but not required. And here’s a video with the founders putting the nails on, adeptly