My Journey To Custom Press-On Nails: Part 1

There's something about having a one-of-a-kind beauty product that gets me excited.

I know I always say I’m an avid bum when it comes to beauty, but there is one thing that I absolutely love about grooming myself, and it’s my nails. I love them, and am partly obsessed with them because they’re long, strong, and healthy, or at least they were long until this Custom Nail Solutions kit landed on my desk.

Custom Nail Solutions is exactly what it sounds like. A solution for getting custom nails. They’re reusable, and claim to never break, chip, crack, stain, or change shape. Basically, they’ll last you the rest of your nail-having life. Sounds promising, right? I thought so, too, which is why I decided to crack open the kit and get to customizing.

I’ve never been the type to indulge in artificial nails. I mean, I love the way they look, because I love the look of long nails, but I hate the damage they can do to your natural nails. I tried getting an overlay once in hopes that it would keep my natural nails from breaking, but seeing, after they were removed, that one nail turned green (!) was enough for me to not do anything else to my nails, but file, buff, and paint.

Yet, the idea of having custom press-ons has me intrigued. Maybe it's that they're reusable, or that going to look natural because they're my nails, or that they’re going to be made just for me and no one else will ever have them. There's something about having a one-of-a-kind beauty product that gets me excited.

Important note! Before you start your kit, read the instruction manual. Being the self-sufficient, I-got-this type of person that I am, I did not pre-read the instructions, because I was just sure I knew what I was doing. The manual even says “PLEASE READ THIS FIRST” in red, all caps, and with three exclamation marks, but my hardhead stepped in and decided I wasn’t going to follow the rules. Big mistake.

The standard kit comes with 10 finger trays, a spoon, a container of yellow putty, a container of white putty, and an order sheet. Your nails cannot be longer than one millimeter or they won't fit into the trays, so I had to clip my long cat scratchers first. (They recommend getting a manicure, too, so that your nails as as smooth as possible. Guess what I didn't do?)

To make the impressions, take a spoonful of each color putty and mix it together until you get a pale, butter-yellow ball shape. Make sure you use equal amounts of color, so that one doesn't overpower the other. (The instructions don't explain why there are two colors, so I can't tell you what that's about.) Then, place the ball into the part of the tray that has a hole in it.

Once the putty is rolled and placed in the nail trays, you close the tray over your nail and let it sit on a flat surface for at least 10 minutes. Be careful not to move, as the impression could get distorted.

You have to make the impression of your nail immediately after you’re done rolling the putty together, or it will harden and you will not be able to use it. I learned that the hard way after rolling out five putty balls and then realizing they were all hard as rocks when I tried to press them down onto my nails.

The instruction manual says there's enough putty for 10 impressions and two to three do-overs, but I needed five do-overs! I settled on just completing one hand because I did not want to waste any more of the now-scarce putty.

Once you’re done making your impressions, you're ready to mail them off. The order form allows you to choose the length, shape, color (French manicure or pink) and smile line of the nails (the area where the tip of your nail meets your actual finger). I opted for oval, glamour (8 mm), pink nails with a natural smile line.

It will take about three to four weeks to make your nails. Unless you live in Utah or Nevada, where Custom Nail Solutions are for some reason not available for sale.

I’ll update you all in a once these bad boys come back. That is, if they come back, since my molding game is not where it’s at. Stay tuned!

Are you into having custom press-ons? Ever had a beauty product made just for you?