How to Apply Store Bought Nails

Skip the salon and do your nails yourself.
... Pinnacle Pictures/Photodisc/Getty Images

Artificial nails add a pop of color to any outfit and work wonders to conceal problems with your own nails. If you're itching for a fresh set of false nails, you don't need to spend time and money having them applied at a salon. Many grocery and drug stores sell artificial nail kits for you to use at home. With proper application, you'll get salon-quality for a fraction of the price.

Remove nail polish, if you're wearing it, with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. Thoroughly wash and dry your hands.

Take the false nails out of their packaging and lay them out in front of you in order.

Place each nail over your nail bed to see if it fits. If any nail is too wide for your fingertip, file down the sides until it fits.

Cut your own nails so that the nail tips are even with the tips of your fingers. File down any jagged edges.

Apply a small drop of cuticle remover to the cuticle at the base of each of your nails. Allow the remover to soak in for 30 seconds to a minute.

Push back your nail cuticles with a cotton-tipped cuticle stick. Wash your hands thoroughly to remove the cuticle remover.

Coat your nails with a single layer of protective ridge filler. Wait for it to dry.

Apply a small drop of nail glue on one of your pinky-finger nails. Swirl the application brush around to coat the entire nail. Dab a drop of nail glue on the back of a false nail.

Press the false nail straight down over your own nail. Hold the nail down for five to 15 seconds. Rub the nail from the tip to the cuticle to seal it in place. If any glue leaks out, wipe it up with a towel immediately. Repeat this step to apply the rest of the false nails.

Twist the false nails gently. If any nail feels loose, lift it up and re-glue it.

Cut or file the false nails to your desired shape and size.

Apply a clear base coat to the false nails, then paint with colored lacquer, if desired.

  • To remove the nails, soak your fingers in artificial nail remover for five minutes. File the nails to help loosen them, then soak them in the nail remover again until they fall off.

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.