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10 Nail Glues Pros Swear By for Perfect Manicures

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

We updated this article in October 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research and online reviews. Our original top-rated picks remain the same, with the addition of Beauty Secrets and IBD.

When doing manicures at home with acrylic nails or press-ons, you’re going to need some good nail glue. All nail adhesives aren’t created equally, and there’s nothing more annoying than a nail popping off a day or two after application. That’s why it’s essential to use a high-quality nail glue that bonds quickly to ensure your nails stay on longer and stronger.

“Look for a fast-setting nail adhesive,” advises Jenny Bui, owner of Nails on 7th in Harlem, New York, and OPI artist ambassador. “To find out if an adhesive is fast-setting, turn the wand to its side and check how quickly the air bubble moves: if it moves quickly, it’s fast-setting,” she says. And it’s not just about the formula — how you store your nail glue is also important. According to Bui, you should always store nail adhesives covered and in cool places to prevent them from drying out. “High temperatures will coagulate the adhesive and make it not adhere properly to the nail’s surface,” she adds.

Beauty editors at Good Housekeeping sought out the best nail glues you can buy for all your faux nail and nail art needs, including brush-on formulas, vetted by nail pros, top-rated reviews and personal editor favorites.

Our top picks:

Once you’ve completed your perfect DIY mani, keep your nails and hands in tip top shape with one of our favorite cuticle oils and hand creams.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

1) Professional Brush On Nail Glue

$6.97

This nail glue from Infilila can do it all, from acrylics to press-on nails to your most intricate nail art. The formula dries smooth and flat with no texture, making it great for nail art. It bonds quickly and will hold for up to one month. Amazon reviewers rave about this glue after trying tons of options. “This is the best nail glue I’ve tried and there have been many,” says one. “The brush is a nice quality and makes it really easy to apply,” shares another.

a close up of a bottle

2) Ultra Quick Nail Glue

$1.99

For less than $3, Nailene’s nail glue will become a staple in your manicure kit. With a dry time of less than five seconds and strong durability, it will keep your press-on nails in place for weeks. Just note that a little goes a long way and you only need a thin layer to adhere to your press-ons.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

3) Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue

$11.69

“This is the nail glue that I use the most,” says Julie Kandalec, celebrity manicurist and founder of Julie K Nail Academy.”I like the large size and that it comes with a plastic pin cap to prevent clogs or being glued shut.” The cap also prevents the dreaded drips down the side, which can be annoying to clean up. It dries quickly, so just be ready to add your tips right away.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

6) Super Strong Nail Bond

$12.99

The product name of this NYK1 nail glue boasts “super strong” hold, which is echoed by Amazon reviews. Use this nail glue and you can guarantee your press-on nails won’t annoyingly pop off. One reviewer was shocked at its durability: “I’m giving this glue 5 stars because it is definitely a super-strong nail binder as advertised,” she raved. “It took me an hour to get my nails off after having them on for a week: the nails literally dissolved before the glue.” Note that this nail glue dries incredibly fast, so you have to apply your nails one at a time.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

5) 5 Second Brush On Nail Glue

$7.40

Just like its name says, this nail glue from IBD dries super quickly. Kandalec loves that about it and says really does dry in just five seconds. Amazon reviewers love that it’s “easy to use” and “reasonably priced” — you get two bottles for under $8.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

6) Strong-Jet Brush On Clear Nail Glue

$8.29

Bust out your Swarovski crystals because this Mia Secret moisture-resistant nail glue is ideal to adhere nail art over any acrylic or gel surface. With a salon-like quality, this formula is long-lasting and comes with a brush applicator that applies like nail polish.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

7) Quick Nail Glue

$9.99

Makartt’s brush-on nail glue is great for beginners in that it takes about 10 seconds to dry, allowing you extra time to adjust accordingly. The brush allows for easy and quick application of faux nails; however, if you use this for nail art like crystals or gems, note that it can leave a yellow tint.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

8) PowerFlex Nail Glue Max Speed Super Strength

$5.90

Sometimes you need to take care of your natural nails before you can even think of applying acrylics or press-ons. If your nail gets a crack or a split, this Kiss nail glue will secure it quickly. The adhesive takes a strong squeeze to slowly come out, allowing you to apply with precision, and it’s easy to remove with acetone.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

9) Big Bondini All Purpose Nail Glue

$5.87

For those needing hypoallergenic nail glue or an adhesive that works on sensitive skin, this brand says their Big Bondini formula is for you. The product is non-irritating, and the thin applicator tip makes it easy to apply with precision. Kandalec loves to use this glue to adhere gems and studs to the nail super securely.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

10) Nail Glue for Professional Fake Nail Art & Design

$6.93

This moisture-resistant nail glue from KDS is great for adhering acrylics, but also makes applying nail art a cinch. The thin tube makes it easy to apply a minimal amount of glue at a time, providing you with the ability to carefully attach your nail art. (Note: The formula is a bit runny, so apply with care.)

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists are constantly testing the newest nail products every year, including gel polishes, non-toxic versions and more. While the GH Beauty Lab hasn’t yet formally tested nail glues in our Labs, the products on this list are a mix of nail expert picks and top-rated products from thoroughly vetted online reviews.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

“Make sure it is manufactured by a reputable nail company,” advises Kandalec. “There are dozens popping up online now, so make sure you are getting something designed to be used on the natural nail plate and skin — that’s what sets nail adhesives apart from other adhesives.”

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

Simply put: no. “They do have the same main ingredient, cyanoacrylate, but in a different concentration,” explains Kandalec. “Nail adhesive also contains additional ingredients that prevent bacteria from growing, and keeping the natural nail healthy and flexible under the enhancement.” Kandalec says using super glue can damage the nail, and may not even stick to the nail at all. “Plus, because the cyanoacrylate is a higher concentration, it can more easily cause an allergic reaction,” she adds. “Super glue (Krazy Glue, Gorilla Glue, etc.) is designed to hold things with other surfaces together, like wood, metal and plastics. Not nails and skin!”

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test sunscreens

Nail glue is designed to be used on the natural nail, so it will not ruin them. “Damage comes from improper removal of an enhancement,” Kandalec says.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

“Nail adhesives usually come in a squeeze bottle or brush-on bottle — some are pressurized so just turn it over and it will flow out slowly,” says Kandalec. The brush-on kinds are her favorite, as they allow better control and she likes that the neck is wider, allowing her to see how much is on the brush. “They can be messy for someone clumsy though,” Kandalec says. “The squeeze bottle type is probably best for most; just squeeze it gently in the center until the desired amount flows to the tip.”

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

“The best way to remove nail glue is by soaking the nail in 100% acetone,” advises Kandalec. “If it gets on the finger, saturate a q-tip in pure acetone and rub it with moderate pressure over the area, or buff it gently with a nail file.” Note: if it gets in the mouth or eye, you should call a doctor immediately.

lifestyle, amazon, 10 nail glues pros swear by for perfect manicures

How we test nonstick cookware sets

Dori Price has over 15 years of experience researching and writing nail stories, combining her knowledge with the expertise of top industry professionals including nail artists, technicians and dermatologists. She is an expert in all nail product categories, including nail color, nail treatments, nail art, professional services and more.

Danielle James is an award-winning entrepreneur, fashion and beauty journalist, and co-founder of Safe Space, a show that encourages viewers to have tough conversations with people in their respective lives.

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