4 Nail Glue Substitutes to Try Today

4 Nail Glue Substitutes to Try Today

The era of Press on nails has and will remain one of the best beauty innovations, being able to put on readily designed nails from the comfort of your home is an unmatched feeling especially when you do not enjoy sitting for hours in a nail salon or you want to save money from booking nail appointments now and then, they are also great for emergency events where you need to look dolled up or classy.

However, Press on nails does not just get on your nails without a little adhesive of some kind.

In most cases, Press on nails are sold alongside nail glue, but in a situation where you run out of nail glue or you can not find your nail glue anywhere and you need to get them on in a hurry, we’ve got you covered.

Four Nail Glue Substitutes In 2022

Nail glue is undoubtedly the most important thing when it comes to fixing nails whether they are acrylic or Press on nails.

Nail glue is specially made to stick the fake nail or certain nail arts to your fingernails, they are made in such a way that they keep your nails firmly in place but are still very gentle on your skin and nails.

Unfortunately, nail glue can run out or you might be open to trying out other alternatives, in preparation for such cases we have listed out four nail glue substitutes that are proven to work and safe to try ; 

1. With the use of adhesive nail tabs

Adhesive nail tabs are one of the easiest nail glue substitutes you could find in the beauty market. These adhesive nail tabs are made specially to serve as a replacement for nail glue especially for Press on nails, several packs of Press on nails have nail glue and adhesive nail tabs included in them for the wearer to make her choice.

Purple Polka Dot Bow Nail Art
Image: @bownails // Instagram

Adhesive nail tabs are designed in different sizes such that they fit the different shapes of your nails when you attach them.

They are easy to use and they stick on quickly and you can take your Presson nails off and replace them whenever you’d like with adhesive nail tabs.

2. Using a double-sided tape

Using a double-sided tape as a nail glue substitute might be tricky but we’ll help you figure your way around it such that it serves you perfectly.

You can go to a beauty or drug store close to you and get a pack of fashion tape, these are best because they stick properly and they do not cause any harm to your nails or skin when they are taken out.

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Measure your nails with the fashion tape and make sure that they fit before using a pair of scissors to cut out the shape, roll the tape such that both sides are containing the tape glue so that it sticks to your nail, and the Press on nail securely, and make sure you clean your nails with acetone nail remover before using the double-sided tape. 

3. Make use of clear nail polish

Clear nail polish can also serve as an amazing alternative when you run out of nail glue or just want to try an alternative for other reasons.

Any nail polish can do the job but using clear nail polish is best because if it spills it is not noticeable and it does not taint the color of your Press on nails.

Begin by cleaning your nails with your nail polish remover to remove dirt stuck in corners of your nail, next paint the Presson nail with the clear nail polish in moderate amounts, after this paint your nails as well with the clear nail polish and leave for 15 seconds to sit but make sure it does not dry completely, and then attach the Presson nail to your nail and let it dry and stick both sides together.

Press On Nails With Cute Faces
Source: Pinterest

4. Applying base coat and white glue

Another reliable nail glue substitute you can make do with is a base coat and white glue, it helps your nails stay securely in place and it can be done in less than 20 minutes from the comfort of your home.

First, wash your hands and clean your nails properly with nail polish remover, mix the base coat (preferably clear or white) with white glue, and apply generously on your nails.

Next place your Press on nails one after the other on your natural nails and hold securely for about a minute so that it sticks before letting go, allow your nails to dry for about five minutes, and then you can go about your business for the day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Considering a few of these nail glue alternatives? Here are some of your burning questions answered.

What can I use if I don’t have nail glue?

As much as nail glue is best for fitting on your Press on nails, on the days when you do not have any and need to fix your nails at home, you have some amazing alternatives to fall back on although they might not last as long as nail glue, they usually last as long as 24 hours. You can make use of adhesive nail tabs, double sides tape, clear nail polish or base coat, and white glue as substitutes for nail glue.

How do you make homemade nail glue?

If you are a person that gets excited about DIYs then it would interest you to know that you can make your nail glue at home with inexpensive ingredients and it can be done in a matter of minutes. For your homemade glue, you would simply need some PVA glue ( a colorless & mom toxic glue that is usually used for wood ), clear nail polish, a little bowl, and a cotton swab.

Simply make your nail glue by mixing PVA glue and clear nail polish in a little bowl and mixing it properly with your cotton swab which will also be used as an applicator to attach your press-on nails to your natural nails.

How do you make homemade nail glue last? 

Homemade nail glue should be made in small amounts to avoid wastage, there is no proven way to preserve it past a few hours, so it is best to make the amount of nail glue needed for a particular time and use it up at once, we provided a simple DIY for homemade glue because you would have to repeat it often, but since it is simple and only requires two ingredients it shouldn’t be a problem.

 Can I use superglue instead of nail glue?

As strongly and securely as superglue is known to work when used to glue different items, it is not advisable that you use superglue as an alternative for nail glue.

Many people may suggest it and some persons who have already tried it out might just be coming across this and realizing that it is not a suitable option, this is a pointer that should discourage you from trying it out.

Superglue is not a gentle adhesive and could cause damage to your skin and nails especially when you have to remove the Press on nails, it could also damage the Press on nails and if they were originally designed to be reused you would have to throw them away.


Despite being easy to come across in drug stores and beauty supply isles of malls, you can run out of nail glue and be in a situation where you can not make a quick run to get a new one.

If you have a date or important appointment and your nails need to be done as quickly as possible, you can opt for substitutes such as using clear nail polish, making homemade nail glue in two simple steps, applying base coat and white glue on your nails, using adhesive nail tabs or some double-sided tape.

These methods are simple, safe, and will not cause your skin any irritation, nor will they damage your nails in the process of application or removal.

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