Published December 19, 2022
Nail glue is a popular option for adhesives on nail art.
It’s why fake nails can stay on top of the natural nail. However, if you’ve ever used nail glue before, you’d know its main disadvantage: it can be pretty costly.
While its initial cost isn’t that high, the fact that it only lasts for two weeks and it’s not reusable can put a dent in your wallet. This begs the question, “What can I use instead of nail glue?”
Read on as this article goes over four nail glue alternatives.
1. Nail Adhesive Tabs
Using nail tabs is arguably the safest, cheapest, and quickest method to latch artificial nails into your natural nails. A nail tab is basically a piece of double-sided tape in the shape of your nail.
It fits perfectly on top of your natural nails, typically with no excess, and as soon as you place the artificial nail on top, it will no longer be visible. Here are its pros and cons:
- You can reuse nail adhesive tabs several times
- Nail tabs are relatively easy to attach and remove
- They likely won’t damage your nails
- Nail adhesive tabs are reasonably cheap
- A nail tab can only last for as short as a few hours or as long as two days
- Certain nail tabs are thick, making the nails look bulky, raised, or unnatural
- Intensive activities like rapid typing may cause the tabs to come off
Due to its properties, nail adhesive tabs are best used if you don’t intend to wear artificial nails for long. If you’re going to a party and plan to go home shortly after, for example, then a nail tab is perfect. You can immediately take the artificial nail off and use it again.
2. Acrylic Mixture
Acrylic is a transparent plastic with relatively high stiffness, density, and strength. It has many uses, and it just so happens that you can also use it as an adhesive for fake nails.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the acrylic mixture as an alternative to nail glue:
- The acrylic mixture can last for over three weeks, longer than nail glue
- It can withstand heat and pressure, so it won’t come off even during intensive activities
- The mixture can be intrusive and potentially damage the natural nail underneath
- Acrylic may make the nails look unnatural and bulky
- You need a professional to apply the acrylic mixture to make it look natural
- It can be difficult and takes over 10 minutes to remove
An acrylic mixture is only ever a suitable option if you’re not fond of reapplying the adhesive frequently. It’s also ideal if you want to engage in intensive activities in the next few days.
- Nail polygel can last over four weeks
- Since the mixture is more elastic than acrylic, it’s easier to shape and apply
- The mixture is odorless, like nail glue
- Polygel is the most expensive option on this list
- Due to its durability, it typically takes over 15 minutes to remove polygel from the nails
- It can be slightly damaging to your natural nails
4. DIY Mixture
Though, in theory, there are numerous mixtures you can try that should work similarly to nail glue, we found that clear nail polish and clear glue make for a perfect combination.
The resulting DIY mixture offers the following pros and cons:
- You can control the elasticity and flexibility of the mixture by playing with its ratio
- It’s relatively cheap, and free even if you already have the necessary ingredients
- No matter the ratio of the ingredients, the resulting mixture will often be less durable than its alternatives
- It requires precision to create the perfect or even decent DIY nail glue mixture
An adhesive is an essential component of nail art. While nail glue is the most commonly-used adhesive, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the best option in every scenario. There are cases where it won’t be suitable, and that’s why alternatives can go a long way. Hopefully, this guide has given you suitable alternatives when nail glue isn’t the best option.
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