Pre-2020, the thought of wearing press on nails would’ve had me cringing because they gave me big cheugy energy.
Wearing them felt a little too 2000s.
But after years of wearing acrylics, I started to notice my nails had become devastatingly weak, so I took a break from them for a few months to give my nails some breathing space.
Once they were back in shape, I pivoted to the dip power method and absolutely loved them. That was until the world was hit by a global pandemic and I was unable to get my nails done professionally for more than a year.
Here are a few nail realisations I had during my nail salon visit hiatus:
1. I didn’t actually enjoy sitting in a nail salon for an hour and 20 minutes every three weeks.
2. I didn’t miss salon-quality manicured nails enough for me to learn how to use the dip powder by myself at home.
3. Press on nails were back, they were better, and I was intrigued.
The pandemic triggered a rebirth of press on nails as they became the new trend alongside whipped dalgona coffee and sourdough bread starters.
At the time, my Instagram Explore page was filled with influencers and celebrities wearing press on nails.
Today, as the world opens back up to a new normal and we can actually visit nail salons, press on nails are still on the rise and heaps popular — as they should be!
One brand leading the charge is Helios Nails. Their artificial nails look just as good as an acrylic mani, you can apply them in the comfort of your own home in less than 30 minutes, and the choices you have in shape, style and colour are endless.
And while I've come to the realisation that I hate sitting in nail salons, I still see my nails as an extension of my style and creativity.
Press on nails aren’t the same as they were when I wore them some ten years ago, but the sceptic in me had to put them to the test before fully switching over.
For one week, I tried the new Helios Gel Effect Range in the Pink Marble set.
But the decision to go with a particular style was a bit of a challenge — I had so many options to choose from! From clear, french manicure, gel, stiletto and coffin. But, I love a coffin shaped and pink toned nail, so it was truly love at first nail with the Pink Marble Set.
The Helios sets come in a kit that includes the nails, a cuticle pusher, a file and buffer, nail applicator, nail glue, and nail adhesives.
Starting off with freshly clipped nails and clean hands, I sized up each faux nail for my fingers.
Honestly, I was a little nervous as I was sizing them up since I have wide nail beds and have always had trouble finding the perfect size.
Thankfully, Helios has an amazing size range and if one of them was a bit off, I just filed them down a little bit and they were just right.
Now to the fun bit: application time.
There are two ways of applying Helios faux nails. You have the option of using adhesive tabs or nail glue. I went with the nail glue option, because I have some experience with it and also love the feeling and extra security of glued down nails.
Using the cuticle pusher to gently push my cuticles back, I made sure to apply the nails one finger at a time.
Then, I spread out two drops of nail glue to the back of each faux nail, making sure not to overdo it and end up with nail glue stuck on my skin. Finally, using the nail applicator, I aligned the press on nails with my nail bed and pressed down firmly for 15-20 seconds.
Once all of the faux nails had been applied, I washed my hands, applied hand cream and voilà! I’m legit obsessed. They have that salon-quality look and feel, if not better.
In total, it took me about 20 minutes to get through the entire process... which is incredible.
Here are some of my thoughts as I wore them throughout the week.
I thought I would need to file them down a little bit, but for me they’re the perfect length. Not too short and not too long.
I work from home, so I do a lot of typing on a daily basis and they didn't affect my typing speed at all or make typing feel awkward.
I still found myself gazing at my nails. The pink marble effect is so pretty!
I got tonnes of compliments from my family and friends about the nails.
When I told them that they were Helios press ons, they were genuinely shocked. They thought they were professionally done.
By this point of the week, I was worried they would start failing on me, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I’d washed my hair, face, showered, cleaned the dishes and none of the nails were lifting up on the sides at all.
They felt secure the whole time, during so many different day-to-day activities.
The Helios new Gel Effect Range is really THAT girl.
After a full week of wearing these nails, I’m still obsessed. They feel so comfortable on my nails — it doesn’t feel like I have them on.
I reckon I could get another week's wear or more out of them for sure. I’m definitely going to wear press on nails regularly now.
With so many colours, shapes and designs to choose from in the Helios range, I won’t be walking into a nail salon anytime soon.
The fact that it only took me 20 minutes to achieve a nail salon quality look and feel is incredible and, yeah, I’m getting everyone I know onto Helios range.
You can shop Helios new Gel Effect Range at leading retailers Woolworths, Kmart and Independent Pharmacies... so run, don’t walk!
Keen to give them a try for yourself? You can grab the Helios Gel Effect Range at Kmart, Woolworths and Independent Pharmacies.