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Why are my color Street nails not sticking?

Having issues with your colorful press-on nails not staying on can be super frustrating. But don’t worry – with a few troubleshooting tips, you can get your Color Street nails to stick strong and last over a week.

Look for oil or lotion residue

Oil, lotion, or hand cream residues are the #1 reason press-on nails won’t adhere properly. The oils prevent the nail glue from bonding to your nail bed. Before applying your Color Street nails, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water and use rubbing alcohol to remove all traces of oil. Make sure nails are completely dry before attempting to apply the press-ons.

Rough up the nail surface

Smooth, shiny nail surfaces don’t allow the glue to grip properly. Use a nail file or buffer to gently rough up the top layer of your natural nails first. This helps the glue adhere much better. Focus on filing the center of the nail, avoiding skin surrounding the cuticles.

Use the glue sparingly

It’s easy to go overboard with the amount of glue used. But more glue does not mean better sticking power. In fact, too much glue prevents the press-ons from laying flat and bonding correctly. Only use a thin layer of glue – any excess that squeezes out the sides must be cleaned up with a q-tip before pressing on the nail.

Press down firmly

Many people are hesitant to press down too hard when applying press-on nails, worrying they may damage their natural nails. But a light touch is not enough for the glue to adhere correctly. Once the glue is applied, use your thumbs to firmly press down at the center of each nail for 15-30 seconds. This ensures maximum contact between the glue and your nails.

Hold the nails on for 60 seconds

After firmly pressing for half a minute, continue holding each individual nail in place for a full 60 seconds. Do not slide the nails or lift them up during this time. The glue needs 60 seconds to begin to set before your press-ons will be securely attached.

Avoid water for 1-2 hours

It takes at least an hour for nail glue to cure fully. Avoid washing hands or showering for 1-2 hours after applying your Color Street nails. Exposure to water too soon can break the bond that is still forming between the glue and your nails.

Check for proper size

Using a press-on nail that is too big or small for your nail bed means it won’t adhere right. Make sure you are using the correct nail size for each finger. The widest part of the press-on should align with the widest part of your natural nail for optimal bonding.

Reapply glue after 2-3 wears

Don’t expect one application of glue to last through multiple wears. As you remove and reapply your Color Street nails, wipe off old glue and reapply fresh glue each time. Reapplying helps counteract the breakdown of the bond that naturally occurs over time.

Avoid closing hands tightly

Try to avoid clenching fists or grasping items too tightly during the first 24 hours. This can cause the press-on nails to detach from the ends or sides as they are still curing. Be extra gentle with fresh applications.

Use nail glue, not superglue

It may seem like superglue would provide better adhesion, but it actually does not work well for press-on nails. Stick to high quality nail glues formulated specifically for press-on manicures. They provide just the right amount of flexible hold.

Trim nails for a custom fit

If the widest part of the pre-shaped press-ons isn’t quite aligned with your natural nails, trim them for a custom fit. Use nail clippers to gently trim off any excess length or width so the nail lays flush against your nail bed.

Avoid application on short nails

Extremely short natural nails do not provide enough surface area for press-ons to adhere correctly. Wait until you have at least 2-3 mm of free edge to apply them. Or consider using extensions or tips to provide more length first.

Keep nails short underneath

Long natural nails underneath press-ons can cause lifting and poor bonding. Keep your own nails trimmed short – no more than 1 mm of free edge. The shorter your natural nails, the better the press-ons will stick.

Don’t apply over weak nails

Press-on nails won’t properly adhere to weak, peeling, or damaged nails. If your nails are flimsy, brittle, or falling apart you need to address those issues first. Get your nails healthy before attempting any press-on manicure for best results.

Warm the glue pack first

For optimal adhesive tackiness, warm the entire nail glue pack in your hands for a few seconds before opening. This brings the glue to room temperature so it adheres better once applied to your nails.

Swap out lifting nails

If you notice any of the press-ons beginning to lift or detach, remove them immediately and replace with fresh nails using new glue. Leaving lifting nails in place will allow them to detach further and damage your manicure.

Avoid oil-based nail polish remover

When it’s time to remove your Color Street nails, steer clear of oil-based nail polish removers. They leave an oily residue that can affect future press-on application. Use adhesive remover wipes instead for easy, residue-free removal.

Let nails rest between uses

Don’t try to immediately reapply press-ons after removal. Give your natural nails a few days breather in between application. This allows the nail bed to fully recover and reseal for better bonding next time.


With this thorough troubleshooting guide, you can get to the bottom of any press-on nail issues. Just focus on proper preparation, nail sizing, glue usage, and gentle wear and care. Paying close attention to application technique and nail bed readiness will ensure your Color Street manicures stay fabulously sticking for 7-10 days or more!