Nail Glue

Is Nail Glue Toxic

There is no off-season when it comes to DIY nails. Every trial can lead to utter disaster or a work of art that can last for weeks. And whether you need to repair a broken nail or apply your fake nails, there’s no denying you would need nail glue. 

The sight of nail glue in your press-on kit may be so familiar to you that you wouldn’t even bother asking if it is harmful. But since you are here, you might be wondering now. 

Is nail glue toxic? Will it do more damage than you could expect? 

Knowledge is power, and in this case, you should arm yourself with the proper knowledge to enjoy your DIY session without anxiety.

How safe is nail glue?

How safe is nail glue

Naturally, one can assume that any beauty product, supplementary tools included, is generally safe. 

Indeed, someone in the regulating agencies did their research and quality control. So, technically, all you need to do is read the instructions and follow them.

Nail glues are safe. 

Yes, you heard it right! 

And before you protest with what you heard in the rumor mill, it might be best to consider that this is only applicable if (1) you are not allergic to any ingredients of nail glue, (2) you have healthy nails, and (3) you have followed instructions, especially, on how to remove them.

If you love artificial nails and are sporting them regularly, your nails are more likely prone to infection. When you don’t let them breathe, everything can seem unsafe for them. This is true as well when you remove them harshly.

And how about the ingredients of nail glue? You may have heard that it’s the same as superglues, which made you concerned.

Ethyl cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in both nail and super glues. However, there are lower concentrations in the former— which is why it is less viscous. Besides, nail glues have additives that make them more flexible and easier to use on nails.

Is ethyl cyanoacrylate in nail glues safe?

Ethyl cyanoacrylate is a widely-used adhesive.

 According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, it can cause skin and eye irritation. With lethal concentration, it can also have acute toxicity

Thankfully for you, your nail glue doesn’t contain alarming levels of this ingredient. 

Nail glues, when applied correctly, won’t cause adverse effects. 

But of course, you and everyone else can make mistakes, and accidents happen. You may find yourself reaching for the first aid kit or even going to the hospital on such occasions.

Is nail glue toxic to the skin?

Is nail glue toxic to the skin

First, you need to define toxicity for clarity. Toxicity is defined medically as the degree to which a substance can cause harm to humans and animals. 

By that, the answer is yes. 

A case study found that skin is the most common route of exposure to cyanoacrylate. Spillage and accidental exposure to children are especially alarming since this can result in chemical burns.

Cyanoacrylate, when in contact with moisture, produces an exothermic reaction. The heat released can create holes in the fabric and even cause a fire. For example, when nail glue spills in your jeans, it can burn through your fabric and skin.

It’s easy to say, “prevention is better than cure”, but everyone has their oops moments. You can’t always set your alert levels at max, albeit the preferable option. 

Whether it is skin irritation or a more severe case of chemical burns, it’s best to go to the doctor to prevent further complications.

Is nail glue toxic to the mouth?

As an adult, you may think it absurd that there could ever be a circumstance where you will intentionally ingest nail glue. 

But it is different when it involves children. You may have heard the news that a child swallowed nail glue, and it terrified you. 

There is little literature or case study on the effect of nail glue on the mouth. It is not a highly publicized medical dilemma. It can be that the patient is asymptomatic or the symptoms are mild enough not to merit a hospital visit. 

When accidentally swallowed, the glue hardens quickly in the mouth and can leave solidified residue attached to the teeth or mouth.

In such cases, margarine can help soften the glue until you can peel them off gently. Saliva also lifts the glue naturally within 1-2 days. If bonded to gums and teeth, your best bet is to seek medical assistance.

The same study mentioned above found mild gastrointestinal effects after ingestion. Cases of severe poisoning from ingesting large amounts of glue may cause abdominal pain and gastrointestinal blockage. 

Can nail glue get into the bloodstream?

In 2015, HuffPost reported that TPP, a chemical in nail polish, can leach into the bloodstream and disrupt the hormones in our body. Honestly, overlooking warning labels is everyone’s secret bad habit, but findings like this eventually lead to doubt. 

It’s nail polish now, but what’s next? Perhaps that nail glue you are reaching for is the next breaking news. 

Thankfully, nail glues harden quickly. Unlike TPP, no literature has reported cyanoacrylate as capable of being absorbed into the bloodstream.

In fact, a study used medical-grade cyanoacrylate for non-suture closure. The use of this glue even showed less infection than the sutured wounds. Although it is slightly different in composition from nail glue, the fact remains that it does not remain liquid for long and would set before any severe effect within blood contact. 

One can hypothesize that the glue may cause blockage in the blood vessel should it ever be in the bloodstream. Although such a scenario is more imagination, relying on various factors to be set right, rather than a plausible scenario. 

Can nail glue kill you?

No, it can’t. There has been no report of that severity level involving nail glue— common ways of exposure, including dermal and oral, only documented mild gastrointestinal complications and nothing more. 

But just because it cannot murder you by simple touch shouldn’t mean it can’t injure you. It can cause first and second-degree burns, swelling, skin damage, and glued skin. 

Here are some tips that you may want to keep in mind when you find yourself in a sticky situation, literally. 

For light situations involving glued skin, you can use acetone-based nail remover to get the glue off the skin. 

If that’s not available, you can try and wash it off with warm water and soap for about 15 minutes. Oil-based substances are also known to help remove adhesives, so a bottle of petroleum jelly would help if you got a spot of nail glue on your skin. 

For mild situations such as allergic contact dermatitis, it’s best to stay away from the nail glue. According to WebMD, you can soothe your skin with mild soap and cool water. 

Moreover, oral histamine puts the itching at bay, so you should get hold of it as soon as possible.

Consult a physician in more complicated situations like burns or abdominal pains caused by ingestion. 

Nail glues aren’t harmful, but they may still cause you a trip to the hospital if you are not careful with how you handle them.

Is nail glue toxic to dogs?

One of the most horrifying scenes is probably your dog swallowing something harmful. It’s like a thriller movie in slow motion. The worst part? They refuse to part with it.

If your dog has ingested nail glue, you should watch out for symptoms including drooling, vomiting, retching, or when they paw at their mouth. If they just came in contact with it, you may see remnants of dried glue in their fur or skin. 

Ingesting a small dose of glue shouldn’t raise the highest alarm. As it does to humans, so will it to dogs. Nail glue will harden once in contact with saliva and may dry in the gums, tongue, and hard palate before there’s a chance of swallowing it.

On the other hand, large doses may cause blockage in the throat, which results in difficulty in swallowing and breathing. 

If nail glue comes in contact with your dog’s eye, you need to rinse it with saline or water. 

On the other hand, if the skin is exposed, it might need clipping the hair and loosening the glue with oil-based home remedies. 

Ear exposure might be trickier to treat. You can try to ease the bond with acetone, but you have to ensure that you flush it with sterile water afterward.

At most, nail glue should only be mildly detrimental to your dog as it is for you. If you doubt the steps you should take, ask for your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Is there a non-toxic glue available?

Is there a non-toxic glue available

FYI, the basis of nail glue’s toxicity is circumstantial at best. By itself and without accidents, there should be no cause for concern. 

However, perhaps you find that the existing nail glue on the market is too toxic for your liking. Sadly, there is no safer and “non-toxic” option other than ethyl cyanoacrylate in nail glues. 

Instead, you may prefer double-sided tapes when using press-on nails. You can also get creative with the DIY nail glues that are one Google search away.

So while you wait for science to catch up with a vegan option with the same long-lasting and reliable quality as the current nail glues on the market, you can check out alternatives instead so you won’t have to ditch your fake nails forever. 

CHECK OUT: Nail Glue Alternatives


You are not alone in your apprehension towards nail glue. 

No matter how careful you are, accidents may happen, proving how toxic nail glues are to your body. 

But be assured that the published reports only imply acute toxicity for skin and oral incidents.

Nevertheless, mindfulness is the key to avoiding rare occasions involving more severe conditions. Don’t fear! Just remember the warning labels! 

Nail Glue

Can you reuse press-on nails

Fake nails, glue-on nails or press-ons— whatever you call them— are the breather your nails need from gel and acrylic nails. They are pretty and they definitely will last long (with care!). 

But your overthinking mind might wonder, “What’s the catch?” After all, glitters and rhinestones and the most vivid of colors on your fingernails feels like it, at least, has one downside you can’t and must not ignore. You know, like how fire can keep you warm and also burn your house. 

Yet, what if there is really none? 

It is affordable, quick to apply and remove, and even leaves your nails healthier than your usual gel or acrylic mani. And as you are a smart buyer, there is one more thing which catches your attention: is it cheap for its one-time use only or can you reuse press-on nails?

Yaaaay for you and Mother Earth! These nails are actually reusable! There are certain terms and conditions, of course, as to how often you can do it or even how to properly ensure you can reuse it for later time. 

How many times can you reuse fake nails?

How many times can you reuse fake nails?

Are press-on nails reusable? Yes. That’s one newbie question to be tossed to Neverland. 

But there’s a follow up to that you are itching to ask — how many times?

Reusing something is quite a subjective topic. You see, it’s like dropping food on the floor. Do you still pick it up and eat it? Or do you just let it be even if it was there for mere seconds? 

Taylor Swift answered it really depends on you.

And perhaps, there lies your clue. Once you remove your fake nails for the first time, they become that dropped food. And now it depends on you to assess it. 

A tip: It’s a general rule to only reuse it if it has not lost its aesthetic value a.k.a. if you can still slay with it, go for it. But if it is chipped or has started to peel off, you might not want to reuse that. 

Granted, the slightly more expensive ones are more durable. No shock factor there! They don’t chip easily, look better and feel more comfortable. They are more resistant to clumsiness. 

But if you started the journey wary or non-committal, it’s alright. The cheap ones can be reused too. Great, right?

Cheap or expensive, there are two conditions to keep in mind so you can reuse them: (1) you took care of them while using and (2) you were careful in removing them. 

How to clean press on nails for reuse

On your way to buying press-ons, you have probably heard some nasty rumors about it— how it damages your real nails. It’s not totally unfounded, of course. Someone probably bought a bunch of them and never did any reading on press-ons but for the simple instructions stuffed along with it. 

But such things are not earthquakes. They are merely bumps in the road that you can avoid if you stay alert.

The first thing is to always assess (such as in our proverbial dropped food). Is it still nice to look at? No chipping or peel-offs? If yes, then the next thing is to devise the removal of your fake nails. 

If you ever wondered where those rumors came from, it’s from the people who ripped their press-ons so hard trying to get them out that their nail beds suffered the consequences. 

Removal Method

In order to reuse your press-ons, it is important that you don’t use acetone when removing them. This potentially dissolves the acrylic making up your press-ons. And second, you don’t use too much force that you would eventually break them. 

In other words, treat it like a baby falling asleep. You won’t yank it, will you? You have to be patient and gentle.

Okay, now that you took notes of the no-no’s, it’s time for some removal tips.

These days, you can use press-ons with either an adhesive tab, as discussed below, or the classic nail glue. 

(May you not be the type to be reminded that super glue is not and never will be an alternative.) 

Attached with adhesive tab

1. Loosen the adhesive tab with rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizer. It doesn’t take that long— just a mere 30 seconds of rubbing around the edges of the extension will do.

2. Gently rock the press-ons from side to side in order to lift the press-ons. If it doesn’t feel as smooth as Excalibur on King Arthur’s hands, then do not pull it out. It will destroy your nails for sure. You can use more alcohol in order to help with the lifting process.

Attached with glue

You probably opted to still apply glue even when there is an adhesive tab. Trust issues or not on your part, you are now committed to a more permanent path. Be it that way, the removal process looks more like a spa day for your nails than a rigorous pull-out session.

1. Your friend here is a warm soapy water for five minutes. It’s like giving your nails a deserved soak in the bathtub after working so hard for you. 

2. Further loosen it using oil. Olive oil or coconut oil will do. Soapy baths can be drying so it’s a plus to have this hydration boost! 

3. Gently rock your nails from side to side. (Yes, this motion again.) You can soak while rocking if it seems to lift it more naturally. You may have to soak and rock more than you’d prefer but patience is key to healthier nails!

Hardened glue may interfere with the fresh glue and it may not stick as nicely as you want. 

You can use any sharp object or tweezers to scrape off the residual glue left. If that is too crass, you can use isopropyl alcohol to do a quick wipe on your press-ons. 

As long as you clean off the remnants especially at the back, then all is well for reuse.

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails

How to reuse press on nails without nail glue  

How to reuse press on nails without nail glue

A nail glue should already be stuffed somewhere in the set that you bought. If not or if you happen to lose it, don’t fret. 

Adhesive tabs

Adhesive tabs or sticky tabs are your double-sided heroes. It’s the most common alternative to nail glue. They come in different shapes so they perfectly fit each nail. No awkward nail here! One side sticks to your press-on and the other to your nail. 

If somehow you can’t get ahold of the official ways of gluing your fake nails, there are always some sage advice that may seem suspect but actually works.

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

Fashion tapes 

If it is just for a one-time event you are showing those glorious nails off for, then make use of something which won’t hold strongly but would still get you through till lights out. 

Good thing, fashion tapes are a thing. It’s not just for wardrobe malfunctions! 

Clear nail polish

You can’t go wrong with buying a clear polish. Not only is it a go-to for casual manis but it will rescue you in the most dire of nail situations—including your press-on dilemma.

How to: Paint the back of a press-on with a tiny amount of clear polish. Leave it to air dry until it has a tacky (NOT dry nor wet!) consistency. You can then put it on your nails and hold it still for a minute each. 


Base coat and white glue

This is the most unorthodox of the lot but it works the same so here it is!

Pro tip: Work one nail at a time since the base coat can dry easily. 

How to: Apply base coat on your nail and before it can dry, cover it generously with white school glue. Brush it out to even out the glue. You can now press the nail and hold it in position for a minute. It cures for only 5 minutes so no long waiting time!

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

How often should you replace press-on nails? 

How often should you replace press-on nails

The ideal time is when you say it is. 

Nah, kidding. 

Glue-ons typically last for 2-3 weeks. The give-away is when most of them lift off naturally. One nail can be remedied but when your nails are popping off like popcorns, that’s your cue to remove them. 

So there’s your answer.  You can replace it when a majority of your nails say it’s time. 

And while you are in this line of thinking, do not ever remove glue-on fake nails on the same day. It has a great probability of damaging your real nails. So avoid it!

To make sure you don’t subject your nails to constant replacements and the likelihood of wrecking havoc to your real nails, you must learn how to make them last longer. 

Tip 1: Prep religiously. That means, alcohol pads should be at your disposal before you glue on fake nails.

Tip 2: Quality is king. This applies to your choice of glue and press-on themselves. You may choose to put the glue on both your nail and the fake ones just to fully secure them. And when you apply them, put enough pressure for 30 seconds to make it stick better.

Tip 3: Do not come in contact with water. If you really want to ace it, stay dry overnight. 

When you finally decide to replace them, you can use the double boiler method. 

Pro tip: Slather your nails with oil first before this. 

How to: Fill a larger bowl with a couple inches of water then place a smaller bowl with acetone inside. Once the acetone is warm, soak your nails for 5-10 minutes.


Can you use press-on nails more than once?

Yes, yes, yes! You can use them as long as they still look presentable. So if you have any plans of reusing, just be careful in removing them. 

Can you keep press-on nails?

Yes, you can. But they will naturally pop off after 2-3 weeks (if you are not clumsy!). If you are thinking of re-gluing them, just stop. Fresh glue won’t be as sticky when glue residue is still present on your nails. Besides, it would be thick. Yuck! 

Can you reuse Kiss press on nails?

Yes. Kiss offers reusable press-on nails so you could get quality and also have your money’s worth from your nails. An example from their line is Kiss Majestic nails which has up to 3x reusability. 

Can you reuse imPress press on nails?

ImPress, Kiss’ sister company, offers a great deal for no-glue press ons. According to imPress themselves, their nails are not reusable. They are made to be flexible to provide a comfortable fit. Removing it will distort this somehow and will not be available for reuse. 

CHECK OUT: How to dry gel nail polish without UV light


Press-on nails aren’t and shouldn’t be difficult. If they are, they defeat their purpose. So even with the cautionary tales and onslaught of pro tips that you would probably forget, just take it easy and enjoy. 

Sometimes, it can really just be summarized to one sentence— reuse when you can still reuse it and replace when you can’t. It’s a quick rule to master and something you probably do know already. 

So get on with it because, as cliche as it sounds, experience is the best teacher.

Nail Glue

Nail glue vs super glue

We all want nice and appealing nails, right? Fortunately, press-on nails do the trick.

Instant long nails? Stunning nail art? Press-on nails got you covered! 

And while there are a lot of artificial nails, you can choose from, finding the perfect glue that will tightly adhere to your natural nails is also very important. 

Choosing the right glue for your press-on nails is like choosing the best materials for your new house. The bottom line is you need to make sure that the very foundation is strong and long-lasting. 

So follow along as we learn about glue products perfectly safe and designed for press-on nails. 

Can I use super glue as nail glue? 

Can I use super glue as nail glue? 

Let’s get this straight – never use superglue as nail glue.  

Super glue and nail glue are technically not the same. Both products are graded differently. Super glue forms a strong adhesive bond that is nearly unbreakable. 

Hence, using super glue when attaching press-on nails is strongly not recommended.

Super glue damages the nails and can be very difficult to remove once applied. Worst, you may even lose your entire natural nails when removing them. 

Also, super glue traps water which could lead to fungal nail infection.  

Common effects of fungi infection are cracked nails and nail discoloration. 

So again, don’t entertain the idea of using super glue. Remember that it is a potent chemical that could possibly harm the nail cuticle and the skin surrounding the nails. 

CHECK OUT: Nail Glue Alternatives

What happens if I use superglue instead of nail glue?

Indeed, super glue is a great tool for fixing common cracks and breaks in the household. It’s impressive how it bonds with almost everything. 

However, using them on human nails is a whole different story; it’s a big no-no! 

The use of super glue on the human body is not recommended at all. Due to its strong chemicals, using them on your nails and skin won’t be safe. 

If you use super glue instead of nail glue, you may experience adverse reactions like yellowish nails and skin irritation. You might also end up with torn and detached nails. 

Scary, isn’t it? 

That’s why, as much as possible, avoid using super glue when attaching fake nails. 

What can I use instead of nail glue? 

What can I use instead of nail glue

Since we’ve already established the harmful effects of using super glue as nail glue, you might have wondered whether there are other alternatives available for nail glue.

And the answer to that is yes. You can use eyelash glue or gel nail polish instead of nail glue. 

Eyelash glue and nail glue contain the same ingredients. So it can be used as an alternative for nail glue. 

However, eyelash glue does not have the same adhesive bond as nail glue.

Obviously, fake eyelashes are lighter than fake nails, so the former only requires minimal adhesive power. 

So if you use eyelash glue, except that it won’t hold your fake nails for a long time. 

Aside from eyelash glue, you can also use gel nail polish. This is, by far,  the best alternative for nail glue.

Gel nail polish is a special kind of nail polish that contains gel. Compared to regular nail polish, gel nail polish uses UV or LED light for it to harden. Gel nail polish can hold your fake nails for about one to two weeks if properly applied. 

However, the only downside of using gel nail polish as nail glue is that your fake nails should be transparent or light-colored since UV or LED light cannot penetrate through dark ones.  

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

What is the strongest glue for fake nails?

The answer is plain and simple. The strongest and safest glue for fake nails is nail glue. 

Yes, you’ve heard that right! You should only use nail glue for your fake nails.

You might think super glue is the strongest glue due to its superior adhesive strength, but it turns out when attaching fake nails, nail glue is far more durable than super glue. 

Nail glue is a strong glue, perfectly and safely designed for nails.

It contains lower concentrations of cyanoacrylate and has additives, making it handle moisture better than any other glue product. That’s why it lasts longer than super glue. 

Aside from that, nail glue prevents skin irritation since the product is graded for the human body. 

Hence, I’ve listed five good nail glue products you can try on: 


If you want long-lasting fake nails, then Infilila is for you. This product can hold your fake nails for a month. Also, it instantly bonds your fake nails to your natural nails. 

NYK1 Super Strong Nail Bond

Another product known for its solid hold is the NYK1 nail glue. Aside from its durability, NYK1 also dries up extremely fast. 


Nailene is best known for its quick-drying ability. Durability-wise, it can hold your fake nails for up to 7 days. 

Makartt Quick Nail Glue 

If you’re still new to the press on nail trend, then this product is for you. Makartt Nail Glue is beginner-friendly since it doesn’t dry up quickly, giving you ample time to adjust your fake nails. 

Big Bondini All-Purpose Nail Glue

You try out Big Bondini nail glue for those with sensitive skin. This product is hypoallergenic and is non-irritating to the skin. 

The difference between nail glue and super glue

The difference between nail glue and super glue

Before we go into the difference between nail glue and super glue, let’s first talk about their similarities. 

Both products are waterproof and contain cyanoacrylate. Thus, the two dry and bond quickly. 

However, their main difference lies in terms of ​​durability, ingredients, cost, customer usage and effect on nails after removal. 


When used on the nails, nail glue lasts longer than super glue since it handles moisture better. It doesn’t easily break down with water. Super glue, however, wears out when contacted with moisture.  


Nail glue contains additives, making it safe for the skin. On the other hand, Super glue has a higher level of cyanoacrylate. Hence, it is more susceptible to skin irritation.  


Regarding pricing, nail glue is far more expensive than super glue since it’s being advertised as a cosmetic product.

Customer usage 

Nail glue is designed for the human body, so it isn’t harmful at all, whereas super glue is specifically designed for holding materials such as metals and wood. It is therefore unsafe for the human body. 

Effect on nails after removal

In a nutshell, nail glue won’t damage the nails once removed. Some nail glue even contains ingredients that encourage nail growth. 

On the contrary, super glue damages the nails since the top layer, including the nails’ keratin, are pulled off. Hence, making your nails prone to discoloration and breakage. 

CHECK OUT: How to take off acrylic nails with hot water

Final thoughts

Super glue is definitely NOT the safer alternative. It is too harsh for your nails. So if you plan on using them, think again.   

Stick with nail glues instead but remember to use high-quality ones that adhere quickly to the nails and are long-lasting. 

Also, be wary of brands advertising their super glue as nail glue. 

Aside from choosing the right glue product, a proper nail care routine is essential to ensure healthier and stronger nails

Nail Glue

Nail Glue Alternatives

Now that press-on nails or fake nails have a broader range compared to a few years ago, it’s no wonder it’s getting quite the attention these days.

They’re budget-friendly, easy to apply and have hundreds of designs and shapes to choose from.

If you’re a big fan of doing your nails, then you’ve probably tried on some fun fake nails. 

But with press-on nails, you’d have to use nail glue to attach. 

Now, if you’re reading this, we’re guessing either you’ve run out of nail glue and need to change up your manicure ASAP, or you’re worried about the nail glue containing harsh chemicals or allergens. Either way, you’re probably looking for effective nail glue alternatives. 

Don’t worry; you’re in the right place. A good alternative to nail glue should be safe to apply to your natural nail so that it won’t cause any breakage or damage.  

So follow along as we look into various nail glue alternatives and find out which are the best ones.

What can you use if you have no nail glue?

How do you stick fake nails on without nail glue? Can you use just any glue?

The temptation to use any glue you can find at home may be strong, but using just any glue could leave damaging effects on your nails. 

Think about it, the idea of your fake nails being permanently attached to your natural nails is a very scary thought.

Adhesives like super glue, gorilla glue, eyelash glue, shoe glue, or craft glue are made for different uses. The question is, can they be used as nail glue?

CHECK OUT: Nail glue vs super glue

Alternative to nail glue

Here’s a quick guide to figure out the best fake nail glue alternative:

Alternative to nail glue

Can I use super glue for fake nails? 

Can you use super glue instead of nail glue? The thought probably crossed your mind. But is it actually safe to use super glue on your nails?

Super glue is made for industrial purposes, so it’s more concentrated than nail glue.

They both contain the same main ingredient, cyanoacrylate, but since super glue is not made to be used on your skin, it can cause irritations or dermatitis. 

Plus, super glue is usually manufactured in less sterile conditions, unlike nail glue and medical-grade glue, so there’s a possibility of chemical contaminants that your body can absorb.

Another thing is that super glue sticks better on rough surfaces; that’s why most brands add etching agents to make them work better. This will cause your nails to lose their top layer, making them thinner and visibly damaged. 

Finally, superglue is extremely difficult to remove. Since it’s a concentrated adhesive, you’ll need to soak your nails in acetone for a very long time, making your nails and cuticles dry.

Can I use Gorilla glue for fake nails?

Gorilla glue and super glue may be made for industrial uses, but they differ in their main component.

Gorilla glue is made from moisture-activated polyurethane that expands into materials to stick better. If used for sticking fake nails, it can form air bubbles in between your nails, making it the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.

Gorilla glue is also extremely hard to remove from your nails since it’s meant for heavy-duty use. Their official website does not recommend using acetone to remove Gorilla glue on your nails or skin. 

Also, forcefully ripping out fake nails with dried Gorilla glue could remove your entire natural nail from its nail bed, making the old saying, beauty is pain, really come into your mind. 

Can I use eyelash glue instead of nail glue?

Eyelash glue and nail glue have the same ingredients. So technically, eyelash glue can be used as an alternative for nail glue.

But since fake eyelashes are lighter than fake nails, they don’t need as much adhesive power, so they’re not as concentrated as nail glue. 

When you use eyelash glue for sticking on fake nails, it won’t last as long as when you use nail glue. 

Can I use shoe glue for fake nails?

There are three common types of shoe glues available: urethane, neoprene cement, and super glue. 

Super glue is the most common type of glue available as it dries faster than the other two. 

As mentioned above, super glue can thin out your nails as it contains etching agents. It can also dry out your nails and cuticles as you need to soak them in acetone for an extended period of time to remove fake nails.

Can you use gel polish as nail glue?

Can you use gel polish as nail glue

Finally, a nail glue alternative that’s actually made for nails! 

Gel nail polish may not be the first thing you’ll think of as a nail glue alternative, but it turns out it can actually work. 

Gel nail polish is a special kind of nail polish that contains gel and uses UV or LED light to harden, so it lasts longer than regular nail polishes. 

Who knew you could also use it as a nail glue alternative? The only condition is, the fake or press-on nail color must have light colors or be transparent, as the UV or LED light can’t penetrate through opaque or dark colors.  

If used correctly, gel nail polish can stick your fake nails on for 1-2 weeks.

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky

Can you use real glue on fake nails?

Real glue (or the most recognizable craft glue brand, Elmer’s glue) is used for school or craft projects. 

The question is, can you use Elmer’s glue for fake nails? Is it durable enough to keep your fake nails on?

Elmer’s glue can’t attach your fake nails onto your natural nails if used alone. But if it’s mixed with clear nail polish, it can harden into a temporary nail glue. 

You can only use this DIY glue for emergency manicure fixes or for a short period of time, like attending a party, since Elmer’s glue is not designed to stick on your nails.

How do you make homemade nail glue?

How do you make homemade nail glue

If the DIY nail glue we mentioned has piqued your curiosity, then here’s an easy recipe for an emergency nail glue alternative:

You’ll only need 3 things:

  • Clear nail polish
  • White or PVA glue 
  • Empty nail polish bottle


  1. Clean the empty nail polish bottle with soap and water to prevent nail fungus from using dirty containers
  2. Once dried, fill in half of the nail polish bottle with PVA glue
  3. Fill in the top half of the bottle with clear nail polish
  4. Mix the two ingredients using the nail polish brush, or a clean toothpick

And that’s it! An easy temporary nail glue alternative that won’t harm your nails. 

Just make sure to close the bottle if you’re not using it to prevent the mixture from drying up.

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails

Final Thoughts

Press-on or fake nails are a fun way of adding color or design to your nails without spending a lot of money. 

But sometimes you run out of nail glue, so, no, this doesn’t mean you can use the first glue you see at home. 

Various glues are made for specific purposes, so it’s a good idea to stop and think about whether that glue can cause damage to your nails.

Thankfully, there are nail glue alternatives that are actually effective. Gel nail polish and DIY nail glue are great alternatives, even if it’s only temporary.

It’s still always best to use good quality nail glue, though, to make sure you won’t damage your nails in the long run.

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue