In 2020, I brought back one of the posts that made Mint Arrow “take off!” It was one of our first moments of virality and lives in infamy to this day. Any guesses? The shellac hack! When all the nail salons were closed last year, I decided it was time to resurrect my perfected hack and update that OG blog post! This process has served me so well over the years, but..it IS a PROCESS. Painting and drying and waiting and layering..it takes a hot minute (or 90) from start to finish. I had to plan ahead and sometimes that just didn't work out. Enter: Red Aspen nails!
I had a friend convince me to try the product and to be honest, I actually had really low expectations going into it. There are tons of other products on the market just like it and they always seem cheesy and not worth the effort. Imagine my surprise when I quickly became OBSESSED with these nails!! There are sooo many reasons I love Red Aspen nails and I am so excited to share them with you today!
What are they?
First, what are Red Aspen nails? These are press on nails that feel like an amazing gel manicure or a really good, thin acrylic nail. These are NOT a sticker! When I first heard about these, I thought they were stickers and I was SO pleasantly surprised that they are a press on!
Red Aspen carries petite sizes, short, medium, and long lengths and TONS of colors and patterns! They even have press on nails for your toes! And bonus: all the nail products are cruelty free, sulfate free, phthalate free, and paraben free. Good for you + for the environment.
How to remove
Removal is SO easy and takes only 10 minutes! Get a small bowl of warm water with a tiny squirt of Dawn dish soap. The magic in Dawn that lifts oils and grease from dishes will lift the glue so you can pop them off. No, this doesn't mean that doing dishes or getting your nails wet will pop the glue off. You have to soak them in the Dawn mixture for several minutes for the nails to get loose! After my nails sit in the mixture, I start trying to lift the sides of the nails to see if they are ready to come off. I like to use a little flosser to pry them off easily. No pain, no damage!
TIP: Don't let the nails sit too long in the water before taking them off. They will soften TOO much and you can possibly tear one of your natural nails getting them off.
How to apply
- First, prep your nails by removing anything that is on them!
- Then buff each nail just enough to make it just a little rough, making them easier to adhere to.
- Next, you'll use the included cuticle stick to push your cuticles back.
- Then you use rubbing alcohol or vinegar to get any oils off your nail beds.
- Next, apply a little bit of glue on your nail and a little bit on the press on nail.
- The most important tip: You NEED to press on each nail for a full 30 seconds!!
I even roll my finger all over the whole nail during that 30 seconds so I make sure to get the entire nail adhered. Then I file them down to my preferred shape and length. The glue, the file, the cuticle stick AND several sizes of the press-on nails (to find the perfect fit for each nail) are included in the set.
TIP: When you're picking the size of the nails to put on, it's always better to go slightly smaller because it will look better and more natural in your nail bed!
TIP: Try to let the glue set in without getting them wet for an hour or so! I've totally broken this rule, but you will always have better results if you avoid water on your nails for a little bit. Consider this your permission to sit and watch Netflix for an hour and ask your significant other to do the dishes!
How much do they cost?
These nail packs cost anywhere from $13-15 per pack, which is about 1/3 of the price of going to the salon. And to me, the short nails feel just like gel nails and the medium length feel like acrylics! I love how thin they are and how well they sit on my nails.
Can you reuse them?
I haven't tried this myself, but I've heard from several people that you can definitely reuse nail dashes! You want to soak them overnight in rubbing alcohol to remove any glue residue from the previous use, and then they should be ready to go the next day. Again, haven't tried this myself but have heard from a lot of people that it works great!
Changing out is EASY!
These nails can literally last forever BUT they don't have to! I've left a set of Red Aspen nails on for over 2 weeks and only changed them out because I wanted something new. I love that I don't have to stay committed to a color or pattern for 2 weeks. Gel and dip nails are SO hard on your nails but you can literally wear these nails for a day, 3 days or 3 weeks or more without any damage!
I have been a LONG TIME nail salon junkie. But trying to make that appointment every 2 weeks and then have my hands totally useless for an hour is hard!! I actually get a lot of mom guilt taking that time away from my family AND not even being able to work while doing it. I love that I can do these at home and it literally only takes 10 minutes! The learning curve isn't even crazy; the first time it took me like 15 minutes. And no mess!
At home options = best options
Covid has made me even more of a DIY beauty girl! It's not just about saving money, it's the time that I save by not being married to a service that requires bi-monthly upkeep. Red Aspen nails have totally changed my nail game, and I love that I can switch out my nails easily on every whim! Check out all the colors and patterns here!