The Everlasting French Pearl nail kit contains 28 French-tip nails with a sheer peach base and a pearlized white tip. The kits comes with just about everything you need for application, including Pink Gel Glue, a tiny orange stick and a double-sided mini file. You may also want to have some pure acetone on hand in case you goof (you'll need it to get the nails off anyway).
The most time consuming part about applying these nails for me was sizing myself. It's vital to get the correct size, if you go to small you'll be able to see the edges & it ruins the illusion that the nails are real. I also found that if you have to press the nail flat to fit your nail, you run the risk of creating a white stress mark in the plastic of the nail. It also seemed like the nails were more likely to pop up & create air bubbles once you've glued it down if it's being "stretched" to fit, so it's a better idea to file down the edges of a larger nail if you're struggling to find the right size. For first timers, you may want to have an extra set lying around in case you mess up- since there's only 2 sizes of each nail, there's not a ton of room for error.
Once you have your nails sized (and marked down for future reference!) the nails are pretty easy to apply. One trick I remembered the hard way is to apply your nails to your dominant hand first. I'm right handed and made the mistake of applying the nails to my left hand first. Consequently, when I went to apply nails to my right hand, I had to deal with the awkwardness of using my left hand and the added clumsiness of not being used to the new nail length.
Sizes laid out, I opened the little dropper of glue and went to work. The directions for the nails say that you should first apply glue to the Kiss nail, then apply a thin layer to your own. I found the dropper bottle very rigid, and while this did a good job of making sure the glue didn't leak or go on too heavily, it did make applying the glue more work than I think it should be. If I could have my way, I'd vote for a brush applicator (Kiss does sell a brush-on formula separately). The easy-application tabs definitely made application simple, and they snap off easily, though on some nails I had to file off the tiny nub left behind.
My only real issue with the nails seems like a catch-22. One of the things that makes the nails appear so life-like is the fact that the nail bed portion of the Kiss nail is sheer; it has about the same opacity as an actual skin-tone nail lacquer would have. This is a great concept, but the downfall is that it means any air bubbles under the nails are very apparent, and try as I might, I was simply not able to apply most of the nails without these tell-tale bubbles. I did find the orange stick that came in the kit helpful- the flat, angled side was good for smoothing out some bubbles, and it also worked well to gently pull my nail away from the skin where the glue had seeped underneath the nail.
Admittedly, I'm a novice at glue-on nails (I always favored tips as a temporary option) and I highly suspect there's a learning curve involved here. I think the prevalence of air bubbles in my Kiss mani could be caused by a few things, and I'm not ready to blame the defect on the nails themselves. As I mentioned earlier, I noticed that the curvature of the Kiss nails was more dramatic than the curve of my natural nail beds, and this could well be why I noticed some lifting in the center of the nails. Kiss does make some styles of nails for flat nail beds, so I'd be interested to see if those might be a better choice for me.
Discounting the bubbles, which I have to say ruined the illusion for me, I actually was really impressed with the way these looked. The style I tried came in the "Real Short" length, which I really liked- they were long enough to lend a graceful touch to my knobby man-hands, but short enough that I could still function (by which I mean type on my iPhone keyboard!) The tips of the nails are a non-tapered square, which I easily filed into my preferred "squoval" shape. The base color looked very natural to me, and the pearl white tips actually looked hand-painted, rather than molded into the plastic- there are small flecks of shimmer like you'd see in a nail lacquer, and the tip is even raised a little bit like it would be if it were a layer of polish.
Kiss nails are widely available at places like CVS, Target, Ulta, and Walgreens, and retail for around $6.99, so they're definitely worth a try if you're looking for an inexpensive, quick alternative to the salon.
The products featured in this post were submitted for review consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for it. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed in my product reviews are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the review influenced by the featured company.