12 Nail Glues for Taking Your At-Home Nails to the Next Level

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In the past, whenever you wanted to change up your acrylic nails or attempt some nail art at home, a salon visit was necessary. Thankfully though, things have changed, and you can now achieve salon-quality nails from the comfort of your own home. But before you get started, your at-home kit needs to be compiled and ready for use, starting with the addition of nail glue

Nail glues help you apply acrylics, press-ons, and other essentials needed for nail designs (like gemstones or foil), which is why it’s a kit necessity. However, before you purchase one, you’ll want to ensure that the glue is easy to remove, dries quickly, and lasts a while, so your manicured nails can endure anything you throw at them. And FYI, by doing your nails at home, you’ll gain a new skill and save yourself tons of coin. 

Below, we’ve rounded up the best nail glues for taking your nails to the next level.

Our Top Picks
Easy to use and durable, this nail glue dries quickly and keeps nails in place for a minimum of two weeks.
This long-lasting nail glue bonds quickly and won't break the bank.
With its affordable price tag and long-wearing abilities, this drugstore nail glue is a top favorite of pros.
Thanks to its fine precision brush applicator, this nail glue is necessary for press-on application.
Best for Split Nails:
KISS Precision Nail Glue at Amazon
Just the tiniest bit of this great option from KISS is all you need to repair any broken nails.
Its brush makes for an easy, even glue application with no lumps, bumps, or clumps.
This quick-drying and repairing formula is ideal for fixing up broken nails or on-the-go application.
Avoid irritating sensitive skin with this nail glue.
Young Nails has made applying glue easy for newbies.
This salon-quality nail glue lasts anywhere from 14 to 30 days.

Best Overall: Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue

Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Dries quickly 

  • Long-lasting 

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of product

With its durability and ease of use, this nail glue ranks high in our books. It dries quickly—in five seconds or less–and keeps nails in place for a minimum of two weeks. Reviewers rave that this nail glue lasts through it all—including activities like washing dishes—and dub it as ‘scary strong.’ 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.10 ounces

Best Budget: Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue

Beauty Secrets Drip & Clog Proof Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Bonds quickly 

  • Clever applicator 

  • Vegan formula

What We Don't Like
  • Not as long-lasting as others

Looking for a long-lasting nail glue that won’t break the bank? Try this one from Beauty Secrets. Its vegan formula bonds quickly, while its clever applicator ensures zero accidental spills or drips. Plus, it’s priced at under $5. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.37 ounces

Best Drugstore: KISS Vita Bond Nail Glue

Vita Bond by KISS
What We Like
  • Low odor 

  • Great hold

  • Infused with vitamin A and E

What We Don't Like
  • Formula can be a little tacky 

  • Doesn’t come with a lot of product

This nail glue—with its affordable price tag and long-wearing abilities—is a favorite of pros for many reasons. In fact, Gina Edwards, celebrity nail stylist and expert, dubs this drugstore nail glue as a top favorite of hers. “The brush-on glue is infused with vitamin A and E and has a great hold and low odor.” 

Active Ingredients: 2-cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.17 fluid ounces

Best for Press-Ons: NYK1 Super Strong Nail Glue

NYK1 Super Strong Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Clever applicator

  • Long-lasting

  • Dries quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Tricky to remove 

Thanks to its fine precision brush applicator, this nail glue is necessary for the best press-on application. Its long-lasting formula dries quickly and stays on through it all—including through strenuous tasks. And a little goes a long way, so it’ll last you a while. 

Active Ingredients: Cyanoacrylate | Size: 8 milliters

Best for Split Nails: KISS Pro's Choice Precision Nail Glue

KISS Pro's Choice Precision Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Repairs broken or cracked nails 

  • Multi-purpose formula

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to find in stores

  • Messy to work with 

  • Glue is a little thin 

While aiding with an acrylic application, nail glue can also help in fixing cracked or split nails. This one from KISS is a particularly great option for doing just that. Just the tiniest bit of glue is all you need to repair any broken nails. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.10 ounces

Best for Acrylics: Makartt Quick Nail Glue

Makartt Super Strong Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Clever applicator

  • Dries quickly 

  • Doesn’t set too quickly 

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of product

  • A bit intense for some 

Accomplishing acrylic nails at home is no easy feat, which is where this Makartt nail glue comes into play. Its brush makes for an easy, even glue application with no lumps, bumps, or clumps. And even though it dries quickly, it gives you just the right amount of time to set everything into place. Better yet, it can also be used to apply press-ons or gems and fix broken nails, too. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.23 ounces

Best Fast Drying: IBD 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue

IBD 5 Second Brush-On Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Great for reapplication 

  • Dries quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of product

  • Thicker formula

If you’re notorious for applying your nails on the go, opt to use this nail glue from IBD. Quick-drying and repairing, it’s great for reapplication or fixing up broken nails. Plus, it has the seal of approval from Edwards, too. “I use this in conjunction with the ridge filler powder for a quick fix—it’s very consumer-friendly.” 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.17 ounces

Best Hypoallergenic: Big Bondini Plus All Purpose Nail Glue

Big Bondini Hypo-Allergenic Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Dries quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Applicator makes it tricky to apply 

  • Bottle clogs easily 

Looking to achieve long-lasting nails without any irritation on your sensitive skin? This Big Bondini one is your best bet. Its non-irritating formula is made especially for those with sensitive skin. No need to worry about reacting to your nail glue anymore. 

Active Ingredients: Not able to find | Size: 0.14 ounces

Best for Beginners: Young Nails Brush On Glue

Young Nails Brush On Glue
What We Like
  • Dries quickly

  • Allows you to retain control

  • Mistake-proof 

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of product

  • Tricky to open over time 

Are you a new glue newbie? Seek out this one from Young Nails. Its formula is easy to apply and quick-drying, yet allows you to retain control, meaning there’s no need to fret about making any mistakes. But if you do make a mistake, just use a bit of soap and water to remove it. You’ll become a nail-pro in no time. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.5 fluid ounces

Best Long-Lasting: INFILILA Professional Nail Glue

INFILILA Professional Nail Glue
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Multi-purpose formula

  • Dries quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Has a learning curve

Achieve a pro-manicure at home with this salon-quality nail glue. It’s a serious multi-tasker, meaning you can use this nail glue for a variety of purposes—like acrylics, rhinestones, or to repair broken nails. Plus, the quick-drying formula lasts anywhere from 14 to 30 days, saving you valuable time and visits to the salon. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.23 ounces

Best for Gems: Dashing Diva Fast Bond Glue

Dashing Diva Fast Bond Glue
What We Like
  • Great for applying gems and crystals 

  • Formula won’t bubble 

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note it sometimes comes off quickly 

  • Better for touch-ups than full application

Ready to add a little sparkle to your nails? While providing long-lasting staying power for acrylics and press-ons, this nail glue is great for applying gems, crystals, and other small items onto your nails. Its precise application tip, high-quality formula, and fast-drying abilities are bonuses.

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 0.75 ounces

Best Pen: KDS Nail Tip Glue

KDS Nail Tip Glue
What We Like
  • Pen formulation 

  • Dries quickly

  • Helpful for quick fixes

What We Don't Like
  • Not as effective as other nail glues 

Worried about a nail popping off mid-day? Throw this KDS nail glue into your bag. It offers a convenient and precise application, in case you need to use it on the go. The best part? It won’t open up or spill, thanks to its pen formulation and secure lid. The formula also dries super quickly, so you can quickly fix your nail and be on your way. 

Active Ingredients: Ethyl cyanoacrylate | Size: 5 milliliters

Final Verdict

Nail glues are essential for applying press-ons or acrylics, repairing broken nails, or sealing gems or crystals in place. While you can’t go wrong with any of the above, we’d recommend going for our overall favorite, Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue (view at Amazon). It’ll stay put for two weeks or more, dry quickly, and last through tedious activities. When searching for a drugstore pick, we’re forever reaching for KISS Vita Bond (view at Amazon). It’s affordability priced, dries quickly, and arrives with a clever applicator for a seamless application. For repairing nails, we advise choosing KISS Pro’s Choice Precision Nail Glue (view at Amazon) since it effortlessly repairs and fixes nails but can be used for a whole slew of other purposes, too. 

What to Look for in a Nail Glue

Purpose

Before picking a nail glue, take time to think about what you’ll use it for most. “It’s best to use a thin glue for a crack or split, which easily fills nails, whereas a thicker glue is better for tips”  explains Edwards. 

Thicker Viscosity

You’ll want your nail glue to have a thicker viscosity, advises Edwards. “This will give it a better hold.”

FAQ
  • How do you apply nail glue?

    When applying nail glue, it’s always better to start with less, says Edwards. “You never want to flood the nail with glue and spill it onto your skin, which can be tricky to remove without your fingers sticking together.” She further advises to opt to place your finger at a downward angle, so if you do happen to spill, it’ll go down onto the paper towel instead of your skin.

  • How do you remove nail glue?

    Nail glue is best removed with an acetone-based remover, mentions Edwards. “Apply on a lint-free towel and wipe excess glue or soak for one to two minutes for removal.”

  • Does nail glue expire?

    Yes, nail glue expires and loses its adhesion, explains Edwards. “A good marker is if you see the glue has hardened or changed in color.”

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor, Rachel Dube, has written for some of the biggest publications out there. During her career, she has tested hundreds of beauty products, treatments, and at-home hacks. In the midst of the pandemic, she decided to attempt to apply press-ons at home, which is why finding the right glue is crucial.

Meet the Expert

Gina Edwards is a celebrity nail stylist and expert.

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