The 16 Best Nail Glue 2020 (for Fake Nails, Rhinestones, Gems, and Repairs)

Best Nail Glue

Which is the best nail glue for fake nails, rhinestones, gems, and natural nail repair?

How do you choose the nail glue you need among the different types of adhesive?

Is there another way to secure nail art without using glue?

These are examples of the questions we’ll answer here. Let’s start with selecting the right adhesive for the project you’re doing.

How to choose the best nail glue

If you’re new to using adhesives for nail art, start with a thick glue that dries slower. It will give you time to move gems and make adjustments. Just be careful to avoid spreading it over the skin.

When you want to apply press-on nails, it’s handy to use thin brush-on glue. Glue with a thin consistency dries faster and is less prone to drying lumpy and lifting.

Stick on larger, more massive stones with gel. It will need to cure under a lamp, but it’s the stronger adhesive.

Can you apply nail art without nail glue?

Yes, you can apply rhinestones and gems with nail polish only, but they won’t stay put for long. The stones may fall off at any moment.

If you choose to experiment with this method, press the gem into the top coat while the surface is curing but still wet. But make sure it’s not so fresh that the stone slides around or smudges. Then, use a tiny brush to put an additional coat around the edges (1).

Which is better: nail glue or gel?

Both nail glue, also known as resin, and gel are essential for nail art. Nail glue air-dries on its own while gel requires a lamp to cure.

Neither one is better than the other – it’s a matter of choosing the right tool for the job. You may also use one to fill in the gaps that the other leaves behind.

For example, you might put a tiny dab of gel on the nail and press the gem into place. Let it sit under the lamp. Once the gel has cured, you might see that there are gaps around the edges. That’s when you could use a thin brush and press a tiny amount of glue around the perimeter.

How to use nail glue to apply fake nails, rhinestones, crystals, and gems

If you’re applying fake nails like acrylics, put a small drop of glue on the underside of the artificial nail tip. As you press it into place, carefully rock it back and forth to ease it into position. Then, use a nail brush soak in acetone to remove any excess glue from the skin.

Alternatively, if you’re doing nail art with stones, always put the nail glue on the natural or polished nail, never on the back of the rhinestone, crystal, or gem.

On a natural nail, make sure the surface is clean by washing the hands, then wiping the nail with nail polish remover or 70% alcohol.

Make sure that any polish is thoroughly dry first. For even better adhesion, buff the shine off the placement area.

Remember, nail glue is powerful. Start with a small amount as you can usually add more if you need it later. It’s easier than trying to remove excess.

The best place to glue rhinestones and gems is next to the cuticle as the nail doesn’t flex there. Also, large gems that have a curved bottom will stick better than those that are flat.

How to remove nail glue for a new manicure

Nail glue removes with acetone, just like gel nail polish. Soak a cotton pad, wrap it around the nail, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

How to keep nail glue from drying out and the lid from getting stuck

Don’t you hate it when you only use the nail glue once, and it’s already dried out? Or when you can’t unscrew the cap because it’s glued shut?

You can avoid those problems by wiping the applicator and around the lid with acetone before closing the bottle or tube. Be careful to not get any acetone in the glue.

Alternatively, you could grease the inside of the cap with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

After that, store the glue in a cold place to extend the shelf life.

Best Nail Glue in 2020

Modelones Nail Glue

Each tube of this nail resin lasts for 10 to 20 manicures. It has a precision nozzle to prevent drips and waste.

It’s exactly the type of nail glue that’s ideal for gemstones, French styling, and other decorations. The strong adhesive is ingredients that won’t harm nails.

You can also use it for press-on nails and tips. It bonds in 5 seconds and holds for several days.

Happily, the brand backs their product with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Beauty Secrets Nail Glue

Have you ever had an allergic reaction to nail adhesives? If so, try this non-toxic nail glue. It doesn’t contain but phthalates, petrolatum, alcohol, parabens, soy, or animal derivatives. It’s also vegan.

The squeeze applicator resists clogging and dripping, which makes it straightforward to use with minimum mess. It’s perfect for bonding nail tips.

What’s the downside? Several reviewers say that it takes a little bit longer than usual to dry. But once it sets, it can hold for weeks. Moreover, the fact that it slow to dry is excellent for beginners.

Nailene Ultra Quick Nail Glue for Artificial Nails & Repair

Many techs say this is the best nail glue for natural nail repair. Some describe it as “scary strong.”

It cures in 5 seconds yet adheres to fake nails for 2 weeks or longer. It withstands washing dishes and bathing.

Thankfully, although the nail glue is ultra-durable, it removes easily with acetone.

If you’d like to use it to repair a torn or broken nail, you’ll need a pair of tweezers. Apply a thin layer of glue, then use the tweezers to hold the repair for 5 seconds while it sets. Lastly, buff the area to make it smooth.

KISS Precision Nail Glue

This nail glue is suitable for repairing split and cracked nails as well as applying artificial nails. Yes, you can use it to fix human nails as well as fake nails. It has an antifungal ingredient to prevent infections.

There is a precision nozzle on the tip of the squeezable container. The thin liquid seeps into the crack to seal the problem. Then, the glue sets in seconds.

I noticed that a handful of users have had success using it to prevent gel manicures’ peeling.

Makartt Nail Glue

Here’s a brush-on nail glue that’s ideal for rhinestone and gem application. It can also fix split nails and bond nail tips.

It dries a little slower than the KISS or Nailene glues. That’s handy for repositioning stones. Any excess adhesive can be removed with acetone.

The acrylic nail glue is made of ethyl cyanoacrylate. Therefore, please avoid exposing the nails to water for at least an hour after using it.

NYK1 Nail Bond Acrylic Nail Glue

This nail tip adhesive comes with a precision brush applicator. Reviewers say it’s durable enough to last for a week or longer. Their main complaint was how long it took to dissolve the glue to remove it.

What’s interesting is that it’s compatible with other nail glue brands.

Big Bondini Plus Brush-On Glue

Save money and skip those tiny tubes of glue. This bottle contains 200 drops with a “clean hands applicator.” The small brush provides pinpoint accuracy.

Use the glue for nail tips and art as it adheres to artificial nails and gems for 2 weeks or longer.

IBD Brush-On Glue

This is brush-on nail glue for natural and artificial nails and tips. It works well in conjunction with the same brand’s builder gel.

It dries slowly enough for beginners and holds well enough for gemstones. Try it with decals, too.

Cala Super Nail Glue

I’ve seen mixed reviews for this acrylic tip nail glue. It’s less expensive than some of the competition.

Highlights include ultra-strong bonding that sets quickly.

Complaints include the bottle clogging.

Dashing Diva False Nail Fast Bond Glue

There are nail technicians who won’t use other brands of professional nail glue besides this one. It’s suitable for adhering artificial nails as it doesn’t leave any gap between the full cover nail and the nail bed.

Furthermore, it’s suitable for fixing all sorts of nail art like stones as the decorations stay put for 2 weeks or longer. It’s a thick gel that tolerates repositioning if needed. But it has a precision applicator tip to reduce mess. The adhesive won’t bubble, and it smooths the nail surface for a perfect finish every time.

BTArtbox Adhesive Super Bond

This pack comes with enough adhesive for 350 press-on nails, nail tips, or decorations. Plus, it can fix chips and cracks in natural nails. The ingredients are non-damaging to the nails. You can check the MSDS sheet for details.

Although the glue dries swiftly, you have a little time for adjustments. Therefore, it’s handy for beginners as well as professionals.

Once bonded, the glue can hold up to a month. But it’s also not difficult to remove.

For best results, ensure that the natural nails are cleaned with alcohol, then dry before application. When applying press-on nails, push down starting at the cuticle and work your way to the tip. Hold for 5 seconds. Keep the nails dry for at least an hour to ensure it cures completely and becomes waterproof.

Wipe-Off Rhinestone Glue Gel

You’ll need an LED UV lamp to cure this glue gel, but it’s super strong. It’s perfect for holding large stones on nails.

The glue comes with 3 different brush applicators.

To use a gel, follow the steps. Cure the polish completely.

Next, apply a dab of gel on the nail and press the rhinestone on top.

Set the gel under the lamp. Turn the nail from side to side to ensure the light reaches as much of the glue as possible.

Add more gel glue if needed, and cure again. If it’s a flatback rhinestone, cap the edge. In other words, put glue all around the perimeter so that no gap is visible.

After gluing small gems, you can wipe off excess sticky parts with alcohol.

Rhinestone Picker Dotting Pens, Dual-Sided

Here is the tool you need to pick up and place gemstones. It’s like a pen with 2 different ends.

One tip is waxy. Press that end onto the rhinestone, and you can lift it to place it in the glue on the nail.

Flip the pen and use a stainless steel point to press and hold the stone in place.

Beetles Nail Art Design Brush Set

These precision brushes are excellent for doing nail art. They’re suitable for painting fine lines. Plus, they’re handy for outlining the nail with a little acetone to ensure a salon-quality finish.

JOYJULY Nail Art Kit

Save time and money by getting a kit with all the tools you need to decorate nails. This kit comes with a satisfaction guarantee.

It includes striping tape, striping roller boxes, 3D rhinestones in a dozen colors, 5 dotting pens, and 15 brushes. All that’s missing is the nail glue.

Rhinestone Glue Gel Kit

This kit has a wide variety of nail decorations, plus it comes with glue gel and other tools. It’s backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

There are thousands of rhinestones in various sizes and colors, plus tweezers, brushes, and wax pens.

What’s nice is that once the glue gel has cured under the LED light, it’s no longer sticky and doesn’t need to be wiped.


Using the right adhesive guarantees long-lasting manicures and gorgeous nail art that stands up to wear.

You can have a lot of fun with nail glue doing tips, press-on nails, and sculptures.

If you discovered your new favorite nail art tools today, come back and tell us about your experience with them.


1. How to Adhere Statement Gems, by Leslie Henry, published in NAILPRO November 2017