Celebrity Manicurist Tom Bachik Created Press-Ons Inspired By His Most Famous Clients

TZR got his top tips on all things press-on nails.

Jennifer Lopez neon nails by Tom Bachik

When Tom Bachik was first starting his nail career in the 1990s, he would run to a nearby drugstore during photoshoots to buy KISS press-ons and paint them with his custom designs. Now, nearly 30 years later, the press-on nail industry has taken enormous leaps in terms of both quality and artistry, and press-ons are being widely used by both star clientele and the everyday consumer. Because he’s quite literally seen it all through his career as a renowned celebrity manicurist, Tom Bachik’s press-on nail techniques are unmatched — which is what makes his new collaboration with imPRESS so incredibly special.

At the collection’s launch event in New York City, Bachik told TZR that his goal was to make wearable manicures that would suit any setting. “I wanted to create looks that were perfect both in the afternoon at lunch in your jeans or at the holiday party, as well as something that lasted into the beginning of next year,” he explains. While there is plenty of themed manis in the collection — think candy cane stripes and festive snowflakes — the bulk of the line is centered around the chic, creative designs on which Bachik built his name. And, in fact, Bachik says many of the press-on designs in the Tom Bachik x imPRESS collab are inspired by his famous clients like Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez.

One of Bachik’s longtime star clients, actor Hailee Steinfeld, supported the manicurist at the launch wearing a black and white set that boldly contrasted with her red ensemble. “They’re so versatile and they’re so stunning, truly,” she tells TZR. “And I can’t believe how real they look.”

Along with the black-and-white look, Steinfeld’s other favorite set in the collection, “Fancy Huh”, plays off of the recent American Manicure boom. “Hailee loves the whole ‘90s supermodel look,” Bachik says. “The whole American Manicure gives us that, but also adding a little bit of bling so that it steps it up a bit for holiday.”

In addition to the built-in technology in his new imPRESS line, Bachik has plenty of expert tips on getting your press-on manicure to look its best and last the longest. Step one, he says, is making sure to properly prep your natural nails. “Give yourself a manicure ahead of time, because that gets the dead skin and everything off of the surface of the nail,” he says. “Make sure all your polish is removed, and then use alcohol; the kit actually comes with a little alcohol wipe that you can cleanse the nail just before putting it on. Cleanse the nail right before applying the tips and you'll get your best wear out of it.”

To avoid that pesky gap between your cuticle and the edge of your press-on, Bachik advises sliding the press-on up against and almost underneath the cuticle. “And then I like to rub it down so you remove any type of air bubble and you just get complete contact,” he adds.

Aside from the elevated designs, the beauty of Bachik’s collection with imPRESS lies in its low-maintenance application. The manicurist says each imPRESS nail’s double-layered adhesion allows them to stay in place for up to five days, but they can also easily come off after just one night. “If you’ve got that last-minute party or event you’re attending, they’re the perfect choice — literally, just press and go.”

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