Stick-on toenails can be an unexpected beauty fix, and a wallet fix, too. Sure, snigger if you want, but although the idea may amuse, it’s true.

Nailene Perfect Toes or Revlon Perfect Pedicure plastic nails, which have been available for a few years at retailers such as Pharma Plus/Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart, actually look natural enough to stand in for that last-minute salon-pedi appointment you couldn’t get in before your cousin’s wedding this weekend.

For women who are self-conscious about nails traumatized from a long-time running or marathon habit, glue-on nails can also mean freedom from closed-toe shoes in summer’s heat (now that it’s here).

One box contains plastic nails in a variety of sizes and a small tube of adhesive. Some come with a package of tiny decals for teeny-bopper cute embellishment, and a mini emery board. “They’re a good shape to begin with,” says Julia McEwen, assistant style and beauty editor for Canadian Living magazine. “But after I apply them, I file the edges a little to get a slightly more curved shape that looks better on me.”

A French pedicure look seems most widely available at the moment, but fear not if you’re not a fan of that style. Faux nails are a better-than-real canvas for your favourite shade of polish: basecoat isn’t necessary, and colour bonds to the oil-free plastic surface for a long-lasting finish.

“I absolutely love them,” says McEwen. “They save me time — I rarely have the opportunity for pedicure appointments — and last as long as a professional polish job. They cost a lot less, though, around $13, so they save me money as well.”