Everything You Need To Know About Gel-X Nail Extensions

Everything You Need To Know About Gel-X Nails Extensions

Are you going back and forth between deciding whether to try Gel-X Nails or sticking to what you know? Trying something new can be scary, but if you love pretty, natural looking nails, and nail art, we guarantee that you'll fall in love with this nail system! Keep reading to find out more!

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Gel-X Nails - Everything You Need To Know
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What Are Gel-X Nails?

Gel-X is a nail extension system that was created by the US brand Aprés Nail in 2015. Since then, it has exploded in popularity amongst celebrity nail artists, and salons across the world. The gel-x system claims to have offered the first soft gel nail extension to the nail industry. Before that, nail extensions were primarily created with hard gels or acrylics.

So why are these manicures so well-loved by nail artists? Here are the top 5 reasons:

Easy To Apply

Unlike acrylic or gel extensions, which can take years to learn and perfect, many nail techs can learn how to apply gel-x in a matter of days. This is because full cover tips (tips that cover the entire nail bed) are used to add length to the natural nails. These types of tips can be compared to press-on nails

Nails Look Natural & Thin

Say good-bye to chunky nails! With this system, nail artists can create long nails without having to worry about them breaking or appearing too thick. The pre-made tips come in a variety of shapes and lengths - there's something for everyone!

Takes Less Time To Apply

Professional nail artists absolutely love how quick it is to put on a new set of these extensions. Compared to gel or acrylic nail extensions, it usually takes about half the time (or less)! This allows more time to add on nail art, charms, or crystals.

Gel-X Nails Allow More Time For Nail Art
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Long Lasting

When using Apres Nails for the first time, many people are surprised at how long they last. Although the brand claims that their extensions can stay on for over 4 weeks, it's best to visit the salon for a removal and new manicure every 3-4 weeks. This is so your manicurist can make sure your real nails stay healthy.

Convenient Soak-Off Removal

Similar to gel nail polish sets, gel-x manicures can be soaked off with acetone. When done correctly, there won't be any damage to your natural nails, and you can do a new set right after.

How Are Apres Gel-X™ Nail Extensions Applied In Nail Salons?

Nail Prep

Just like preparing for a standard gel manicure, your nails are trimmed, filed smooth with an emery board, cuticles are pushed back and cleaned, and the surface of the nail plate is buffed.

Manicure Nail Prep
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Nail Tip Sizing

Depending on what look you're going for, your nail artist will select the correct tips and size them to your fingernails. The great thing about this nail system is that there's a huge variety of styles available. The lengths range from size XS (for short nails) to their longest XL. In terms of shapes, there are the trendy coffin, almond and stiletto shapes, as well as the classic round and square shapes.

For clients who have more curved nail beds, there are sculpted tips that will accommodate for that.

There are also French tips - tips that have grooves built in, making it super easy to use as a guide for painting a pretty French nail design.

Colored nude nail tips are also available in the range, which will let you skip the polishing step and give your nails the 'my nails but better' (MNBB) look that has gone viral over social media!


Before applying the tips, pH Bonder is brushed onto the nails, followed by a layer of Non-Acidic Gel Primer.

Next, one coat of Extend Gel (a clear gel polish) is applied, and cured under a LED lamp for 30 seconds.

Curing Nails In A LED Light Lamp
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The same gel is then brushed onto the underside of the nail tip, which acts as a glue to attach onto the natural nails. Again, your nails will go under the LED light lamp to cure.

Final Touches

This is an optional step, but a lot of nail artists will use an e-file (electric file) to gently blend the edges of the nail tips seamlessly into the real nails.

Nail Tech Uses An E-file To Blend In Gel-X Tips
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Now comes the fun part - color and nail art! Regular nail polish isn't typically used because it takes longer to dry and is difficult to create designs with. Instead, gel polishes are used because they can last up to 3-4 weeks without chipping.

Finally, to seal it all in, the Top Gelcoat X or Non-Wipe Glossy Top Gelcoat is applied from the bottom of the nail to the free edge.

How Long Do Gel X Nails Last?

Gel-X nails can last as long as 3-4 weeks with proper care. Be sure to wear gloves while doing chores, so your nails won't chip when you wash the dishes or peel when touch harsh cleaning chemicals. 

What's The Removal Process For Gel-X Tips?

The removal process is very similar to taking off gel polish. First a medium grit nail file is used to remove the shine of the top coat and break the seal. Then cotton soaked with acetone is put on top, and wrapped with aluminum foil. After about 10-15 minutes, the product will be softened and easily scraped off with an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher.

Can You Do Gel-X Nails At Home?

Yes, many nail enthusiasts have lots of success doing their nails at home with Gel-X starter kits. These kits include everything you need to create beautiful nails and have glowing customer reviews. Using one of these kits is a great alternative to acrylics at-home since they are much more user friendly. 


Do Gel-X Nails Use UV Light?

Can I Be Allergic To Gel-X?

Are There Alternatives To Using Apres Nail Products?

What's The Difference Between Gel-X And Acrylic?

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About the Author Catherine

As a kid, I discovered the world of Japanese nail art through a magazine and since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about anything related to nails! After following a more traditional educational path and earning my Bachelor's of Science in Food and Nutrition, I decided it was time to pursue my childhood passion. In 2015, I earned my diploma from Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Technology Program. After that, I got certified with YUMI Lashes and opened Sunday Beauty Boutique in 2017. These days, I'm focused on providing a 'no rush' experience to a select clientele, teaching as a nail instructor at Blanche Macdonald, as well as providing resources on beauty related topics to clients and estheticians on my blog.

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