It’s been nine months since my first Gel-X manicure, and let me tell you: I’m never going back. Dips? Acrylics? Extensions? Regular gel? NO MORE FOR ME, THANK YOU. Today, I want to dive deep into the world of Gel-X. We’ll explore what it is, how much it costs, how long it lasts, and the pros and cons. But wait, there’s more! I’ll also share the thoughts and experiences of a few familiar faces. So, whether you’re a nail art enthusiast or someone who appreciates a good horse picture (yes, that’s included too), there’s something here for everyone! Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
The Gel-X Manicure Experience
Gel-X is a revolutionary press-on nail system that combines the convenience of press-ons with the durability and beauty of gel. It all starts with your nail technician sizing up your hands and attaching a nail of your preferred shape and length. After that, your ~new nails~ will be firmly attached for about a month, thanks to the curing process under UV lights. Once the nails are cured, your technician will proceed with the usual nail care routine, including polish, art, lotion, and occasional Instagram photoshoots. And when you’re ready for a change, the removal process is as simple as it is for any standard gel manicure.
I’ll pop in later with more of my nail art, but here’s a taste!
The Advantages of Gel-X Nails
Gel-X nails offer a range of benefits that set them apart from other nail enhancements. Firstly, they are incredibly flexible, so you don’t have to worry about them snapping in half when you accidentally bump into something. They’re also lightweight, making them more comfortable to wear compared to acrylics. And despite their eye-catching designs (like neon cow print nails), Gel-X nails manage to look remarkably natural.
But perhaps the most significant advantage of Gel-X nails is how they make you feel. There’s something undeniably fun and empowering about clacking away at your daily tasks with a fabulous set of nails. Don’t just take my word for it though – I’ve gathered opinions from three other amazing individuals from EHD who have also fallen in love with Gel-X. But before we dive into their experiences, let’s address a few burning questions you may have.
Veronica’s Gel-X Journey
When did you start trying out Gel-X? My Gel-X journey began in June 2021 as a special treat for my birthday. Since then, it has become a monthly self-care routine during the pandemic.
Had you invested in nails or nail art before? Before Gel-X, I had tried regular gel manicures and press-ons/glue-ons, but they only lasted about two weeks at most.
Was there an adjustment period to Gel-X? Not really. While Gel-X is kinder to your nails compared to acrylics, they still cause some thinning due to the sanding process during application.
What’s your preferred shape and length? I like switching between an almond or stiletto shape and a square shape. As a photographer who works on a computer or handles equipment on set, I prefer to keep my nails short to medium length.
How long do your appointments take? Appointments usually last between 1.5 to 2 hours.
How long do your nails stay on? I’ve never had a nail fall off when wearing Gel-X nails. Typically, I get my nails done every three to four weeks because they grow out quickly.
How do your nails feel? Overall, my nails feel good and don’t feel damaged. However, Gel-X has made them slightly thinner, although they were already on the thin side.
Is there an average cost? I go to a nail tech I trust, which makes it more expensive (around $90-100 before tip). However, I know of a salon where a friend of mine goes, and the starting price is around $65. It’s essential to choose a salon where the technicians prioritize the health of your nails.
Where do you get nail art inspiration? I find nail inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. I follow accounts like Nia Ho & Vivian W, and other inspiring posts often show up on my explore page.
Any pros and cons? Speaking from my personal experience, the pros of Gel-X are that it lasts longer without chipping, breaking, or needing touch-ups. However, it can become costly depending on how often you get them done. It’s essential to have them professionally removed to avoid damaging your natural nails.
Ryann’s Gel-X Journey
When did you start trying out Gel-X? I started in October 2021.
Had you invested in nails or nail art before? I used to get acrylic nails many years ago, but I didn’t enjoy them. More recently, I would wear press-on nails for special occasions.
Was there an adjustment period to Gel-X? Oh yeah, there was! At first, I felt like I couldn’t do anything with long nails. Typing was especially difficult in the beginning. But I quickly got used to them.
What’s your preferred shape and length? I go for medium length with an almond shape.
How long do your appointments take? If I’m getting a Gel-X removal and a new set, it usually takes about an hour and a half.
How long do your nails stay on? The longest I’ve gone between appointments is four weeks, and the nails were still holding on.
How do your nails feel? My natural nails feel a lot stronger since I switched to Gel-X. It seems to be gentler on the natural nails.
Is there an average cost? With tip included, it’s usually between $100-150. If I choose intricate designs, the cost tends to be closer to $150.
Where do you get nail art inspiration? I find inspiration on Instagram and from my friends.
Any pros and cons? Pros: Gel-X nails make me feel put together, even when I’m just wearing sweats. I receive compliments all the time. Cons: If my nails are cut too short before applying Gel-X, my nails can grow into the nail bed, which can be painful. But this issue can be avoided by communicating with your nail tech.
Jess’ Gel-X Journey
When did you start trying out Gel-X? I started on October 5, 2021, which also happens to be my birthday.
Had you invested in nails or nail art before? In the past, I would frequently get regular gel manicures, as they were the only type that lasted during my time working in restaurants. But I couldn’t afford them regularly. This is my first time getting “fake nails.”
Was there an adjustment period to Gel-X? Oh yes, there definitely was. Initially, I felt like Edward Scissorhands, lacking proficiency for at least a week. Everyday tasks like putting on leggings seemed challenging. But I quickly adapted.
What’s your preferred shape and length? I love an almond shape and medium length. I want them to look elegant while being practical for typing.
How long do your appointments take? It usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours for a full appointment.
How long do your nails stay on? I’ve gone up to six weeks between appointments, and my nails were still going strong. Opting for a clear or natural background in the designs helps hide the grow-out.
How do your nails feel? When the fake nails are removed, my natural nails feel okay. It’s a sacrifice, but for now, I enjoy having my nails done for six weeks at a time.
Is there an average cost? Including tip, it’s between $100-150. I’m more than happy to pay because the nail techs do an incredible job, creating art on my hands.
Where do you get nail art inspiration? Pinterest and Instagram are my go-to sources. I also get inspiration from celebrities like Beyonce. Veronica also shares accounts she loves, and it’s so fun to explore together.
Any pros and cons? Pros: Gel-X nails make me feel sexy, powerful, and put together. I receive compliments all the time. Cons: The cost can be a deterrent, and I know my natural nails aren’t at their best. Certain activities like picking up coins or working with lobster clasps can be challenging.
Caitlin’s Gel-X Journey
When did you start trying out Gel-X? I had my first Gel-X manicure on May 19, 2021, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Had you invested in nails or nail art before? I used to spend a lot on regular gel manicures with full art. However, I had a bad habit of picking them off, which made my hands look less appealing and affected my nail health.
Was there an adjustment period to Gel-X? Gel-X nails felt normal to me, except for the fear of them popping off. Overall, they were comfortable and familiar.
What’s your preferred shape and length? I started with medium ovals but eventually moved on to longer nails. They look best with my hands.
How long do your appointments take? Removal usually takes about 30-45 minutes, while getting a new manicure can take 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the design.
How long do your nails stay on? I once went eight weeks between appointments, as my nails had grown out significantly. Initially, there was some lifting on one finger, but my nail tech fixed it, and I haven’t had any issues since.
How do your nails feel? My nails feel great after the Gel-X nails are removed. There is no breakage or thinning, unlike when I used to have gel manicures every two weeks.
Is there an average cost? I typically pay a $20 booking fee to secure my spot, and manicures range from $60-100, depending on the complexity of the design. Tips are always 20-25%, bringing the total cost to $100 on the low end and $150 on the high end.
Where do you get nail art inspiration? NIA!!! My nail tech is LA’s best-kept secret. Her Instagram page is filled with an incredible variety of designs that never fail to inspire me. I feel fortunate to spend about two hours with her.
Any pros and cons? Pros: Gel-X nails make me feel powerful and intimidating. Even when I’m wearing sweats, my nails add a touch of glamour to my look. Clinking my nails on glasses brings me joy. Cons: The cost can be significant, and I’m aware that Gel-X is not an essential expense. Also, UV exposure during the nail appointment requires sunscreen (which I occasionally forget). Activities like picking up coins or manipulating lobster clasps become more challenging. Despite these cons, Gel-X nails are worth it to me.
If you’re feeling confident and want to try Gel-X at home, you can grab a kit here. However, if you prefer a professional touch, check Yelp for highly-reviewed technicians near you. Remember, splurging on Gel-X is an investment in long-lasting results that will make you smile.
Now, I want to hear from you! Share your nail habits, show me your nail art, and recommend your favorite inspiration accounts. Let’s have a lively conversation about our amazing hands! xx