I Tried the Celebrity Fave Gel X Nail: Here Are My Thoughts

When I went in to schedule my latest nail appointment, I didn't realize I was accidentally making the best decision of my life.

Alright—maybe not of my life, but definitely for my nails. I am an acrylic girl through and through, and I always feel more powerful and put together when I have a fierce set of long acrylics. However, it's a love-hate relationship. I wouldn't say I like the process of getting acrylics. I also hate how damaged my nails look when the acrylics come off. So after a year of not getting manicures due to the pandemic, I decided to sacrifice my nail's health once again because I missed having long and pretty nails.

Gel X has been a celebrity favorite in recent years for stars like Ariana Grande, Halsey, and Janelle Monet. Gel X has now made its way to salons and rivaling acrylics in popularity. When I walked into the salon and asked for a manicure, the esthetician must have misheard me, and she booked me for a Gel X. Here is my review of Gel X nails and why I'm never going back to acrylic again.

The Product

Gel X Nail Extension System by Aprés Nails was created in 2017. They patented a soft gel nail tip that glues to your nail like press-on nails, but cures like gel. The soft gel means it's light, flexible and feels more natural than acrylics. The nails can last up to four weeks, and they don't lift as they grow out. You remove the soft gel like any other gel—you just need to file them down and soak them in acetone. Unlike acrylics, which often weaken and tear your nails, proper application and removal of Gel X nails allow your nails to stay healthy and even become stronger while you have the tips. You can give yourself a manicure at home with the Gel-X Nail Extension Kit or you can use their salon locator on their website.


The Process

The first step is to select your nail type. The nails are organized into length (Short, Medium, Long and Extra Long), shape (Round, Stiletto, Coffin and Square) and style (natural or sculpted). I choose medium, round and natural. My manicurist then trimmed down my natural nails. The process is straightforward: You prep your nails with a bonder and nail primer, add a coat of the Extend Gel polish, cure under a UV lamp and then the soft gel extension is placed on your nail. Gel X is unlike acrylic in that they cover the entire nail bed instead of sitting on the tip. I didn't ask for filed nails because I loved them, but you can shape the press-ons further if you would like. Once your nails are secured and shaped, you can add whatever polish you want. You can use regular or gel polish. I chose gel because it lasts longer, but it does add some time. It was relaxing and less stressful than getting my nails filed down and dipped in the harsh acrylic powder. I read online that Gel X is supposed to take an hour and a half, but the whole process for me took a little over an hour.


The Price

The price of Gel X ranges is in different salons from $65 to over $100. I chose gel and multiple colors, so my manicure came out to $75. However, given that these manicures last over three weeks, in my opinion, it's worth the expense. If you want to do it at home, the Gel-X Nail Extention Kit is $86, which includes Gel- X tips, pH bonder, non-acidic gel primer, soak off extend gel bottle, non-white top gelcoat, LED light, a grit emery board and a patent vegan leather case. Each box of nails comes in 10 different sizes and 250 pieces. You can also buy refill bats with 50 pieces for $2.99.


The Pretty

I couldn't be happier with Gel-X nails from beginning to end. The process was fast and the price was reasonable for a gel/acrylic-style manicure. They feel super flexible and natural, unlike the heavy and hard feeling of acrylics. They have not lifted, like press-ons, or chipped at all. It has been two weeks since I got my manicure and they still look flawless. I would recommend this system to anyone. I understand the acrylic crew is dedicated to their process and listen, and I used to be too, so I know. It is definitely something you should try once, and maybe you'll fall head over heels or head over nails, like me.


Are you looking for a great at-home manicure that's more budget-friendly? Check out THESE five at-home nail products that will give you professional-looking and Insta-worthy nails.