Nail extensions like gel x have become increasingly popular for creating long, durable, and beautiful nail looks. But with so many nail tip options on the market, how do you know which ones will work best with the gel x system?
Keep reading as we dig into everything you need to know about pairing nail tips with gel x for stunning results.
If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: While most nail tips are compatible with gel x application, not all are ideal. For the best adhesion and end results, opt for forms designed specifically for gel x or other enhancement gels with maximum flexibility and minimal curvature.
What Are Gel X Nail Extensions?
Gel X nail extensions are a popular nail enhancement system that involves applying a gel polymer formula over a nail tip or your natural nail and then curing it under an LED or UV lamp. The Gel X system allows you to get a durable, long-lasting manicure that can last up to 3 weeks with proper application and care.
Here are some key things to know about Gel X nail extensions:
Thinner and More Flexible than Acrylics
The Gel X formula is thinner and more flexible than traditional acrylic nail enhancements. This makes the extensions lighter on your natural nails. The gel consistency also allows for a smoother application than acrylic powders.
Applied Over a Plastic Nail Tip
Gel X extensions involve applying the gel formula over a plastic nail tip that adheres to your natural nail. The nail tips come in various sizes and shapes to fit each nail precisely. Using a tip helps add length and structure to the nail enhancement.
Cured Under UV or LED Lamps
Once applied and shaped, Gel X extensions need to be cured under a UV lamp or LED lamp. These lamps solidify the gel polish so it becomes hard and durable similar to a real nail. The curing time is usually 30 seconds up to 2 minutes under the lamps.
Can Be Used on Natural Nails
While nail tips are commonly used, you can also apply Gel X over your well-prepped natural nails only. This allows you to get the strength of gel X while simply extending your own length a bit if desired.
Soak Off Gel Formula
Gel X is considered a soak-off gel formula. That means it can be removed by soaking the nails in pure acetone to dissolve the product. This allows you to change the style or take off the extensions without excessive filing or damage to the natural nails.
Longer Wear Time
Compared to regular gel polish manicures, Gel X extensions can last 3-4 weeks on average with proper application and nutrition for your natural nails. The extended wear time makes them convenient for those who want a lasting manicure.
Choosing the Best Nail Tips for Gel X
Nail Tip Shapes
When selecting nail tips for Gel X application, one of the most important considerations is the shape. The key options include round, square, almond, coffin, and stiletto shapes. The shape you choose depends largely on your personal style preference and nail bed length.
Those with longer nail beds often opt for more dramatic shapes like coffin or stiletto. Shorter nails suit rounder shapes better. Make sure to select a symmetrical shape that aligns properly with your natural nails for the most seamless enhancement.
Nail Tip Materials
Nail tips come in various materials like plastic, fiberglass or silk wraps. Plastic tips are inexpensive and easiest to customize fit. However, some find them less comfortable long-term. Lightweight fiberglass or silk options feel more natural on the nail and hold up well to repeated Gel X applications.
They form to the natural nails beautifully. Another rising material is polygel tips. These durable tips don’t require forms or glue. Technicians can sculpt and shape them right on the nails for a perfect profile. When shopping for Gel X tips focus on comfort and longevity rather than price alone.
For the highest quality enhancements that balance durability with a weightless feel, we recommend Japanese silk or precision fiberglass tips. Double check reviews and brand reputation as quality varies widely. Ask trusted technicians what brands they rely on too.
With the right tips, Gel X manicures can last 4-5 weeks with gentle removal and rebalancing. Don’t settle for anything less than a custom enhancement that looks and feels like your own well-manicured nails.
To learn more on Gel X application from the top nail artists around, check out these informative video tutorials:
Applying Gel X Over Nail Tips
Prepping the Nails
Before applying Gel X over nail tips, proper prep of the natural nails is crucial for a long-lasting manicure. Start by using a 180 grit file to gently remove shine from the natural nail plate. This removes any oils and creates texture for better adhesion.
Next, use a nail prep solution like Young Nails Protein Bond to further cleanse the nails and help the Gel X adhere. Push back and trim any cuticles so they don’t get in the way during application. Finish prepping by using a nail dehydrator like CND Super Shine to remove any moisture and oils from the nail plate.
Adhering the Tips
Once prepped, it’s time to adhere the nail tips. Select tips that properly fit from sidewall to sidewall of each nail. Apply a small dot of nail glue or nail adhesive like KDS Adhesive Gel near the cuticle area. Firmly press the tip on at a slight angle and hold for 30 seconds until secured.
Make sure there are no gaps between the natural nail and tip for the strongest bond. Once secured, use tip clippers to trim and shape the free edge if needed. Lightly file the seam where the natural nail and tip meet to blend together for a seamless look.
Filing and Shaping
Now it’s time to perfect the shape! Use a 150/180 grit file to shape the tips into your desired shape whether square, oval, almond or another shape. Be sure to file the edges thin and smooth for a clean look. Avoid overfiling too much thickness off the tips.
Use a buffing block after filing to refine the shape and smooth any ridges. The tips should have a balanced look on all nails when shaped. Apply nail prep, dehydrator and primer over the tips to prep the surface for Gel X.
Gel X Application
You can now apply Gel X over the nail tips like you would on natural nails. Apply a thin layer of base gel and cure. Follow with 2-3 layers of Gel X color, curing in between each layer. Finish with a layer of Gel X top coat to seal and harden the manicure. Cure the top coat for a full 60 seconds.
Wipe the inhibition layer and you’re all set! Properly prepped Gel X over tips can last 3-4 weeks with minimal lifting or damage. Be sure to fill the re-growth every 2 weeks for best results. Gel X and tips make an unstoppable combination!
Caring for Gel X Nail Extensions
Protection and Avoiding Damage
Gel X nail extensions require some special care to keep them looking great and lasting as long as possible. Here are some tips for protecting your new nails:
- Avoid using your nails as tools – Opening soda cans, prying things open, etc. can cause cracks and breaks.
- Wear gloves for household chores involving chemicals or hot water to avoid damage from exposure.
- Use a base coat under Gel X to act as a protective buffer against chipping or peeling.
- Apply cuticle oil daily to keep the nails and skin around the nails hydrated and flexible.
- Use nail hardener polish every few days to maintain strength.
Being gentle with your hands and nails can go a long way towards keeping Gel X manicures intact for 3-4 weeks. If a nail does happen to crack or break, contact your nail technician right away for a repair.
Removal When Ready
It’s important not to try removing Gel X extensions at home. The process requires soaking cotton pads in pure acetone nail polish remover and wrapping each nail to slowly break down the gel. This takes 20-30 minutes per hand.
Rushing the process or using low-quality remover can damage the natural nails underneath.
Most manicurists recommend getting Gel X removed and replaced every 2-3 weeks. The product begins growing out and losing its neat appearance around that time. Going 4 weeks is possible but may start looking grown out.
Plan ahead and book a removal appointment as soon as you notice lifting near the cuticles or excessive growth looking unsightly. The nail technician can remove Gel X safely and shape and buff natural nails beautifully ready for a fresh set.
While most nail tips can be used under gel x, choosing tips specifically geared for gel enhancements will provide the best fit, adhesion, and final look. Prepping the natural nails properly and applying gel x in thin, even layers over the nail tips is also key for long-lasting, damage-free wear.
With the right tips and techniques, you can achieve stunning gel x nail extensions safely and easily at home.