If you enjoy doing your own nails at home but struggle with shaping or length, nail tips may be just what you need. Nail tips are artificial extensions that glue onto your natural nail to create a base for building longer, stronger nails.
But before you run out and buy a set, you’re probably wondering – how much are nail tips? Let’s take a closer look at what factors into the cost of nail tips.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: On average, a full set of nail tips costs $5 – $15 depending on the quality, material, and size of the nails. Luxury nail tip brands can cost $20 or more.
Nail Tip Material
Acrylic nail tips are made from a plastic polymer powder called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The powder is mixed with a liquid monomer to create a dough-like acrylic that hardens quickly under ultraviolet light.
Acrylic nails are strong, durable, and easily customizable, making them a popular choice for nail salon services and DIY manicures.
The average price for a basic set of acrylic nail tips at a salon ranges from $25-$50 depending on where you live and the salon’s rates. The acrylic powder itself is quite inexpensive, usually $5-$15 for a jar.
But you also need monomer liquid, primer, activator solution, and a UV lamp to properly apply and cure the acrylic. So a starter kit of supplies can cost $40-$75 upfront.
The main pros of acrylic nail tips are that they allow for endless shaping and design options, have a natural look when done properly, and last 2-3 weeks on average before needing fills. The cons are that they require more maintenance than other nail tip types, can damage the natural nail if done improperly, and give off a strong odor during application.
But with a skilled technician, acrylics remain a leading choice for both durability and aesthetic versatility.
Silk or Fiberglass
Silk or fiberglass nail tips are made from thin, woven fabric that is sealed with an adhesive or resin. They are very lightweight and natural looking compared to other nail tip options.
A full set of silk or fiberglass nail tips costs $30-$60 on average at salons. The tips themselves are not expensive, usually $5-$10 for a pack. But specialized glue and sealer is required to properly adhere them to the natural nail. Starter kits run $15-$25.
The main benefits of silk/fiberglass nail tips are that they are thin, flexible, and mimic the look of natural nails very closely. They also don’t require harsh filing of the natural nail and are gentle on nail beds.
The downsides are that they aren’t as strong as acrylics or gels, only lasting 1-2 weeks on average before needing maintenance. Silk wraps can also start to lift off the nail quickly if not applied correctly.
Polymer Gel (aka – Polygel)
Polygel nail tips are made from a thick polymer gel that is applied similarly to acrylic but doesn’t require mixing powder and liquid. The polygel comes ready-made in tubes or jars and is applied using a brush.
A polygel manicure costs around the same as acrylics, ranging from $25-$60 depending on the salon. Polygel kits can run $50-$100 as you need the pre-made gel, primer, base and top coat, and a UV or LED lamp to cure it.
Polygel is praised for its quick and easy application compared to acrylics. It’s also odor-free and causes less damage to natural nails with its flexible finish. The average polygel set lasts 2-3 weeks before needing fills.
Downsides are that polygel can be prone to cracking or popping off in sheets if applied unevenly.
Nail Tip Quality
Low-End Nail Tips
Low-end nail tips are usually made from lower quality plastics and have a basic shape. They typically cost between $3-$8 for a full set. Here are some characteristics of low-end nail tips:
- Made from inexpensive ABS plastic
- Limited shape and size options
- Prone to discoloration and damage
- May not fit natural nails well, requiring extra filing/shaping
- Shorter wear time before needing replacement
While inexpensive, the quality is lower and they won’t last as long or look as natural as better options. However, they can be good for practice or temporary use. Popular budget brands include Kiss and Modelones.
Mid-Range Nail Tips
Mid-range nail tips offer better quality at a moderate price point, usually $10-$20 for a full set. Some features of mid-range nail tips include:
- Made of higher-grade plastics like ABS or polycarbonate
- More shape and size varieties
- Better clarity and resistance to discoloration
- Smoother surfaces for easier application and shaping
- Longer wear time between replacements
The improved quality provides a more natural, comfortable and long-lasting fit compared to basic nail tips. They are still affordable yet offer better performance for regular use. Popular mid-range brands are Makartt, Lavender Violets and Q-Flex.
High-End/Luxury Nail Tips
At the top end, high-quality nail tips provide maximum durability, appearance and comfort. These premium nail tips can cost $25-$50+ for a full set. Some features of high-end nail tips:
- Crafted from medical-grade plastics and innovative composites
- Widest selection of shapes, lengths and widths
- Crystal clarity and remarkable translucency
- Seamless finish for easy, customized application
- Excellent toughness and resistance to cracks, scratches and discoloration
- Can last 3-4 weeks between replacements
Luxury nail tips mimic the look and feel of natural nails for a flawless finish. While expensive, they are an investment for long-lasting wear and beautiful results. Top luxury brands include Apres Nail Co, Color Street and Static Nails.
Nail Tip Size
Full Set Sizes
When purchasing a full set of nail tips, you’ll need to select the size that best fits the nail beds on your hands. Nail tip sizes typically range from XS (extra small) to XL (extra large). Here’s an overview of the most common full set sizes:
- XS or 0 – Extra small nail tips fit nail beds under 9mm wide.
- S or 1 – Small sized tips fit nail beds around 9-10mm wide.
- M or 2 – Medium tips fit most nail beds around 10-11mm wide.
- L or 3 – Large tips are for wider nail beds approximately 11-12mm across.
- XL or 4 – Extra large tips are made for very wide nail beds over 12mm across.
Most sets come with a range of sizes since most people need different sizes for each nail. Getting a proper fit is important so the enhancements last without lifting or falling off. An online nail tip size chart can help determine your ideal sizes if you’re unsure.
Individual Replacement Tips
Replacement nail tips are sold individually when you need just a few to fill in a set. They come in the same size range but are usually priced per tip instead of in full sets. Here are typical price points for individual false nail tips:
|Price per Tip
|XS or 0
|$0.50 – $3
|S or 1
|$0.50 – $3
|M or 2
|$0.50 – $3
|L or 3
|$0.50 – $4
|XL or 4
|$0.50 – $4
The price per tip increases slightly for larger sizes since they require more materials to construct. Luxury nail tips from high end brands like Kiara Sky and Valentino Beauty range from $3-$5 per tip. Buying replacement sizes in bulk brings down the per tip cost significantly.
Nail Tip Shape
Round nail tips are the most classic and versatile shape. They have a continuous curve from the cuticle to the tip, creating an oval-like appearance. Round tips tend to be the safest option for those new to enhancements, as they complement most nail beds without too much hassle or risk of breakage.
Their softer corners and edges make them less likely to snag or peel. Popular round tip lengths range from short to long.
Square nail tips have a straight edge on the sides and across the tip, creating a box-like shape. They provide a chic, polished look that flatters most hands. The sharp 90-degree angles of square tips make them appear more angular and elongated than rounds.
However, the rigid edges can be prone to chipping and cracking. Proper application and routine maintenance are key to maximizing their durability. Many prefer a short to medium length for square shapes.
Coffin tips are essentially square tips with a gentler curve from the base to the tip, resembling an elongated oval. The straight sides elongate the nails, while the rounded edges soften the look slightly compared to a true square shape.
Coffin tips are bolder and more eye-catching than classic rounds but not as severe as squares. They have gained popularity in recent years for their modish look. The extra length of coffin shapes makes them better suited to medium and long nail beds.
Almond nail tips have an oval base that narrows into a rounded point at the tip. Their tapered shape is often described as an “almond” or “squoval” (square-oval hybrid). The slimming effect draws the eye down for a lengthening effect.
While versatile on most nail beds, almond tips look particularly flattering on wider nail plates. A longer length tends to balance proportions. The gradual incline from base to tip makes almonds less prone to snapping than sharper stiletto variations.
Stiletto nail tips have an ultra-dramatic slender point, tapering tightly from the base to an elongated tip. Also called “dagger” tips, they create an edgy, fierce look. However, the severe slope requires careful application and maintenance to avoid cracking and lifting.
Stiletto tips also tend to harbor more bacteria and dirt in the crevices. While stilettos look striking in the medium to long range, they are impractical for those with shorter nail beds or active lifestyles requiring hardier nails.
Where to Buy Nail Tips
Beauty Supply Stores
One of the most popular places to buy nail tips is at your local beauty supply store. Stores like Sally Beauty, Ulta Beauty, and professional beauty stores are go-to spots for nail techs and DIY manicure lovers to purchase nail supplies.
These stores carry a wide selection of nail tips from top brands like Kiss, Makartt, OP&W, etc. You’ll find nail tips made of plastic, paper, fiberglass, and other materials in various sizes and shapes.
Beauty stores are great because you can see and touch the nail products in person before purchasing. Many also offer professional tips from nail techs working there. The prices for nail tips at beauty chains are affordable too, often ranging from $1 – $10 for a full set.
Another convenient place to buy nail tips is your neighborhood drugstore, like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. The nail tip selection may not be as extensive as a beauty specialty store, but you’ll find some solid options. Drugstore nail tip brands include Kiss, Broadway Nails, Impress, and more.
You can get smaller packs of basic nail tips or acrylic nail kits. The prices at drugstores are similar to beauty supply stores, from just a few dollars for small packs up to $10 for full sets. One perk of drugstores is you can easily add nail tips to an existing shopping trip for toiletries, medicine, or groceries.
You may also find good markdowns or sales on nail products occasionally.
Without a doubt, the largest selection and lowest prices for nail tips can be found online. Amazon offers tons of name brand nail tips, tips with designs, color options, various sizes and shapes. Other online beauty retailers like Sally Beauty and Ulta have expanded nail tip offerings on their websites too.
Then there are the direct to consumer nail tip brands that sell through their own ecommerce sites. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck buying bulk packs online. Prices can range from $5 for 100 basic tips, up to $50 for 500 salon quality tips.
Buying online gives you access to tips not found in stores, and bulk packs to save money. The only downside is not being able to see the nail tips in person before purchasing. However, most sites have detailed product info, customer reviews and free shipping or returns to ensure you get the right nail tips.
Nail tips offer an affordable and easy way to achieve salon-quality length and shape on your natural nails. Prices typically range from $5 – $20 for a full set. The exact cost depends on the quality, material, size, and shape you select.
With so many options, you can find nail tips that fit your nails and your budget.
We hope this outline helps explain what goes into the cost of nail tips. Let us know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!