• Gel extension manicures are a gentler alternative to acrylic extensions.
  • They last two to four weeks, and soak off like a regular gel manicure.
  • The most popular type of gel manicures is the Apres Gel-X system.

While long, elegant nails are a goal for many, the reality of growing them is easier said than done. That's why gel extension manicures have risen in popularity, especially since the lengths, shapes, and polish options are pretty much endless with this nail technique. However, the real benefit of gel extensions is simply to add a durable and strong tip to your natural nail, with less damage done than with an acrylic application.

You've probably heard the term "gel-X manicure" floating around - but what exactly does it entail? We tapped nail artist Britney Tokyo, who works on the nails of celebs like Charlie D'Amelio, Halsey, and Rita Ora, to give us the download on everything you need to know before getting a gel extension manicure. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons, application, and how gel extensions differ from acrylic nails.

What Are Gel Nail Extensions?

While there are several different brands making gel extensions, Apres Gel-X is a favorite among nail artists. The extension itself is a clear overlay made from soft gel that's already in a nail form, which is attached over the entirety of your natural nail. They're cured with UV light in the same way as a regular gel manicure. The nail forms come in a variety of different shapes (like coffin, stiletto, round, and square) and lengths that can be customized to your liking.

"They are not only thin and lightweight but also durable and strong which is why they're so comfortable to wear," said Tokyo. She also said that pretty much anyone can get a Gel-X manicure since they cover your entire nail all the way to the nail bed. Many people with long nails also wear Gel-X as a protective overlay.

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