Which is the best Gel-X nail kit for beginners? Let us help you find the perfect match for your next manicure.
Benefits of Gel-X and Soft Gel Extensions
The Aprés Gel-X extensions are the ones that most people have heard of. But there are other soft gel extensions made by Kiara Sky and Lavis, too. They all offer similar benefits like:
- Easy enough for beginners to apply.
- Last longer than press-on nails.
- Thin and flexible like natural nails.
- Affordable option compared to salon prices.
- Soak off at home, no nail drill is required.
But since there are competing brands, it’s hard to know which one offers the best Gel-X nail kit for beginners. Let’s compare the options.
Apres - Gel-X Nail Extension Kit
When you hear someone talking about “Gel-X,” they might be referring to the award-winning Aprés soft gels or they might not. It’s like saying “Kleenex” instead of tissue.
The nice thing about Aprés is that they have beginner kits with everything you need in one box.
For example, this setup includes a vegan leather case with color-coded bottles of pH bonder, non-acidic primer, gel adhesive, and no-wipe top coat. Since you’ll be working with gels, it also comes with a compact UV LED light for curing the nails. There’s even a medium-grit emery board for filing the extensions.
However, it does not include the Aprés soft gel tips. That’s because you need to decide what size and shape you want to use. And this brand offers a very nice selection including short, medium, or long stiletto, coffin, square, or round shapes. But that's not all – each version is available as either "natural" or “sculpted.” That decision depends on the natural shape of your nail beds, whether they are flat and natural or C-curved and sculpted.
Once you choose the general shape and size of tips you want, they come in a box with 500 pieces. That quantity is divided into ten different sizes sorted by number so that there’s a tip for every nail.
The beginner kit doesn’t come with colored gel polish, either. Thankfully, the soft gels are compatible with any brand of gel polish you want to use.
How Long Do Gel-X Nail Extensions Last?
The lifetime of any manicure depends on how much you use your hands. For example, if you're in the water a lot, they won't last as long. On the bright side, Gel-X is pretty durable, lasting anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.
Nail prep is the key to long-lasting extensions. Even though it may seem like extra work, follow the instructions to the letter.
How to Remove Gel-X Nail Extensions at Home?
Unlike hard gels or acrylics, you don’t need a nail drill to file off soft gels. Clip them close to the natural nail, use a coarse-grit file to remove the top coat and colored polish, then soak the fingertips in acetone for 15 minutes. Be sure to apply cuticle oil when you finish to counteract the dryness caused by the acetone.
Although Aprés might be the best-known manufacturer of soft gels, they aren’t the only game in town. You might find a better deal elsewhere or a better selection of shapes and sizes, too.
Lavis Soft Gel Tips
Lavis also makes soft gel extensions that are thin, flexible, and lightweight like real nails. What’s amazing is how strong they are! Plus, they can last up to 4 weeks if applied properly. This quick how-to video shows how to put on Lavis soft gel tips.
We like how they come in several different sizes and styles including the coveted and trendy almond nails. Happily, all of them are pre-shaped so you don’t have to waste time shaping and filing them. They are also easy to trim.
Moreover, the soft gels are compatible with gel polish, acrylic, dip powder, and nail lacquer. They are versatile and suitable for all sorts of nail art.
Once you pick the size and shape of tips you want, be sure to pick up the soft gel accessories you need. These include the protein bond and primer, soft gel adhesive, base coat, and top coat.
Lastly, make sure you have acetone on hand for when you want to change up your manicure later.
Kiara Sky Gelly Tips
Gelly tips from Kiara Sky are pre-formed like the Lavis extensions but come in only a handful of shapes and sizes. These include coffin, stiletto, square, and almond. They last up to 3 weeks, so not as long as Lavis but about the same as Gel-X.
The best part is that there's a kit with 500 tips, nail prep liquid, primer, builder adhesive, and a top coat. It also includes a small nail lamp.
Which Is the Best Soft Gel Kit for Beginners?
It’s a hard choice between these three brands because each offers something that the others don’t. We suggest that you look at the nail sizes and shapes they offer to help you decide. Once you’re satisfied with a match for your hands, then the other parts are easy to deal with.
The technique for applying soft gel tips is pretty much the same between brands. Once you have the correct sizes and shapes, it’s a matter of prepping the nails (both natural and extensions), applying the liquids, and curing each step along the way.
If you find that one brand doesn’t have tips wide enough for your fingers, then you can take a pass. If they are too wide, that’s an easy fix. Just use a nail file to slim down the tip to fit.
Don’t let the lack of a ready-made kit stop you from exploring the brand that offers you the tips you want to use. It’s simple and maybe even cheaper to round up the supplies you need separately.
We hope this information helps you find the perfect gel-X kit for your next manicure. Check out our deals to stock up on all your nail care needs. And remember, we offer free shipping and bonus gifts on orders over $100!