Ever since I was young, I’ve loved collecting nail polish and painting my own nails. Growing up, I was the kid who didn’t like playing outside for fear of messing up my manicure. To me, there was just nothing better than a fresh set of claws, so as I got older, I began frequenting the nail salon, where I’d routinely spend $70 to $80 for a full set of acrylic nails or a gel manicure. On average, this was an expense I incurred every three weeks—talk about an expensive habit!
Last year, I discovered a nail fad called Apres Gel-X, which is a type of nail extension that’s supposed to be less damaging than the acrylic kind but just as durable, so I decided to go to my nail salon and try them out for myself. The verdict? I loved them! The problem? The cost. When my go-to nail salon closed due to COVID restrictions a few months back, I figured it’d be the perfect time to invest in the Apres Gel-X Extension Kit ($94) and try my hand at creating salon-worthy manicures on my own.