how much does a gel manicure cost

Gel manicures can be costly depending on your method of application, whether that be through professional means, such as a nail salon, or a more DIY approach, such as an at home application. We're going to talk about how much a gel manicure costs at the store and how much it can cost in a professional setting. You also might be wondering if you can get your gel manicure at home to last as long as it does when you go to the nail salon. The short answer is: yes! But we'll go over that in a bit.

cure gel manicure

What are Gel Manicures?

A gel manicure is a somewhat newly introduced technique for nail care in which services are given to define your nails. The procedure includes gel polishes and a UV or LED light to lock the polish on your nails. Gel manicures are supposed to be more long-lasting and durable than regular polish. Sounds interesting! Isn’t it? We know that nails play a very important role in enhancing the beauty of your hands. So the care should be accordingly. However different beauty salons come with their hues, styles, and patterns. But the procedure is almost the same everywhere. Because of the novelty of the technique, you might face a little bit of trouble in terms of its availability in every salon. But with time, it is approaching more and more salons and getting widely popular among the public. 

How to Get a Gel Manicure?

It’s already been mentioned above about the not very wide availability of gel nails as the technique is a new one. However, if you want to get your hands done on this one then it goes two ways. Either you can prefer a beauty salon where you can have everything done by the professionals. The second way is to order all the material online and do it yourself in the comfort of your house. The latter one can be quite risky if you’ve lack of knowledge. This procedure demands proper guidance to avoid any trouble. It’s not that you watch a tutorial online and decide to go for the experiment in excitement. It is recommended to you to give it your first try in a salon and keenly go through the procedure. Watch each step with proper observation. If you’ve any query then you can ask the beautician. Also, gather maximum information about its removal or peeling off. Once you have enough and the right information then do the next step and that is ordering the right gel manicure material. Visit the trusted and authentic websites that can provide you with the right products. Then you can take the risk as there will be minimum chances of you getting in any trouble. 

Are Gel Manicures Safe?

It is a general misconception about gel manicures that maybe they are capable of doing any harm as people are doubtful if they will get the procedure safely done or not. And honestly, we respect their doubts because it is quite natural to be suspicious and raise questions about a newly introduced thing. Gradually when people start developing trust then it becomes a norm. This is how things work and it is completely okay. Let’s get back to the public’s main concern and that is their assurance towards the gel manicures. Everything out there has two types of effects. Positive and negative. It mainly depends on the methodology of doing a particular thing. The same thing can benefit you if you do it right and can be worse if you do the opposite. It is important to give you an insight into the procedure so that you can decide whether gel manicures are safe or not. There is no toxic chemical used in gel polishes and they are applied to your nails in the safest possible way. However, this gets problematic when it’s time to peel the gel off. For many, their removal is pretty much tempting, and exactly here is where they do the mistake. No matter how tempting and appealing it looks to you but don’t go for its removal yourself. The thing is that gel nails are properly locked on your nails and it doesn’t easily slide off. This way you are only going to invite the damage and nothing else. The removal of the gel nails is possible through a cotton ball soaked into acetone and then the right amount of time and procedure is required afterward. You can simply go to the same salon from which you got your gel nails done and then ask the professionals for the safe removal of the gel nails. So as I’ve already said that this is the game of right methodology to follow. If you think it risky then risk will be provoked only by the user when not using it rightly. 

how are gel nails applied

How are Gel Manicures Applied? 

The purpose of this article is to let you consume as much relevant information as possible. From start to end, we will try our best to give you an insight into every step of the process. You may have a general idea about gel nails till now. Now the question is how your nails are locked up with ravishing, attractive hues and mesmerizing patterns? As you go to any salon for getting a gel manicure, they first make your nails clean by removing any nail polish if you’ve applied before. Then they clean the nail plate by pushing back the nail cuticle. After that, they gently give your nails a fine shape with the help of a nail filer. Then comes the nail buffing for some time. After that, they wipe your nails with the help of a lint-free wipe by removing any possible dust particles. Then there is the application of a very thin layer of gel polish base coat. The purpose of applying this thin layer over your nails is to seal the edges of the nails. The base coat is kept away from the cuticles and removed with a cuticle stick if it mistakenly goes there.

After these steps, all of your fingers are placed in the UV Lamp for 1 minute and if it is the LED lamp then the time duration will last for 30 seconds. Then your nails are given a treat with a very thin application of gel polish color. This way all the edges are once again sealed from cuticles to the free edges. After applying the gel polish, they again place your fingers in a UV light. If you went for a dark color then your fingers will stay under the UV light for 3 minutes and if the color is light then they will stay there for 2 minutes. If the procedure is being done through a LED lamp then it will only take 30 seconds. If there’s a need to even the coverage, then the application of gel polish color is repeated and again your fingers go through the UV or LED light until it gets the smooth and even texture. After that, the gel polish topcoat is applied and then again you have to put your hand in the UV lamp for 2 minutes and 30 seconds for LED light. In the end, the tacky surface is wiped off with the help of a nail cleanser and lint-free nail wipes. Then a gentle massage of oil is given to the cuticles and the skin around the nails. 

Step by Step Gel Manicure Application.

  1. Shape and prep your nails.
  2. Buff your nail beds and brush away excess.
  3. Apply nail dehydrator.
  4. Apply gel polish.
  5. Cure for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Apply another coat of gel polish.
  7. Cure for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Apply clear top coat and make sure to seal the ends.
  9. Cure for another 1-2 minutes.

How long do Gel Manicures Last?

Many clients ask this question as they come to the salon for a gel manicure. The answer varies from the nature of the client. A gel manicure can last up to two weeks with proper nail home care. But if you keep them with great care and apply cuticle oil and hand lotion from time to time then they can last up to four weeks. Getting a gel manicure can be very useful and beneficial especially if you are going to have back to back events like a wedding, a formal gathering, party, prom, job interview, or even a family vacation then gel manicure can be the perfect solution and can serve you as an all-in-one package.

How Much Does a Gel Manicure Cost at the Salon? 

The cost of a gel manicure mainly depends on the salon and the area you live in. The cost can also be according to the style, design, or pattern you choose. If you go for the basic one-color gel manicure then the price usually starts from $35 to $40, however, if you want a crazy celeb-level nail art then the charges could reach up to $100 and the 20% tip is not included in this. A gel manicure can be a bit expensive for those who are on a budget or they just want it for one night. Well, in that case, you can prefer a regular manicure. But in case you’re going to have a big spring break trip and you want a chip-free color then a gel manicure can be the best option for you. 

Total Cost: $40-$100 + 20% Tip.

How Much Does a Gel Manicure Cost at Home?

If you want to gel nails at home, the price will be much less costly. Gel nail polishes range from around $8 to $20 depending on the brand. You can purchase the same gel polish brand that nail salon's use online or sometimes even in stores. However your upfront costs might be more expensive than you realize, as you'll need to purchase a UV/LED light to cure (which can range anywhere from $20-60) plus a gel top coat (another $8 to $20) to use on top. This doesn't include non-essential extras such as vitamin oil, hand lotion, or gel removing tools. We've broken down the essential items and the non-essential items and their cost ranges below.

Essential items you'll need to do a professional gel manicure at home.

  • Gel Nail Polish ($8-$20)
  • Gel Top Coat ($8-$20)
  • Manicure Tool Kit - Clippers, cuticle pusher, etc.- ($8-$30)
  • UV/LED Curing Lamp ($20-$60)
  • Buffing Tool ($2-$100)
  • Nail Dehydrator ($5-$15)
  • Nail Tips or False Nails ($10-$20)
  • Acetone and Gel Removal Products ($10-25)

Total cost: Anywhere from $70-$300.

Benefits of Doing Your Gel Manicure at Home

Doing your gel manicure at home can significantly reduce your costs. Since gel manicures typically only last up to 2 weeks, you can expect to spend over $100 a month on your manicures if you go to a professional every two weeks.

While the upfront cost of doing your gel nails at home is more expensive, once you have the supplies ready, it can save you thousands of dollars a year depending on how often you get your nails done professionally. Not only that, but it's very rewarding to do your own nails! It's fun experimenting with the different colors and creating unique designs that you wouldn't normally be able to do at a salon. It may take a bit of practice before you're as good as a nail salon, but I'd estimate it only take around 10 sets before you're a pro in no time.

How much do Gel Nail Extensions Cost? 

Because of the more durability and strength, the gel nail extension can cost you a few extra dollars than the normal acrylic tip rate. It also depends on the client’s demand that what expertise and tech level does the client wants on the nails. Hand-printed designs and charms come with fat and a heavy price tag. Overall gel extensions start from $85 and make an end around $350. The more detailed or complex design you choose, the more you’ll have to pay for it. 

How much do Extra Gel Nail Designs Cost at the Salon?

Gel nail designs are added over the base nail polish in the form of nail paint, nail stamps, nail stickers, and rhinestones. The hand-painted designs are usually the most expensive ranging from $5-15 for a single nail. People are usually surprised when they see how much "unique" designs can cost at the nail salon. These take much more time and effort to apply. Sometimes nail salons will add a small design to a single nail, like an accent line, for free. But most of the time even simple designs will cost you $5 extra per nail. You'll have to decide if the extra flare is worth it or not.

Many nail salons are still a bit behind on what extra nail art they offer to customers. If you're looking for a specific design, consider bringing in a photograph, as some nail salons have a language barrier between technician and customer. Most salons only offer hand-painted art (usually flower designs) and rhinestones. If you're looking for a super unique nail design every time, you may want to find an independent nail technician that specializes in fancy gel manicures. The price will be much more expensive, sometimes double the cost, but the manicure will also be a lot more unique.

What are the Alternatives to a Gel Manicure?

In case if you don’t want to go for a gel manicure then there are some other alternatives that you can go for. For example, dip powder nails almost give your nails the same look that you will get from gel nails. Now if you are thinking about the durability then dip powder nails are no less in this matter too. They can last for around 3 to 4 weeks and some of them will stay even longer. Some people consider the dip powder nails better because this powder technique doesn’t demand your nails to get through any UV or LED light. It simply contains a gel that is applied to your nails with the help of a brush. After that, your nails are dipped in the acrylic powder. However, some of the clients were not happy with this procedure as some of the salons used to dip one client’s fingers into the powder container, and the next client’s fingers were dipped into the same container. So after a lot of bad press, the salons seem to be more alert and careful now. However, the removal of the dip powder nails is as tough as the gel nails. The best possible thing to do is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure after soaking your nails into acetone, your cuticles and nail folds are protected by a greasy moisturizer. 

Get a Professional Manicure at Home with Fairy Glamor.

Unlike gel manicures, dip and acrylic manicures last longer and are faster to apply at home. They do not require a UV or LED light to cure. Try our revolutionary 2 in 1 dip and acrylic nail powder system and you'll never go back to gel again.

Gel Manicures are Expensive at Both Nail Salon and at Home.

We should never consider anything a minor one because sometimes those tinniest things speak the loudest. Most people don’t pay much attention to their nails as they think that nails will not add much to their overall look or appearance but it’s a fact that colorful, well-defined, and sharped nails can quickly grab the attention of people and leave many heads turned. All in all, it is a matter of choice. I hope I have covered each aspect. Like everything else, gel nails also have their pros and cons. No doubt you will have to pay a little effort but the results will also be accordingly. Are you a going to salon or getting your nails done from the comfort of your home person? If you have made any attempt yourself then don’t forget to share your experience with us and do let us know how it went. Was it worth experimenting with or just a good lesson? 

April 19, 2021 — Fairy Glamor
Tags: question


Jacque ( said:

What is the price difference between Gel and ceramic nails? What is the price difference between home vs Salon kitsch, doing youtself?
Thank you for your input!!

Sincerely, Jacque C. T.C. MI.

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Fairy Glamor designs unique 3-in-1 dip and acrylic nail powders in Galveston, Texas. We're a 100% family owned business that was founded in 2020 and went from making handmaking powders in our spare bedroom to shipping out of a big warehouse. We believe in both quality and affordability--that's why our powders are used by both professional nail technicians and in homes. Our unique colors are hand-designed to give you gorgeous manicures that'll make your nails feel magical.