What Is the Gel-X Nail Overlay Method?

Have you ever tried to apply Gel-X nail tips that simply wouldn't blend naturally at your cuticle? In light of the recent TikToks with people claiming they have developed allergies from improper gel usage, more people are looking for safer alternatives. Thankfully, users on the app have also shed light on a technique that may be able to make applying tips seamless and customizable to you. Enter: the Gel-X overlay method.

In a video that has now been viewed over three million times, Connie Wi explains how to prepare your Gel-X nail extensions for proper application while revealing some of the benefits of the technique. But what exactly does this method entail?

The technique itself entails placing a prepared Gel-X nail tip right above your cuticle line, leaving some space between the end of your cuticles and the nail. Then you fill in that gap with the extend gel to adhere the tip to your finger. "This method is a way to ensure better adhesion for your gel tips, or a way to make larger nails fit when the tips are too small for your own nails," celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec tells POPSUGAR.

Though TikTok is reintroducing the technique to the masses, it's one that's been used for years. "This solution has been around," Kandalec says. "It originated from people finding that some nail tips weren't large enough to fit their fingers. So moving the tip out further on the nail and then filling the space with gel — similar to doing a fill or retouch — allowed them to fit better. This technique highlights once more that we need all-inclusive sizing on nail tips, too; many brands were not making tips large enough for people's thumbs, as well as transgender people who wanted to wear nails but found that the prepackaged ones were too small."

Though the technique does, in fact, allow better adherence of the tips to your natural nails, Kandalec still recommends going to a professional nail artist when working with gel polishes to avoid allergies. "Licensed technicians know product control and how to avoid overcontact with the skin," she says. In short, if you don't do this technique correctly, you can still face a risk of developing a gel allergy.

The overlay method can be helpful if you struggle with getting your nail tips to look natural. It is always best to go to a pro when working with gel, but if that is not an option for you, this method allows you a good amount of control in how closely the gel gets your skin. As always, take any tip you learn from TikTok with a grain of salt, but enjoy experimenting and having fun. That is, after all, what beauty is all about.