Apres Gel-X vs Kokoist Gelip: What’s the difference?

Full tip soft gel extensions, which ones are better and how do they differ, in today’s video we will be comparing Kokoist Gelip vs Apres GelX full tip soft gel extensions.

Greetings all, welcome back. If you are new here I am Paola and I help aspiring nail solopreneurs master gel nails using Japanese Gel only.

I often get asked, which do I prefer, Kokoist Gelip or Apres Gel X, and while often I’d just say buy this one for this reason or buy that one for that reason, I’ve come to realize that there is quite a difference between the gel products themselves and the tips from each brand. And that all has just come about with using both products for a little while now.

Let us just briefly review the obvious similarities.

Both sets of soft gel extension tips are full tips that are adhered with gel resin rather than nail glue. 

Now often, and so very often, this controversial question comes up… 

Are the tips plastic or are they soft gel?

Let’s establish some key points. 

All tips are made up of some “soft gel type plastic” material because think of it, when have you ever worked with a “hard gel tip”? One that did not particularly soak off? Probably never. 

Whether your tips came from Amazon or top nail companies like Apres and Kokoist your tips… are both plastic, and soft gel.

Now what some companies do claim including Apres is that their tips are made from the same gel resin material they use to adhere the tip, and that is why they call their tips soft gel tips.

But generally speaking all tips are soft gel, and soft gel resin is a form of plastic, just like gel polish and acrylic are also of a plastic material. So whether you wear Gel-X, Polygel, Acrylic, you are wearing plastic nails.

Now as long as you understand this call them whatever you like. 

In my book all tips are soft gel and they are plastic, and I am ok with that, and my client definitely does not care.

So let’s get into some differences between both lines. And I will tell you off the bat, I am not going to put one above or below the other, especially because there are two big determinant factors to buy either one.

So, Kokoist Gelip does not claim to use the same gel resin material they use to create gel manicures as the same gel material used to craft the tips. So the tips and the gel to adhere the tips are not the same product.

Kokoist Gelip tips are made up of a high quality “ABS” plastic.

What does ABS stand for? 

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

Compared to PVC, ABS plastic is strong and shock absorbent, most likely because of its ability to flex upon impact.

And according to a source, ABS is one of the easiest plastics to handle, machine, paint, sand, or otherwise manipulate. Sounds like the perfect material for nail tips to me.

So I want you to remember that when I show you a bit of Gelip application technique in a little bit. Because all of these characteristics of ABS plastic are actually a plus for full tip services.

Ah, tips, is there any other difference between each brands tips?

Yes, indeed. 

SO the Apres Gel X system offers an array of nail tip varieties, from short and conservative to absolute extreme.

They also offer a natural c-curve tip, and a sculpted C-curve. Great plus for those wanting instant and perhaps temporary extreme lengths.

Now do keep in mind that when you apply the sculpted type, if you or your client don’t already have a volume to your nail as in a strong c-curve, you will have to add a lot of adhesion gel underneath the tip to fill in that space. So do match the tips curvature to the natural nails. If you or your client have flat nails, you may be better off with the natural shaped ones.

Now also added to the tips,are size double zero, for those people with wide thumbs. It is very essential to invest in a little baggie of these especially if you are a pro offering this service to paying clients.

Now Kokoist Gelip system, does not offer a sculpted tip, and they also do not offer an extreme length. However, you can totally customize the tips to get either an extreme length and or a higher c-curve, and this is where some of the qualities of ABS plastic come to play. Remember ABS is a plastic easy to manipulate, it is flexible.

So in order to get or fit a sculpted look on the natural nails, all you would do with Gelip, is roll it and maintain that curve by not pressing too hard on the tip as you’re adhering it on the nail.

Now to create a bit of an extreme length with Gelip, all you would do is bring the tip more forward and away from the eponychium area. You would then overlay it with gel.

Now as far as what gel to use to adhere the tips… I strongly recommend you use the one from the company you purchased the tips. 

I definitely have seen a lot of video titles talking about “dupe” applications, or using any clear gel to adhere the tips, and if you’re DIY and this works for you, you do you. But if you are a pro I think you owe your clients a level of professionalism and responsibility that is also backed by whatever company you decide to go for.

Now with that being said I have used the Apres Extend Gel Adhesive on the Gelip tips with success. They have adhere, I think the “dupe” method consists of getting any base gel from just online or any other gel company not carrying quick tips and using it as their gel to adhere. Again you do you.

Personally, I would not use anything other than Apres’ Extend gel on my Gel-X application, except for the Kokoist Mega stick Base, I may try that as this is the gel used to adhere Gelips. But I personally would not experiment too much on gel tip adhesives. For me it is either Apres Extend Gel or Kokoist’s Mega Stick Base.

Now, this brings me to the next most popular question I get asked about Kokoist Gelip, and that is… what gel should I use to adhere the Gelip.

As of a month or 2 ago, Kokoist released a new base gel called Mega Stick base. Prior to the existence of this base, we used to adhere our tips with Platinum Bond Duo.  Platinum Bond Duo wears a little bit like a hard gel, and for me it did not match the flexibility of the Gelip and my natural nails, and so it was a bit difficult for me to get more than a 2 week wear out of them. And if you’ve had any issues yourself, please, immediately switch to Mega Stick Base, you will see a night and day difference as far as wear. I have not used Kokoist’s Mega Stick Base with Gel-X tips, I could imagine it will work, and if you’ve tried it, maybe you can let us know how it worked out for you in the comments sections. 

The concept of application for both systems are essentially the same right, take a base gel and use it to adhere.

But there is a slight difference actually. Apres Gel X system requires a dehydrator and bonder prior to application. Kokoist Gelip’s system does not.  And that is the case for all Japanese gel I’ve worked with, no dehydrator or bonder needed.

This characteristic of Japanese gel for me is a game changer. I have not used a bonder and dehydrator as standard procedure for my services for years. And while perhaps other soft gel systems will start making the shift I’ve always valued this unique characteristic of Japanese gels and Bio Sculpture Gel… the mother of soft potted gel systems, and it is why I made the switch almost 6 years ago.

A dehydrator and bonder system extract moisture from the nails leading, to nail brittleness and weakness. Of course, if you are getting this quick tip system service done once a month you can limit this damage regardless of what system you use. And soft gel extension tips are generally speaking “less damaging” to the nail as long as you do a gentle prep.

And by the way! Kokoist’s Gelip tips are already matted, and pre roughened on the underside, and all you have to  do is wipe them with 90% alcohol prior to adhering.

Now lastly, and I think this last bit of information is going to really help you make up your mind if you are in between systems, and frankly there is room for both brands to be superiorly successful with their very own loyal following.

For this, I want us to really examine each brand’s tips. 

Notice how Apres tips are slightly thicker, and if you have ever tried them on your own self you know, the fit is unparalleled. They truly feel like they were molded for you. This is why Apres is an excellent system for applying the tips and just moving on to the fun stuff like nailart. For this reason also, Apres is loved by the DIY community here on YouTube too… so as long as they can get an even straight application, they are golden as far as the look and feel of a salon professional manicure.

In the salon however, I as the professional felt obligated to do a little extra tapering around the cuticle area and even tightening up the shape just a tad… but that is totally optional. Again, I as a pro just felt kind of obligated to do this for my clients.

Well Kokoist’s Gelip system, kind of embraces this pro guilt, and actually encourages a gel overlay application after adhering the Gelip tip. For this reason alone, Kokoist prefers that the tips be applied 2-3 millimeters, and longer if you so wish, away from the cuticle area, that way you have a seamless transition from the cuticle area to tip, and you can guarantee that there will be no lifting on any part of the lateral nail fold. Now if you absolutely want to push the full tips all upward to the eponychium especially for creating press-ons there is no harm in doing that, you can still do that with Gelip.

Now because an overlay and pinching the Gelip is strongly recommended as part of your application, you will find that Kokoist’s tips are relatively thinner than Gel-X, which I’m totally ok with, because even after just one coat of gel cured on there, the Gelip tips get thicker and stronger. Now, you can overlay your Apres tips, just make sure to thin them down a bit by buffing or filing, but Apres Gel X do not require overlaying, and I wouldn’t.

And if you’re wondering if you can cut these full tips… the quick answer is yes… but my professional recommendation is a resounding NO!… but you know what I like to say… you, do you.

Cutting the tips, whether Gelip or Gel X can crack them if you don’t do it carefully and at an angle, could also cause it to lift. Make sure you or your client opt for the most desirable style, shape and length before the service and if you do need to adjust the length use a nail file rather than clippers.

As far as pricing, Apres is about $10 more, but do know that their quantities are 500 pieces vs Kokoist 300 pieces.

So Apres Gel X or Kokoist Gelip for the win?

I want to know what you’ve decided on after this post, let me know in the comment section.

Have a merry start to your week, I’ll see you in the next one.


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8 thoughts on “Apres Gel-X vs Kokoist Gelip: What’s the difference?”

  1. Lindsay Hashimoto

    I have thin, bendy nails and no gel polish or acrylics last very long (yes, even when professionally done). 3 weeks max for acrylics, few days for gel polish. Would you recommend kokoist or apres extensions for someone with my nails?

    1. Actually, 3 weeks with acrylics is pretty long. Either one should work. But a Japanese, Korean, or Bio Sculpture Gel manicure would probably do fantastic.

  2. I purchased the apres system along with Gelip, I did notice the difference with the tips. From apres I purchased the tips that are meant for natural flatter nails, however, I feel like they don’t fit properly, I’m not sure if maybe I’m pressing them down too hard, but whenever I put them on my fingers the nails are either too big or too small or there’s little gabs near the cuticle area. Did you notice this as well?

    1. A little gap underneath is the intent, to allow for the gel that you will use to adhere.

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