OPI Axxium Gel Manicure | Review


I am hard on my nails. A regular manicure probably last two days without chipping, three days tops. So, when I heard about the OPI Axxium Gel System, I was excited. The paint on gel manicure is supposed to last two weeks without chipping. I decided to put it to the test during New York Fashion Week, one of the busiest weeks of my life.

I headed to Iris Nail Salon in Brooklyn to get Axxium two days before the start of Fashion Week. The manicurist buffed and filed my nails before putting on the bottom coat. Next, she applied two coats of  Louvre Me or Louvre Me Not, and then, a top coat. She placed my hands under a UV lamp for a few minutes between each coat. Then, I was done. No sitting with my hands beneath a fan after the manicure was finished. The manicure cost a whopping $45 – a big jump from the $5 I usually spend on a mani, but hey, that $5 only last me two days.

I made it through the first week with no chips. ZERO. The gels survived my 18 hour days during Fashion Week. I was quite shocked. By week two, my cuticles started to grow out, but still, no chips. During week three the polish near the base of my nails began to lift, and I had a few chips on my tips. I was impressed.

Unlike a regular manicure, you can’t simply remove the Axxium nails with your everyday nail polish remover. I went back to Iris where the manicurist dipped pieces of cotton into acetone, placed a piece on each nail, and wrapped each one in foil paper. It looked like I had 10 aluminum cocoons on my hands. I sat with my fingers cocooned for twenty minutes. When the time was up, the manicurist unwrapped my pinky fingers and used a cuticle pusher to scrape the gel off. It was resistant, so back into the cocoon it went. I sat for another couple of minutes and this time she got down to business.

After all of the scraping and the residual filing and buffing, my nails felt thin and icky. Sort of the way they used to feel when I removed acrylic tips. They looked brittle too. Thankfully, I had my Essie Chinchilly on hand to cover those frail looking nails right up!

All in all I’d say that my experience wearing Axxium was great. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t forced to touch up, or remove my manicure after only a few days. I would definitely do it again for a special occasion – maybe while I’m going on vacation, or during next fashion week – but I won’t make it a regular thing. The process is too harsh on my nails. Luckily, like hair, if you do something you don’t like, your nails will grow back.

Have you tried Axxium? What was your experience? If you haven’t tried it, would you consider it?

P.S. Sorry, I have no pictures of my actual nails. Would you believe I forgot to take a picture of my hands during the 3 weeks I had the Axxium manicure? Oops!

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  1. Living Fly on a Dime says:

    Ah man, no pictures! But I would definitely try the manicure. My manicure always chips within the first 2, maybe 3 days so this might be perfect for me.

  2. O So Chic ! says:

    I'm sorry! I fail at blogging life! I have so many spa/beauty reviews coming up and no pictures to go along with them. I will get better, I promise! -Melissa

  3. Torrie Hoskins says:

    I am planning on trying this the beginning of may. I have acrylics on constantly, and want to see how this holds up. I have really thin flimsy nails, without even having acrylics on for like ever. I went several years with acrylics on, then took them off for a year or more, and my nails bent, and tore so easily, it was nuts. I have tried all kinds of OPI hardeners, and other drug store hardeners, heck i have even had made my hubby aware of the nail issue, and he has started looking for a fix to the problem, but nothing workd. Thanks for the review. My Axxium application will be 25.00. I am hoping that I can go every three weeks, with this as I do the acrylics, but Im not sure if that is possible.. I will have to see

    • Good luck! Check out my Shellac review as well. It’s similar to OPI Axxium, just in case you need another option. Thanks for reading!

      • claudynn says:

        I have a question about opi every time that I want to use I have to put the gel base before sculping gel or I can just put the sculping gel over my nail of course! follow the prep

  4. I got the Axxium manicure in July for a cruise and my nails looked beautiful. When I got back, I did a 2nd Axxium Manicure I was so pleased with the 1st time result. WELL, the problem is that shops have yet to figure out a gentle way to remove the gel that does not damage your real nail. They advertised that is gentle and you just soak them but that is after they go at you with the dremmil tool. Neadless to say it was not a good experience and it took months of taking Biotin pills to get nails back by December.

    It is a neat concept but not gentle enough for people like me that have paper thin nails.


  1. […] or five. I decided to try out the CND Shellac which is supposed to be a healthy alternative to gel manicures. The Shellac promise is, “14-day flawless wear, mirror shine, and easy non-damaging […]

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