I've always had shortish natural nails, and decided to try the new Axxium gel manicure as I have a hard time preventing chips. It lasted two weeks, and I LOVED it.
When I returned to have it reapplied, though, rather than "soaking off" the gel as the service description says, the nail tech used tools as you would on fake nails to do a "balance" She filed down the color a bit and applied more. I should mention that this shaved at least 15 minutes off the stated service time -- not coincidentally, she'd left me a voicemail earlier in the day asking if I could move up my appt. because she'd had a couple of cancellations and wanted to leave early. Of course, I didn't get charged any less.
After four weeks, I decided to go back to a regular manicure which I could remove myself. In addition to again using tools to "hack" off the color, the same tech also used clippers rather than a file to trim my nails, which was kind of harsh and left them a little choppy. When I took the polish off, I saw my nails were dry and dull, and a couple of them had breakage.
I might do Axxium again, but would demand that they soak off the color and not treat my natural nails like acrylics. I sure wish I liked the service more, as the hours and location are convenient, and I'd become a regular customer if it were worth the $$.