What Are Overlay Nails? Acrylic Overlay vs. Gel Overlay
Do you know there has been a lot of buzz about overlay nails? Overlay nails have recently become a new sensation in the manicure world as they act as a means of catalyst to change your nail game to a whole new level.
If you are looking to get better insights about overlay nails before your next mani, you are in the right post. In this post, I will discuss what overlay nails are, and the differences between acrylic overlay nails and gel overlay nails as well as clear various doubts and questions regarding overlay nails in a much simpler and more detailed manner.
What Are Overlay Nails?
Overlay nails are the finest coating of gel or acrylic to our natural nails without adding any extra length to them. They can be categorized as gel or acrylic overlay nails based on the product used in that manicure.
Besides, overlay nails are one of the easiest and budget-friendly fashion scopes, which in short, can be defined as natural jewelry for our nails! They are a means of decorative items to our natural nails to make our nails look bold with the coating of acrylic or hard gel.
What Are Acrylic Overlay Nails?
Acrylic overlay nails are the finest coating of acrylic product on our natural nails without extending the length of our nails. Acrylic overlay nails are a sort of nail highlighter that enables us to enhance our nails with the help of monomer liquid and acrylic powder.
Acrylic overlay nails are quite in demand these days because they coat natural nails with a thick nail surface and it is the best option over nail polishes, as it enables any nail art to last long as well as protect the natural nails.
What Are the Benefits of Acrylic Overlay Nails?
Apart from just being fashionable, acrylic overlay nails have numerous benefits. I have outlined certain basic details to help you to understand the benefits of acrylic overlays. These are as follows;
- Easy to apply: One of the great advantages of using acrylic overlay nails is that their application is quite easy. The texture of acrylic overlay nails is easily malleable according to the shape and size of the nails.
- Flawless finish: Another major benefit of applying acrylic overlay nails is that it provides a flawless and jaw-dropping finish to the look of your nails.
- Durability: Acrylic overlays can last for a very long time! You can expect your acrylic overlays to stay all fresh and intact for a good three weeks.
- Protects your nails: Acrylic overlay nails can be a great source for your natural nails to prevent them from cracking or breaking easily. This makes your nails strong and helps them to last for a longer period of time.
- Long-lasting nail paints: Applying nail color on acrylic overlay nails will prevent your nail polish from chipping easily. Moreover, acrylic overlay nails also increase the longevity of gel nail polish for a much longer span of time.
- Lightweight: As overlay nails do not add length to your nails, they are quite lighter than those traditional acrylic nails.
- Fill the dent: Acrylic overlay nails are just the right solution for you to fill and fix any natural nail dent. Moreover, it also provides a very smooth, frictionless, and glossy look to your nails, making your hands look extremely attractive.
- Easy to shape: The shapes of our nails play a great role in enhancing the beauty of our hands. With acrylic overlay nails, you can be as creative as you want and give desired shapes, such as ovals, squares, almonds, etc to your nails.
- Best for kids: Kids always want to get manicured nails and acrylic overlay nails can be the best choice for kids as they don’t add extra length to the nails, in fact, they will add strength to their natural nails or even prevent their natural nails from nail biting.
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Acrylic Overlay for Long Nails
The ultimate goal of acrylic overlay nails is to add natural strength to the nails and prevent them from breaking or getting damaged. They just don’t add any length to your nails.
Therefore, if you have long nails and are planning to go for acrylic overlay nails to help your natural long nails gain more strength and prevent them from breaking, then do not think twice! Acrylic overlay nails work equally for every shape and size of the natural nails.
Acrylic Overlay for Short Nails
Short nails aren’t that capable of catching the attention of the crowd. They are limited to a wide range of decorative improvements due to the small nail bed. However, for short nails, the acrylic overlay is the best solution.
Not only it will add beauty to your short nails with its various designs, colors, and shade options but will also help your nails to strengthen. As discussed above, acrylic overlay nails can be applicable to all types of nails. Plus, it also helps in fixing brittle nails by making them strong.
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Differences Between Acrylic Overlay Nails vs. Acrylic
Acrylic nails are applied to our natural nails primarily to add extra length to our nails. However, acrylic overlay nails, a form of nail enhancer, is a flawless coating of acrylic product on our natural nails to add strength and beauty to them without adding any extra length.
The prime substances to create acrylic overlays are monomer liquid and acrylic powder. These substances make it very flexible to create a strong nail surface that lasts for a good period of time.
Acrylic overlays are best for people having short nails. It will add strength to the nails as well as a premium neat look. Whereas acrylic nails are best for those, who just want long nails and more decorative options.
How to Do an Acrylic Overlay on Natural Nails?
Now that you have known a lot of cool stuff about overlay nails, you must be wondering about trying them out. Fret not, I have mentioned a complete guide on how to do an acrylic overlay on natural nails. Follow the steps below to get a salon-quality result in the comfort of your home.
Step – 1: Prepare your nails.
Before applying acrylic overlay on your nails, it is very crucial for you to set your nails properly and clean them!
As you are going to apply overlay nails which will last for a couple of weeks, it is important to shape and trim the nails to your desired length if you are a long nails enthusiast like me.
Make your nails ready for overlay by cutting them if you have short nails. Filing nails and removal of any old gel or regular nail polish is extremely important as this will help your acrylic overlay be quite durable.
Step – 2: Apply a base coat to your nails.
Apply a base coat to your natural nails prior to the application of your acrylic overlays to ensure long-lasting overlay nails. Wait for 3-4 minutes after applying the base coat. Once they are settled, you are ready to proceed with the next step.
PS: It’ll be excellent to use nail primer in this stage instead of a base coat. If you have a nail primer for acrylic nails, apply it in this step.
Step – 3: Application of overlays.
While you are applying overlay to your nails, always go with one generous coat of overlay product (acrylic) to your nails. Even if you have applied an excessive amount of overlay to your nails, you can always use a nail buffer to reduce it next according to your requirement.
Note that using a nail buffer to even out your overlay is important. This will provide you with an equal surface area for your nails that will help you pop out your nail polish even brighter.
Step – 4: Allow your nails to dry.
Once you are all set with applying one coat of your preferred overlay to your nails, let it dry. It may take 2-3 minutes on average to dry completely.
Step – 5: Set your overlay.
After your overlay is all dry, use a clean nail buffer to smoothen out your overlay to achieve the finest surface. This step will help to remove any bulk size remaining of your overlay from your nail.
Use a nail file to perfect the edges of your overlay nails. Additionally, this will also help you to give a flawless end result of your overlay.
Step – 6: Final step – application of your nail color.
After setting up your overlay with a nail file, apply your favorite nail polish to make your overlay shine out amidst the crowd!
How to Remove Acrylic Overlay Nails at Home?
Removing acrylic overlay nails isn’t a Herculean task. To remove your acrylic overlay nails at home, follow the below-mentioned steps:
Step – 1: Prepare the removal kits.
You will need cotton pads and an acetone-based nail polish remover. On a cotton pad, apply a great amount of nail polish remover, which consists of acetone. Acetone helps in the removal of acrylic overlay nails pretty easily.
Step – 2: Begin the removal process.
After soaking your cotton pad with the remover, gently, in a circular motion, rub off the overlay on your nails. Using a circular motion will help you to cover every area of your nails.
Keep applying acetone-based nail polish remover on these cotton pads and rubbing those cotton pads on your overlay nails until you see they have completely come off.
Step – 3: Moisturize your nails.
After you are done with the removal of the acrylic overlay from your nails, moisturize your nails and cuticles thoroughly with a moisturizer oil. Cuticle oil will work perfectly.
Also, you can go for coconut oil or any oil that contains vitamin E. This step is important to nourish your nails as your nails stay in contact with acetone for a long time during the removal process.
Step – 4: Post-removal step.
Once you are done with the above steps, apply a base coat or nail strengthener of your choice to seal the shine of your nails. You can also use clear nail polish. This step is optional. But I strongly suggest it.
Step – 5: Apply nail polish. (optional)
Once your base coat is all set and dry, apply your favorite nail polish.
Pro Tip: I personally suggest you give your nails an acrylic break. Let them enjoy the air and sunshine for a few days to breathe perfectly as it is also important. Such manicure breaks are suggested to keep your nails healthy.
Acrylic Overlay Nails – FAQs
Is acrylic overlay bad for your nails?
No, the acrylic overlay isn’t bad for your nails. In fact, the acrylic overlay is a great way to boost the immune system of your nails.
Does acrylic overlay strengthen nails?
Yes! Acrylic overlays are a wonderful start to strengthen your nails naturally. Acrylic overlays act as a means of shield for your nails that not only makes them naturally strong but also protects them from getting damaged.
Note: While you are applying acrylic overlay to your nails, be careful to not let the acrylate come in direct contact with the side of your nails or your skin. Acrylates are monomers, and if they come in contact with the skin, they might cause irritation or skin rash.
What Are Gel Overlay Nails?
Gel overlay nails are a coating of a thin layer of gel texture (nude or pigmented) applied to our natural nails in order to strengthen them.
Similar to acrylic overlay nails, gel overlays do not add any extra length to our nails. However, like any false nails or acrylic nails, these gel overlay nails can also be adjusted and refilled.
Gel Overlays vs. Acrylic Overlays
Gel overlays, a type of nail enhancer, are a coating of a gel-like substance to create a thick, flexible layer to the natural nail without adding any extra length to our nails. The end result of gel overlays is quite impressive and strong enough to prevent nails from breaking.
Where acrylic overlays are the coating of acrylic products applied to our natural nails without adding any extra length to our nails. The mixer of monomer liquid and acrylic powder in acrylic overlays provides a dough-like final result.
Both the acrylic and gel overlay nails improve the quality of natural nails and spotlight them by making them noticeable and gorgeous.
Gel Overlay Nails vs. Gel Polish
The composition in gel overlay nails incorporates gel as the primary substance and creates a thin layer of gel coating on the natural nails to strengthen the natural nails without adding any length, whereas gel polish is basically a polish on acrylic nails.
How to Do a Gel Overlay on Natural Nails?
It is always amazing to treat your nails with quality and trendy nail fashions. Gel overlay nails have been quite popular in the market recently and are super gorgeous to try out. Here’s a complete guide on how to do a gel overlay on natural nails in the comfort of your home.
Step – 1: Clean, shape, and prepare your nails.
Clean your nails with any nail polish remover. Prefer to go for an acetone-free nail polish remover. With the help of a nail buffer, buff your nails properly to ensure a perfect surface.
Additionally, at this stage, you may also want to shape your nails if they appear to be out of shape. Once you have shaped your nails according to your desire, do not forget to clean them another time.
Step – 2: Apply nail primer.
After you are done with all setting your nails and cleaning them, apply one single thin coat of any nail primer prior to applying gel overlays.
Applying primer to your nails will allow you to set your gel overlays conveniently. Moreover, primer helps our nails to remain free and safe from any harmful chemicals that are not suited for our nails.
Once you have applied the nail primer, allow it to dry and set before moving on to the next stage.
Step – 3: Gel overlay application.
Start off by applying one single coat of base gel to your nails. Make sure that your skin does not come in contact with the base gel.
Once you are done with the application of your base gel, cure it with the help of a LED lamp or UV light (I generally prefer LED lamps). It usually takes not more than 60 seconds. However, it might differ in your scenario. On such a note, let it cure until it’s done.
Once you have successfully completed the above steps, it is finally time to move on to the second layer of gel coating.
Note: It is quite possible that after you apply the gel base to your nails, it might leave a gooey layer on top of your nails. You can easily remove it by using a nail polish remover that does not contain any acetone.
Step – 4: Correct your gel overlays.
If you feel like the gel coating you applied to your nails did not come out to be as expected or is not even in certain areas, then use a gel file to file your gel to your desired shape. Be careful enough while filing so that you do not file down your original nails.
Once you have attained your desired shape, try to smooth out the surface of your nails with the help of a nail buffer.
Step – 5: Time to clean.
Once you have smoothened out the surface of your nails, clean them again for the last time. Next, it is time to apply the nail polish of your favorite color!
Step – 6: Apply a gel top coat.
Once your nails are all painted and dry, move on to the final step to change your nail look! Gently apply a gel top coat on each nail and cure it by using an LED lamp.
Next, gently with the help of a wooden cuticle pusher, remove the sticky coat from the skins, and there you go! You are all set to rock and roll with your new nail bestie.
How to Remove Gel Overlay Nails at Home?
Removing gel overlay nails isn’t that hard. You need a gel nail file and a nail buffer. To remove your gel overlays at home, firstly, trim down any excess nails.
Secondly, using a coarse gel nail file, keep filing your nails gently in a back-and-forth motion until you reach a thin coat of gel. Once done, buff off the last layer of thin gel with the help of a buffer to smoothen out the surface of your nails.
Gel Overlay Nails – FAQs
Does gel overlay strengthen nails?
Yes, gel overlay strengthens your nails. The properties of gel overlays are structured in a manner that is mainly focused on providing strength to natural nails.
How much do overlay nails cost?
On average, acrylic overlays cost somewhere around $20- $25. On the other hand, gel overlay nails cost a minimum of $30- $35. However, the cost can vary depending on your requirement, product quality, additional services, etc.
Is an overlay cheaper than acrylic?
Yes, they are cheaper than acrylic nails. They don’t require a lot of substances as they are not adding any extra length to your nails. Even they don’t require any nail form, which makes them cheaper than acrylic.
How long do overlay nails last?
Gel overlays can last up to a maximum of two weeks. However, acrylic overlays, if maintained properly, can last up to 3 weeks.
Is overlay good for your nails?
Yes, overlays are good for your nails as they protect your nails from breakage or getting damaged by providing strength to weak and brittle nails. Ultimately you get strong nails. It also helps your fingers and nails to feel light, giving a more natural yet premium look to your nails.
Should you get overlays?
If your nails are suffering from brittle or they are weak, and you are looking for a strong and long-lasting manicure then yes, you should get overlays. Overlay nails add a proper, thick, and strong coating above your nails that help your hands and nails to attract the prime-time center of attraction.
How to Make Overlay Nails Last Longer?
If you want to increase the longevity of your overlays, then use the best quality products that are reasonably suited for your overlays.
Here are a couple of steps for you to help maintain your overlays for a longer time.
- Always keep your nails moisturized. When your nails are moisturized, there are fewer chances of them getting damaged or breaking off. For this, Vitamin E oil is the best.
- Taking good care of your cuticles also increases the longevity of your overlays. For this, you can use any cuticle oil of your choice to keep them hydrated.
- Apply good quality nail polishes that last for a longer period of time. Nail polish not only adds color to your nails but also helps to extend the lifespan of your overlays.
- Application of a top coat is a best practice once a week to preserve the shine of your overlays and make them long-lasting.
Overlay nails hold the capacity to enhance the beauty of our nails naturally by adding goodness to our nails. There are varieties of nail products that give our nails a different shape and look. However, in my opinion, I believe overlay nails are the best in this case.
Overlay nails are the ultimate option for people with short and weak nails to cure their nails and make their hands dazzle. Although overlays are best suited for both short and long nails, I personally feel they can make short nails look as amazing and gorgeous as long nails.
So the next time you get a bit insecure about your short nails or looking for ways to treat your short nails, I would suggest you try overlay nails. I can assure you that with its first usage, you will be able to experience a vast amount of difference. This will not only help you boost confidence but also give your nails and fingers a totally new yet elegant look!
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Apart from being a passionate makeup, beauty, and manicure enthusiast, I’m the one who ensures every blog post published is helpful, easy to follow, and EPIC.