What Is A Nail Overlay? The Types And How To Use Them

What Is A Nail Overlay

"What Is A Nail Overlay?". You can always be sure that you might end up with the best looks for your nails if you get a good job done.

Taking care of your nails to make them look great is not just about washing them you have to go further. In this case, you can opt for the nail overlays or extensions.

What is a Nail Overlay?

The nail overlay is the process of beautifying the nails of your hand without really having to use an extension. The strengthening mixture you use for overlaying is simply added to the nail directly to help with improving on strength and durability.

Common Types Of Nail Overlays

Nail overlays involve applying certain nail-shaped materials to your natural nails, getting the desired design you want.

It's known to last longer than using mere nail polish, which is why many women opt to have nail overlays. There are three types of nail overlays: Acrylic, Gel, and Shellac.

1. Acrylic

Acrylic Nail

Acrylic nails are made out of liquid and powder polymer, creating a hard protective layer over your nails. When the product is applied on your natural nails, it begins to harden due to it being exposed to air.

The acrylic is transparent and allows you to add nail polish or other designs to your nails after.

What makes acrylic nails nice is that they are hard and tough, making them last longer than any other type of nail overlay. They are also ready to remove and fix if ever accidents happen. BUT, they may damage your nail bed and look less natural.

2. Gel

Gel Nail

Gel nails are brushed on your nails, starting with a base coat, your chosen color of polish, and then the top coat.

But after applying each coat, it will need to be hardened using a UV light or a LED nail lamp for about three minutes. It lasts for up to two weeks with a faster curing time.

They are easier to remove and more flexible than acrylic nails and don't have the toxic fumes. Plus, the natural look looks great! Take note that it's more expensive and fixing it at home is a bit more difficult.

3. Shellac

Shellac Nail

Shellac is one of the new products introduced to the nail industry. It's a combination of both acrylic and gel nails. You simply brush the coating on your nails and it is hardened using UV lighting. It lasts for up to two weeks.

It's a thin but strong material that has a natural, shiny look. But, you'll need to have it applied, fixed, or removed professionally.

  • If you are new to using the nail overlays, then this video could be helpful.

How To Care For Nail Overlay?

What Is A Nail Overlay

If you are going to spend a lot of money applying the nail overlay, it would be important that you also know how to keep them looking great for longer. Without the right care, you might find yourself spending a lot of money on the nails unnecessarily.

So, how do you care for the nail overlays?
  • You have to keep your hands moisturized and clean all the time. Sometimes the dirt could end up destroying the overlay.
  • Your fingernails would grow after a while, so make sure you keep them to a sensible length where the nail overlay can cover them. Nail clippers could be helpful for you.
  • If you are going to handle bleach or any strong detergent, consider wearing some rubber gloves. This could also be when you want to do some housework and gardening too.
  • It would not be a bad idea to opt for some cuticle cream to keep your skin and nails soft and supple.
  • Sometimes you may find people who love to pick or bite fingernails. That should stop if you are looking to maintain the structure and the look of your nail overlay.

These are just a few tips you could use when it comes to dealing with nail overlays. Some of them could still be useful in the maintenance of nail extensions.

Another critical thing to keep in mind would be making sure that you follow the timeline given for removing or replacing the nail overlay. Removing the nail overlays can be done at home or let a professional help you if you are unsure of what to do.

  • This video offers some tips for removing nail overlays. Check it out below.


To look good takes work, and all you have to do is get yourself choosing one of the best nail overlay today. 

By now, you have a great understanding of what is a nail overlay all about. You can always share your comments or questions in the comment section below.

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