Overlay Nails (What They Are And How They Work)

Are you tired of weak, brittle nails that break easily? Do you want to achieve longer, stronger nails without having to wait for them to grow naturally? If so, overlay nails may be the solution you've been looking for. That sounded like a good sales pitch. I should be a sales woman.

What are Overlay Nails and how they can benefit you
Oooo, Pretty Nails.

Overlay Nails: What They Are and How They Work

Overlay nails are a type of artificial nail enhancement that is applied over your natural nails to provide strength and protection. Unlike regular nail polish, which simply adds color to your nails, overlay nails are made from materials such as acrylic, gel, or dip powder that adhere to your natural nails and create a strong, durable layer.

Overlay nails work by adding an extra layer of protection to your natural nails, making them less prone to breakage and chipping. They also provide a smooth surface for nail polish application, allowing it to adhere better and last longer. They can help to reinforce weak or damaged nails, allowing them to grow longer and stronger.

The Benefits of Overlay Nails: Stronger, Longer-Lasting Nails

One of the main benefits of overlay nails is increased durability and strength. The added layer of acrylic, gel, or dip powder provides a protective barrier that helps to prevent your natural nails from breaking or chipping. This is especially beneficial for those with weak or brittle nails that are prone to damage.

Overlay nails also offer longer-lasting results compared to regular nail polish. While regular nail polish may chip or peel within a few days, overlay nails can last for several weeks without needing to be touched up. This makes them a great option for those who want their manicure to last longer and look fresh for an extended period of time.

They can also enhance the appearance of your natural nails. They can provide a smooth, even surface for nail polish application, making your manicure look more professional and polished. 

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Types of Overlay Nails: Acrylic, Gel, and Dip Powder

There are several types of overlay nails available, including acrylic, gel, and dip powder. Each type has its own unique characteristics and benefits.

Acrylic overlay nails 

These are made by combining a liquid monomer with a powdered polymer to create a thick paste. This paste is then applied to your natural nails and shaped to your desired length and shape. Once the acrylic has dried and hardened, it can be filed and buffed to create a smooth surface. 

Gel overlay nails 

These are created by applying a gel product to your natural nails and then curing it under a UV or LED lamp. The gel is typically applied in several thin layers, with each layer being cured before the next one is applied. Gel overlay nails are known for their flexibility and natural-looking finish. They are also less likely to cause damage to your natural nails compared to acrylic overlay nails.

Dip powder overlay nails 

These involve dipping your natural nails into a colored powder that is made from a combination of acrylic and pigment. The powder adheres to your nails and creates a strong, durable layer. Dip powder overlay nails are known for their long-lasting results and ease of application. 

When deciding which type of overlay nails is best for you, consider factors such as your nail type, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Acrylic overlay nails may be the best option for those with weak or brittle nails, while gel or dip powder overlay nails may be more suitable for those who want a natural-looking finish or easy application process.

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How to Apply Overlay Nails: Step-by-Step Guide

Applying overlay nails requires some preparation and careful application. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you achieve a professional-looking finish:

  1. Prepare your natural nails by removing any existing nail polish and gently pushing back your cuticles.

  2. Lightly buff the surface of your nails to create a rough texture that will help the overlay adhere better.

  3. Apply a thin layer of primer or bonder to your nails to promote adhesion.

  4. Choose the type of overlay nails you want to apply (acrylic, gel, or dip powder) and follow the specific instructions for that type.

  5. For acrylic overlay nails, mix the liquid monomer with the powdered polymer according to the instructions and apply the mixture to your nails using a brush. Shape and smooth the acrylic as desired.

  6. For gel overlay nails, apply a thin layer of gel to your nails and cure it under a UV or LED lamp. Repeat this process for each layer of gel, curing each layer before applying the next one.

  7. For dip powder overlay nails, apply a base coat to your nails and then dip them into the colored powder. Tap off any excess powder and repeat this process for each nail. Apply a top coat to seal and protect the powder.

  8. Once the overlay nails have dried or cured, file and shape them to your desired length and shape. Buff the surface of the nails to create a smooth finish.

  9. Apply your chosen nail polish color or design to the overlay nails, allowing each layer to dry before applying the next one.

  10. Finish with a top coat to seal and protect your manicure.

Tips for Maintaining Overlay Nails: Dos and Don'ts

To maintain your overlay nails and extend their lifespan, it's important to follow some dos and don'ts:

Dos for maintaining overlay nails:

  1. - Keep your nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.

  2. - Apply cuticle oil or moisturizer regularly to keep your nails and cuticles hydrated.

  3. - Use a non-acetone nail polish remover to remove nail polish, as acetone can weaken the overlay.

  4. - Wear gloves when doing household chores or activities that may expose your nails to harsh chemicals or excessive moisture.

  5. - Schedule regular maintenance appointments with a professional nail technician to fill in any gaps or repair any damage.

Don'ts for maintaining overlay nails:

  1. - Avoid using your nails as tools to open or pry things, as this can cause them to break or lift.

  2. - Avoid picking or peeling at your overlay nails, as this can cause damage to your natural nails.

  3. - Avoid exposing your nails to excessive heat or direct sunlight, as this can cause the overlay to lift or become discolored.

  4. - Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive products on your nails, as this can weaken the overlay.

Overlay Nails vs. Regular Nail Polish: Which is Better?

When comparing overlay nails and regular nail polish, there are pros and cons to consider for each option.

Overlay nails offer increased durability and strength compared to regular nail polish. They provide a protective barrier that helps to prevent your natural nails from breaking or chipping. Overlay nails also offer longer-lasting results, with the ability to last for several weeks without needing to be touched up. They can be customized with different colors, designs, and finishes, allowing for more creative expression.

On the other hand, regular nail polish is easier and quicker to apply compared to overlay nails. It also offers more flexibility in terms of color options, as there are countless shades and finishes available. Regular nail polish is also easier to remove, as it can be taken off with a non-acetone nail polish remover.

The choice between overlay nails and regular nail polish ultimately depends on your personal preferences, nail type, and lifestyle. If you want longer-lasting results and added strength, overlay nails may be the better option for you. However, if you prefer to change your nail color frequently or want a more natural-looking finish, regular nail polish may be more suitable.

What is your nail routine? Or you don't have one and just bite them a lot instead? :)
Post a Comment
2 Comments
I've recently got back into wearing nail colour and I'm always looking for new ideas to try out. These overlay nails sounds really interesting and could be a great way to get the best look, I will have to look into something like this!
Nerdy UK Girl said…
Thanks Molly. Yep I can confirm they are good. I Use them on my clients a lot.

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