Acrylic Overlay Nails: How To Apply + Style Ideas

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Thinking about getting an acrylic overlay on your natural nails?

Maybe your nails are looking a little lackluster?

Do you want to add some strength and style but don’t know how to do acrylic nails?

When it comes to nails, there are many different options to choose from in order to get the look that you want.

Acrylic overlays are a great way to add some life to your nails.

Woman's hand with yellow acrylic overlay on natural nails

In this post, you’ll learn all you need to know about acrylic overlays.

What Are Acrylic Overlays?

In the past, acrylic overlays were only available in the form of clear acrylic. Now, they’re available in a variety of colors and designs. 

The process is basically adding a layer of acrylic to your nails, which can then be decorated in a variety of ways.

Acrylic overlays are a popular way to add strength and style to your nails.

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra flair to your nails, acrylic overlays may be the right choice for you.

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You can find some great tools for applying this type of overlay at your local beauty supply store or online.

Acrylic overlay on short nails

A new trend in nail art is an acrylic overlay on short nails. This look gives you the appearance of long, glamorous nails without having to grow them out.

An acrylic overlay is a process in which a layer of acrylic is applied over your natural nails.

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This can be done at a nail salon or at home with a kit. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete.

Acrylic overlay on long nails

Another look that is popular at the moment is an acrylic overlay on long nails. This is a way to get your nails to grow without having to wait for them to thicken or grow out.

Acrylics without tips

Nails are often one of the first things people notice about someone, so it’s important to have them looking their best.

Acrylic overlays can add strength and style to nails, and they’re a popular choice for many women.

Cute overlay nails

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What is the difference between acrylic and acrylic overlay?

Acrylic nails and acrylic overlays are both popular methods for lengthening and strengthening nails, but there are some key differences between the two.

Acrylic nails are a full nail extension that is applied to the nail plate and then sculpted into shape. Acrylic overlays, on the other hand, are a thin coat of acrylic that is applied over the natural nail.

Gel polish and acrylic overlays

One of the newer trends in nail art is the acrylic overlay with gel polish.

This is a two-step process where a layer of acrylic is applied to the nail and then a layer of gel polish is applied on top.

This gives your nails a much longer-lasting manicure, as the acrylic layer protects the gel polish from chipping.

The process is simple:

  1. First, a layer of acrylic is applied to your nails to create a strong base.
  2. Next, a coat of gel polish is applied and then cured under UV light.
  3. Finally, a top coat of clear acrylic sealant is applied to protect your nails and give them a glossy finish.

Related: 50 Gorgeous Gel Nail Design Ideas

Acrylic overlay with a nail art stamp

Another trend in nail art is the acrylic overlay with a nail art stamp.

This is a two-step process where a layer of acrylic is applied to the nail to provide a solid foundation for the stamping process, while also protecting your nails from staining, and then the stamp is pressed onto the acrylic layer.

This allows you to create nail art on your nails without having to apply a layer of acrylic.

Acrylic overlay with a nail art stamp.

Gel overlays vs. acrylic overlays

There are many different types of nails enhancements, two of the most popular are gel overlay and acrylic overlay.

So, what is the difference between gel overlay and acrylic overlay?

An acrylic overlay is a type of nail enhancement that uses an acrylic powder and monomer liquid to create a durable, hard nail surface.

Gel overlay is a type of nail enhancement that uses a gel to create a flexible, yet strong, nail surface.

Acrylic overlays are available in many different colors, and they can be used in a variety of different ways.

You can choose a subtle polish to enhance your natural nails, or you can choose bold colors to create an overall dramatic look.

Is acrylic overlay good for nails?

This process has been used by nail technicians for many years, and there are many opinions on whether or not it is a good option for your nails.

Some people believe that the acrylic overlay can damage your nails, while others claim that it helps to protect them and make them stronger and that they can give your nails a more polished look.

If you are interested in getting acrylic overlays, it is important to find a qualified technician who will be able to do the job correctly.

woman's hands folded with light pink floral acrylic nail overlay

How to avoid nail damage with acrylic overlays

There are certain things you can do to help keep your nails healthy and strong, and avoid damage from acrylic overlay,including:

  • Not pushing your nails too hard.
  • Not using sharp objects to clean your hands.
  • Not scratching your nails.
  • Keeping your nails short.
  • Avoid picking your nails.
  • Not biting your nails.
  • Using a moisturizer specifically designed for hands.
  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water often.
  • Keeping nails trimmed short.
  • Wearing gloves when washing dishes or doing other manual work.
  • Avoid scratching at your nails.

How to do an Acrylic overlay on Natural nails

Acrylic overlays are applied like regular nail polish.

Step 1: Cut and clean your nails

The first thing you need to do is cut your nails to the desired length and remove any old polish or gel.

Step 2: Apply a base coat

Next, apply a base coat to your nails about two minutes before you apply the overlay. A base coat is applied to your nails before overlays are applied to keep the overlay from cracking and peeling.

Step 3: Apply overlay

Apply one coat of overlay to each nail. When applying the overlay, make sure to leave room on your nails for the polish. If you apply too much, you can always file it down or remove it altogether.

Step 4: Let nails dry

After applying one coat of overlay to each nail, allow it to dry for at least two minutes.

Step 5: Smooth overlay

Use a file to smooth the overlay if necessary.

Step 6: Apply polish

After the overlay is dry, apply your regular polish.

Step 7: Remove overlay 

Use an acetone-based nail polish remover and gently rub the overlay off of your nails. Once the nail polish is removed, apply a base coat to your nails again. Once it has dried, apply your regular polish and enjoy!

Acrylic Overlay On Natural Nails Tutorial

How much do acrylic overlay cost?

The cost of a nail overlay varies depending on the type of overlay and the salon.

Basic acrylic overlay costs around $25, while a gel overlay costs $35 or more.

Nail art can add to the cost, with some designs costing $10 or more. Some nail art overlays only last for a few days, so you will have to replace them regularly.

What is the life expectancy of acrylic overlays?

The life expectancy of an acrylic overlay depends on the type of overlay and how it is used.

Overlays with a top coat of gel or acrylic are generally long-lasting.

For example, a gel overlay lasts for about two weeks. On the other hand, an acrylic overlay will last for about three to four days before it has to be replaced.

You can also get a gel overlay that lasts for up to six weeks.

Adding Strength and Style to Your Nails with Acrylic Overlays

In conclusion, acrylic overlays are a great way to add strength and style to your nails.

They are affordable, easy to apply, and can last for weeks or even months when cared for properly.

If you are looking for a way to improve the look of your nails, acrylic overlays are a great option.

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  • LeAnn
  • Jasmine Moore

    Jasmine Moore, a licensed nail technician with 3 years of expertise, offers specialized services in Acrylic, Gel X, and Dip Powder applications. Trained by Lena Fam and a graduate of NexGen Nails and Beauty School, Jasmine's accolades include nominations for "Best New Nail Tech" (2021) and "Best Nail Artist" (2023). As the founder of Jazzy Belle Beauty she stays updated on the latest nail trends.

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