What Is Acrylic Overlay?

Are you curious to know what is acrylic overlay? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about acrylic overlay in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is acrylic overlay?

Acrylic overlay is a popular and effective nail enhancement technique that has taken the beauty industry by storm. It is a versatile and durable solution that not only enhances the appearance of natural nails but also adds strength and protection to prevent damage and breakage. In this blog, we will explore the world of acrylic overlays, understanding the process, benefits, and why it has become a go-to choice for achieving stunning and long-lasting nails.

What Is Acrylic Overlay?

An acrylic overlay involves applying a mixture of acrylic powder and liquid monomer directly onto the natural nail surface. Unlike traditional acrylic nail extensions, which add length to the nails with the use of tips or forms, an overlay is applied to the existing nail length. The acrylic mixture is shaped and buffed to perfection, resulting in a smooth, glossy finish that enhances the natural beauty of the nails.

The Acrylic Overlay Process

The application of an acrylic overlay involves the following steps:

  1. Nail Preparation: The natural nails are cleaned and prepped, removing any existing polish or oils. The nail technician will shape the nails to the desired length and style.
  2. Application of Primer: A bonding agent or nail primer is applied to the nail surface to improve adhesion and ensure the overlay stays in place.
  3. Mixing the Acrylic: The nail technician blends acrylic powder and liquid monomer to create a malleable mixture. The liquid monomer is used to activate the acrylic powder, forming a gel-like substance that can be sculpted onto the nail.
  4. Application: Using a brush, the nail technician applies the acrylic mixture onto the nail surface, carefully shaping it to match the desired look. It is essential to work swiftly during this process, as acrylic dries quickly.
  5. Buffing and Shaping: Once the acrylic has hardened, the nail technician files and buffs the surface to create a smooth, even finish.
  6. Sealant and Polish: To protect the overlay and add shine, a sealant is applied. Finally, the nails can be polished with the chosen color or left natural for a glossy finish.

Benefits Of Acrylic Overlays

  1. Strength and Durability: Acrylic overlays provide an added layer of protection to natural nails, making them less prone to breakage and damage.
  2. Versatility: Acrylic overlays can be shaped and styled according to individual preferences, catering to various nail shapes and lengths.
  3. Low Maintenance: Once applied, acrylic overlays require minimal maintenance, making them a convenient option for those with a busy lifestyle.
  4. Ideal for Nail Biters: Acrylic overlays can be an excellent solution for individuals trying to break the habit of nail-biting, as they offer a protective barrier to the natural nails.
  5. Longevity: With proper care and maintenance, acrylic overlays can last for several weeks, making them a cost-effective and long-lasting choice.


Acrylic overlays have revolutionized the nail enhancement industry, providing a versatile and durable option for achieving stunning and strong nails. The application process, coupled with the benefits of added protection and versatility, has made acrylic overlays a favorite among nail enthusiasts worldwide. Whether for special occasions or day-to-day wear, acrylic overlays offer the perfect protective shield for beautiful and well-maintained nails.

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What Is The Difference Between Acrylic And Acrylic Overlay?

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.

Is Overlay Better Than Acrylic?

Gel Overlay Nails are usually better than an acrylic overlay this is because gel overlays are: Less harsh on your nails – They use less harsh chemicals. Looks better and feels more natural – Gel nails are lighter than acrylic nails. It does a fantastic job of preserving your natural nails.

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic Extensions And Overlays?

Overlays skip the extension step with acrylic or gel being applied directly onto your natural nails and shaped by hand or by using ‘forms’, before being buffed to create that glossy effect. Great for anyone with nails lacking in natural wow factor.

Is Acrylic Overlay Stronger Than Gel?

Whilst gels aren’t as long lasting and tend to be more expensive than acrylics, they are strong, more flexible and odourless. Gels also cause much less damage to your natural nails than extensions. A big bonus. False nails come in two types; extensions and overlays.

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