Acrylic nails are one of the most widely used nail products. This is because they are affordable, very durable, and long-lasting.
This is why they are also commonly used to make overlay nails. So in this article, we are going to discuss:
- What is an acrylic overlay
- Is it good for your nails
- Purpose & benefits for them
- Expected price & How long they can last for
- And How to DIY them at Home
What is Acrylic Overlay
An acrylic overlay is where the same acrylic used to make nail extensions is applied only to your natural nails. Your nails are not extended by the acrylic.
This is done to protect and reinforce your natural nails to prevent them from breaking and chipping and allowing them to grow.
It can also serve as a base for other nail products such as nail polish or dip.
Is Acrylic Overlay Good For Your Nails
Acrylic overlays can be good for your natural nails and even help them to grow stronger but only if they were applied and removed correctly. You see most of the damages caused to natural nails by acrylic are due to:
- Bad application – using too many harsh chemicals such as Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) products. Citation.
- Or Poor Removal where the natural nails are also damaged.
Once you get a good nail tech who uses good products and know what they are doing acrylic overlay will be very safe.
If you are still worried about acrylic you can read my article on the 5 Best Alternatives to Acrylic Nails That are Safer & Better
Now if somehow your nails are damaged after acrylic you can check out my article on 7 Tips to Quickly Heal Damaged Nails After Acrylic Or Gel
Benefits & Purpose of an Acrylic Overlay
1- Reinforce & Strengthen Natural Nails
Acrylic Overlay will help to support and reinforce your natural nails preventing them from breaking and chipping easily. This is especially important for individuals who:
- Have very weak and brittle nails – this allows them to naturally their nails out
- Do a lot of work with their hands – such as gardening and cleaning all of which might damage or break your natural nails.
Did you know you can get acrylic on your toenails – Click here to learn more about Acrylic Toenails & Pedicures -Is it Safe, Cost, Pros & Cons
2- Function as a Base for other Nail Products
Acrylic overlay creates a nice base for you to apply other nail products such as nail polish and gel polish. This is great because you can remove the nail product using acetone without remove in the acrylic overlay.
This protects your natural nails from constantly being exposed to acetone or being filed.
You can also use gel as an overlay, click here to check out Gel Overlay Nails: Who Should Get them, Cost, How to DIY
3- Allows Weak Nails to Be Shaped
If your natural nails are very brittle you won’t be able to file them into the shape that you want. But with an acrylic overlay, they can easily be filed into the shape you want.
How Long do Acrylic Overlays Last
Acrylic Overlays can last for 6-8 weeks but they will need a fill-in every 2-3 weeks to cover the gap at the back of the nails where your nails grow.
Acrylic is one of the most durable and long-lasting overlays available. You can click here to learn more about how durable acrylic nails are.
How Much Do Acrylic Overlays Cost
Acrylic overlays can cost anywhere between $25-$40. It will cost less than acrylic extensions since the application is faster and uses less product.
The price for acrylic overlay will vary based on your location, type of salon, and other services that you opt for like if you want nail art or gel polish.
You can explore different manicures by clicking here: Types of Manicures: What is included, Costs & How to Pick
What’s the difference between Overlay and Acrylic
The main difference is that overlay nails will not extend or lengthen your nails. Whilst acrylic nails are basically where acrylic is used to build out nail extensions.
How to DIY Acrylic Overlay Nails at Home
Acrylic Overlays are easier to apply when compared to acrylic extensions. This is because you don’t need to worry about building an apex or using nail tips or forms.
You just to spread the acrylic evenly and smoothly over your natural nails.
- Firstly, push back your cuticles, and use a medium grit nail file to buff your nails.
- Next, wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol.
- Then apply a coat of dehydrator and then a primer to your nails.
- Once your nails are prepped, you can make your acrylic bead.
- Start by wetting the acrylic brush with the liquid monomer and then dipping the wet brush into the powder
- Apply the bead onto your natural nails and then slowly spread the acrylic onto your nails in a thin layer
- Let the acrylic dry and then use a nail file to buff the nails smooth
- Finally, if you want you can apply other nail products such as polish or gel polish.
If you are new to acrylic then I highly recommend that you watch the video down below
Video of How to Apply Acrylic Overlay at Home
Tips When Doing Acrylic Overlays
- Use a small brush – this helps you to maneuver better on your short nails
- Work with smaller beads – remember you are not building extensions so you don’t need too much product
- Use a slow-setting acrylic monomer – so you can take your time and work
Recommended Acrylic Products to Make Acylic Overlays
I highly recommend using a slow setting acrylic monomer. Especially if you are a beginner this allows you to take your time since it won’t harden so fast.
Young Nails have some of the highest quality acrylic products, they are a bit pricey but I think they are worth it.
You can click here to see the current price for their combo kit for beginners on Amazon. Its a low odor and slow setting liquid monomer and acrylic powder.
For acrylic overlays it’s recommended that you use a small acylic brush such as a size 6. A small brush is just easier to work with in small spaces such as your short natural nails when making overlays.
Can You Get Acrylic Overlay on Short Nails
Yes, you can get acrylic overlays done on short nails. Acrylic can be applied on both short and long nails.
Can You Apply Nail Polish on Acrylic Overlay Nails
Yes, you can apply nail polish, gel polish, and even dip powder on your acrylic overlays. Acrylic is meant to be used with other nail products.
Can Acrylic Overlay Lengthen Nails
Acrylic overlays are not nail extensions, if you want long nails quickly then you need to ask your nail tech for acrylic extensions, not acrylic overlays.
Now acrylic overlays will allow your natural nails to grow out without breaking easily.