What Is A Gel Overlay On Natural Nails? Beautiful Gel Nails Without The Tips!

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What is your go-to type of nail when you have a manicure? There are so many to choose from! And one of the most popular nowadays is gel nails. 

There are actually a lot of different types of gel manicures that you can get today. It can get confusing, especially with all the terms used with them. 

One term you’ll often see at the salon is a manicure called a gel overlay. What is a gel overlay on natural nails?

A gel overlay is any gel product that’s placed directly on top of your natural nails. It matches the length of your nails and helps make them more durable, but doesn’t lengthen them. 

There are a few more things you should know about gel overlay nails. Let’s discuss those below.


What Is a Gel Overlay On Natural Nails?

There are many different types of manicures that you can get today. One of them is a gel overlay, applied to your natural nails. 

With this type of manicure, you skip using the plastic extensions. The gel is directly applied to the natural nails. 

With this type of manicure, you skip using the plastic extensions. The gel is directly applied to the natural nails. 

Gel overlays are different from extensions.

Most people are familiar with nail extensions, and we all know that these help add length to the nails. After attaching the extensions to natural nails, other nail products are applied on top for design and decoration. 

Overlays are different from extensions because there is no need to use plastic forms or tips on the nails. Instead, the nail products are directly applied to natural nails and the length of your natural nails is retained. 

Instead, the nail products are directly applied to natural nails and the length of your natural nails is retained. 

This is the case for all overlay nails, whether they be gel, acrylic, or another type. The point is that there are no extensions involved, and the finish goes over the natural nail.

Gel overlays are great for those who want to grow out their brittle nails. Sometimes, using fake nails or extensions over your natural nails can damage them due to the adhesive. By skipping that, you could prevent possible damage due to it. 

With gel overlays, you don’t extend the length of the nails, but you can still shape them as you like. Usually, a hard gel is used for gel overlays.

Gel overlays are great if you want to improve the appearance of your nails but still make them look natural.  

Gel overlays are great if you want to improve the appearance of your nails but still make them look natural.  

Are Gel Overlays Good For The Nails?

Getting gel overlays on your natural nails is great because it can help you grow your nails. Many people who tend to have brittle and short nails use this to help them grow out the nails.

People who bite their nails often find it hard to grow out their nails. Sometimes, there are people who have brittle nails for a variety of reasons.

Regardless, using a gel overlay to the nails will help with both situations. 

Gel overlays help make the nails more durable so you can grow them out while still looking great. As compared to extensions, they are less damaging and they appear more natural.  

It’s great to get gel overlays. However, if gel overlays aren’t done correctly, there is a chance to develop a nail infection.

It is important to maintain cleanliness during the application process. The salon should be clean, and the tools regularly sanitized to avoid possible infection. 

If you do your own gel overlays at home, make sure you first clean your table where you are going to do your nails.

Also, make sure that your tools are clean — even if you are the only one that uses them. 

Although you can do your own gel overlays at home, it may take some practice to do. However, it can be done. You should be extra careful in removing them. That is when nails are mostly damaged, due to improper removal. 

Differentiating Gel Overlays From Gel Polish

If you ask most nail technicians, applying gel polishes over the natural nails may not be considered to be gel overlays. Gel polishes are more durable and long-lasting than regular polishes, but they are considered to be soft gels. 

A gel overlay process typically uses hard gel .

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The hard gels are longer lasting and are more difficult to remove compared to gel polishes like these.

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You can shape the hard gels into the shape that you want but you can’t do that with gel polishes. Aside from hard gels, there are nail technicians who use polygels for gel overlays. 

Polygels are a mixture of gel and acrylic. They harden up and are more durable than gel polishes. Like the hard gels, they could also be shaped into the shape you want. 

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How Long Do Gel Overlays Last?

If you get gel overlays, you’ll be pleased to know that they last quite a long time! They can usually last for 2-4 weeks, but that would depend on how they are applied and how you take care of them. 

As compared to traditional nail polishes and gel polishes, gel overlays will typically last longer. However, you may need to have them done again depending on the rate of your nail growth.

Some people’s nails may grow faster than others.

There are a few things that you can do to help them last longer. First of all, you should avoid soaking them in hot water. The hot water may loosen them up.

Another thing you should avoid is chemicals, especially cleaning solutions. Aside from potentially loosening them up, they can weaken the gel and cause it to chip. They could also cause discoloration.

You can add a top coat to your nails to make sure that it lasts as long as possible. You can have the salon add an extra topcoat.

Apply another top coat at home so you can add more protection to your gel overlays. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).