Acrylic Overlay. What Is It and How to Apply & Remove It from Your Nails

person wearing silver colored ring with black gemstone

The truth is, a lot of ladies would feel intimidated finding themselves in the presence of some pretty ladies. This is not because they are not pretty enough, but because they can’t flaunt nails that can put up enough challenge.

One beautiful thing about nails is that they elevate your beauty, add luxury to your look and even assert your class.

I am pretty sure that nobody would be proud to flaunt nails that are broken, chipped or even nails that have stupid shapes.

The real truth…

But the real truth is sometimes we can’t just help these, but it can be comforting to know that an acrylic overlay often offers that wow factor. It is more resistant than the natural overlay and thicker, it hardly breaks or cracks.

Today, I am going to teach you everything you need to know about the acrylic overlay: what it is, the drawbacks, the safety procedure, how to apply one, how to maintain and remove one.

So, let’s get started!

But first, an acrylic overlay is not a nail extension, though both are false and offer a good way to add strength and length to your natural nails. Nail extensions are made from lightweight plastic and are cut into the shape of a human nail. They are used by gluing on to your natural nail and overlaid with acrylic or gel to secure and finish.


What is Acrylic Overlay?

This is just a type of false nail that is made from acrylic powder. If you don’t know what this means, then see this. The overlay is formed by mixing this powder with a liquid monomer. When exposed to the air, they harden, creating a protective layer over the natural nail.

This makes the nail stronger and glossy. Tell me who don’t want this!


Here are a few reasons why you should consider acrylic

Provides protection

It protects the natural nails from being damaged by the enamels and other agents. But you should be careful when removing them so that you won’t damage the same ones you are trying to protect.

Nails are strong and durable

So you don’t have to worry about changing them regularly, you can only worry about maintaining them every 15-20 days depending on how fast they grow. I believe doing this is not that difficult.

You don’t need to bother about shapes

This is because they can be given any shape, length and you can possibly turn them to an artistic masterpiece by decorating them.

Cheap to get

You might be surprised to know that acrylic overlays are not as expensive as the luxury they offer. They are something you can easily get from a good beauty shop without breaking banks.

But pay attention, as you might be exposed to MMA acrylic, a toxic polymer used by many discount salons.

Here’s a great tip for you: if your nails need to be drilled before applying the acrylic mix because that’s how your technician works, get up and run away as far as possible. You’re about to get a dose of MMA directly on your nails.

The standard nowadays is EMA(Ethyl methacrylate) based acrylic. It’s safer and way better than its poisonous MMA alternative.

They are easy to remove

Another good thing about them is that you can easily remove them without the help of a professional whenever you are tired of wearing them.


But before you take the step, I have to warn you…

An acrylic overlay doesn’t just offer beauty, there are risks associated with it. Here are a few things you should always keep in mind.

Acrylic is not recommended for pregnant women

The application of acrylic nails involves the use of chemicals and fumes, so it is always advisable that pregnant women stay away from them.

It might expose you to dermatitis

Allowing acrylic to make contact with the skin might expose them to the risk of some allergic reactions and dermatitis. So it is important they are handled carefully.

Don’t rule out nail infection

If you don’t want this, then make sure you don’t go near unsanitary salons. They would expose you to the risk of fungal infections.

It might damage your natural nail

The improper application and removal of acrylic nails can damage your natural ones. So it is always important you make sure of a trained technician and don’t ever think acrylic is a DIY thing.

View this post on Instagram

Follow @blueetheme

A post shared by Nails Inspiration (@stylushnails) on


Safety Procedures

But first, you shouldn’t consider this list to be exhaustive, but I can assure you that it covers enough ground to help you stay out of trouble.

Let’s get started.

  • Avoid back to back acrylic application. Allow your natural nails to breathe well before considering another application.
  • Protect yourself from the acrylic chemicals during the application.
  • Make sure that all the tools were properly sterilized.
  • Always request a new file or go with your own since files cannot be sterilized.
  • Never let your nail technician cut your cuticles because they protect your natural ones.

Now, this is how to apply one. I want to remind you again that this is something you shouldn’t do yourself. You might damage your natural nails or expose your skins to some complications.

I am pretty sure you don’t want this, so it is necessary you always enlist the services of a trained manicurist. It won’t take them more than 10 steps to transform your nails into raw beauty.


This is how a Manicurist should apply the acrylic overlay:

Step 1: They would prepare the nails – Your Manicurist would start by cleaning them. This would help to provide a smooth base for the acrylic materials.

Step 2: Now they would trim – Here, they will be trim and file by your manicurist who will also leave a few millimeters where the remaining nails space can be stuck.

Step 3: Buffing your nails – After trimming, your Manicurist would buff them to make the surface to be a bit rough. This would make the acrylic material to stick better to your nail.

Step 4: Nail Primer – At this stage, the Manicurist would want to remove the moisture and oil using a nail primer. Cotton swabs with acetone are used to clean the nail and then the primer would be applied over.

But be warned, nail primers contain methacrylic acid. This could burn them if you are not careful.

Step 5: Applying to the Tips of the Nails – Here, the tips would be filed accordingly and glue is applied to your natural ones.

View this post on Instagram

1, 2, 3, 4, 5? Online ✍?открыта ?? NAIL SUNNY LOS ANGELES 342 n Canon Drive – Coming soon… Nails 1) Борисовские пруды 16/3, м. Борисово , 4 мин пешком ?+7(909)925-33-99 2) ?NEW ?NAIL SUNNY «Москва -Сити” ?+7 916 885-55-61 , ‭+7 (916) 885-55-91‬ Москва-Сити nail 3) ?NEW ?ЦДМ ‭?+7 (915) 338-88-61‬ метро Лубянка(выход из метро прямо в тц),театральная,Кузнецкий мост 4)Новинский бульвар 1/2, м. Смоленская, 1 мин пешком ?? ?+7(919)777-72-79 5)Новый Арбат 23, м. Смоленская 3мин пешком ?? ?+7(916)743-17-77 6)Большая Якиманка  32, м. Октябрьская. 3мин пешком?? ?+7(903)516-63-43 (24часа) 7)Большая Дорогомиловская 10, м. Киевская, 2мин пешком?? ? +7(915)47-4444-1 8)ул. Киевская 2, м. Киевская, 1мин пешком?? ?+7(916)519-55-00 «тгк киевский « 9)?????????????? Beauty Салоны Nail Sunny ? ??‍♀ Новый Арбат 25, м. Смоленская, 4 мин пешком ??‍♀ ?+7(916)633-95-59 10)Большая Якиманка 32 , м. Октябрьская, 3 мин пешком ???‍♀(24 часа) ?+7(903)614-45-57 Please , follow our official beauty page account on instagram- @nail_sunnybeauty??????????????Russia

A post shared by Nail Sunny (@nail_sunny) on


Step 6: Prepare the Acrylic Materials – Here, the materials for acrylic overlays such as acrylic liquid and acrylic powder would be poured into separate dishes.

This is usually done in a well-ventilated area because these materials can be very strong.

Step 7: Using the brush to pick up the Acrylics – After getting all the materials ready, your Manicurist would use the brush to pick up the Acrylics.

He prepares this by dipping the brush down into the liquid and then uses it against the powder to get a moist ball. It’s this material that is used on the nail to form the overlay.

Step 8: Mixture Application on the Nail – After picking the Acrylics, your Manicurist would apply the mixture and smoothen it at the same time on the nails.

Step 9: Allow it to dry – They are ready, but it would need to be dried for about 10 minutes. You can use a nail dryer for this step.

Step 10: Finishing Touches – After drying, your Manicurist would file the nails to make them smooth.

After this, you can start flaunting them as much as you can, for the next 2-3 weeks.


You can still make them last longer. And, here’s how:

  • Schedule regular with your technician once every two weeks to re-fill your acrylic nails.
  • Use long-lasting nail polishes and top coat on your acrylic nails.
  • Don’t forget to keep them moisturized. Apply oil to the cuticles and nails to keep them soft and healthy.
  • Reapply topcoat a week after you fill them so as to preserve the color and shine of your manicure.

If you want to find out how long acrylic nails can last, check out this article.


Doing all these would make you wear your acrylic overlay for more than the 2-3 weeks it usually lasts. I believe this is so exciting.


Hard to find the glossy pink nail polish you recently bought for your gorgeous nails? Then you need a nail polish rack. We’ve put together a list of the best racks you could find on the market so go check it out!


But, you have to know this…

Yeah, I understand so well that it is very exciting knowing that you can wear your acrylic overlay much longer, but I have to warn you, it is important you don’t overdo it.


And here are my reasons…

selective focus photography of glass jarWearing artificial nails for too long can lead to complications that can cause serious infection. This can occur when a fungus forms inside the gap between the artificial nail and natural nail.

Apart from this, wearing artificial nails for too long can prevent your natural ones from breathing well and this could cause them to damage.

I believe this is not what you wanted, so the best bet is to wear them for 3 months maximum but refills every 2-3 weeks in order to maintain their glossy look.


Wrapping it all up

Wearing Acrylic Overlay can help to complement your look, show off your class, enhance your beauty and communicate your sophistry.

Luckily, they are cheap, easy to use and last longer than other artificial ones. However, the wrong use of this overlay can damage your natural ones and might cause some complications. It is necessary that you always use the help of a trained manicurist.


Previous articleBest Wall Mounted Nail Polish Racks – 2020 Glitz & Glam Edition
Next articleHow to Clean Your Phone Case, the Right Way!
Passionate about everything that shines, settled down on UV(ultraviolet) lights. I'm motivated and with a mission to help people live a better life!

No posts to display


  1. I have been having my nails done by a shop no one speaks good English they put a mix of powder an liquid an put under a light to dry was told a refill would be less expensive but seems like they file everything off with a drill an start over every time an it cost the same are they getting to me


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here