How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

I love my nails and I love them long. However keeping them at a certain length can be tricky. But don’t you worry I have the solution – a gel overlay! With a gel overlay I can keep my natural nails and just strengthen them by giving them an extra coat to keep them from breaking.

How to do a gel overlay

You don’t need that many products and once you have your basics they will literally last you all year (well that’s with mine at least). You need some gel nail files, a buffer, a primer, a base gel and a gel top coat.

Before we do the gel overlay a quick disclaimer: I am in no way a certified nail technician or any thing of that sort. Anything I tell you, I learned by myself and this is how it works for me. I don’t wanna tell anybody how it has to be done. This is just to show you how I do my nails and what works for me.

How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

Start off by cleaning your nails with an acetonefree nailpolish remover. Then give them a  slight buff to remove the shine. Do any filing in shape if you need it and then clean them a second time.

  • Now before we get to applying the gel it’s best to use a bonder/primer. Most of the times it’s included in the gel set. Apply one thin layer of the primer and let it dry completely.
  • Then it’s gel time. First I paint one layer of the gel base coat. It basically applies like a nail polish. Just make sure it doesn’t touch the skin before you cure it under the lamp. I use a LED lamp. Remove any excess gel with  a wood stick and then cure it under the light for 60 sec (or however long your gel needs).
  • The second layer of gel takes a little more time and work. Apply a thin layer of gel over the whole nail. Then add a little bit more gel down the center of your nail (from nail bed to nail tip). Let the gel settle for some seconds then cure it under the lamp. Doing the second layer this way, it gives me a nice curve. In my case it just enhances the natural curve I already have but for someone with “flat nails” it can help with getting that curvy, round look.



I tried to get a good shot but this is the best I could do. See how I have a curve in my nails naturally but with the gel it just enhances it a little bit more.

  • Most of the time the gel leaves a sticky layer on your nails. But you can get easily rid of it with a non- acetone nail polish remover.
  • Now don’t you panic if after the second layer of gel, your nail surface looks a little bit wonky. It takes some time to get it right. Take a gel file and shape the gel to your liking. Just make sure not to file it down to your natural nail and avoid harming your natural nail surface!
  • When you are happy, use the buffer to smoothen out the surface or to remove the shine if you didn’t need to do any filing after the second layer. Clean your nail with the acetone free nail polish remover and now it’s time to add some colour! There are many gel colours to choose from. You can add anything you like. I usually skip it and move on to the last step.
  • The gel top coat: Apply a thin layer of gel top coat on every nail. Make sure to cap the free edges and then cure it under the light. Remove the sticky layer and you’re done!

Say goodby to short nails with a gel overlay

How to do a gel overlay on your natural nails

See Also
Floral Nails

I’ve always been proud of my long nails and that I can grow them this long without any help. But it seemed like whenever I get to a certain length one nail breaks and then what? Cut them all down? This was when I started experimenting with gel.

Usually I do a clear gel overlay but sometimes I add a little bit of colour with a nude gel. The best thing is you can paint your nails over the gel overlay with any nailpolish you want and change it up as much as you want to! I hope this was helpful and not to complecated for you to understand. This is just how I do it & after 2  years or so I think I got the hang of it .

How do you do your nails? Tell me in the comments down below.

Enjoy your weekend lovelies and don’t forget to follow me on here and my other social media:  Bloglovin’ / Instagram / Twitter / FB.

View Comments (10)
  • Forever jealous of your beautiful nails. I’ve finally grown mine for the first time in my life and immediatelly bit them all off again once I got stressed. Gah. I can’t even. x

    • Oh just stop it, you make me blush! But seriously thanks so much Tereza. Oh no maybe some gel nails could help you keep them long ;). xx

  • That’s really fantastic! I never thought i could do this on my own but as i love doing my nails i think i will try it. You did a great work, love your nails, look so natural in the end.

  • Wow your nails look fantastic! I’m so jealous… I have to go to the nailstudio to get pretty nails, but this is so annoying, time consuming and expensive. Thanks for sharing this technique, I should defenitely try this on my nails 🙂

    Xx Sarah

    • Thanks so much lovely! I never ever went to a nail studio, just like I’ve been doing my nails since little and I couldn’t trust anyone with them (a little weird right?!) Yes, just try it out I bet you’ll love it once you get used to it! xx

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