Best Overlay for Natural Nails

Best Overlay for Natural Nails featured photo

If you’re currently hunting down the best overlays for natural nails you can get your hands on right now, make it a point to consider some few important factors to look at first: ease of use and versatility, UV/LED curable factor, and the cost. I made it a point to search far and wide for the best of the best in the business right now. With these factors deep in mind, I review below some of my current favorites. If you’re ready to up your nail game with me, go ahead and read along!

One of the first things I always seem to notice about people are their hands and nails. Even with celebrities and personalities I follow and support, it’s a plus if they have beautiful hands and nails I could make a point of admiring (am I weird for this?). I admire people who can keep their nails always looking made up and presented wherever they go, whenever. From my years of wearing my nails polished and cleaned up, I learned that it’s hard keeping them in good shape for so long.

I have always liked doing my nails before. I would often show up in school with different colored nail polish every few weeks. It’s sort of become a habit for my friends and I to compare colors we did and how they ended up looking. Now, that was before. Nowadays, I barely find the time, energy, and patience to do my nails as I did years before. Looking at my unmade and totally bare nails now, I’ve been thinking of knocking into that side of me again for nails that make me feel like I have beautiful and elegant hands.

Natural nail overlays are the perfect choice for someone like who doesn’t fare well with extended nail lengths. If you want to find out more about nail overlays and my favorites right now, go ahead and read!

What is Nail Overlay?

To put it simply, a nail overlay is any coating applied on top and directly on your natural nails. An overlay means you apply a thin coat of acrylic or gel product without the intention of extending the length. A nail overlay is a solid product layered onto the natural nails that gives them needed strength and firmness. Having them on top of your natural nails can help protect them from harmful environmental exposure.

If you have weak and brittle nails that always seem to chip off, a nail overlay is a good way to go. Because a nail overlay sits on top of your natural nails, it helps your nails grow underneath without any breakage or any chance of chipping off. With a nail overlay, you can achieve healthier and stronger nails and grow them at your desired length without worrying of chipping them off.

Nail overlays vs nail extensions

As we’ve gone over above, nail overlays are thin coats of nail products applied over your natural nails. These do not promote length but instead help thin nails grow stronger and healthier overtime while protecting them from harmful environmental exposures.

Nail extensions, on the other hand, are thin and lightweight plastic plates glued to your natural nails to add significant and noticeable length. The plastic plates can be cut and trimmed down to your desired length and shape. They are then topped with an acrylic or gel coating for a smoother and seamless finish. Nail extensions essentially give the illusion of a new set of nails.

Benefits of nail overlays

Nail overlays have been a popular choice among many nail enthusiasts. And with so many benefits one can get from it, there is no surprise there.

  • They are beneficial for weak, brittle, and thin nails
  • They protect the natural nails from harmful environmental factors
  • They help your natural nails grow longer, healthier, and stronger
  • They are good for those with nails that often split, break, or chip
  • These are a great choice for people who habitually chew on their nails
  • Those who have short nails and often have trouble growing them at their desired length will benefit from these

Now that we’ve got Nail Overlay 101 out of our way, it’s high-time we move on to our favorites in the business right now!

Our Top Picks for the Best Overlay for Natural Nails

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickIBD LED UV Builder GelIBD LED/UV Builder GelCheck Price
Best for Strength and Long-WearNYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power GelNYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power GelCheck Price
Best Complete KitKiara Sky Dip System French KitKiara Sky Dip System French KitCheck Price
Cacee Glossy UV Gel Thick BuilderCacee Glossy UV Gel Thick BuilderCheck Price
Mia Secret Acrylic Nail SystemMia Secret Acrylic Nail SystemCheck Price

The Best Overlay for Natural Nails

1. IBD LED/UV Builder Gel – Our Pick!

IBD LED UV Builder Gel

Our number one pick for the best overlay for natural nails is the IBD LED/UV Builder Gel! If you’ve loved the brand’s best-selling clear builder gel, you sure are in for a ride for this one as this is the same exact formula but is now LED and UV curable for faster beautiful nail results. This builder gel offers full color coverage with the same leveling properties and viscosity as the current formula to ensure that the results you have always loved are still attainable through a more convenient UV and LED cured formula.

With this overlay applied over your natural nails, you are to achieve added strength and better health for your nails. If you have experienced constant chipping and breaking of your nails, this is definitely a good way to go. This popular nail overlay option also promises that this will for sure last on your nails for weeks at a time without the annoying chipping or peeling you might experience with some in the market. This is great on nails as it is if you just want the strength but also goes well with any manicure or pedicure you’d want on your nails.

This IBD builder gel is currently available in clear and pink variations. This makes it the perfect choice for those looking to add a protective gel on their nails without making a visible difference or for those hoping to achieve the perfect French manicure. The self-levelling formula of this gel builder allows for easy application without any lumps or mess as you would experience with other products. This boasts of a high-shine finish that is sure to look great on your nails no matter the look you’re going for.

The consistency of this builder gel isn’t too thick or too thin, making it very easy to work with. Some would describe it as sticky but not at all impossible to apply on nails. Though keep in mind that if you’re an absolute beginner when it comes to builder gels, you might take some getting used to the thickness and application of this. Though an easy and beginner-friendly application, if you’re not used to such consistency then you might need some time to get used to it and find your own rhythm when it comes to application.

With this on your nails to get you through your days, you can rest assured that you get chemical-resistant results for an impenetrable surface to seal in your style. Whether you want long-lasting nail designs or stronger and healthier natural nails underneath, you can put your trust on this one.


  • IBD’s best-selling builder gel now UV/LED curable
  • Curable formula for faster beautiful results
  • Available in clear and pink
  • Strengthens nails and promotes better nail health
  • Full color coverage for any manicure or pedicure
  • Lasts for weeks without chipping or peeling
  • Same self-leveling formula and viscosity
  • Easy application without lumps or mess
  • High-shine finish
  • Not too thick or thin and consistency is easy to work with
  • Just the right amount of stickiness
  • Chemical-resistant for longer-lasting wear


  • Consistency and stickiness might take some getting used to

2. NYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power Gel – Best for Strength and Long-Wear!

NYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power Gel

The next item on our list of the best natural nails overlays and our pick for best strength and long-wear is the NYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power Gel! If what you’re looking for is an assurance of natural nail strength building and a sure long-wearing formula, be sure to check this one out. Many users have lauded this builder gel for really helping strengthen weak and brittle nails even with a thin layer applied. This is also sure to last on your nails for a long time and even helps polish wear extend its time on your nails.

A multi-use gel, you can use this for overlays, extensions, or for simply strengthening your nails for stronger and healthier nails. By protecting your nails underneath and acting as a barrier from environment exposure, this lets your nails grow long and strong as you would desire. By wearing this on top of your natural nails, whether on its own or with your desired nail polish or art, you can rest assured that this will keep your nails from breaking and chipping as you would normally experience without any barrier or protection.

A purchase of this NY2K power gel comes with a full instruction guide to help and guide you with application. It provides a complete walkthrough on how to use it on your nails so you can take your levels from novice to professional. This makes it very easy to use and apply even for absolute beginners in the world of overlays and builder gels. This also comes with a complimentary brush to make application quick and easy for anyone. This goes on clear for a discreet finish no one will notice.

The complete walkthrough on how to apply this builder gel makes it very easy to use and allows for much versatility. You can also rest assured that you wouldn’t experience chipping, peeling, or cracking of any sort while this nail overlay favorite is on your nails. This also works with all UV and LED lights to ensure faster time in curing. A quick reminder that if you’re not used to using builder gels on your nails, you might find the consistency of this to be too thick. But fear not as you would only need some time getting used to it and wouldn’t cause any major issues for you.


  • Ideal for strength and long-wear
  • Promotes natural nail strength and wears long for weeks
  • No chipping, peeling, or cracking while on your nails
  • Really helps strengthen weak and brittle nails
  • Nails do not break and chip underneath
  • Comes with full instruction guide and complimentary brush
  • Complete walkthrough makes it easier to apply even for beginners
  • Goes on clear for a discreet and unnoticeable finish
  • UV and LED curable formula


  • Might be too thick for some

3. Kiara Sky Dip System French Kit – Best Complete Kit!

Kiara Sky Dip System French Kit

Our next favorite overlay for natural nails and our pick for the best complete kit is the Kiara Sky Dip System French Kit! If what you would prefer to get your hands on right now is a complete overlay set not only to strengthen your nails but also for aesthetic purposes, you might want to check this one out. This manicure and nail overlay kit is sure to give you everything from sophisticated French manicures to full coverage overlays. This is definitely a healthier nail enhancement alternative for your hands and nails.

Formulated without any harsh and toxic chemicals, you are sure to only get the best of the best with this one. This has also been infused with complex bonds that ensure that your manicure does not end up chipping, lifting, or form any discoloration that may occur. The all-inclusive dip powder professional system kit is easy to work with without causing any unnecessary mess you know too well. This also comes with complete instructions and walkthrough on how to use and apply the kit for ease of use.

This Kiara Sky nail overlay set is a great overlay option for anyone hoping to strengthen their natural nails and add a splash of life and color. By using this for your manicure needs, your nails are sure to feel healthier and be able to grow faster for your desired length. And because this is already a set for a variety of nail designs, this is well worth the price, as many users have shared. You also get full-sized bottles and pots that will last you for quite some time while still being able to change up your nails every now and then.

Even with a DIY setup at home to do your nails, you are sure to get quality and professional results with this French kit set in your hands to get you through it all. Application is ‘dummy-proof’ as many users would attest to so you are sure to get quality results every time. The kit includes a bond, base, seal protect, top coat, nourish oil, brush saver, and dip powders in natural, white, light pink, medium pink, dark pink, and a dip case for added convenience. Overall, if you want extra life and color but still promote nail strength, this is the way to go.


  • Ideal complete overlay kit
  • Comes with bond, base, seal protect, top coat, nourish oil, brush saver, variety of dip powder colors, and dip case
  • Offers French manicure and full coverage overlays
  • Keeps nails healthy and doesn’t damage nail beds
  • No harsh chemicals in the formula
  • Formula prevents, chipping, lifting, and discoloration
  • Comes with instructions to guide on application
  • Nails grow faster and healthier
  • Full-sized bottles and pots will last for a long time
  • Easy to use for quality and professional results


  • None

4. Cacee Glossy UV Gel Thick Builder

Cacee Glossy UV Gel Thick Builder

The Cacee Glossy UV Gel Thick Builder is the next item to have made it into our list of the best natural nail overlays! A non-soak gel builder formula, this is highly resistant to solvents and a great choice for high-performance nail enhancements, including but not limited to natural nail overlays. This boasts of a durable and high gloss finish formula that is sure to keep your weak and brittle nails growing healthy and strong underneath, even with just a thin layer. You can trust this to allow you to sculpt or overlay your nails for whatever look you’re going for.

The thick consistency of this Cacee gel builder is very easy and quick to work with. It boasts of an easy and effortlessly workable formula that levels perfectly and just enough to protect your nails. Many users have made praises to how this is one of the clearest gels in the market without the appearance of bubbles. If that is an important factor for you, make sure to check this one out. This has also been formulated to be UV light compatible for easier and faster curing time once applied on your nails.

A common thing you would find if you read through the reviews of this product is that it comes unsealed, but no worries as many would attest that it is brand new and is full to the top. The thicker consistency can be harder to apply and messy at times, especially if you’re a beginner. But once you get the hang of it and the application process, you are not far from achieving perfect results every time. Other than that and if you could get past that, this is another favorite among nail enthusiasts.


  • Non-soak gel builder
  • Highly resistant to solvents
  • Durable and high-gloss finish
  • Keeps nails underneath strong and healthy
  • Can be used to sculpt nails or for overlays
  • UV light compatible and curable
  • One of the clearest gelas without any bubbles
  • Easy and effortless application


  • Comes unsealed
  • Beginners may find it too thick and application messy at first

5. Mia Secret Acrylic Nail System

Mia Secret Acrylic Nail System

Our last favorite overlay for natural nails is the Mia Secret Acrylic Nail System! A purchase of this acrylic nail system includes a liquid monomer and a clear acrylic powder that is sure to keep your nails looking and feeling healthier and stronger than ever. With this in your hands every time you would do your nails, you are sure to achieve quality and professional results without the usual lifting or breaking as you would experience with many others out in the market.

The acrylic powder in this nail system provides superior adhesion and has a long-lasting formula. The self-levelling formula is great for providing your nails with your desired barrier and protection. The liquid monomer in the nail systems set provides flexibility, adhesion, and absorption when mixed together with the acrylic powder to complete your mixture. It also has a non-yellowing formula to prevent any discoloration while wearing it on your nails.

The only downside users have shared regarding this nail acrylic system is that there is a slight scent to it. Though minor and often not offensive for many, some would prefer that it doesn’t not have a scent to it.


  • Set includes liquid monomer and clear acrylic
  • Keeps nails healthy and strong
  • Quality and professional results
  • No lifting or breaking while wearing it on nails
  • Superior adhesion and long-lasting formula
  • Provides nails with protective barrier
  • Non-yellowing formula


  • Scent is not for everyone

How to Choose the Best Overlay for Natural Nails

When you’re choosing the next nail overlays to get your hands on, you are bombarded with so many options to consider. We have below some important things you might want to consider to ensure you are getting only the best in the business.

Ease of use and versatility

The first important factor you should consider is the ease of use and versatility of your new overlay. If you are a beginner in applying overlay on your own nails at home, you would want to get something that is easy to use for novices like you. Make sure you check on as many user reviews as you possibly can and see what they have to say in terms of how easy it is to use, especially for beginners who would like to test their hand at it.

Another thing you should think about when getting your new overlay is the product’s versatility. You would want to get your hands on something that is versatile – something you can use alone or along with any polish or design.

UV/LED curable factor

Another thing you would notice on a lot of listings for most natural nail overlays is whether or not they are UV/LED curable. Although this is not much of a deal breaker for many, getting one with a formula that is UV/LED curable will allow you to finish your nails at a much faster time. If this is an important thing for you, make sure to get one that is UV/LED curable.


Natural nail overlays come in many different price points. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice either price or quality and performance. Ask yourself at what price point you’re willing to spend on your new overlays and get the best one at that price point.


Nail overlays are a great way to not only give your nails added life and color, but to also promote stronger and healthier nails. And better news for you, you can do it in the comfort of your own home and no need to head on over to your local nail salon!

Our number one pick for the best natural nail overlay is the IBD LED/UV Builder Gel thanks to its UV/LED curable formula that comes in either clear or pink variations! The full coverage gel builder not only strengthens and promotes healthy nails but is also chemical-resistant for longer wear. The NYK2 Nail Force Clear UV & LED Soak Off Power Gel is our pick for strength and long-wear l! This promises a wear for several weeks at a time without chipping or lifting, on top of promoting healthy and strong nails. And our pick for the best complete overlay kit is the Kiara Sky Dip System French Kit! This kit keeps your nails much healthier while allowing you to achieve several French manicures and total coverage nail designs.

We hope our review of our favorite and our guide above have led you to your new favorite overlay for natural nails!

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