Gel or Silk Overlay on Natural Nails

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  1. I've grown my nails out where they look really good and I'd like to keep them looking good as a long as possible, especially since I tend to be tough on my hands sometimes..

    Has anyone ever had gel overlays done on their natural nails, no tips involved, just overlay?? I've also heard that you can do silk wrap overlays too? WHich is better?

    I've never had anything like this done before, so I have no idea what to expect....

    -Is this harmful to your natural nails or will it help strengthen them?

    -How long does it last?

    -Is it possible to do a permanent french manicure as the gel/silk overlay?

    -Can anyone recommend a great nail salon in NYC that offers this service?

    Thanks to anyone who can help out!!
  2. I've never heard of silk overlay... can anyone tell us a bit about this?
    I would advice against the gel overlay, made my nails look AWFUL! really fake... I prefer the natural look!
  3. Have had silk but shelf life on them is about a week. Didn't work for me, one or two would lift & fall off in short time period.

    Have gels now, keep them pretty short. Have them basically to prevent hangnails. For some reason this helps. My gels are very thin, cause my nails are short, people think these are my natural nails. They are done in a very natural looking pinkish color & last me 3 weeks. She pulls these off about every 3rd time to do brand new ones so I don't have the gel buildup. Real nails are fine. Would go back to just them except for the hangnails.
  4. I used to get the gel overlay and as long as you have a competent nail tech doing them, you natural nail should be fine. Like Vegas, my gel was thin and yes you are able to get the french manicure look as well, which is what I wore too.

    Back in the day, I wore the silk wraps and I thought they lifted pretty quickly too.
  5. I've never been able to find anyone who can do them thin enough for my liking. I'm still using Incoco french manicure tips - with a coat of Stickey base and two coats of Essie Mademoiselle (sheer pink), my manicures last me between 6 and 10 days. Actually, that's longer than my acrylics ever really looked great - they always lifted on me! Plus, with the french manicure tips, I don't have to worry about the lines being even - they go on even - and my total manicure dry time is about 20 minutes.
  6. I have strong/long natural nails, but I don't like it when my polish chips so I get gel overlays. I have always gotten them at the same salon in the LA area, but I moved not long ago and haven't found a new place yet. They do a very thin clear and white french manicure for me. My nails grow out very quickly so I really should get them done every 2 weeks, but I hold out for about 3.5 weeks and they look fine because of the way they do them. My mom is very rough with her hands and I got her hooked. It looks very natural - just like a freshly done french manicure. Love them!
  7. I am a advocate of short healthy nail" au naturale".

    Gels, silks have to be maintained which can be costly but if someone has nail

    issues, and silks and gel are the only option, then there isn't much choice.
  8. I had silk overlays and they always broke. My friend has gel overlay and they usually last about 2 weeks. I am hard on my nails and I personally like acrylics. When I had them on, they only broke once or twice.
  9. #9 Jul 25, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
    I have issues, lol. For some reason when these aren't on I get hangnails like crazy. Manicures once a week didn't help.

    My nails are so short they look real. I have had them 'frenched' before, no tips are added. Long nail beds so nails appear longer than they really are.

    Gels are costly & they are alot of work. Its $65.00 everytime I go, takes 2 hours. Nails have slowed in growth & I can wait 3 weeks. Even if its just to add at nail bed area. But she does take them off every other time, whole new coverings them. I've heard not many that do them correctly & they get too thick. However the UV lights they use to set the product burns the nail bed if its put on too thick. Don't know how someone would tolerate that happening. I have 2 break in 5 years & that was on vacation where I've gone as long as 5 weeks between appointments.

    The color is right in the gel. So no painting of nails necessary between appointments. There is even a clear gel used so that last long too.
  10. Thanks for all the replies!

    I'm really thinking about getting gels to see what they're like. I'm looking for a good place to go....

    If anyone has a suggestion for a nail place in NYC lemme know!
  11. I haven't read the other posts, so I don't know if you've already gotten the advice you're looking for, but I'll give you my input anyway!

    I'm a nail tech! :P

    Silk -- doesn't work for me, AT ALL. Within the first week, it was cracking and it's very couldy looking when on the nails. For me, it was.

    Gel -- I love gel overlays. It looks good, it's shiny, and strong.

    If you're the type of person who sticks with french when getting your nails done, I'd say go with 'pink and white' or 'solar nails.' Different places call it by different names. It's more expensive than gel, but it's really beautiful if you get a good nail tech who knows what s/he is doing.
    Essentailly, there are two types of powders that will be used on your nails. A pink powder, then a white powder. The white will create the smiley line, and the rest of the nail will be filled in with pink powder. Usually, a layer of gel will go over it to give it that shine that doesn't dull! You can also get it buffed to shine, but I like gel more.

    Of course, any type of nail enhancement is going to weaken your nails. I had them done when I was 16 and finally had them taken off now at 21. My nails are fine.

    How are your nails now? If they're healthy, they'll be fine. Of course they're going to be soft if you decide to go back to natural nails, but it comes with the territory.

    Tell your tech that your nail beds are sensitive and ask them if they could drill very lightly over your nails. That should help!

    Ok, that was long, but let me know if you have any other questions. :biggrin:
  12. I used to get my nails done with gel and they always looked great. They used to be so strong and I never had to worry about my manicure (I was getting then done once a month). I just went back to my natural nails after 6 years and they're indeed very week. But you know, nails grow fast so it's just a matter of 1/2 months. If you decide to get them done (which I absolutely suggest) you might want to find a really good place because if they're done in the wrong way the result will ba tacky and cheap.

    Hope this helps

  13. fancyFG is right. Not all nail technicians are created equal. Both products are excellent when done well, so whatever product you end up choosing, a good technician will make all the difference. Ask around - ask friends or go into salons and look at their work and pick their brain about their experience and the product they use. I have seen so many so-so to downright dodgy nails lately, it's not even funny. An overlay or coating on your nails should not be noticeable, so it is worth your while doing a bit of research and shopping around before you fork out your hard earned money.
    Best of luck and keep us posted with what you decide.
  14. I really want to get acrylic nails but have been extremely hesitant because my nails are actually pretty nice looking. theyre strong and long(ish)...everyone has told me that acrylics will kill my nails and I seem to remember that as well (haven't had them in about 8 years). Some people suggested to me that I should get a gel overlay. I am pretty clueless as to what this is. Will it break my nails? Will it look like acrylics? if anyone has a photo or advice that would be fantastic!!!
  15. I wore gel pink & white for years. Gels are more expensive than acrylic, and look WAY better, but IMO I don't think its any 'better' for the nail...than acrylic. WTS, I loved them! My nails were healthy, albeit, a little thinner, when I removed the gel. What made the difference for me, is that my manicurist buffed my nails with a file, vs. using a drill. That's where the real damage comes in.