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Updated: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm Published: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm

An overlay is a sculptured nail product that is applied directly over your own nail. While an overlay does not increase the length of your nail, it allows it to grow with added strength and reduced breakage. Overlays can be made of acrylic or silk. Silk wraps are a form of overlay that tend to be thinner and gentler on your nails than acrylic overlays. An overlay also helps strengthen weak nails while they grow out naturally. Overlays can be worn naturally or with nail polish. As with other sculptured nail products, if polish is worn, it is a good idea to use a non-acetone nail polish remover in order to prevent damage to the overlays. Whether you get sculptured nails, nail tips, or overlays is a matter of personal choice and depends on the condition of your natural nails. If your nails are short or uneven, nail tips or sculptured nails may be a better choice since they actually add length to your nails. Silk wraps are usually reserved for women whose natural nails are in adequate condition, and since overlays are the same length as your natural nail, they may give a more natural appearance and feel more natural than nail tips or sculptured nails.

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