5 Amazing Benefits Of A Structured Overlay Manicure

Ah the Structured Gel Overlay…

Remember when we just used to say- gel overlay?

Well you still can, but it may help new prospects find you (at least for now) if you use the word “structured” in your booking lingo!

Today I’ll be sharing 5 amazing benefits of a structured gel overlay… 

And you’ll want to hang-on to the very end of this video, as I’ll be giving you some new naming suggestions, in case you’re growing tired of all the “structured nails” talk. (but maybe you’re not?)

And for quick reference: A structured overlay is a gel application that enhances the look and feel of the natural nails by using a slightly thicker viscosity gel. This gel is applied generously over the natural nails and self-leveled with an apex for structural support of the nails.

Here are the 5 amazing benefits to a structured overlay:

Benefit #1 Strength

A structured overlay stabilizes the natural nails.

Natural nails can vary in strength, but most of them are thin or weak, or both… which is why you and I are in business!

If everybody could grow their nails long and strong, maybe we would just be lacquer/manicure techs 🤷‍♀️

Benefit #2 Appearance

A structured overlay makes the natural nails look fuller. I like to give the analogy of getting fillers on your lips.

Just as someone may go in to get their lips done so that they look nice and filled in, many nail clients also want that slight “filled in” appearance to their nails.

And I do mean “slight” lift.

Keep your structures balanced and away from getting thick and bulky. For short to medium length nails a builder in a bottle product will do, but on longer nails you really want to switch to a potted soft gel builder (it has less dilution).

Benefit #3 Durability

It is no mystery that a structured overlay lasts a very long time! (… and if it was a mystery, well now ya now!)

The minimum wear of a structured gel service is 3 weeks, with the limit being as long as the nails stay without lifting, and that can often be a very long time for some.

What helps a structured overlay last?… you may ask. Three things:

  1. Thickness- Simply put… Apply gel too thin and all the issues start: lifting, peeling, chipping
  2. Flexibility- Remember what we said earlier most clients don’t have strong hard nails, and rather thin and/or weak? Well, thin and/or weak means flexible.

And structured gel, is flexible gel.

  1. Adhesion Components

Structured gel, thin or thick (i.e. BIAB or PSG) contain monomers that adhere well to the natural nails… and that, without the use of rough prep and bonder!

This is advanced technology designed to do less to the natural nail (i.e. less rough prep, and chemicals- by avoiding a pH dehydrator and bonder).

-And, of course this statement applies to those brands that are responsibly manufactured. Typically those who either own or know their manufacturing and work with their own chemists to formulate safe and effective, advanced gel nail products.

Sadly, irresponsibly sourced and manufactured bottled builder brands will have a boatload of monomer to impress the public on its “wonderful” adhesion, but at the unfortunate effect of allergies and other skin sensitivities. 

Benefit #4 Time-Saver!

While the application of a structured overlay, may be an additional 20-60 minutes (some nail techs treat their structuring time, like therapy time.. They take their time.) than say a simple gel polish mani, this added time is an incentive to the customer as their visit frequency is generally once per month as opposed to the former bi-weekly visit with previous enhancement offerings.

Some clients will still want to come in every two weeks because they can’t stand the same color or the grow-out for anything longer than two weeks, So just be sensitive to that.

Benefit #5 Income Booster

This is by far the biggest benefit, and the best thing that has happened to our industry in a VERY long time- So, please! Let’s all work together to protect it.

And that is…

A pay increase!

A structured overlay averages around $50 for a minimum of 75 minutes of your time (Nothing less than that, plz! That’s already on the low-end, beginner/entry level pricing.)

And guess what, yes, a structured overlay is RELATIVELY easier to do than long glam acrylic nails… and soo guess what?? (…sorry had to ask again)

Acrylic techs are now charging buco bucks for their HIGHLY specialized intricate nail sets! Amounts like I’ve never seen before, $100, $200, $300 etc… 

We’re all (finally) winning!

The moral of this…

Choose whatever medium you truly enjoy working and keep the new “fair market” price. Do not criticize one another. We gotta have each others back here 🙌🏻

I’ve seen structured gel overlay services up to $120… just be cognizant, not only of your time, but also the clients’.

Those were the 5 Amazing Benefits of a structured overlay manicure, let’s now talk about its name.

So… let’s just say you refuse the words Structured Gel Overlay. Maybe the name is too long’ … or the naming is catching on like wildfire, and you don’t quite relate to what’s associated with the term, or whateva’. 

Whether that is because the nails are too thick, or subpar products are being used at the local shop who also does “structured” manis. Or you want to disassociate yourself from the BIAB crowd because you’re a Potted Soft Gel Techy (holla” ) 

Either way, while there isn’t a whole lot of diversity in word choice for this awesome service of fortifying the natural nails with gels, here are some alternatives that at least me and your older wiser siblings (i.e. nail techs) would understand:

  • Gel Overlay (I love the simplicity here!)
  • Builder Gel Manicure (take us back, baby)
  • Self-leveled Gel Manicure/Overlay/Nails (maybe a bit of a word salad here)
  • Japanese Structured Overlay

(sounds unique and luxe, and you HAVE to be using JG course)

  • Japanese Overlay
  • Bio Sculpture Overlay

(Only if you’re actually using them! All B-Sculpture foundation gels are meant to be applied self-leveled/structured, and so the ppl that know about them would be in your chair because they know this!)

Simply choose the words that you feel most comfortable in because they depict your actual service. And here’s the peace-generating kicker… most likely, you’ll have to describe the service offering anyway. And this is where you can absolutely detail that the service is a structured overlay!

So name it anything you want; name it after you if you want! Paulie Mani?

Let me describe it…

The Paulie Mani is my signature service. It is a structured gel overlay done with premium Japanese Gels.

Think about all the different names full coverage tips go by because each brand has made them it’s own!! 

And Just One Final Question

… because I don’t want you to invest all of this energy if it is unnecessary. Is the structured overlay a fading trend or here to stay? 

You’re asking me?

Here to stay.

When any client has ever gotten their nails done, unless they specifically want glammy nails, all they ever wanted was to be able to have strong nails that are or look their very own that were beautifully manicured and polished. 

And we know we couldn’t do that, with our hard products like acrylic and hard gel, because if we did those thin nails would break.

Gel polish seemed to be promising, until we learned how easily those could chip, and the damage they could cause on the nails by the often soaking off.

Thicker soft gels (like PSG and BIAB)  allow our clients to wear their dream nails… finally.

Hey, thanks for starting your week with me, I hope you enjoyed today’s topic. I’ll see you in the next one!

Content written by Paola Ponce 

Loved this blog? Then I think you’ll love learning more about my journey as a specialized gel nail solopreneur in the nail industry. Click here to get instant access to my free masterclass. These blogs are copyrighted material, and any use of this blog is not permitted without written concern first. Some of these blogs contain affiliate links that give us a small commission when qualifying purchases are made. Thank you for being so supportive, which helps us to continue creating valuable resources and content like this.

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