Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Dip Powder Manicures
A gel manicure that lasts two weeks is impressive, but one that can hold up for a whole month? Pinch yourself because you’re not dreaming. Enter dip powder nails: a long-wear manicure that lasts up to four weeks without using a UV light to set the polish.
This manicure is perfect if you chip a nail every time you wash the dishes, or if you’re worried that regular gel manicures are ruining your nails. Even though dip powders are having a moment right now because the process is totally ‘grammable, the concept is nothing new. Dip powder manicures have been around for awhile, but they were formally dubbed “glue manicures” because of the adhesive that’s used to help the powder stick to the nail.
The first step of a dip powder manicure is prepping the nail. This includes cuticle care, cleansing, and dehydration. That this is all done dry because the powder best adheres to dehydrated nails. After the cuticles are pushed back and the nail plate is clear, a dehydrating product like 99-percent alcohol is used to wipe nails clean. Next comes the actual dipping.
With dip powder, the actual color of the manicure is the color of the finely-milled powder the nails are dipped into. Once a clear adhesive is applied to the nail, it’s dipped into a clear powder, which serves as the base, and followed by a colored powder that creates the pigment. A third dip into a sheer powder protects the pigment. In between each dip, the excess powder is brushed away from the nail and a coat of the clear adhesive is applied. The powder can alternatively be poured onto nails.
Once the dipping is done, the nails are buffed and filed down to a smooth finish, and a top coat is applied.
You’re probably thinking, “But is it healthier than gel manicures?”.
They are similar in that both provide an extra layer of protection to natural nails. As mentioned dip nails don’t require UV/LED light and are typically a much quicker process to apply from start to finish.
Much like a gel manicure, dip powder nails can be removed at home or in the salon by soaking the nails in acetone for 10 minutes and wiping it off with a paper towel. However, the powder doesn’t always slide off easily. If soaking the nails in acetone for 10 minutes doesn’t work, the powder will need to be scrapped off often with an electric file.
Regularly putting your nails through the aggressive removal process can damage the nail matrix, which manifests in lumps, bumps, and white patches on the nail plate. Cuticles can also get infected. The easiest way to avoid this is by giving your nails some breathing room once a month between dip powder manicures, just like you would with gels.
And when your nails are naked, treat them with a strengthening treatment or a nourishing oil.
Before you rush out to test dip manicures for yourself, we suggest you consider a few things:
You Probably Shouldn’t Try This At-Home.
We would never recommend doing either of these treatments as a DIY at home because for both treatments, can harm skin or the nail plate if not properly applied. This is the case even with professional grade products and products marketed for at-home use, so it’s just safer to go to a salon for both gel and dip treatments.
Color Shade And Thickness
Again there is no polish involved in this type of manicure and you are dealing with pigmented powder. The results on your nails may not be the exact shade that you saw in the powder jar because they change from their powder form when they are finished on the nail.
Something else to keep in mind is this type of manicure can end up being a bit thick and bulky on the nail, so make sure to see an experienced nail professional capable of shaping the nail into a more natural arched shape.
Unlike Regular Manicures, Dip Powder Treatments Can Last Up To A Month.
Dip manicures are supposed to last at least 3 weeks, but they may even last up to a month or more depending on the level of at-home care after the treatment is applied.
Your Natural Nail Can Become Fragile.
Not only that, but as with all nail enhancements, there is a risk of your nail plates becoming dehydrated and brittle. The removal process is crucial. That said, most issues with poor natural nail health are a result of nail enhancements, particularly dip nails, and stem from attempts at a DIY removal at home. It is always safest to go back to the nail salon and have a licensed professional remove any product for you, especially a Gel or Dip Nail Application.
Lastly, After-Care Is Extremely Helpful To Restoring Your Nail’s Health.
As mentioned above, regularly putting your nails through the aggressive removal process without proper care can impact the health of your nails. Furthermore, excess exposure to chemicals such as those found in household cleaners can lead to weakened enhancements or brittle natural nails. We always recommend wearing protective gloves to protect both the enhancement, your natural nails and the surrounding skin from weakening, which could lead to painful breakage. Restoring hydration after the treatment and during the wear time will help avoid most of the problems that can arise from the dip powder enhancements. Try to apply cuticle oils and high quality moisturizers a couple of times per week, or better yet once a day.