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Maybe you're keen to save some cash or maybe you just want to do your nails in trackies and a top-knot. Whatever your motivation, we're here to support you and your DIY dreams! Although it may seem more intimidating than traditional lacquer or gel polish, we reckon it's time to add acrylic dip to your DIY to-do list! Looking at the results, many women make the mistake of assuming that dip nails should only be done by the pros. The truth is, acrylic dip is absolutely attainable at home!
Like all manicures, it's crucial to prep your natural nails for smooth applications and perfect product adherence. Start by filing your nails to your desired length and shape.
Follow by pushing back your cuticles and buffing the nail surface to eliminate shine. Remove any dust with a dust brush. We suggest using a PH Bonding agent (especially if you have noticeably oily nail beds) such as OPI's Bond-Aid. This product works by removing oils, dirt and dust while slightly dehydrating the natural nail for better product adhesion.
Pro Tip: Make sure you give the PH bond a chance to dry before moving on!
How do you get the right amount of powder per nail? The magic is all in your foundation! The base coat is what turns your powder into perfection! In order to pick up the right amount of powder you need to apply your dipping system base coat sparingly! Applying too much base coat can cause a gloggy nail surface making powder adhere unevenly.
The second important thing to keep in mind when applying your base coat is the small gap you need to save around your cuticles. Brush on your base coat evenly until you reach about 3/4 of the way down your nail (a few mm away from your cuticle). This tiny gap prevents powder from flooding your cuticles and killing your manicure! Next, dip each nail into the powder, dusting off excess product and repeat, then continuing with the activator coat. After you have allowed the activator to absorb into the nail, buff the nails with 3 different buffers, graduating from a 100 grit, to a 180 grit, to a 240 grit. This will be your secret to a high shine finish! For full step-by-step application instructions see our previous FAQ post.
After your nails have been dipped and your activator has been applied, it's time to lock in your gorgeous dipped look! Each of our dipping systems includes a finishing liquid. Sometimes referred to as the Top Coat (Gelish Dip) or the Finish Gel (ProDip by SuperNail) this final dipping liquid is like insurance for your new nails.
There are a few key things to keep in mind to help your finishing liquid work flawlessly! First, make sure your nail is free of dust and product before applying another layer of activator and allowing it to fully absorb into the nail before your Top Coat; your Top Coat will not set with out your Activator. If excess product or dust exists on your nail, the sealing coat could be compromised. Not only could the brushes be damaged, but the sealer itself may not be able to perform to its full potential.
Bonus tip: Now that you know how easy it is to do your own dip, it's important to look after your products so you can apply over and over again! Make sure that you clean the neck of your bottle with acetone after every use, to prevent it from being glued closed, your bottles are always sealed tight after using, this prevents the liquids from drying out and losing potency. It's also important to prevent product from attaching to your brushes and sneaking into your dipping liquids.
Also, make sure you use a brush cleaner to clear off residue. Before putting the brush in brush cleaner, soak just the bristles in acetone first to dissolve the hard excess product, then put in brush cleaner for 5-10 mins. Gently clean off excess brush cleaner, do not pull bristles.
Images Via: SuperNail