Good morning! As you may have noticed, I switched my blog day to Wednesdays! I noticed that you guys like reading more on Wednesdays so I figured I’d give the people what they want lol!
This week I’ll be telling you all about how I do my nails at home using the new dipping technique. You may ask yourself, “why would I wanna listen to her? What does she know?” Before you waste your time reading a long article only to realize I don’t know what I’m doing and I suck at doing my nails, allow me to show you how mine typically come out. Then you can decide for yourself if you’d like to read further lol.
Are you still there? Good! 🙂 Let me walk you through my step by step routine.
- Manicure your nails. File them to your desired shape, clean up your cuticles and make sure you buff the surface down so it no longer has a shine. (Don’t overdo it. You don’t want to weaken your nails.)
- Use a nail dehydrant to make sure your nails are at the right pH balance and the nails will stick better (this prevents lifting near the cuticle). I used this one: Click Here.
- Get your nail kit in order. I used the Color Club Seren-dip-ity Starter Kit and this is the one I will be walking you through (believe it or not, each brand has different processes). You can find a link to the kit below. This cost me only about $20!!
4. Start with the Prep Bond bottle (labeled with a “1” on it). Put on a nice thin layer starting with the tip of your nail and going about 2/3 of the way down. Then quickly dip your nail into the dipping powder of your choice. The Prep Bond dries quick so try to move swiftly! Tap the nail so the excess falls off. Then continue on to the rest of your nails.
5. Take a clean makeup brush and lightly brush over each nail to remove any excess powder.
6. Again, do another layer of the Prep Bond (1). This time take it all the way down but leave a little space above the cuticle. Then quickly dip again. Do this for the rest of your nails then tap off the excess and lightly brush each nail with your makeup brush.
7. Do another layer of Prep Bond (1) and take it down to the cuticle making sure you’re careful so the edge of the nails look nice and clean. Then dip, tap, and when you’re done with all nails, brush off the excess.
8. Use the Instant Activator (labeled “2”), and apply all over each nail. Wait a few minutes and file and buff down each nail so the surface is nice and smooth. Here you can also re-file the edges and make sure you get the shape you like. Make sure you file around the cuticles. You want the edges around your cuticles not to be thick or popping up, this will make the edges lift easier and sooner or later, you will find your nail on the floor.
9. If your nails are thin, or long, I recommend doing another layer of Prep Bond (1), dipping, tapping, and brushing off the excess. Then apply Instant Activator (2) again, wait a couple minutes, buff out anything that may not appear smooth, then apply the Instant Activator again. You can do 4 layers back to back if you’d like, but when I did them at the salon this is how they did it and I also noticed that the nails get seriously misshapen when you do 4 layers back to back and it’s harder to shape the nails.
10. If your nails are short and strong, just apply the Instant Activator when you are done filing.
11. Apply the Finish Gloss (3). Make sure you use as few strokes as possible and make sure you get a nice, even, smooth, layer. Apply to all nails, then apply a second coat. Make sure you allow a few minutes for them to dry! DO NOT MOVE! lol.
12. Apply a cuticle oil to your cuticles and wash your hands. Voila! You’re done!
Now here are my recommendations:
You should DEFINITELY invest in an e-file or this will take VERY long. Useful for steps 8 & 9. Also, so important for removal. I ordered this one on Amazon for about $20: Click Here.
Now this is very important: make sure you buy a brush saver. This is the one I use: Click Here. Make sure that you dip your Finishing Gloss brush into the Brush Saver between coats. I also swap out the brushes and leave it in there between uses. The gloss tends to harden on the brush and if this happens your nails will come out seriously jacked up when they dry!!
For Removal: File the old product down to make it as thin as possible (but not all the way to the nail, we want to keep the natural nail in good shape.) Then put pure acetone on a cotton ball and wrap with aluminum foil. Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes. If you filed it down enough, you should be able to just wipe off any excess with a cotton ball and acetone. It is important to use acetone that is specifically for artificial nails! Regular polish removal will have you removing your nails for over an hour (trust me, I’ve been there). I used this one: Click Here.
If your nail breaks: You can apply a nail tip. Just apply to the tip of your nail using nail glue, cut down to your desired length and shape. Then file down the edge of the nail that’s glued to your natural nail to thin it a bit. The apply Prep Bond (1) just over the edge of the nail tip where it is attached to your nail and dip in the powder, tap off excess, wait a minute, brush off excess, and follow the rest of the instructions normally. If it is just a small break (not a full blown break off), just treat the nail gently and follow all the steps as usual. Your nail will be safe under the dip powder. You can also apply a tiny piece of paper towel over the break and add a drop of nail glue, then file it down a bit when it dries. This will create a little protective shield.
SIDE NOTE: In the picture above I used Kiara Sky powder and this happened a day after I had done them. I have never experienced this kind of breakage in all the time I’ve done dip. I’m wondering if this brand’s powder isn’t as strong when it dries? This was my first time having to apply tips 😥
If your Finish Gloss dries and has a funny texture or looks bad: simply file down the nail and reapply 2 coats. Remember to clean your brush! If it’s hardened you’ll get chunky streaks! 😦
Over all, I’ve been getting my nails done for years and after countless disappointments and the recent spike in cost, I’ve decided enough is enough! I’ve observed this process for years so I felt like I could replicate it lol. I’ve tried acrylics, gel, etc. and dip has been my favorite technique so far and the easiest to try at home! I feel like my nails don’t feel as thick and bulky and they look nicer for much longer. I also feel like they don’t grow out as fast when I do dip which requires less maintenance 🙂
If you try this at home, let me know! Just a small disclaimer, this takes practice!! Good luck and I hope this helps you all save some $$! 🙂