My First Dip Powder Manicure

What is a Dip Powder Manicure? Instead of using UV rays to seal in your polish, the color comes from a pigmented powder. Between base coats and a sealant, you dip your nails into a little jar of your chosen color for a manicure that could last up to four weeks. The dip technique is not new but social media has quickly popularizing the process and helping it stage a comeback. If you watch one of the hundreds of videos on line you may be like me intrigued. I was mesmerized by some of the video so set my appointment at the local nail salon. Here is what I learned.

Prepping Nails for the Layers

What are the steps?

  1. The nail technicians will remove all access nail polish from your nails using acetone.
  2. An electric buffing machine is used to smooth out any rugged areas on your nails and create a clean canvas for the powder to stick to. 
  3. Nails are cut and shaped  and cuticles are pushed back. I chose a squarish shape. 
  4. A primer is applied.
  5. Each finger is then dipped into the clear, finely-milled powder, brushed off the excess powder, set it with a protective clear polish and repeated these steps until my nail was fully coated and hardened. 
  6. After applying OPI Love is in the Bare,  each nail gets set with a gel top coat.
  7. Wait a few minutes for things to harden and your good to go.
My final polish

What does it cost? My appointment took about 45 minutes and cost $40. The Average time is 45 minutes to an hour and the average price is $30 to $50, depending on the location and salon. 

How long does it last? 3-4 weeks

Does every Nail Salon offer Dip Powder Manicures? Over the past two years, more and more nail salons have started offering the service but not all do offer it so if you’re setting an appointment be sure to confirm that they offer the service.

How do you remove a Dip Powder Manicure? Like gels or acrylics, removing a dip powder manicure requires more time and patience than swiping remover on a cotton ball. Of course, the best way to remove the polish is to go back to your nail tech; otherwise you risk damaging and weakening your nails. My technician warned that trying to remove the polish at home can be sticky. If you still want to try at home follow instructions much like gel polish removal.

Is it hard to Dip Powder Manicure at home? I personally wouldn’t try doing this at home until you have had it professionally done first. While the process is not overwhelming it does have multiple steps and requires some technique. Try it first and see if you like it – also take note of the steps and techniques. If after that you want to do it yourself be sure to get a kit. It will have directions and all the components needed. The Reveal starter kit comes highly recommended.

Is it safe? Yes, it’s safe if your salon carries quality powders. Some cheaper dip powders can contain MMD, which is extremely harmful to natural nails and banned in NYC & other places. Dip powders are acrylic so its important to use higher quality brands.

The products my salon used

Do I recommend it? Yes, I actually enjoyed the experience. My nails dried quickly and have a nice shine to them. They feel super strong and so far have no chips or damage. I expect them to last the full 4 weeks and I’m rough on my hands.

Dip Tips:

  • Since the polish lasts for weeks you may want to consider the color you’re having applied. As your nails grow out there will be a gap between the new growth and the polish so natural shades look better and allow you to go longer before removal.
  • There is a lot of fine powder as they file and shape your nails. My technician wore a mask and asked if I wanted one. Be sure to clean your hands, phone, other after the salon as some of the dust is actually powder acrylic and can be toxic.
  • My nail technician shared that it’s tricky to do it yourself as layers can get too thick and it can be tricky to get a smooth final product. It may not be as easy as the u-tube videos claim so before you decide to do it yourself be sure you know what is required.

Have you taken the dip? Share your insights and tips.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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