Have you ever thought about skipping the nail salon and doing your own nails instead?
Then why not learn the powder dip nail technique and save yourself time and money!
You might think that acrylic nails are best left to a nail tech. But it’s really easy to do your own acrylic nails at home with the dipping powder method.
Wanna learn more about doing your own nails with powder dip?
We’ll cover all the basics and answer any questions you might have.
What is acrylic dip powder?
Acrylic dip powder is a super fine acrylic powder that can be applied to your natural nails.
It’s the same stuff used for standard acrylic nails, but it’s easier to use and faster to apply.
Acrylic dip powder makes your manicure stronger and longer lasting. It comes in natural pink as well as any color you can think of.
What are powder-dipped nails?
Powder dipped nails are false nails. They’re very similar to acrylic nails.
Acrylic nails and powder dipped nails both use the same stuff (acrylic) but for dipping, the acrylic is ground up into a fine powder.
The dipping technique is popular because it’s faster and easier for beginners to do.
For powder dip nails you use a base coat, dip your nails into an acrylic powder (it can be any colour, or natural) and then apply a sealant to finish off.
You don’t need to cure so there’s no need to buy a UV or LED lamp, yay!
How long do acrylic dip nails last?
Powder dip nails should last around three weeks.
They can last longer than that – if you look after them.
To make your powder dipped nails last longer, try using cuticle oil and topping up your sealant.
My top tips for longer lasting powder dip nails are
1.Don’t use your nails as tools.
2. Steer clear of harsh cleaning chemicals.
3. Put gloves on when you’re washing up or cleaning, otherwise you might not get the full 3 weeks!
Can I do powder dip nails at home?
Powder dipped nails are the perfect at home option.
It’s quick and easy to get professional-looking powder dip nails at home – once you get the hang of it!
It may take a little practice to get the exact look you want, but with a little effort, you can have awesome-looking nails in no time.
How should I prepare my nails for powder dipping?
If you want good results, you need a good base.
Here’s how to prepare your nails for dipping:
- Wash your hands well.
- Push back your cuticles and trim any excess skin.
- Buff the surface of your nails lightly to create a slightly rough texture. Use a buffing tool (not a file) for this – if you see any stripes or marks from buffing, you’re being too rough!
- Apply a sanitiser.
- At this point, don’t touch your face or your hair! If you do, natural oils will get on the nail surface and your powder won’t stick as well.
- Once your nails and buffed and clean – you’re ready to start applying!
I know you’re probably gonna wanna get your nails done as soon as possible, but don’t be tempted to skip or rush the prep, your nails won’t look as good and won’t last as long.
Are there different types of acrylic dip powers?
Most acrylic dip powders are pretty much the same. But you can get different colours and finishes like glitter, shimmer and even glow in the dark!
Think of acrylic powder like nail polish.
Nail polish doesn’t change that much, but the quality of the product you get and the finishes available can vary quite a lot.
There are so many different brands of acrylic dip powders, so the consistency and overall finished product may look and feel a little different depending on the brand you are using or where you have purchased your kit.
Are acrylic dip powders healthy for my nails?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the topic of whether or not powder dipped nails are a safer, healthier option than bog standard acrylics.
Many salons advertise powder dip nails as “natural” or “non-toxic”, plastering their advertising with buzz words like “clean” and “green”.
But these are just marketing terms, so they should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
The fact is that acrylic and powder dipped nails are very similar. Both use the same substance (acrylic) and very similar application and removal substances and methods.
Much of the hype around powder dipped nails being healthier stems from the fact that you don’t need a UV lamp to cure them.
As any dermatologist will tell you, UV light from gel nail lamps has been proven to cause skin damage, and since powder dip nails don’t use UV light at all, they are automatically “safer” than nail products that do require UV light to cure.
Nail coatings that are “healthy” for your natural nails are not the norm, most products contain a myriad of chemicals (some more harmful than others).
If you are concerned about the health of your natural nails, make sure that you remove the powder dipped nails gently and properly.
You may also want to look for non-toxic solutions like these to help keep your own nails in the best possible condition.
Some acrylic dip powders (Kiara Sky springs to mind) claim to contain a range of vitamins as well as calcium to help reinforce your natural nails while you are wearing the product.
So you may want to check those out too.
How do I remove acrylic dip powder at home?
I’m so impatient when it comes to removing any kind of nail polish or falsies.
I can’t wait to get it off so I can go in with a beautiful new manicure!
The good news is, you can quickly and easily remove your powder dipped nails at home, but believe me it does take patience!
I learned the patience lesson the hard way.
Experiencing chips, splits, cracks and having to do the removal process all over again (because I didn’t soak for long enough) have made me appreciate the necessity of a thorough and gentle removal process.
So here’s what I do now to ensure that I don’t completely ruin my natural nails!
Scroll down a bit and you’ll see 2 techniques for removal, (basically one is with and one is without foil) so choose whichever one works best for you.
All you need is some pure acetone and some cotton balls (and foil if you go for the foil method).
You can do either the bowl method (no foil needed) or the foil method:
⮚ Bowl method:
- Take a small ceramic or metal bowl and pour in some pure acetone. You want just enough so that when you put your hands into the bowl, your nails are fully submerged in the acetone.
- Place your nails into the bowl and sit for about 10 minutes (if you’re anything like me, 10 minutes is going to seem forever – just watch a video or something to take your mind off what you’re doing!)
- Remove your hands from the bowl and wipe your nails down firmly with the cotton balls.
- Place your hands back into the bowl for a further 10 minutes, then remove and wipe again.
At this point there should be little, or no product left on your natural nails.
Do not do what I did and use a metal scraping tool to get off those stubborn last bits!
Butyou can gently scrape off any last bits with a wooden orange stick.
If you don’t have an appropriate scraping tool, place your nails back into the bowl for a few more minutes, then remove and wipe with cotton balls again – I told you you needed patience!.
- Give your nails a final wipe, wash your hands and then apply a good cuticle oil and/or hand cream.
- Discard the acetone safely.
- For the next week or so, you may want to apply a nail strengthening product to help your nails recover (but this is optional).
⮚ With aluminium foil:
Here’s what to do if you are using foil:
- Prepare 10 cotton balls and 10 rectangular pieces of foil (approx. 5cm x 7cm).
- Soak a cotton ball in pure acetone and place it directly onto one nail. Then take a piece of foil and wrap it around your nail and the cotton ball.
- Continue this with the rest of your nails, one by one.
- When all your nails are wrapped up, sit for 15 minutes and then remove each nail wrap – starting with the first one you wrapped and finishing with the last.
- If you still have product remaining, lightly buff it off – but be gentle!
- Give your nails a final wipe, wash your hands and then apply a good cuticle oil and/or hand cream.
- Discard the foil and cotton balls safely.
- If your nails are very weak, you can apply a nail strengthening product and leave it on for a few days.
Doing your own acrylic dip nails at home is pretty simple and easy, however, you may still experience some difficulties.
If you do have any problems, check out these answers to frequently asked questions about troubleshooting acrylic dip nails:
Why do my nails hurt after applying acrylic dip powder?
Don’t worry, a little soreness after applying acrylic dip powder is fairly common.
It usually means that you or your nail tech have been a little too enthusiastic with the filing.
You newly finished nails could also be causing discomfort simply because they are too long.
If you are not used to long nails you’ll probably catch them and bash them a lot – which can also cause soreness.
How can I stop my nails from hurting after applying the powder?
Here are some tips to ensure that your chances of pain after applying your acrylic dip nails are slim to none:
- Use the right tools. Prep the surface of your natural nail with a very light buffing file to avoid removing too much of the natural nail.
- Keep it light. Try to be as gentle with your nails as you can during the whole preparation and application process. There’s really no need to file your nails into oblivion!
- If you experience pain afterwards or perhaps you nicked your cuticle while you were prepping, apply ice to the affected nail(s).
Why do my acrylic powder dip nails look bumpy?
If you’ve got bumps then chances are that you have applied base coat either too thickly or unevenly.
You can try applying the base coat much more thinly, ensuring that you cover the whole nail evenly before you dip.
This can take some practice – so stick with it and you’ll soon get the knack!
You may also want to experiment with different dipping motions (rolling side to side, scooping from front to back) find whatever works for you!
When it comes to unevenness, you need to be especially careful around the cuticles, because you can “flood” the area with the base coat during the initial application.
If you have ever painted your nails with polish, you may have noticed your cuticle areas have been uneven or you find it difficult to remove the polish after it bleeds onto the surrounding skin around the cuticles – this is most likely because you have flooded the cuticles.
Why do my acrylic powder nails look grainy?
If your nails look grainy, this would usually be because you have added too much powder.
When doing your application, don’t forget to turn your nail to the side and tap your finger firmly with another finger so that any excess powder can drop off.
Why are my powder dip nails cracking?
Cracking can, and often does, occur with acrylic powder dip nails, but thankfully, as your technique and practice increases, this should happen less and less.
Here’s how to combat cracks:
- Vertical cracks can appear when the powder is unevenly applied between the base coat and the sealant. Practice and experiment with your technique until you can apply each coat more evenly.
- The angle of your brush is important to ensure minimal cracking – try not to lift your brush upright when applying product as it can lead to uneven application, bumpiness and ridges.
- To minimise the chances of cracking, ensure you apply at least three layers of dip for a solid nail.
Top tips to get the best results from your acrylic dipped nails:
Here are some useful tips and tricks for nailing powder dipped nails.
- After you have properly prepped the nail, be sure to only apply a thin layer of base coat to the nail.
- Avoid flooding the cuticles with the base coat.
- Try to apply your base as evenly as possible, keeping the brush at the same angle, dragging from the cuticle edge of the nail through to the tip of the nail in a smooth seamless motion.
- Dip your nail at a 45 degree angle into your choice of powder colour and be sure you have coated the entire nail, evenly.
- After dipping, check for evenness. Turn your nail to the side and gently tap it (with another finger) to allow any build up of powder to fall off and even out.
- Using acrylic dip powder on natural nails (rather than falsies) will yield the best results.
All in all, trying acrylic powder dip nails is a great idea if you don’t want to, or can’t get to the salon.
Often we just don’t have the time to travel there and then sit and wait while having our nails done.
Many people find it a lot easier to do their own nails at home, spending at least half the time!
If you are time-poor but want good looking and strong nails, this is definitely the way to go.
Acrylic powder dip nails are just as healthy for your nails as gels and traditional acrylics – and you can build your colour collection – fun!
Just be sure that when you are doing your nails at home, you are in a well-ventilated room and you clean up well afterwards.
And of course, always read the packaging and follow the instructions.
Here’s to pretty, happy, healthy nails!