What is dip powder manicure and how can you do it yourself

Save money and get salon-looking nails at home.

If you are reading this, you are probably tired or regular nail polishes that chip just days after you apply them on. No one can blame you for looking for a more permanent but not more expensive solution for your nails.

So if you are looking for at-home manicures made easy, keep reading. 

What is dip powder?

Similar to gel, dip powder manicure is long-lasting but it doesn’t require UV or LED light to harden. As the name might suggest, you dip your nails into a pigmented dipping powder which quickly dries and leaves you with a salon-quality manicure. For the fraction of the price.

Dip powder has gel-like shine and durability of acrylics. 

The application is really quick, and the results are lightweight and natural-looking. Your nails won’t chip and you won’t need to think about your manicure for weeks. 

Can you do it at home?

Of course. Still, you can’t get the salon-looking nails without a little bit of practice. Unless you are some kind of nail expert (or DIY manicure queen!), it should be useful to learn a few tricks before doing you dip powder nails.

How the dip powder nails actually work? Instead of using liquid colours, you apply an adhesive base which is dipped into fine coloured powder. The nails then need to be sealed.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing your dip powder nails at home:

  1. First things first – prep your nails. A good prep does half the job so make sure you gently buff, remove any cuticles and shape the nails in the desired style. Make sure they are perfectly clean.
  2. Then apply a primer to the whole nail.
  3. Next, apply a base coat. 
  4. Now the fun starts – while the base coat is still wet dip your nails one by one into the colour powder of your choice. Tape off the access and make sure you use a brush to remove the excess powder. Leave them to air dry. 
  5. Repeat the previous step with a base coat and dip powder, followed by brushing off the excess.
  6. Finish with gel applicator. 
  7. Finally, buff and shape your nails and you are done!


Sample Beauty

Kiara Sky

Interestingly, one of the reasons it’s better to do dip powder nails at home is hygiene.

While you use your own kit yourself, you actually don’t risk potential infection since you can’t really know how many people previously dipped their nails in the same powder in a salon. Which is a big no-no. 


How long will it last?

One of the benefits of dip powder used for personal needs is that it is long-wearing. 

If done correctly, dip powder manicure will last up to 4 weeks, which is longer than gel nails.

However, make sure that your dip powder kit is of high quality and that you apply it by following all steps mentioned above. 

Will it damage my nails?

Dip powder is easy and safe to use. It doesn’t require UV light to seal the deal so it’s generally safer than gel nails. 

Still, ensure that you only buy your dip powder kits from professional nail brands that don’t use harsh chemicals. 

If removed properly it won’t damage your nails either. However, there’s always a risk your nails will be fragile as a result of any nail treatment, so the aftercare is the key. Make sure to use cuticle oil and moisturise your nails daily. 

How to remove dip powder?

Same as your regular nail polish, you’ll need nail polish remover to take off your dip powder nails. However, it takes a bit longer, so be patient. 

The best trick is to soak a piece of cotton ball in acetone which you then place on each nail and wrap in an aluminium foil. Leave to soak off for at least 10 minutes. However, buff of the first layer, usually the shiny top on your nails, so the acetone can penetrate more effectively. Once you take off the foil, wipe off any remaining powder.

This was everything you needed to know about dip powder nails. It’s easy, cost-effective and equally beautiful as salon manicure, but most importantly, even more fun.


Editor’s note: Feature image via @kiaraskynails.