Now Trending: Dip Powder Nails

As of recently, my Instagram feed has been filled with beauty gurus sharing videos of nails being dipped into colorful powders and magically becoming beautifully polished claws. Since I’m obsessed with having perfectly polished nails at all times, I had to find out what this was all about and how I could try it. So now I’ve researched it, I’ve tried it, and I’m here to tell you all about it.

Surprisingly, this “trend” isn’t new as dip powder nails have been around since the 80s. The name basically describes the process in which the nail color is applied. It starts with applying a base coat of bond and dipping the nail into the desired color – this is repeated a couple times depending on how sheer or opaque you want your color. Then, an activator is applied to the powder, you smooth it out, and apply a top coat to reveal smooth, glossy, beautiful nails that will last 3-4 weeks.

Dip Powder vs. Gel vs. Traditional Acrylics

Dip powder falls somewhere between gel nails and nail extensions because they’re all made of an acrylic base. Gel manicures are like pre-mixed acrylics and are cured with a UV lamp. Nail extensions, or traditional acrylic nails, are formed by combining the liquid acrylic and acrylic powder to form a gel. Dip powder is different because the powder is very fine, but it’s still bonded using a glue. Overall, they have a similar effect because they have similar ingredients, but with dip powder you can avoid UV lamps and inhalation threats from the acrylic powders.

Removal Process

Like gel manicures and traditional acrylics, dip powder does have to be soaked off. The longer you leave the color on, the longer it will take to soak it off. The minimum suggested soaking time is usually 15 minutes, but you’ll likely have to soak longer. You definitely don’t want to remove the dip powder by peeling it off because it will damage your nails and it will hurt – A LOT. Some people reserve dip color for special occasions because of the removal process, but so long as you care for your nails and don’t rush removal, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Sam Tip – I found these soak off caps by Kiss Nails at my local drugstore that have been a life saver when it comes to removing nail color.

My Experience

I managed to come across a dip powder starter kit called Serendipity by Color Club at my local Walmart – it was around $25 and I’ve already used it several times. I bought the Classic kit which comes with a light pink (New-tral), classic red (Regatta Red – my personal favorite), and dark red (Feverish). As for the other starter pieces, it comes with a bond, activator, top coat, and buffing block. The instructions are on the box, so it’s pretty easy to follow.

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In the past few months, I’ve gone back and forth from natural nails to acrylics and back. Dip powder is a really good middle ground for me for a couple reasons – the application process and the staying power. When I apply regular nail polish or when I do my own acrylics, it takes forever – I’m either waiting for the polish to dry or I’m shaping my nails for hours. As a side note, I do my own nails because I’m too lazy and cheap to go to the nail salon. I basically only go for my birthday, but I digress. Dip powder dries so fast and it lasts at least a few weeks. With this process, I’m able to protect and grow my natural nails because the product is strong, kind of like an acrylic overlay. The color doesn’t chip, unless you bend your nail and crack the hardened product, which I’ve done and it hurts like breaking a nail. It really does last a long time. The only con I would say is there can be lifting, similar to acrylics, but I think that just comes with the territory.

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My nails in Regatta Red after a week of wear.

Overall Opinion

If you’re interested in trying dip nails, definitely go for it. It doesn’t pose anymore risks than getting a gel manicure or traditional nail extensions. I’m honestly still amazed with the process every time I do it, it’s just so cool. There are quite a few companies that sell starter kits, like Color Club and Kiara Sky, but if you’re nervous about doing it on your own, definitely head to your local nail salon to inquire.

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Beauty Benefits of Castor Oil

It’s hard to not be influenced by celebrities and Instagram models who have flawless skin and perfect hair, but that doesn’t mean you have to resort to chemical treatments to achieve that look. There are many natural ways to get glowing skin and great hair, one of which is castor oil.

Castor oil is a pale yellow liquid derived from castor seeds and it’s extremely rich in antioxidants that can solve your beauty woes. This oil is full of Vitamin E, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 that are essential for good hair and skin. It is also known for it’s anti-bacterial properties and a variety of medicinal benefits. Here are just a few of the ways castor oil can help you achieve your beauty goals.

Dry skin. Because castor oil is rich in fatty acids, it makes for a great moisturizer when the air is dry. It can be rubbed into cuticles, dry heels, chapped lips, and more.

Clears acne. Speaking of dry skin, a lot of beauty products, even acne products, can dry out your skin. When you skin is stripped of it’s natural oils it tends to overcompensate in oil production which causes acne. When you apply castor oil to the skin, it helps restore your skin’s moisture balance.

Castor oil saved my face last month – I had some pretty gnarly acne that surfaced and it seemed like my usual acne regiment wasn’t cutting it so I decided to try something new. I massaged a little bit of castor oil on my spots and because of the nourishing fatty acids and antibacterial properties my spots became smaller over night and disappeared within a day or two. I’m not saying it’ll work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot.

Healthy hair. Whenever you use oil on your hair, it give it external nourishment and shine. Castor oil, on the other hand, is really great for your scalp. When massaged onto the scalp, it can help increase blood circulation and improve hair growth overall while also conditioning your hair naturally.

I’ve recently been using castor oil on my eyebrows to stimulate hair growth. At first I was really skeptical of everything I’ve read, but I can say I’ve noticed some hair growth in patchy areas.

There are so many uses for castor oil, for both beauty and health, but these are just a few ways it can help you achieve great skin and hair.

As with any beauty solution, some people see results while others don’t. Just because castor oil is an all natural solution, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Definitely check with a health professional before trying a new skincare or health regiment. While I was learning about the benefits of castor oil, I did a patch test on my forearm before putting it on my face to make sure I wasn’t allergic to it.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I use cold pressed castor oil by Home Health found at my local Fruitful Yield.

Do you incorporate castor oil in your beauty routine? What are some of your favorite beauty oils?

April Ipsy Reveal

Like last month, I received a wide variety of products in my April Ipsy bag – some makeup, some skincare, and one tool. Here’s a breakdown of the items I like, don’t like and what I’ve yet to try and why.

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LXMI Crème Du Nil: I’m convinced this is the stuff Cleopatra used for anti-aging. It’s magic in a bottle. This crème moisturizer is a pore refining product that improves the look of skin across the board. It helps even out skin tone, improves brightness, and so much more. Because this product is a rich and thick formula, a little bit goes a long way. I’ve incorporated this product into my nighttime beauty routine and have noticed improvements overnight. Once my sample is out, I’m definitely buying more. While the price point is more on the expensive side for the full-sized version, this product is worth it and the work LXMI does is amazing – check them out to learn more.

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel: This is the one product I haven’t tried. Since it’s an aloe soothing gel, I wanted to save it for when it’s a little bit warmer out and when I’m getting more sun. I’m sure this will be refreshing after a long day of sitting poolside.

Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow: This sample is absolutely tiny. While this product can be used as both a highlighter and an eyeshadow, I’ve been using it strictly as a highlighter. It’s a light champagne color perfect for highlighting the brow bone and Cupid ’s bow.

PS Cosmeceutical Infused Nail Lacquer in Southern Sand: I was really excited for this nail polish. It’s a really great peachy-nude color and it’s made with grapefruit seed extract, which sounds like a good thing. I wore this for about a week on my natural nails. The color came off almost white against my olive skin tone. It was a little bit difficult or chunky to apply. It began chipping after a few days. It’s definitely not my favorite product – it’s just okay. It was a great color for Easter.

Tony Moly Liptone: I really liked this, but I only used it a few times and here’s why – so the packaging is kind of like a lipstick tube and the product wouldn’t twist back down. I would only twist it up enough to use it, but when my boyfriend tested it out he twisted it up way too much and it got stuck to the top and basically broke off. This was great while I had it, but it’s not something I would go out and buy myself. I’ll stick with Chapstick.

Glamour Dolls angled brush: I always love getting brushes in my Ipsy bag because quality brushes can be expensive and Ipsy send really fun ones. This brush has a whole Lisa Frank theme that only 90s kids will remember… haha but seriously it’s a really cute, soft brush that I’ll proudly display on my vanity.

Overall, there were some hits and some misses, but I’m always happy to try the products in my Ipsy bag. What did you guys get this month? What was your favorite product? Are there any you’d like me to go into more depth about?

The Only Brush Cleaner You Need is Right in Your Kitchen

We are dedicated to the ceremonious washing of our face twice a day, yet we continue to use dirty makeup brushes on the reg. I know I’m guilty of going a couple weeks without washing my brushes due to pure laziness, but when you think about it, there’s so much old makeup, oil, and bacteria trapped in those brushes that can lead to acne and wrinkles. Washing makeup brushes not only prolongs the life of our brushes, but also improves the health of our skin.

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One thing that has held me back from washing my brushes is not having the brush shampoo, and let’s face it, brush shampoo can get expensive especially when it comes to how often we should be using it. There are plenty of brush shampoo recipes out there, some calling for products that don’t disinfect – I’m looking at you baby shampoo – this one however, uses common kitchen products and leaves your brushes clean and soft.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Plate
  • Rolled up towel

After you’ve raided your kitchen for these products, you’ll begin by pouring some dish soap onto your plate. Make sure you’re using a dinner plate because the products will seep through a paper plate. The dish soap is used to disinfect and clean your brushes.

Next you’ll add some extra virgin olive oil to the plate. You should use about two parts dish soap to one part olive oil. The olive oil is used to condition the bristles after being stripped of oil and disinfected.

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Once you’ve put together your cleanser, swirl your first brush in the cleanser (note: some makeup will begin to come off into your mixture), then move your brush back and forth in your hand to release the makeup from the brush and give it a thorough cleaning. Repeat these steps for the rest of your brushes.

When all your brushes have been swirled and cleaned with your homemade shampoo, you’ll need to rinse them off. Using warm water, cup your hand and move the brush in a circular motion to rinse it off. Be careful not to get the metal part of your brush damp because that will loosen the bristles and ultimately ruin your brushes.

Lastly, you’ll need to dry your brushes. A lot of brush cleaning tutorials will go through the steps of hanging your brushes upside with a brush guard to keep the bristles in shape – I don’t do that. I’ve tried this method and found it took a lot of time and half my brushes would fall off. I typically roll up one end of a towel so the handle of the brush can rest there, while being slanted down on the other part of the towel to dry. I don’t use brush guards either, I just reshape my brush and let it dry that way.

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This super easy brush cleaner will make both your brushes and your skin much happier! For more information about brush cleaning, see my previous post Makeup Brush Cleaning 101.