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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Top 4 Nail Colors For Fall

While I love summer, there comes a point when I’m just tired of being hot and sweaty. I’m definitely an advocate for fall – a time when the sun sets earlier, the air is crisper and everything is pumpkin.

Fall is really exciting to me because we get to bundle up in different scarves, jackets and we get to accessorize with darker colors! I’ve been all about dark colors and nude hues all year, but now I can really embrace it in everything I wear, including my nail polish. Here’s a quick round up of my favorite nail colors going into the fall season.

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  • Circuits by L.A. Colors: Black is as dark and spooky as they get for this time of year. I’ve been obsessed with black nails all year because they look so sleek and edgy. This nail polish takes about two coats and dries quickly. This lasts at least a week – I change my nail color weekly – and it’s so inexpensive. I found this brand at my local dollar store for, you guessed it, a dollar!
  • Wicked Attraction by Sonia Kashuk: This color is more of a dark plum, but when it dries it looks almost black. I really like it because in certain lighting you can see the color, but like I said, it’s pretty dark and looks festive for fall. I don’t particularly like the brush for this polish because it’s very thin and doesn’t cover much of the nail in one swipe so it’s difficult to get an even coat. I generally apply two to three coats and I feel like the application for this polish takes forever. It’s a great color nonetheless.
  • Vacation Time by Sinful Colors Professional: You’ve seen this before on the blog – this color is my favorite go to. It’s the perfect pink/mauve nude. It’s great for any occasion. It’s such a timeless color. Love it!
  • Incognito y L.A. Colors: This color has the same formula as the black polish. It dries quickly and only takes a couple coats. It’s a really great cool gray color. Perfect going into fall and winter weather.

I’d really like to find a deep non-shimmery red, like a blood red for fall and winter. I’ll keep you all updated if I do find one that I love.

What are some of your favorite fall nail colors?

Top 5 Nail Colors For Summer

Nail color is one of the easiest and most subtle ways to express yourself. Each color, texture and design shows who you really are, what you like and how you feel. Your nail color is an added accessory to every outfit. Even the red carpet starting showing nail designs with the mani-cam!

I’m the type of person who has to have perfectly polished nails, anything else drives me crazy! Now that it’s summer, I feel like I can play with brighter and bolder colors. I love summer and now my nails can reflect it. I’m here to show you my go-to top five nail colors for summer. These are the colors I grab the most. When I’m at work, they remind me of the beach, with the sun, sand and a drink in my hand!

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From left to right: L.A. Colors Color Craze in Hot Blooded, Essie in E-Nuf is E-Nuf, Essie in Tart Deco, Revlon in Siren, Sinful Colors Professional in Vacation Time

  1. L.A. Colors Color Craze in Hot Blooded: I picked up this red hot color at my local dollar store. It’s such a classic red, perfect all year round. It’s super easy to apply and fast drying – all you need is two coats and you’re good to go!
  2. Essie in E-Nuf is E-Nuf: I don’t quite understand the name, but this is such a great bright pink. This color really packs a punch!
  3. Essie in Tart Deco: I absolutely love this color! It reminds me of an orange sorbet. It’s a really pretty peach color that looks phenomenal against tan skin.
  4. Revlon in Siren: I haven’t wore this color too often this year, but I definitely love this bright orange color. I’ve found that Revlon nail polish is pretty thin, so this one usually takes about three thin coats, but it dries very quickly.
  5. Sinful Colors Professional in Vacation Time: I’ve practically been wearing this color every chance I get. It’s a mauve, nude that reminds me of relaxing, sandy beaches. It’s the perfect tone, it’s not too loud, but you definitely notice it. This is definitely one of my favorites.

I realize now that I go more toward peachy, orange colors, other than very classic tones. When it comes to nails, you can really never go wrong!

Have you tried any of these colors? What are some of your favorite summer colors?

My Nail Care Routine

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have some sort of color on my nails. In my opinion, if you don’t have a perfectly polished manicure, your life is falling apart. I know that’s not true, but I like to have my nails done and present the best possible version of myself.

Without further adieu, here’s my weekly nail routine!

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I begin my nail routine by removing my old nail polish. I’ll use whatever type of cotton ball or cotton pads I have lying around at that time. I try to use safer nail polish remover, but I did go through a phase of acrylic nails, so I still have this 100% Acetone.

After my nail polish is removed and my nails are clean, I wash my hands and file my nails to create my desired shape and size. I like when my nails are to the tip of my fingers, sometimes longer, and in a rounded square shape – squared oval or squoval below.

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Photo from Beautiful You Australia

Once my nail is shaped and sized, I’ll push my cuticles back with my cuticle pen from Avon. Then I apply Sally Hansen Hard As Nails. I love this stuff! It applies smoothly and dries quickly! I like to use it as a base and a top coat.

After Hard As Nails dries, I’ll apply at least two coats of whatever color I’m going to wear for the next week. In the first photo, I have a pale pink color.

When the color is dry, I clean up the edges by dipping a tiny concealer brush in nail polish remover – just like at the nail salon! Once it appears the way I want, I lock everything down with Hard As Nails again.

There you have it! What tips and tricks do you have when you do your nails?

Mani Monday – Numero uno!

My nails are usually some shade of red, but autumn in Chicago – autumn anywhere – means dark and muted polishes. Hues of gray, purple, black. Mauve, plum, tan. Anything neutral, and toned down.

With the holidays, I decided to go with a more “jolly” color – something a little more festive. Lately, I’ve been sporting one of my favorite colors and polishes: Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Roulette Rush (620).
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The application is simple and smooth, takes a few minutes to dry, and is super pigmented. In addition, the color lasts at least a week – which is super important to me. Since I’m constantly typing and doing work on a computer, my nail polish typically doesn’t last too long, but this formula wins.

 

Lastly, for anyone who’s curious, mani Monday officially began during my last semester of college and last collegiate tennis season. Honestly, I’ve taken a lot of pride in having great looking nails since mid college. I wanted long, strong nails and worked hard to get them. I would typically do my nails every couple weeks, but since mani Monday officially started, I groom them weekly. As vein as it sounds, I hated when my nails were jagged or the color was chipped during a tennis match. So I made it a point to set aside time every week for myself.