Before kiddos I LOVED to get my nails done. After kids…I still LOVE it but finding the time became more difficult. So, 5 years ago I started to do my own Shellac Manicures. Yes, there is a blog post on how to do those too! Click here and it will take you to that post.
Once in awhile, I do still go and get a mani and pedi but I know that its going to take a couple hours. Don’t get me wrong… sometimes that couple hour break is good when you have kids at home! However, sometimes there just isn’t a couple hours to go during the day and salons close by 7 typically. If someone had a late night salon…I would totally go more! From 8-10pm is my decompress time and it would be great to go have a mani pedi at that time…Just saying.
Anyways, one of my trips into the salon I decided to get the newest mani, dipped nails. Now, there are some thoughts that this is not hygenic because they dip your nails in the same powder as other customers and I get that. Here is my thought on that… they use the same polishes and polish brushes so how is it really any different?
The real point here is… I loved the dipped nails! I mean its basically like having acrylics without the plastic nails and tips. Its just an acrylic process right on top of your nails. I have always had brittle nails and even more so now but that’s besides the point. The Dipped nails make me have “strong” nails that the polish is on anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. This momma loves to have polished fingers and toes all the time! You also don’t have to stick your hands in the UV/LED lights to dry in between each step.
The only real issues I see with Dipped Nails are that there is upkeep (duh), removal takes awhile, and it makes your nails underneath thin and brittle. Really, its not all that different from shellac. The big difference is just the thickness and strength in the end product.
Ok, I know you really just want to know how to do it and I am getting there… I promise! First lets talk about the things you will need…
- Nail Clippers
- Nail File
- Electric Nail File
- Cuticle Pusher
- OPI Bond Aid
- Nail Brush
- OPI Dipping System 3 Step Liquid
- OPI Dipping System Color
- OPI Clear Color Set Powder
Now, once you have everything you are ready to begin. I will tell you, my first try turned into 3 tries before they were acceptable in public. SO, take your time and don’t be hard on yourself if they aren’t perfect the first time. I am going to try and share as much detail so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
Step 1 is nail prep. Trim and file your nails and push back and trim your cuticles. Once your nails are all cleaned up to your liking rinse yours hands but don’t use soap. Dry your nails really well and apply 2 coats of OPI Bond Aid.
Step 2 apply a thin layer of Step 1 ( base coat) of the 3 part system. Again, make sure to apply a thin coat but to hit every part of the nail. You do want to do this quickly because it will dry fast. Once you have applied a think layer of base coat immediately dip your nail into your Opi System Color of choice at a 45 degree angle. Lift your finger up out of the powder and tap off the excess. Repeat this step for the rest of your nails. I prefer to work on one hand at a time but that is just personal preference.
Step 3 wait 2-3 minutes before using your Nail Brush to dust off the excessive dust from the nails and your fingers. Then repeat step 2 and 3 again. Depending on the coverage two coats should be enough but if you see areas that could use another coat go ahead with a third round. Keep in mind the more layers the thicker the nails will be. This is one reason you want to do thin coats. This thin coats are to help make sure the base coat and powder doesn’t run. If you do notice it running onto your fingers, use your cuticle pusher to clean up the edges before it dries.
Step 4 make sure you have dusted off the nails. Apply the base coat one last time and dip into the OPI Clear Color Setting Powder, lift up your finger, and tap off the extra. Let this dry for 3-4 minutes.
Step 5 dust off the excess and then apply Step 2 coat (activator) making sure to cover the entire nail. Let this dry 2-3 minutes.
Step 6 using the Electric Nail File sand out the nails until they are all even and smooth. If any did get some on your fingers just sand it away carefully. If you have any uneven edges sand those too. If you are not using the Electric Nail file just use a regular coarse file to even them up.
Step 7 apply another coat of activator and let it dry 2-3 minutes. Then buff and shine your nails with the Electric Nail File. Again, if you are not using the Electric Nail File then use a buffing file. The buffing and shining is important. When I grabbed this system I noticed some of the reviews talked about the finish being dull. I have not had that issue because I take the time to buff and shine.
Step 8 rinse your hands and dry your hands again. This step is important so do not miss it!
Step 9 apply step 3 (top coat)! The top coat is super sticky… almost like super glue. My first attempt at this I did not rinse my hands the last time and if there is any step 2 that’s leftover on the nail and it comes in contact with you brush for step 3 it will harden the brush.
Step 10…..just kidding! That’s it you have diy dipped nails! I hope you find this easy to follow. I would love to see your end results so please tag me on Instagram!