DIY Dip powder nails at home (no UV lamp needed)

Who else’s nails are looking a little rough these days from not being able to visit the salon? I had dip powder on my nails on a regular basis. It adds a layer of hardened powder coat on my real nails and therefore helps them from breaking in the dry winter. But my previous dip powder grew out and I need a fresh mani bad.

Lucky for me, I found this kit that I can do my own dip powder nails at home. And I’m shock at how easy it is to do. And my nails look amazing, just like if I go to a salon.

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Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Do you need a uv light for dip nails

So if you’re interested in trying out dip powder at home, here is how I do it using this kit! The kit comes with 6 colors, and I’m using 010 – Follow Your Heart in this tutorial.

Do you need a uv light for dip nails

Things you need:

  • Nail file
  • Nail buffer
  • Dip powder kit, which should include: a base coat, an activator, a top coat, and of course a color dip powder of choice.
  • Optional (to take off your previous dip or gel nails): acetone, some wrapping foil (you can cute some foil squares from the kitchen) and a few cotton balls.

Click to shop nail tools:

Click to shop dip powder nails kits:

If you need to take off your previous dip or gel nails, please see how-to at the bottom. Here, I am going to assume you start with clean nails and no previous gel or dip on them.

Note: Since I already did my nails to test as soon as I received the kit in the mail but didn’t take photos, my nails were already done. So I took off 2 fingers, my point and middle fingers to show you this tutorial.

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1. Prep: Cut/Shape nails to your liking
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
My go-to shape is somewhere between oval and almond shape. I basically make a oval shape first with a nail file, and then make the sides a little more straight to make the shape pointier. What is your favorite shape to wear your nails? Sometimes, I wear mine square too.
2. Prep: Buff your bare nails to remove natural oil to help the powder stay on your nails.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Take your nail buffer and use the rough side to buff your nail’s top surface. Try to pay more attention to the part closer to your skin where new nail will grow out. But don’t over buff your nails either, you only want to take off the shine on the very top layer of the nails, not too much into the thickness of your nails.
Now wash your hands and we’re ready to start dipping!
3. Dip: Base coat then dip into clear powder. My favorite part!
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
I usually start with my left hand first. Any dip powder nail kit you get should have a Base coat. It is a clear coat that the powder sticks on. So take this and just like regular polish, carefully apply a thin coat on your nails.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Dip your finger into the clear powder jar. Make sure the entire nail is covered by powder in the jar. This coat will set a canvas for your color, so the color that you apply next goes on vibrant and not see-through.
Then pull your finger straight out. You can take your other hand to tap lightly on this finger to remove the excess powder right over the jar.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
After 20 seconds, you can use a soft bristle brush (this one I use comes with the kit) to brush off excess powder so it doesn’t pile on too thick.

Some quick tips:

  • The base coat dries fast, so have your powder ready to go before you start. You want to coat no more than 2-3 fingers at a time. Then dip them right into the powder.
  • I suggest doing your nails over a non-porous flat surface. I’m using marble tray here, so it’s easy to clean up afterwards with all the fly away powder. If you do it on a couch or a bed, make sure to use a flat tray to catch any fly away product!
  • Work one hand at a time from start to finish. I usually do my left hand first, finish all the steps. Then I work on my right hand.

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4. Dip: Base coat then dip into color powder of choice. x2
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Repeat step 3 but with your color of choice. Here I’m using color 010 – “Follow Your Heart” from the kit.
The repeat this step for another coat.
At the end, you should have 1 coat of clear coat, and 2 coats of color powder.
4. Apply the Activator
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
The kit includes an Activator. Apply it on top of the powder. To be honest, this is the smelliest part of the whole process, but it should be quick!
5. Shape and buff your nails
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
You’re almost done here, just some final touches!
The powder might have changed the shape of your nails. So use a nail file to fix the shape.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Then with your nail buffer, buff the top surface of the nails. This is to flatten out the powder and give your nails a smooth finish.
If the powder feels too thick, you could buff a little more to thin it out. Make sure to buff evenly, and not working too long on one spot as it may make your nail look uneven.
6. Apply Top Coat. x2
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Apply the Top Coat that comes from the kit. Wait for it to dry (~20s).
Then apply another coat. Wait for it to dry for ~2-3 min.
And you’re all done! Enjoy your new dip powder manicure.

How to take off your gel/dip powder nails

This is the easiest way I’ve found to take off your gel/dip powder nails. This helps you prepare for a new manicure, or remove any previous old manicure.

1. Buff down the thickness of your gel/dip powder
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Use a file or buffer to file down the shiny top coat. This helps the acetone take off your gel/powder faster.
2. Make a foil wrap for your nails with acetone and some cotton
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Lay the foil square flat, put your finger on it. Tear up a little piece of from your cotton balls, big enough to cover your nail. Then pour a few drops of acetone to completely soak the piece of cotton.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
Wrap up the foil around the top of your finger. You created a little acetone soak bath for your nails!
You can now sit back and relax for ~15 minutes. The acetone will thin the powder or gel from your nails.
3. After 15 min, remove the foil and use the piece of cotton to wipe off the gel/powder.
Do you need a uv light for dip nails
And your nail is clean!
Troubleshoot: If you open the foil, and the powder/gel is still hard and doesn’t want to come off, you need to soak a little longer. So add a little bit more cotton if you need to, pour 1-2 more drops of acetone, and wrap the foil back up. Wait for a 3-5 more minutes and try again.

Hope this tutorial was helpful. Some of the images were blurry because I used a tripod and a timer, and it was hard to focus the camera that way.

I understand the kit is little bit on the expensive side. However I did some math that if it costs me $40 (+ tip) to get a dip powder manicure at the salon, I just need to do my own nails 2 times at home and will have already made my money back.

My nails look so shiny and amazing. The hard powder layer helps my nails stay strong and not break in the dry weather of Colorado. It’s been weeks and my nails still look good as new (just grown out long). I love how easy it is to do too. It may take some time and is a tedious job. But the technique is simple and the final product is so satisfying.

Do you need a uv light for dip nails

Would you try doing DIY Dip Powder Nails at home? Which color would you do?

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DIY life at home Nails

Do you need a uv light for dip nails


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About the Author: Tung Chi