Dip powder manicure – what is it? What are the benefits? How to apply & remove dip powder nails?

Dipping SystemPro Dipping

What’s this dip powder manicure everyone is talking about? Does it really last longer than gel polish manicure? Is it healthier? Is it safe?

Well, we’re here to answer your questions and who knows – maybe you’ll fall in love with dipping systems like we did!

Dip powder systems have been gaining popularity in recent years but they are not new. Dipping systems have been around since 90’s but have been pushed aside in favour of traditional acrylic and gel nails and later on gel polish. So is it worth trying?

What is a dip powder manicure?

Dip powder manicure is sort of a hybrid between gel and acrylic systems and it can be applied on natural nails as an overlay and some systems can be used to extend nails over tips or forms (LART dip powders can extend nails to any length!). Dipping systems, just like traditional acrylic systems, rely on the combination of resin-like gel and finely milled and highly pigmented powders.

Once the resin and powder is combined, the coating starts to harden. Most dip powder systems use some sort of a liquid Activator to fully harden the coating (except for LART Supreme range which has integrated activator in the powders).

LART Dip powder nails

Dipping manicure - what are the benefits?

  • Speed – with a bit of practice you can do manicure pretty fast
  • No need for UV/LED lamp – dip powder systems don’t need lamps to harden the layers, making the application faster…and you won’t experience the burning sensation either!
  • Durability – manicure can last up to 4 weeks, much longer than regular nail polish or gel polish
  • Strength – finished dip powder manicure consists of several strong but thin layers which protect & strengthen nails. Dip powder manicure also feels light on the nails
  • Nearly odourless – a huge advantage over acrylic manicure is the very little odour. This makes it a great nail system for spas, shopping centre nail salons, home-based salons and for at-home users.
  • Huge range of colours – dip powders come in pretty much every shade of colour and many colours with glitter and satin finishes

Drawbacks of dip powder nails

  • Learning curve – just like with any nail system, there can be a learning curve for some people. It can take a while for some to master this technique and achieve beautiful finish but there are plenty of trainings, tutorials and resources to help with this. Once you’re more confident in the application, dipping manicure can be fast and durable.
  • Cost – if you want a good quality, professional nail dipping system and lots of colours, it can get pricey. However, many professional brands offer starter kits with reduced price e.g. LART Supreme MINI Kit is only £39.98)
  • Misconceptions about safety – you’ll find plenty of articles claiming dip powders are not safe and hygienic to use in the salon but if used properly, they are absolutely safe. More on that below…

Are dip powders safe?

The simplest answer is yes, if used properly. What do we mean by that?

Firstly, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the correct application to avoid problems and injuries. Secondly, following a good hygiene procedure is absolutely necessary when working with dipping systems.

You (or your client, if you’re working in a salon) need to thoroughly wash hands with soap to get rid of any dirt and bacteria. If the nails are showing any signs of illness like an infection then it is important to not continue with the manicure and let the nails heal first.

Hands and all nail tools should also be sanitised or disinfected (which should be common practice) and dip powder pots need to be tightened properly to avoid moisture entering the pot when not in use. All these measures ensure that the dip powder application is safe even when dipping multiple clients’ fingers into the pots. You can also pour the dip powders over the nails and catch the powder into a different container. This is especially suitable if the nails have any fresh cuts. You don’t want to contaminate the powders.

After all, dip powder system products are serious chemicals which are not a hospitable environment for living organism like bacteria and fungus. But just like acrylic, nail polish, gel polish etc. which are considered to be safe to use on multiple clients, when sanitary procedures are followed, dipping systems are safe to use.

Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic & clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, agrees that reusing product with multiple clients is a contamination risk but he notes that powders are less susceptible to bacteria because they are dry. “Pure dry powders are not likely to be contaminated because they don’t provide an optimal environment for bacteria or viruses to grow. However, if the powder becomes wet or if any blood gets into the powder, the risk certainly increases.”

LART Dipping systems go one step further and contain an ingredient called benzoyl peroxide in all dip powders. Benzoyl peroxide helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, helping to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination and infection. 

Quote text: I do believe these types of nail services are generally safe when properly used, but nail professionals should always perform their nail services in a sanitary fashion and this responsibility should be their first priority. Doug Schoon quote on dip powders & powder gels

Dip powder nails - how to apply them?

Each brand of dipping system will have their own instructions on how best to apply their products but in general, the application could be summed up into the following steps:

  1. Nail preparation – this includes washing and sanitizing hands, removing cuticles and dry skin and buffing the nail plate for better adhesion. Make sure you remove oils and moisture from the nails
  2. Primer or bonder – some brands will recommend using primer or bonder to help aid adhesion to the nails and to prevent lifting
  3. Application of structure – The base coat is applied just like regular nail polish but you need to work quickly and only apply thin coats. Then immediately dip your nail into the pot of powder or sprinkle the powder over your nail. If you want your nails to last longer, it’s beneficial to apply few extra coats of clear powder to build supportive structure and apex. This is especially more important with longer nails.
  4. Application of coloured dip powder – Apply base coat like in step 3. but dip into coloured powder. Brush off excess powder with a soft brush. Repeat again until you’re happy with the thickness and coverage. Usually 2-3 coats of colour are enough. Apply activator to harden nails if it’s part of your system
  5. File & Buff – file your nails to smooth out the surface, then buff to smooth. Brush off any dust
  6. Seal & Shine – apply two coats of top coat to seal the dip powder layers in and to add glossy finish to your nails

Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply the revolutionary LART Supreme Mineral Dip powder system. Why revolutionary? It only uses one bottle of resin gel instead of multiple separate bottles, it has activator integrated directly into the powders AND it’s the fastest dip system in the world!

Can you do your own dip powder manicure at home?

Yes, you can! Many brands of dip systems like Revel and Kiara Sky are marketed for at-home use. Other brands such as SNS, OPI, Gelish and LART are for trained professionals only. However, despite LART being a professional quality dip system, its Supreme range is available for consumers to use at home as well as suitable for nail professionals. This is to make a good quality dipping system available to consumers. LART Supreme kits start at £39.98 for maximum affordability!

Please consider buying from a reputable brand, not a very cheap brand from the likes of Amazon and Ebay. These super cheap kits can contain very harsh chemicals that can cause allergic reaction after repeated exposure.

It takes a bit of practice but dip manicure can be quite easy to create and last longer than gel polish (up to 2 weeks) or acrylic nails which should be infilled every 2 weeks. In contrast, you can wear your dip powder manicure even up to 4 weeks and then soak it off and start fresh again.

How to remove dip powder manicure?

Removal of dip powder manicure is very similar to removing gel polish or acrylic nails. In general, it is recommended to file off as much product as possible, leaving only a thin layer on the nails and then soaking the rest in acetone. This process ensures that your natural nails will sustain the least damage possible. NEVER pry, pick or rip off your nail coatings! It causes severe damage to your nails, leaving them thinner, more sensitive and sometimes even painful.

With LART, you can follow the removal advice above but we’ve also tested the following removal method and it worked a treat:

Removal tip! Put a hot water into a small bowl (as hot as you can stand), put a thicker plastic bag/another bowl over the bowl (make sure it’s acetone resistant by testing it beforehand), place a cotton pad into the bag, pour in a small amount of acetone and add few drops of LART Orange & Cinnamon cuticle oil for extra nourishment. Soak your manicure for up to 10 minutes with occasionally rubbing your nails on the cotton pads inside the acetone. The coatings soften and slide right off, no need to scrape your nails! I do this every time and my LART manicure comes off completely in 10 minutes!

Dip powder nail removal aftercare advice

Removing nail products with acetone is drying for your nails as acetone strips nails of oils and moisture and can cause brittleness with frequent use. That said, soaking off your nails 1-2x a month is absolutely fine and there are things to mitigate the impact of acetone on your nails.

If you’re not re-applying your dip powder manicure, give your nails a generous dose of cuticle oil and rich hand cream to help them bounce back and stay healthy.

Try our deliciously smelling LART Orange & Cinnamon Cuticle Oil and Hand Balm and apply them daily to keep your hands and nails in tip top shape.

Will you give dip powder manicure a try?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and how it went! Leave us a comment down below x

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