Chip-free nails for days? Yes please!

By Erin Lukas
Updated May 26, 2020 @ 3:00 pm
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Even if you're good at doing your own nails, a DIY manicure just hits different than a professional one from a salon.

The biggest difference? For some inexplicable reason, at-home manicures never seem to last as long. Picking up your phone once you swore your nails nails were dry? Guaranteed smudges. Hand-washing dishes the day after your DIY manicure session? A couple chips are inevitable.

That's why an at-home dip powder manicure kit is the answer to all of your quarantine nail struggles. Dip powder manicures stay chip-free just as long as gel manicures, except you don't need a UV light to harden them. And you still get the same shiny, long-wear results as you would at the salon without damaging your nails.

Even though dip powder nails are pretty easy to DIY since all you're doing is dipping your nails into the powder and brushing away the excess, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using an at-home kit. So, I reached out to KISS brand ambassador and celebrity nail artist Gina Edwards for her tips on how to nail a DIY dip powder manicure.

"Dip powders are made up of a polymer (powder) and resin (glue) to create a bond on the nail which comes in a variety of colors, she says. "Doing a dip powder at home is quite easy to do because you doesn't require a steady hand to apply."

Step One: Prep Nails

Get your nails ready to be dipped by filing them into your shape of choice. Then, cleanse nails with nail polish remover to get rid of any excess oil on the surface.

Step Two: Dip Your Nails Good

One by one, apply a coat of resin that comes with your kit to the nail plate. Dip that nail into the color powder and add a coat of resin over top.

Like sprinkling chili flakes on a slice of pizza, less is more when it comes to the resin. "People normally have trouble with the resin," Edwards shares. "If the glue gets on the skin, it can lead to lifting or if you apply too much dip onto your nails, it can look too bulky."

Step Three: Apply the Activator

Apply a thin coat after the powder and resin. The activator is like a UV light — minus the UV rays — by sealing the dip powder onto the nail.

You'll need to repeat steps two and three at least two times depending on the color intensity you want, along with the products you're using.

Step Four: Apply the Top Coat

Finish off your dip powder nails with a top coat. This final step is crucial for a long-wear, chip-free manicure and to hvae ridiculously shiny nails.

The 5 Best Dip Powder Nail Kits

Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip Starter Kit

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It doesn't matter what type of manicure you get, red nails are always classic. Along with the dipping powder, this kit comes with all of the basics you need for at-home dip nails: brush, base coat, activator, and top coat.

To buy: $40; ulta.com.

KISS Salon Dip Starter Kit

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A manicure that lasts up to two weeks? No, there's no catch: KISS' dip powder lasts just as along as a gel mani from your favorite salon. Even better? You don't have to worry about manicure tools because the kit includes a manicure stick, dip tray, sponge, nail file, brush softener, and replacement brush.

To buy: $19; ulta.com.

Beauty Secrets Dip Kit Powder Nail Color System

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If you're using this mandatory break from the nail salon as a detox from gels and acrylics, this kit is for you. The odor-free system has a natural finish without sacrificing the strength of acrylics.

To buy: $40; sallybeauty.com.

Dipwell Dip Nail Professional Kit - French Set

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Diehard French manicure fans know that it's a manicure that easily chips. That's what makes this dip powder French manicure kit genius. Even better: Dipwell's products come numbered so you know exact order you should be using the products.

To buy: $70; dipwell.co.

ASP Color Acrylic Quick Dip Kit

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Those big at-home kits can be intimidating. Dip powder newbies will love this simple no-frills set. It incudes three powders, primer, and adhesive.

To buy: $27; sallybeauty.com.

Even though your at-home dip powder manicure will hold up for over a week, nothing lasts forever. Luckily, taking off dip powder at home is no sweat, too. Find a complete guide to removing dip powder manicures at home here.

This is Winging It, where we're helping you master your favorite salon treatments and looks without having to leave the house.