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Dipping 101

Don't Panic.

New to dipping your own nails? It can certainly be confusing or even overwhelming at first. What do I need to buy? How do I use the stuff? Why didn't I get the results I expected? We've created this page to answer those questions and more. Whether you're brand new to nail dips, an old pro or somewhere in-between, we hope you will find something helpful here.

If you're totally new to dipping, don't worry. We've all been there. It's not nearly as complicated as it looks.

What Do I Need To Get Started?

Here is a list of the critical components. You'll definitely need these.

Of course, there are some additional tools that you should have in your dipping toolbox. Here are two that we suggest:

Please note: Our dipping system does not require an ultraviolet or LED light to cure!

What's This Going To Cost Me?

All told, you'll end up with somewhere between $50 and $70 - not much more than a single manicure at the salon. And you'll be able to give yourself quite a few (10-20) manicures before you need to restock anything. Once you've purchased your initial products and you want to try a new color, you only need to buy the dipping powder (between $8.50 and $13.50).

Of course, we frequently run sales and promotions, so if you've got a keen eye for bargains, watch for those and you may be able to save quite a bit.

Ok, I've Got All The Stuff. Now What?!?

Very briefly:

  • Clean nails and apply Primer
  • Apply base coat to one nail
  • Dip nail into powder, then remove all excess/loose powder
  • Apply base coat and dip the rest of your nails, one at a time.
  • Repeat base and dip steps, one nail at a time, until you reach your desired thickness / color saturation. (We recommend three times.)
  • Apply Activator to all nails
  • File, buff and shape your nail
  • Remove all dust and residue (alcohol wipe works great)
  • Apply second coat of Activator to all nails
  • Apply Top Coat to all nails

That looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Trust us.

Now, let's look at each step in more detail.

Dipping Tutorial

Now, let's look at each step in more detail.

I Dipped My Nails, But Something Isn't Quite Right

Don't despair. You probably didn't do a great job the first time you used liquid nail polish. It shouldn't be a big surprise if your first or second time using a new method isn't perfect. Even seasoned dippers have the occasional bad manicure.

Check out our dip troubleshooting page for help diagnosing the problem.