By now you probably realize we love our dip powder manicure. Dip powder manicures offer a lot of versatility as far as style goes. Also, a dip mani produces probably the most luxurious shine your nails could ever have. And probably the best thing about dip powders is when done right, dip nails can last up to 3 weeks. They can even be refilled on the really off chance that you damage them – like if you happen to be prospecting for gold with your bare hands!
I’m joking of course, but this does tie-in with one of the biggest drawbacks of a dip powder manicure, which is – ironically – its durability! Because of how tough they are, dip powder manicures are not that easy to remove, especially when compared to traditional manicures. And this is important to remember because improper removal of a this type of manicure can actually damage your nails.
The truth is, just as applying a dip powder is not as hard as you might think, taking it off is also not that difficult. In this article, we’re going to go through the process of how to properly – and safely – remove your dip manicure.
It’s a real hassle when you’re ready to perform a certain step in a process and not have a necessary piece of equipment on hand! So before everything, make sure you have everything you need laid out in front of you. You will need a buffing/emery board in a rough grit, a cuticle tool, cotton balls, aluminum foil, and some acetone (which is what will actually soften the mani.)
The foil should be cut into small square pieces, approximately 4” x 4”. These could be larger or smaller depending on your nails. Just remember, these have to extend to about the middle knuckle of your finger, so these can be wrapped securely. Cut about 10 or so pieces, one for each finger plus a couple of extras just in case.
Besides the previously mentioned, you will also need a terry cloth towel, your favorite hand moisturizer and some cuticle oil. Be sure to lay out a terry cloth towel on your chosen workspace to avoid any mess. You might also want to have some music ready for the waiting. Or better yet, work in front of your TV. This will make the minutes go by without you noticing! Lastly, you should wash and sanitize your hands well before getting started.
Step 1: Filing.
You start by filing your nails down till the mani looks matte and sandy. What you’re doing is creating microscopic imperfections along the dip polish for the acetone to do its thing. In fact, because of the dip manicure’s characteristic shine (which is why we love the stuff), simply applying the acetone won’t make much of a dent. This is because this shiny surface actually acts as a barrier preventing the acetone from getting through the depth of the polish.
Just remember: don’t go too crazy with the filing, especially if your buffing/emery board is on the rougher side! You want to file just enough to get the manicure rough. Filing down your nails too much might actually remove the layer of polish exposing the nail. Besides being possibly damaged by the buffing board, the exposed nail can also be dehydrated by the acetone.
Step 2: Soaking.
Next, you get your cotton balls and saturate them with the acetone. You then spread the cotton balls and wrap them around your finger, with the bulk of it on the nail. Depending on the size of the cotton balls, you may need to use more than one. After you’ve wrapped the cotton around your fingertips, you then wrap your fingers with the aluminum foil. Take care not to tear the foil as you’re wrapping them around the cotton. You don’t want the acetone to leak out, especially if it’s in liquid form.
Step 3: Waiting.
This is the hardest part of the process: the waiting! After you’ve properly done step 2, you need to let your nails soak in the acetone for 10 to 15 minutes. This is why it’s a good idea to have your headphones on with your favorite music playing, or to do this whole process in front of your TV. You could also catch up on your reading.
Step 4: Removing The Polish.
After the 15 minutes are up, remove the foil, and then the cotton balls. You will notice that the polish has now “lifted” from your nails. You then get a dry piece of cotton and wipe-off the polish gently in a horizontal motion. You may need to do this a couple of times to get all the polish off. For the small pieces of dip polish that may have gotten trapped around your nail, these can be removed with a cuticle tool. More stubborn bits of polish may need a bit more acetone to deal with.
Step 5: Nourishing.
The last step in the removal process is to nourish not just your cuticles, but your nails as well. For this step, apply a liberal amount of cuticle oil along your cuticles extending to your nails. Massage into these areas and…that’s it! You’re done!
Ready for The Next One.
After you've completely removed every trace of your dip nail polish, you're now ready for your next design! If you're not going to apply another dip mani right after removal, be sure to moisturize your hands and cuticles in the meantime. Doing this will go a long way to getting your fingertips ready for your next dip nail design.