I am a manicure lover. My life is fairly typical for any mom, so my nails take a BEATING every day. Before the days of shellac, a manicure was only necessary for big days. I wasn’t someone that always had polish on my nails- mainly because I am HORRIBLE at giving myself a manicure. Also, it would inevitably chip off after a day or two and that was just a waste of money. Shellac offered me a barrier of sorts to keep my nails from chipping and splitting and I LOVED it.

I have had so many people ask me if I’ve tried a “dip” manicure and I finally went out and did it. The lowdown: I loved the nails, HATED the manicure.

Dip nails are a hybrid between gel and acrylic where the nail technician applies a primer and then a base coat (normal) but then instead of painting gel on, you dip each nail into a powder one at a time. The process is repeated 2-3 times and then you wash your hands (no soap) and then they apply a top coat to give them a brilliant shine. Unlike a gel manicure, there is no UV light to cure the nails- you just wait 2 minutes once the topcoat is applied and it sets in normal light.

I LOVE these nails. They’re stronger than shellac and they last at least 2 weeks with zero chipping or peeling. As far as the actual nails- I LOVE this. They’re sturdy, beautiful, and I adore how they wear.

The manicure, on the other hand, I did NOT love. I’m used to a manicure where they push your cuticles back and then trim everything with clippers. (Or nippers, as I call them.) At this place, they used a drill (a manicure no-no) and drilled away my cuticles. While this is effective to get rid of cuticle skin, this basically tears your skin up and you will have HORRIBLE hangnails in a day or two. Literally, the worst manicure I’ve had in years. The skin around my nails looks awful. 

I want to try dip nails somewhere else that does the manicure part the correct way and then I’m sure I’ll be happier. I’ll update this post once that happens, but for right now- I love the nails, HATED the manicure. So if you’re going to try this, make sure they do a drill-less manicure. Even a week later my nails are sore from the drill and I don’t like that feeling.

Also, the soak off process should be the same as shellac- cotton soaked in acetone wrapped in foil and then scraped off- NOT drilled off. Don’t ever let someone stick your entire hand in acetone. It’s faster/cheaper for them, but not the correct way, so don’t let someone convince you to do otherwise.

Also, if you’re a home manicure kind of gal, you can get kits on Amazon, Ulta, or any beauty supply store. Here is a fantastic video tutorial on how to apply your dip nails!

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