Never Pay for a Dip Mani Again!

Calling all nail lovers!!

Alas! Even before I started blogging, people would ask me how I did my dip nails at home. So for starters, here’s a little back story. I have been getting my nails dipped since February of 2017 roughly every three weeks. I’m the kind of person who pays VERY close attention to detail. So, I began to know exactly how the nail techs were doing my dip manicures and thought I had it down pat. I figured instead of getting my nails done one week, I would spend that money on the supplies needed for doing it myself. I also was getting annoyed at how much money I was spending!

I found some Youtube videos on how to do it, but honestly none of them really helped me out. It has taken a lot of trial and error, but I feel confident enough now in my process to share!

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Here are the supplies you will need:

  1. Gelish Soak Off Basic Acrylic Powder Nail Polish — retails for $35
  2. High grit nail file — I purchased mine at Sally’s for under $3, but these are very similar!
  3. Low grit nail file — this is just a reg nail file. You probably already have one laying around!
  4. 100% Pure Acetone (Also can be found at Sally’s)
  5. Buffer block (Also can be found at Sally’s)
  6. Dip powder – You may purchase anywhere online, but I wanted to get a brand I knew of, so I spent a little extra and bought SNS in the shade 158. This is a natural, pink shade and not opaque. I love it because your nails just look super healthy with this color!
  7. Cuticle Eliminator (remover)
  8. Cuticle Pusher
  9. Cuticle Oil 
  10. Cotton balls

I know this can look like a large investment, but I think I spent around $65 on all of this and I haven’t had to repurchase any since then. If you think about it, you can’t even get two dip mani’s at a nail salon for under $65!

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The Process

Note: I usually allot myself 40 minutes if my nails don’t have anything to soak off. If I have to soak off a previous dip (which is pretty much always), then I allot about an 1 hr 15 mins.

If you need to soak off dip prior to the new application:

  • Fill a shallow bowl 1/2 inch deep of acetone (use a smaller bowl so you aren’t wasting acetone) and soak for 15 minutes.
  • Afterwards, use a wet cotton ball to rub off the excess.
  • File your nails well and wash hands before starting the new application!
  • If you are really feeling like getting the salon experience at home, you can purchase foil squares at the Dollar Store in the kitchen section and place an acetone-soaked cotton ball on each nail and wrap in foil!

Prepping the Nails

  • File nails to the shape you like.
  • Apply a little dollop of the cuticle remover. Let it sit for about 30 seconds.
  • Use cuticle pusher to remove cuticle, then wipe away with paper towel or cotton ball. Do this for all your nails.
  • Making sure your cuticles are removed is very important!!! This allows the layer of dip to adhere to the entire nail.
  • Wash hands before dipping.

Dipping Nails: I know this is long, but it is worth it!

  • Take the ‘Prep’ Polish and coat each nail. Make sure that you get each little crack and crevice of your nail. This cleans off the nail’s surface and prepares it for the dip! (Ha- hence the name).
  • With ‘Base’ Polish, put a very light coat on the top 3/4 of your nail. This means that the 1/4 nearest your cuticle has no clear base coat on it. You want to make each coat very thin and light, so that the polish does not bead up and cause a ripple in the powder.
  • After applying the base coat to 3/4 of the nail, dip into powder and tap off excess. I usually just tap my finger on the powder pot. Continue this for each nail.
  • Now, it is time for the second coat of dip. Take your spare makeup brush and wipe away the excess powder from your finger and nail.
  • Apply a thin layer of the base coat on the entire nail. Dip your nail into the powder pot and tap your finger to remove excess. Continue for each nail.
  • How many coats you apply is up to your discretion! I usually do two if I am feeling more of a neutral look and three if I want it to be more opaque.
  •  After you have done the full nail coat of dip, brush off excess.
  • Apply the ‘Activator’ polish to each nail. This must hit every crevice of your nail! It allows the dip to be buffed and filed to your liking.

Shaping the Nails + Top Coat

  • Using your high grit nail file, file all around the nail nearest your cuticle. If you notice at the nail salon, they usually use a drill to shape that area, so that the nail naturally gets thicker at the tip. This makes it more natural looking because it then will seem as if the dip is part of your own nail!
  • Take the low grit nail file and file your entire nail.
  • Take the buffer and buff nail, so it is completely smooth
  • Perfect the shape of the nail with the high grit nail file.
  • Wash your hands and make sure they’re super dry.
  • Apply two coats of the ‘top’ coat to each nail. I usually make these coats pretty thick.
  • Let them dry for 5-8 minutes. They’ll be taking for a few minutes like regular polish.
  • Apply cuticle oil and rub in.
  • Apply lotion!

And, finally, you’re done!! I know this was long, but after a ton of trial and error on my part, I have found that this step by step works the best. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions! It took me about 5 tries to really get it how I like it!

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The finished product!!!!!

 

xoxo,

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*Disclaimer: I am not a certified nail technician and this is my own process I personally use. I am not an expert!*

 

Let Your Organization Skills Bloom

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This week I had the opportunity to partner with bloom planners to create the first part of  my On the Go blog series! Bloom has a fun variety of planners to choose from! Being organized is one of my number one priorities when I know I have a busy week ahead, so I am going to share some of my tips and tricks on staying on top of things!

I am not sure about you, but I definitely have a mental calendar in my head. If I have a hair appointment in 3 months on a certain day, my brain automatically files it away. Despite this mental calendar, important dates still fall through the cracks! With the help of bloom and their fun planners, I can stay on top of things no matter how crazy life may be!

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TIP #1: Prioritize

There’s nothing more frustrating when you have a long to do list and some things that are critical fall to the wayside. I like to prioritize my top 3-5 todo’s that must be done that day. I love bloom’s Bound To-Do Books for this very reason! This undated to-do book allows you to prioritize your day, plan your meals, and even write your grocery list! What is even better is everything is kept all in one place! With my graduation coming quickly, I have been so on-track by doing this! I love lists and feel so proud when I get to cross tasks off of it!

TIP #2: Get Up Early

I know not everyone is an early bird like me, but I promise if you get up a tad early each morning, you won’t be rushing out the door! I always end up forgetting something at home or leaving my breakfast on the counter if I am rushing, so I try to give myself a little leeway with time. Even if it’s ten extra minutes, you’ll thank yourself later. And, you’ll feel more productive!

TIP #3: Don’t Procrastinate

Ha, this one’s hard. I know. Procrastination seems like it can only be applied to school or work, but procrastination with chores (like folding laundry or emptying the clean dishwasher) will loom over your head. If you get those easy chores done as soon as they pop up, you will have time later to do the important things you enjoy!

TIP #4: Create Goals

A goal can be as little as making sure you make your bed every morning. Like I mentioned, each small victory will create a better attitude and drive your organization! Create goals in all facets of your life – work, school, family, friends, etc. Most of the very successful people in the business world make personal and professional goals and I think this is a great way to boost your drive by working towards something!

TIP #5: Use a Planner

All of the most organized people I know have some sort of planner or notebook that they always write important lists, dates, and names down. I think this is a great way to have everything in one central location. Personally, I love to-do lists in my bloom to-do book, but I also love using my planner to pencil in dates that are further down the road. Both of these allow me to stay on top of things and remember dates that are not coming down the pike just yet! Even if you aren’t in school, a planner is a great way to stay on top of your goals and have success in even the smallest of ways.

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I know some of these tips may seem obvious, but I also know each one of them has helped me in more ways than I can count! I feel successful just crossing a day off my planner. Yes, sounds cheesy, but it’s true! Make sure to head over to bloom’s website or Insta to check out all of their pretty planners! I promise you that being organized is a game changer that you won’t regret!

xoxo,

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P.S. Follow along with me on Insta!

Starting New

When they say it goes by in the blink, they aren’t kidding. I really don’t know who ‘they’ are, but I know they were definitely right!

College has been such a rewarding experience. I have been such a ‘busy’ college student, but in just a few short months I will probably look back on this and say ‘wow, I could have fit a lot more in my busy day.’ Throughout college, I have gotten really involved in my specific college on campus, as well as my sorority and it’s been so fun. During my senior year, I worked part-time and also started my own Etsy shop called Redhead Threads. It is such a fun outlet where I can connect with other creators on Etsy and Instagram! I have loved college, but am so excited to see what Nashville has in store for me!!

All of this to say, I wanted to share a few of my graduation pictures that the lovely Emma Farr (@emmafarrphoto). She is great!! If you are in the NWA area, definitely give her a shout out for some pics.

xoxo,

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