10 Tips to Improve Your SNS Dip Powder Manicure

The dip process is quite simple… You apply the base coat and then dip nails into a jar of dipping powder before sealing it dry with an activator. Seems easy enough, right? Indeed the steps are straightforward enough for anyone to follow however, there are so many factors that ultimately will determine whether your dip mani turns out gorgeous or meh.

When applied properly, dip manicures can last up to and over 3 weeks without chipping or cracking. They’re strong yet flexible and feel so natural on nails. When you’re using SNS Dip Powders you also reap all the benefits of the Bases & Sealers, which are enriched with vitamins A, E, B5, D3, and calcium. This healthy cocktail of ingredients strengthens natural nail beds, promoting nail growth and repair. 


If you’ve arrived at this article then it’s likely because you’ve just started dipping your own nails and aren’t completely satisfied with the results or you offer dip services and found that your clients' nails aren't holding up like you know they should be. Overall, a good application will see you spending less time fixing chipped nails and you'll get to enjoy your dip manis for longer. Not only this but you allow nails to have a chance to grow.

Here are 10 tips you can start doing immediately to nail your SNS dip powder application.

1. No Oils Allowed!

Your nails should be an oil-free zone at all times. When it comes to any nail enhancements, oil on the nail surface is your worst enemy. At the end of your nail preparation, buff your nails to remove any shine. If nails are naturally oily, we recommend using SNS E.A. Bond to dehydrate nails further unless using pre-bonded products. This will promote a stronger bond and your manicure will last longer.

2. Knowing the BASE-ics is Important

Within the SNS Dip Powder System are 2 base coats. They each have different functions and will achieve slightly different results. Make sure you're using the right base coat for the application you're doing. Using SNS Gel Base for a Gelous Color application for instance, will result in bulky and thick nails - not an aesthetic any dipper should be aiming to create. Read this quick product tip guide to ensure you're using the right SNS base coat.

3. Loosen Your Dip Powders Before Using Them

Dip powders separate over time; the powders become tight and compact. This happens naturally just from sitting on the shelf for a while. Using powders without loosening them beforehand makes it harder to dip into and you won't get a nice, even coating of dip powder. There are several ways to loosen the powders. You can shake them lightly from side to side; roll the jars on their side on the table; or rotate the jars a couple times until the contents of the jar are mixed enough.

4. Apply Thinly to Coat Evenly

It's tempting to paint on a thick layer of base coat in hopes that it will absorb more powder and in turn, create stronger nails. You might also think that this will save you from using more base coat. That isn't the reality of it though and might be the reason your nails are cracking! Always apply thin layers of base coat -- the dip powder will adhere much more evenly and you'll have less to buff and file away later.

5.Get Into the Habit of Wiping

Dip powders can stick to brush bristles. Always wipe your brushes after each use or the powder on them will contaminate your dip liquids. You might not notice anything at first but over time, your dip liquids will go from clear to murky. Your brushes will also harden, which will make them hard to use and create streaky, uneven coats. Wiping your brushes on a paper towel between uses is advised to preserve them. You can also clean your brushes during and afterwards with SNS Brush Saver. It's also good measure to have a few replacement brush heads on hand in case you've taken your brush to a point of no return.

6. Protect Your Dip Powder Layers with SNS Natural Set Sheer

Buffing or filing away too much powder is a common mistake beginners make when it comes to dipping. To prevent this from happening, we always recommend applying a thin layer or two of SNS Natural Set Sheer. This gives colours, glitters, and designs an extra layer of protection from being over-buffed and filed.

7. Use a Moderate Amount of Sealer Dry

SNS Sealer Dry is the activating agent used to set dip powder. It hardens the powder beneath it by tightly bonding with the base and top coat layers. It's easy to overdo it however, more activator doesn't equate to faster drying or stronger layers. Excessive amounts of Sealer Dry can cause hairline cracks, which compromises the structural integrity of your manicure, making it prone to chips and breakages. Too much Sealer Dry also affects the drying of SNS Gel Top. Use enough to cover the powder on nails and allow to dry completely before moving on.

8. Avoid Water

Like oil; water should go nowhere near dip powder. Instead of washing your hands after the final buff and file, use a lint-free wipe to clean the nail surface. If you must wash, avoid using soap and make sure hands are completely void of moisture before proceeding with SNS Gel Top. Water affects the dry times and can contribute to uneven shine.

9. Clean As You Go

To give your dip powder manicure the best chances of turning out neat and pretty, try to clean as you go. After dipping each layer, use a wooden cuticle stick to clean around the cuticle area, around the sides of the nails, and underneath the nail tip. It's easier to remove at this point before it hardens with contact with SNS Sealer Dry. You'll have less to file and buff off in the later stages.

10. Always Apply 2 Coats of Top Coat

2 coats of SNS Gel Top is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve the brilliant shine that SNS nails are known for. The first layer of base coat protects and seals the dip powder underneath. The second layer is what adds the shine. Apply the first coat thinly and the second slightly thicker. Always allow the coats to air dry for at least 2 minutes in between. Read this short product tips guide with the do's and don'ts on creating the shiniest dip powder manicure.

These are just 10 simple yet effective things you can start doing today to improve your SNS dip powder manicures.

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