What Do You Need To Do Dip Nails At Home?

kiara sky dip powder collection

If you’re tired of spending money at the salon, then you’re probably ready to start experimenting with different types of at-home manicures. 

One of our favorite DIY manicures has to be dip powder. The process is pretty easy and the manicure lasts a few weeks. Plus, with an at-home nail dip kit, you’ll get everything you need to complete a perfect set — with little to no experience needed.  

Let’s take a look at some popular dip powder FAQs and then cover our step-by-step process on how to apply dip powder at home.

Is it hard to do dip powder nails at home?

No! A DIY dip manicure is pretty easy, and as we mentioned earlier, this process is even easier with an at-home nail dip kit. While it may take a few attempts for you to hammer down techniques that work best for you, the process itself is pretty painless. The toughest part of a DIY dip manicure is deciding what color to use (which is also the best part).

What do you need to do dip nails at home?

The majority of at-home nail dip kits come with a few dip colors, a bond, base, seal protect, and top coat, as well as a clear dip powder. If you’re not using a kit, then you'll need to purchase those items separately.

Kiara Sky Nails' Dip Starter Kit has been voted as the #1 Dip Powder Starter Kit to try and you can also find our mini dip kits on Amazon

Aside from the powder and liquid polishes, here are some general supplies to gather:

How do you apply dip powder nail polish at home?

To properly apply dip powder, take a look at our full step-by-step guide on DIY dip powder manicures (video and pictures included) or follow our condensed version below. 

  1. Push back your cuticles, then trim and shape your nails
  2. Gently buff the top of your nails to remove shine
  3. Apply your bond to the top of your nails
  4. Apply a thin, even layer of your base to ¾ of a nail (one nail at a time)
  5. Dip your nail into the powder at a 45-degree angle and use your dust brush to remove excess powder
  6. Repeat this process two more times (covering your entire nail with base and dip the 3rd time around)
  7. Apply a layer of seal protect to each nail
  8. File, shape, and buff your nails once more
  9. Add another layer of seal protect
  10. Rub the nail with a lint-free wipe to remove excess seal protect
  11. Apply two layers of top coat (drying between applications)
  12. Apply cuticle oil to your cuticles and massage it in

Want to see our at-home nail dip kit in action? Watch this dip powder how-to video from The Budget Mom. 

What is the best nail dip kit for beginners?

kiara sky kit for dip nails at home

Obviously we’re a little biased — we think our nail dip kits are the best options for beginners. However, here are a few tips to keep in mind when searching for a nail dip kit:

  • Average price: You should expect to spend anywhere between $100 and $200 for a high-quality dip kit. Be wary of companies who shove absolutely everything into a dip kit and sell it to you for $50. You’re looking for long-lasting dip powders and liquid polishes. The idea is to save money and time. And remember, variety is the spice of life. Look for a kit with at least 2 different colors in it. 
  • Liquid polishes: Make sure you get a kit with all of the required liquid polishes in it. As a recap, this includes your bond, base, seal protect, and top coat.
  • Add-Ons: If you are fine spending a little more on your kit, make sure you get some useful add-ons with it. These additions can include a recycling system, cuticle oil, multiple powder colors, and nail glitter.
  • Colors: If your kit comes with 3 different colors, make sure you really like those colors. Again, the whole idea here is to save some money (and hopefully have a little fun in the process). If you don’t like the colors you choose, then you’ll end up taking off your polish and heading to the salon… which defeats the whole point of a DIY, budget -friendly manicure.

Is at-home dip powder bad for your nails?

The dip powder you get in an at-home kit is the same type of powder a nail tech would use, and it’s not made with anything that will damage your nails. However, what will damage your nails is how you decide to remove that dip powder. 

If you choose to pick it off, then you’ll also pick off layers of your natural nail (remember: dip powder is basically bonded to your natural nail). Picking, peeling, or scratching off dip powder will leave your nails very weak, and it will take weeks to build them back up. Instead, you’ll want to take the time to soak off the dip powder (similar to how you would remove gel nails at home). 

How do you remove dip powder at home?

  • Step 1: Gently file the top of your nails to remove that top layer.
  • Step 2: Grab some acetone, cotton balls, and foil. Soak the cotton balls in the acetone, and stick them on top of your nails. Wrap your fingertips in foil to hold the cotton ball in place.
  • Step 3: Wait 15-20 minutes before you remove the foil. Use the cotton balls to wipe away the dip powder.
  • Step 4: If any patches of dip powder are still stuck to your natural nail, soak your nails in acetone again. You can also use a cuticle pusher to gently remove remaining dip powder.
  • Step 5: Once all the dip powder is removed, wash your hands and consider applying a nail strengthener and cuticle oil. 

Ready to keep learning? Check out some of our additional resources.