At Home Salon Nails

At Home Salon Nails

I love having my nails looking good! It is one thing that really helps me feel put together. I was going to the salon, but it’s so expensive and I would rather spend the time I get alone doing other things I enjoy. So, I started doing my own dipped nails. I have been doing them with dip for a little over 6 months. They aren’t perfect, but the more I do them the better I get.

The process to dip nails is not quick. It takes time especially if you want them looking good. I usually do them at night after kids are in bed, so I can have some me time and watch TV too. They last me a minimum of 2 weeks and I’ve kept them on up to 4 weeks! My nails have started growing so long. Mine have always been thin and break easy, but keeping dip on them helps my keep them long.

I use a lot of tool. You may have some of these at home and save even more! I had a lot of this before I started dipping my nails. 


Here are the tools I use:

Nail file (I like these cheap ones)

Cuticle stick (this glass one is a MUST) but I also keep wooden ones on hand.

Cuticle remover (great to have but not necessary)

Cuticle pusher

Rubbing Alcohol

Lint free wipes (paper towels work too)

Dip liquids & Dip Powder (I mainly use Revel Brand but I use others too!)

Powder brush (just a makeup brush works but don’t reuse for makeup)

Pipette (great to have but not necessary)

Cuticle oil

This silicone mat is also nice to prevent any messes! I had some from my crafting closet, but you can get some here too. 


Step One:

Step one is nail prep!

Wash hands and prep the nails, clean the cuticle, the cuticle remover is so helpful getting all the cuticles. Use a cuticle pusher to make nice clean lines pushing back cuticles.

Shape the nail as desired

Buff the shine off the nailbed

I like to clean with alcohol and a lint free pad here. I keep alcohol in one of these dispensing containers to make it easier.

Step Two: (starting with step 2, I do one hand through step 6)

I try and create an apex on my nails for a stronger base. I do this by not covering the whole nail with the first couple of dips and moving closer to the cuticle each time I dip. So, I start with a thin strip of base (step 1 liquid) from the center of the nail to the tip.

Step Three:

Rather than dipping my nail in the jar, I use a pipette to pour over the nail, this really helps reduce filing in step 5. For glitter dip that isn’t fine, I pour it in this container and lay my nail in it then pat down the glitter.

Tap off extra powder and do all nails on that hand then go back and brush off excess powder.

Apply base again to the same hand working towards covering the whole nail each time. I repeat steps 2 & 3 at least 4 times with the first two just being a portion of the nail and the last layer being as close to the cuticle as possible. Before moving to the next finger, make sure to use a cuticle stick to clean around the cuticle if needed.

Of course my phone died and stopped recording here and I didn't realize! So I will need to get more pictures when I do my next mani. 

Step Four:

Apply a generous amount of the 2nd liquid, the activator. Covering the edges and capping the tip of the nails. Let this dry for 2 minutes.

Step Five:

Shape the nail on the tip, edges, and cuticle to clean it up then smooth out the nail surface with a file/buffer. Make sure the surface is smooth without bumps or they will show after finished. Clean up cuticle line.

Step Six:

Apply activator again, wait one minute and dry with a lint free wipe.

After step 6, I complete steps 2-6 on the other hand.

Step Seven:

Apply liquid step 3, the top coat, in 2-3 quick strokes, don’t worry about covering every edge or close to cuticle. Wait one minute and apply a second more thorough detailed coat and cap the edges. I do both hands at the same time with this step. I wait about 15 minutes to make sure they are dry.

Step Eight:

Apply cuticle oil and admire your gorgeous nails!!!

You’re done!

The Revel Nail color I used here is called "Agave"


Now, removal is also not quick like regular polish, and you do not want to pop or pry them off! Taking them of that way will damage your nails. Instead, file the shine from the top coat and the tips/edges. I like to file extra in this step. Then you soak the nails with 100% acetone. I have this nail removal set from Revel that comes with a container for soaking and the acetone. You can fill the container's base with hot water and then fill the finger spots with a cotton ball and 100% acetone and soak the nails for 15 minutes. You can do this without the container by wrapping a cotton ball soaked with acetone and wrap one on each finger with foil and wait 20 minutes, rub with the soaked cotton ball to remove the remainder of the dip. If all the dip isn’t coming off, soak again. Wash hands and you can prep the nails again. I like to apply a nail strengthener if I am waiting to put dip on again.

That’s all there is too it. Not too difficult and takes some practice, patience, and time. But, I save a lot of money and time away from home, and I can still have gorgeous nails! 

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