Dip liquids are an essential part of your dip powder manicure which means proper bottle care is a vital step in ensuring the best results for your nails. How can you make sure that you’re correctly taking care of your bottles? Continue reading to find out the proper care and management techniques for each individual bottle! We will go into details about what each bottle is, what it does, and how this affects how you should care for each and every single one of them!
This is the very first step in your dip mani. Although it is not necessary to, applying a bonder to your nails aids in preparing and dehydrating the natural nail for dip powder application. When you are using the bonder, please make sure to not contaminate it with any other liquids. If the bonder comes in contact with your base or top coat, it can lead to both liquids becoming thick and gooey. This is normally not a problem for top coat as it is 3 steps later; however, you should definitely stay wary of the base coat touching it. Please make sure that the bonder has properly dried before you begin you apply your base coat to your nail. After you have finished using your bonder, please make sure to properly close your bottle to prevent it from drying out. Due to the alcohol component in the bonder, exposure to air for too long will cause it to evaporate. If you guys notice that your bonder has dramatically decreased in volume after a few uses, it is most likely due to the fact that you did not properly close the bottle.
#2. Base Coat
This is one of the essential liquids that you’ll need to complete your dip powder manicure. Without this step, there will be no glue to hold the powder to your nails. As this is one of the important liquids, correct care to the bottle will result in better dip powder applications. To start off, you’ll want to be very careful to not contaminate your base coat with any other liquids. After applying your bonder (if you do decide to apply it to your nails) please wait about 2 minutes after the last nail has been prepped. For an additional precaution, you may also want to take a lint free paper towel to wipe off any excess bonder that may have not dried yet. Then, when you are applying your base coat to your nail, please try to keep all of the liquids contained in the neck of the bottle. Because our base coat is a type of resin, leaving any excess on the rim or outside neck of the bottle will result in your bottle being glued shut. Please keep a lint free paper towel near you and remember to clean off the brush after every nail just in case you have accidentally contaminated the brush. If you notice that the brush has started to harden, please switch out the brush immediately with one of our replacement brushes or with our brush cleaner brush. If you want to switch it out with a replacement brush, simply use a lint free paper towel to wrap around the brush and pull it out. With your new brush, you can push it back into the lid and...tada! You now have a new brush! If you’re wanting to change into your brush cleaner, simply take the brush cleaner brush and swap it for the base coat. Now, you should be using your brush cleaner brush and your base coat brush should be soaking in the brush cleaner solution. Never place your brush back into the bottle if you notice just a little bit of the brush starting to harden. Placing it back into the bottle will lead to contamination of the entire bottle itself. You can always replace your brushes, but once your liquid has been contaminated, it will stay sticky and gooey until you change it out. Lastly, when you are done using your base coat, please take a cotton swab with some acetone and go around the neck of the bottle in order to clean off any excess liquid that may have managed to find its way there. You can also use a cotton swab with acetone to clean the inside of the bottle cap in order to get rid of base coat buildup on there as well. Please make sure to not overly soak your cotton swab and cotton swab with acetone as this may result in excess acetone leaking into the base coat bottle itself. Mixing acetone with the base coat will disrupt its chemicals and lead to a messed up base coat bottle.
Activator, which can also be called solidify by other brands, is another very important step to the dip powder process. The role of the activator is to...well...activate! Without the activator, your base coat and powder combo on your nails will continue to stay hard and mushy. When you try to go in to buff and file your nails, the entire nail may end up coming off! You can refer to our other article titled “Chemical Burning?” for more information on how the chemical reaction between our base coat and activator happens. Similar to the bonder, you will want to be extra careful when handling the activator and do your best to prevent cross contamination. A good way to do this to make sure your activator has been fully dried before attempting to add other liquids on top of it. Is your nail a little too thin for your liking after you applied activator? Do NOT attempt to apply another layer of base coat on top of the activator immediately after applying it to your nail. This will result in cross contamination between the base coat and activator and lead to your base coat brush hardening. Instead, work on all of your other nails first and return to the undesired finger later to make any changes you’d like. If you would like to add more volume to all of your nails, please wait around 5 minutes and then take a lint free paper towel to wipe off all the nails carefully before attempting to reapply your base coat. After applying you are satisfied with your nails and have added your activator to harden it, please wait 2 minutes for everything to settle in. Afterwards, please use a buffer and file to go in and shape and smooth out your nails. Take as much time as you’d like as this will give the activator more time to settle in as well as provide your nails with a clean and crisp shape. Unlike other brands, our activator formulation is very strong and you will not need to reapply another coat after this process. You can go ahead and dust off any excess powder and begin applying your top coat! Please remember to tightly close your bottle after use in order to prevent it evaporating. If you leave the bottle unopened or a small gap, it can still result in a noticeable change in activator volume.
#4. Top Coat
This is the final essential liquid in your dip powder manicure! This is the bottle that a majority of dip powder users have trouble with. The reason behind that is because individuals are not waiting long enough for their activator to dry. Different brands formulate their products differently so it is not fair to judge the wait time of one brand’s bottle of activator to another. The best thing you can do is experiment and play around with the timing. We recommend waiting a longer time at first just to prevent your brush hardening right away on your first go and then slowly try to decrease the time to find the appropriate wait time for you. There is no “correct” wait time for any brand’s activator, only an estimated time. This is due to the fact that everyone is different and the amount of activator they apply, how long they take to apply it, the amount of dip powder they have on their nails, and other factors combined vary among all customers. In the same sense as the base coat, if you notice your top coat brush starting to harden, please immediately change out the brush and switch to an uncontaminated one. In addition, please do NOT stick your contaminated brush back into the bottle. This will lead to contamination of all of the liquid and you will need to purchase a new bottle. We recommend that you always wipe your brush on a lint free paper towel after every use just to make sure that any contaminated parts are quickly removed. Lastly, to prevent your bottle getting glued shut or getting unnecessary dried top coat residue on the neck of your bottle, please make sure to keep up with cleaning it daily. When taking your brush out of the bottle, please try to not get any excess liquid outside of the neck of the bottle. You want to keep everything contained so that it does not spread and result in a sticky bottle neck. Please take a cotton pad and soak it in acetone to clean the neck of the bottle after you are done using it. Furthermore, please also soak a cotton swab with acetone and clean the inside of the bottle cap. These steps are very important in ensuring that your bottles can freely open the next time you’re trying to do a new manicure. Please take great care in keeping the acetone OUTSIDE of the bottle and to not let it contaminate the top coat brush or liquid. If you closely follow all of these steps your top coat bottle should stay as good as new!
#5. Brush Cleaner
This liquid is not very important when trying to complete a set of nails, but is very important in brush maintenance. There is not that much to do to care for your brush cleaner bottle. Just make sure to always keep the cap tightly closed to prevent any of the liquid spilling out or evaporating. Depending on how bad your base/top coat brush has been damaged, it will need to soak in your brush cleaner for a bit longer. Do not expect the same wait time for a brush that has just gotten a little hard to a brush that’s no longer usable. Please wait a minimum of 15 minutes for the brush to soak in the brush cleaner’s agents and become soft again. If your brush has gotten really hard, we recommend waiting around 30 minutes to an hour. You can also leave your brush in overnight as leaving your brush cleaner in the solution will not damage the brush.
#6. Cuticle Oil
Last, but not least, your cuticle oil bottle! This little bottle really does wonders for your nails and helps your hands not only look, but feel rejuvenated from all the chemicals, buffing, and filing it's been through. Similar to the brush cleaner, there is not a lot of maintenance you’ll have to do for the cuticle oil bottle. Just make sure to always keep the bottle tightly closed and to wait for your top coat to fully dry before applying the cuticle oil to your nail. It is VERY unlikely that your cuticle oil brush will get hard, but if it does, you can also soak it in the brush cleaner liquid for a few minutes depending on how hard it is. When taking it out of the brush cleaner solution, please make sure to properly dry off all of the brush cleaner liquid using a lint free paper towel before reinserting it back into the bottle.
Please make sure to keep all of your bottles properly closed and stored upright in a cool and dry area. You can keep it in a small personal beauty fridge or just a small nail area. This prevents bacteria from forming or growing in your liquids and causing an infection on your nails. Although you want to store your bottles in a cold area, please make sure to warm them up to room temperature for about 30 minutes before applying them to your nails for the best results!