How to Create the Perfect Dip Pedicure

Dip powder manis are all the rage: they are long-lasting, low maintenance, and they are very much forgiving of amateur hands. These are also the exact qualities that make dip powder perfect for your pedicures. Dip pedicures are a little less common and harder to DIY, which is why we’ll be sharing with you some tips to make your job a lot easier.


Before we get into how to do the actual pedicure, as always, you’ll want to have everything you need right in front of you and ready to use. Make sure all of your product bottles are easy to open (the topcoat is always stuck) and properly organized, so you don’t get confused. Dips involve plenty of different products, so I won’t judge you if you’ll need a liquid caddy – I know I do. Start by thoroughly cleaning your feet, ensuring that your nail plate is free of bacteria, dirt, fuzz, and general grossness (because they are your feet after all) that could get caught between your nail and the product. Once clean start by shaping your toenails and taking care of your cuticles. Then make sure you buff your nails with a file, a buffer, or a drill so that the powder you’ll be using can have the best grip possible. Once your nail beds are prepped, you’ll want to get rid of the excess cuticle oil, your natural oils, and, of course, any dust that comes with buffing your nails as this could cause lifting of the product. Dry your feet thoroughly and, if you use a primer, now is the right time to do so (and if you don’t, just wipe your nails with alcohol or acetone). For extra adherence, you can also try applying a bonder.


You can now move onto the actual dipping process. As you probably know, dips are nothing more than a fine pigmented acrylic powder that sticks to a base you apply to your nail. For your pedicure, you’ll want to apply a thin, even layer of basecoat to make the process easier later. Now, here’s the catch: actually dipping your toenails in the small jar is at best uncomfortable and at worst unsanitary. For this reason, your dip pedicure should not involve any dipping but, rather, you should use a nail spatula to sprinkle the powder over the wet basecoat. In order to make the process a lot less messy and save all the product that does not end up landing on your nail, we suggest placing a jar liner or saving tray under the nail you’re working on to spare you from some heavy-duty vacuuming or wasted powder.

Our tip is to focus on one toenail at a time to simplify the process and be sure that the basecoat will still be wet by the time you get to it. Once you have covered the entire area where you applied the basecoat in dip, use a brush to lightly dust off the excess powder on and around your nail. Repeat the same process once or twice more, depending on the intensity of the color you want to obtain, and once you’re satisfied with the shade and opacity, apply an activator and wait a few minutes for the polish to harden completely. After applying the activator there is no going back, so be sure you have cleaned up any messy spots around your cuticle.

Once your nails have hardened and fully dried, buff them once more to make sure your pedicure is smooth, even, and not too bulky. Just like the first time, wipe away any dust or rinse your feet without using any soap before moving onto the final step, your top coat. This last step truly depends on the kind of top coat you own, so we can’t grant you any general rule, but be as accurate as you possibly can so that your pedicure is perfectly covered and sealed, which will allow it to last up to a month without chipping. All you have to do now is work on your other foot, and we suggest using the powder that didn’t land on your first foot for this one: our saving tray will probably be your fiercest ally when it comes to saving dip.

This kind of pedicure might seem like a handful, but it takes a lot less time than it seems and you’ll spend very little time waiting around. We promise you’ll get the hang of it by the time you move onto your second foot and be a loyal dip pedi kind of girl when you see how long it lasts!

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Tips for your at-home manicure!

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