Woman dipping her nails into black dip powder

How Many Coats of Dip Powder Do You Need for Your Nails?

If you’re new to DIY nails, you’re probably looking to expand your horizons to dip nails. Dipping is a quick and straightforward way to get a long-lasting manicure, but how many layers of dip powder do you need for best results? Keep reading to find out!

What is Dip Powder?

Nail dip powder is a finely-ground polymer-based acrylic that comes in a little pot, perfect for sticking your finger into. When combined with the required dip liquids (find out more about our dip liquids), the powder quickly turns into a liquid and then dries within 60 seconds, similar to cement. People will use dip powder to add thickness and color to their nails for a cute and easy manicure.

If done correctly, dip powder can last you weeks (with fill-ins, of course, otherwise it would grow out) and ends up being a lot cheaper than if you were to get it done at the salon. If you want more information on the prices of manicures, view our “How Much do Dip Nails Cost?” article.

View our “What are dip powder nails?” blog for more fun facts, like who invented dip powder!

What are the Ingredients of Dip Powder?

I’ve always been interested in the science of things. So, if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy this section!

Although ingredients vary from company to company, here’s what is consistent throughout our dip powders (which you should check out by viewing our entire catalog):

Polymethyl Methyl Methacrylate (PMMA) is the main ingredient of all acrylic and dip powders. It is a form of acrylic, which, when hardened/polymerized, creates a hard, sturdy surface, which is why it’s the most essential ingredient. Polymethyl methyl methacrylate is not the same thing as methyl methacrylate (MMA), which is banned in 30 states and by the FDA. Rest assured that our dip powders contain no MMA!

Pigments are the second main ingredient and are what give the powder its color. Pigments can be natural or synthetic. Many natural pigments are animal-based (like red 4, which is made out of crushed-up bugs and is often in your food… be sure to read those labels, guys), but all of our products are vegan. Imagine how boring life would be with no color!

How Many Times Should I Dip?

Dipping Fingernail into Pink Dip Powder

Although it’s different for every company, for Fairy Glamor products, you should only need to dip your nails twice for full opacity. You will probably not get the desired look with one dip, and doing more than two will make your nails uncomfortably thick.

Unlike acrylic powder, which is applied with a brush directly onto the nail and doesn’t need multiple layers, dip powder can be a faster and easier process for beginners.

How do I Apply Dip Powder?

Now that you know how many layers of powder you should use, you should probably know how to do the rest of the nail dipping process.

Here’s a basic guide:

  1. Lightly buff your nail beds.
  2. Apply nail dehydrator (or rubbing alcohol). Wipe away excess moisture.
  3. Apply dip base liquid to your nail.
  4. Dip your finger at a 45-degree angle into the powder.
  5. Leave your finger for 2-5 seconds.
  6. Slowly lift your finger out of the jar.
  7. Brush away excess powder.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 for another layer of dip powder.
  9. Apply the dip activator to seal and cure the powder.
  10. Finally, apply your dip top coat or gel top coat.
  11. Use the activator to cure the dip top coat without a UV light, or use a UV light to cure a gel top coat for extra shine.

Need a little more guidance? Be sure to check out our dip powder application tutorial.

Quick Recap

  • Dip powder is a long-lasting manicure technique that utilizes a special kind of acrylic to create a strong layer over your nail
  • The main ingredient in every dip powder is polymethyl methyl methacrylate, also known as PMMA. Under no circumstances should you EVER use a dip powder (or any other product) that contains methyl methacrylate, which is an illegal substance but still readily available, especially in dirt-cheap products
  • You should only need to dip your nails into the powder twice. We guarantee that Fairy Glamor dip powders will only need two coats*, but if you’re using low-quality dip powders, you may find that you need 3-4 dips for a full coat of color (which will give you ridiculously thick nails)
  • BONUS: Fairy Glamor dip powders can also be used as acrylic powder!

*unless otherwise stated in a listing


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