I have tried all of the fake nail trends. First I started with acrylics back in high school. (Didn’t we all?) Then, in college it was the gel manicures. Although the gel manis weren’t as bad for my nails as the old school acrylics, they both tore my nails apart. Oh of course there were also press on and glue on nails back in the day too. And then I discovered dip manicures. With dip manis, you get the best of all worlds – long lasting, strength, and no dry time. Since I’m not quite ready to get back into a nail salon yet, I decided to look into how to do an at home dip manicure. After a lot of research, I ended up ordering the Dipwell nail kit.
I ended up choosing the Dipwell at home manicure system because they had a huge selection of colors, easy instructions, and free shipping over $35. After looking through my options, I chose to build my own bundle. In the pick 3 bundle, I was able to get 3 colors and all of the supplies for $44.97. I chose the base and finish powder, GL-44 (silver/white glitter), and PA-14 (light blush).
First, let’s talk about the kit itself. Almost everything you need for your at home dip manicure is in this kit. In fact, it even came with nail files and an orange wood stick. However, I wish it came with a brush to brush off the excess dip powder. I ended up using an eyeshadow brush. Which worked fine in a pinch, but it would have been nice to have one included.
As for the manicure process itself, the Dipwell nail kit includes very easy to understand instructions. Although I’ve had many, many, many dip powder manicures in the past, I generally try to zone out at the salon and relax a little. With that in mind, I really just remember the vague steps of lots of dipping and lots and lots of filing. And oh my goodness, you really do have to do a lot of filing. In fact, my manicure took about 2 hours. Which is a lot of time. However, when you think about the fact that a dip manicure can last multiple weeks and has zero dry time (meaning I can’t ruin one within an hour of painting like with traditional polish), two hours isn’t completely terrible.
Overall, the process was super easy and basic. First you apply the product. Then you dip your nail. Rinse and repeat a few more times. File, wash your hands, and seal. Ok, so it’s a little more in depth than that, but that’s the gist. Although I did get tired of filing after a while. And since necessity is the mother of invention, I tried the manual file, Mila’s nail Dremel, and an electric file. In the end, I preferred using the manual file for everything except the edges. I really liked using the electric file on the edges of my nail bed. Mila’s Dremel was kind of worthless and now I understand why she doesn’t like it.
I’ve done my own dip manicure multiple times now, because I really wanted to give you my honest thoughts. And I feel like I’m getting better each time. Of course I get about halfway done each time and I’m like OMG why did I decide this was a good idea? And then I see the finished product and I’m like oh yeah… These nails are really pretty.
Since I’ve done my own at home dip mani several times, I have a few tips and tricks. First, I have three things I highly recommend you pick up in addition to your at home dip nail kit. 1. A brush to dust off the extra powder. This can be an makeup brush, paint brush, etc. You just won’t want to use it for anything else after. 2. An Olive & June Poppy. This comes in super handy on your non-dominant hand. It sounds weird, but it really does help you paint your nails. 3. An electric nail file like this one from Amazon. Although you don’t need an electric file, it does make things a lot easier. Especially using a small pointed file tip around the edges of your nail bed. You’ll get a more natural nail shape and your edges won’t be as thick and prone to lifting.
My biggest complaint about the whole Dipwell Nail Kit system is the way they show the shade swatches. In my opinion, a lot of the swatches are inaccurate. In fact, I highly recommend you read through the reviews and check out the user photos. I thought GL-44 was going to be a white with white glitter. But in reality, it’s more of a silver white glitter with a clear base. Even if the swatch photos can’t be completely accurate (due to screen resolutions, etc.), I think Dipwell should include shade descriptions like “iridescent glitter in a clear base” or “fire engine red” or “light dusty rose” to give people more accurate ideas of their colors.
All in all, I really enjoyed doing my own at home dip manicure. It was super easy, very cost effective, and my nails looked professionally done. Although you do have to be mentally prepared for the time commitment and all of the filing. If you’re interested in doing your own, I have a referral link! You can shop through this link to get $10 off your order.
Overall Ranking (out of 5) –
Dipwell Nail Kit – 4.5 – I love that it includes almost everything you need and that there is such a huge color selection. However, I wish it included a brush and that the color swatches were more accurate or had better descriptions. I love that you can get everything you need for multiple at home dip manicures for the cost of one dip mani at a salon. But be prepared to spend a good two hours on your nails.
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