Dip Nails

On Wednesday the 28th of March I got my first set of dip nails, also known as SNS nails. It was an interesting experience. This is an acrylic powder which bonds to the nail. It is not acrylic nails as you know them, though. They feel a lot lighter and you don’t do infills, the powder is removed and completely replaced on your next visit, similar to how gel nails are removed.

First of all the manicure overall is less “invasive” – they do not do all the filing, buffing and cuticle paring they normally would. This may be better for the natural nails underneath long term.

After the previous nail polish is removed, a base coat is put on but not your normal base coat, then the nails are dipped into a container full of powder. Surprisingly the powder does not stick to the finger, just to the nails. The finger is tapped gently to remove excess powder. The powder may be coloured and even in some cases sparkly.

Because I chose to have french tips, the white you see here is also powder in a different colour. Only the tips of the nail are dipped in the white powder. Underneath the powder are my own natural nails.

Some thoughts on this manicure –

Thursday 29th – After 24 hours – My nails are a LOT stronger with dip powder on them. Over time having gel nails I have identified times of the day where I have to be more careful – number one being after getting out of the shower. Time in the water does tend to soften both my real nails and the gel polish. That is not the case for dip nails.

Saturday 31st – I am loving this manicure. The one possible downside is if you look very closely you can see dots in the clear area of the nails – so you can actually see the powder. But that is far outweighed by the strength of the nails.

On Sunday the 1st of April planned life changed somewhat with the illness of BeeGee. This actually changed how I live life for the next two weeks. Anytime I touched the chicken, there was a handwashing. I’m a bit more handwashing orientated than your normal person but even I do not usually wash my hands several times an hour unless I am cooking.

Dip nails may work great for people who have their hands in water a lot.

I thought this would be an excellent test of the dip nails and I was right. The best thing about them – during the BeeGee time, I did not even have to think about them, or be concerned that I would break one. I did not baby them at all like I usually might with a normal gel manicure.

They grow out just like the normal gel nails do. This pic is the day before I got them redone, so you can see the gap of regular nail between the dip manicure and the cuticle. This photo does show the dots a little bit better than the previous pic too. You can also see that the white tips have grown out and you can see the normal nail underneath.

When we usually do a french tip manicure, my nail artist will paint the tips artificially a lot lower than they really are, so as the nail grows out you don’t see as much of the normal nail underneath.

I did manage to crack one approximately two weeks into the mani but unlike a regular manicure, this did not mean I had to run off and get it fixed right away. It was only the dip coating that I cracked and not the nail underneath, and the crack did not seem to have any effect on the strength of the nail at all..

After this great experience I decided to get another dip manicure and this time I decided to keep all the length my nails had grown in the past 3 weeks. Removal is done exactly the same way as gel nails – cotton wool soaked in nail polish remover is placed on top of the nail and aluminium foil placed over the top. I found that the powder comes off a lot easier than the gel does, so there is a lot less grinding and scraping.

Two days after having this done I am still on the fence about whether the length is a good decision for me. A week after having this done I am having some trouble doing some things with this length of nail. I’m worried I might not get my full 3-4 weeks out of this manicure due to the length – lesson learned for next time.

I am not especially worried that I will break one – dip nails are pretty incredible strength wise. I’m starting to wonder if it is possible to break them. I think if it could be done I would have managed it by now. I am wondering if one may be more likely to rip ones own nail out of the nail bed rather than break one of these.

I chose to go with a full colour rather than just tips this time. I’m still on the fence about the length of this mani, but we will see how it goes. :)

Manicures, Nail Art

Nail Tree

A recent manicure photographed at Minnamurra Rainforest.

My nail artist was not feeling the best when I visited her to get this manicure. I could tell from the moment she touched me that she was running a fever. But she also had a shop full of somewhat impatient people trying to get their nails done all at once and she was trying to get out on time this particular day. She knows I am patient and willing to wait but not everyone else is.

I did not notice until she had finished the small error that she made. Can you see it? It does not bother me at all, because this is my favourite nail colour.. This purple has holographic glitter throughout, which reflects back a rainbow of colours in certain lighting. I’ve had it as french tips a few times now and if in doubt about which colour to pick, I choose it.

She saw it, frowned and immediately offered to redo her work, I said heck no, you want to get out on time and it does not matter. I know it bothered her because she is a perfectionist. But sometimes it is worth living with imperfection. :) I won’t send her these photos. I know it would drive her up the wall. You can see more of her work here.

I’ve been getting gel manicures since late 2016 now, and I have learned a few things along the way. In particular what tends to damage or scratch the gel, and how to avoid breaking a nail. I know when to be extra careful, like loading and unloading the dishwasher and washing machine, opening boxes, that kind of thing.

I’m mostly able to get 3-4 weeks out of most of my manicures and the current pedicure I have was done on the 30th of January – it is still going! There was one recent exception where my finger nails just went on a big growing spree and within two weeks needed to be redone, they had grown so much. I do get them cut right back each time because if I am leaving them for 4 weeks they will grow anywhere between 3-5mm during that time.

There is a new system for doing nails called the dip manicure which I might give a try soon. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Nail Art

Manicure Fiesta

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I have never been a “girly” girl – there was never any nail polish in our house growing up. It wasn’t a thing we were into. I am terrible at nail painting due to a lack of experience, talent, and skill. I probably could become good at it with a lot of time, effort, and learning to use my left hand as well as I use my right hand. But realistically that is unlikely to happen.nails7
In late 2016 I was having a Good Nail patch – thanks to my daily hair skin and nails vitamins, they were growing stronger and healthier than ever before. I was using Hard As Nails by Sally Hansen which I would paint on every few days to make the nails shiny and slightly more protected from breakage. nails2
I had wanted to try getting a proper shellac – or gel – manicure for a while but I was very wary. I had heard tales of woe, of unsterilised equipment, of fungal nail infections UGH. I did some serious research and asked around, and one local place kept popping up in the conversations. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing, I bit the bullet and made an appointment.
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So what is a shellac manicure? This excellent post tells the story of shellac better than I probably could. The photos do not really do these justice, it is hard to get a good photo of these nails.
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To summarize it quickly for you, after each coat of nail polish is applied, your nails “cure” with the help of a UV lamp. When you walk out of the salon you do not have to worry about wet nail polish.
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The other benefits include much stronger nails and the polish lasts for 2-3 weeks – and sometimes 4 depending on what you get up to hand wise. Since I started getting the gel nails I have not had a single nail break, and I don’t baby them, they do what they have always done.

I have occasionally done a bit of damage to the manicure but you have to work pretty hard to damage it. Most times when I have damaged a nail it has involved metal coathangers, the ones you use to hang up jeans etc. Gel works for me but it does not work for everyone. In particular it would not work well if one had their hands in water a lot.
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Until I did this, I never realised how having great looking nails can improve your mood. It makes sense now, given that during any day you look at your hands more than any other body part.

I prefer the French tip style manicure because if you have colour down to the bottom of the nail you notice a gap as your nails grow. But the French manicures are no longer just white tips, as you see from my many examples here. You can choose a colour, you can add some glitter on the top, and probably my favourite manicure so far was black tips with red holographic glitter.

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I also loved the ones with electric blue and the pastel but very sparkly green. One appointment I arrived early and sat down with the colour charts and made a memo in my phone of all the colours I wanted for future manicures, so I usually know before I arrive what colour I want to try this time. I’m thinking gold is coming up this week but The Other Half loved the black with red glitter, so I see a repeat of that in my near future, as well.

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My manicurist thinks I am strange because I always ask her to trim the nails back, she said everyone else wants to keep the length. I don’t need my nails to be long. I just want them to be neat, shiny, and sparkly. If I let them get too long I begin to have trouble typing.

Fashion, Nail Art, Vitamins