How to Do Dip Nails at Home Like a Lady Boss

Yes, Queen, you can do your own dip nails at home! So, are you ready to learn how to do dip nails at home

Creative nails are a must-have accessory in any season. I could be wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt but with my nails done, I’d still feel like a boss. 

Dip nails can also be a healthier and more affordable alternative to acrylic nails, especially since you can do them at home.

I will walk you through my simple six step process so you can get fabulous dip nails from the comfort of your couch.

Can I do my own dip nails at home?

Yes! You can do your own dip nails.

There are several benefits to doing your own dip nails. First, you will save tons of money each month by not having to visit the salon for manicures. 

Second, doing your own dip nails is more sanitary. Unclean salon conditions can lead to nail damage and infection. 

Finally, dip nails are an easy way to get a durable manicure that can last up to five weeks! And companies like NailBoo are making it easier than ever before. You can read our in depth reviews of our favorite nail dip powder kit.

Dip powder vs acrylic has several benefits. It is non-toxic, easy to work with, affordable, and durable.

Ditch the salon and stay looking fabulous by doing your own dip nails. I’ll cover the tools you need, describe the steps in detail, and give you all the tips and tricks for your dream at-home manicure. 

How To Do Dip Nails at Home
Source @rosediy13

What do you need for dip nails at home?

The following tools and materials are everything you need to do fabulous dip nails at home.

Cuticle tool

You’ll use this to push back or trim your cuticles to keep your nails looking healthy and gorgeous. 

Cuticle oil

Using cuticle oil is optional but it does help soften your cuticles, making them easier to work with. 

Nail file and nail clippers

Before dipping, you should clip and shape your nails to an even, desired length for best results. 

Dip base coat and optional bonding solution

The dip base coat ensures that your nails have a smooth base for dipping. The dip bond liquid ensures that the dip powder bonds to the nail 

Dip powder of choice

You can get creative with the dip powder by choosing your favorite color or go all out and try doing an ombre nails. One of my favorites is Modelones because they offer such a wide range of colors.


A nail brush or makeup brush to remove excess dip powder from your nails. 

Seal protectant

The seal protectant will seal the dip onto the nail, setting it in place. 

Top coat

Like you would apply a top coat to regular nail polish, this gets applied to protect the dip powder and adds shine to your nails. 

How To Do Dip Nails at Home
Source @modelones_official

What are the steps for dip nails? 

Follow these simple steps on how to do dip nails at home. 

Step 1: Prep your nails 

Begin by washing your hands. Prep your nails by pushing back your cuticles and trimming them down to the desired length.

Shape your nails with a file to your desired look. Then, remove the natural shine from your nail using a buffer. Be gently and only use a 180 grit nail file.

Wipe your nails down with some rubbing alcohol to remove any excess dust.

Step 2: Apply your basecoat

Apply your basecoat (using a bonder is an extra optional step that comes before the basecoat). Doing this will ensure that the dip powder secures to your nail bed. Apply your basecoat in thin layers and avoid getting any on your skin. 

If you get basecoat on your skin wipe it off before you dip your nails. Take your time and try your best to be neat. The neater you are, the better your dip manicure will turn out.

Pro tip: work on one nail at a time. 🙂

Step 3: Dip your nails

Dip your nails into your dip powder of choice or pour the dip powder over your nail turning your nail as you do so you get powder evenly across your nail as well as the sides. 

Tap your finger to shake off any excess powder then follow up with a brush to remove any loose powder that’s still on your nail. 

Apply your second coat by repeating steps 2 & 3.

Apply a third coat using a clear dip powder to help protect your color when it comes to shaping and filing your nails. 

Pro tip: dipping can get messy so apply your dip over a paper towel to catch any excess powder. 

Step 4: Apply the activator 

Apply the activator solution to your dipped nails. Be sure to cover your nail completely as the activator makes the dip powder harden and get it ready for filing. Let it sit for 1 minute. 

Step 5: Shape your nails

Shape your nails again with a file. If there are bumps on the top of your nails you gently file them off. 

Finish with a buff to smooth out any remaining areas. Rinse your nails off with water but no soap. 

Apply the activator one more time, let it sit for 2 minutes. Wipe your nail clean with a makeup sponge or lint free wipe. 

Step 6: Apply a top coat aka finish gel

Apply your top coat to protect your manicure and add shine. You’ll want to apply your first coat and let it sit for 1 minute. 

Then apply a second coat carefully, don’t foget the edges of your nails. Let dry for 2 minutes. You do not need a UV light for this step even though some companies call their top coats finish gel.

Finish up with some cuticle oil and voila, you’re ready to slay!

How To Do Dip Nails at Home
Source @darlenechang01

How hard is it to do dip nails at home?

It is not difficult to do dip nails at home, as long as you have the right materials. Be sure that you practice sanitation and always properly put away your materials.

If you have any questions about sanitation, check a reliable source online or consult a professional. 

Key takeaways on doing dip nails at home

Dip nails have several benefits over acrylic, and they are simple enough to do your own at home. You will save money and improve the health of your nails by ditching the communal dip pot at your local salon. 

Steps range from applying the bond to dipping your nails to applying the top coat. The process is simple, and plenty of guides are available online to further explain the process.  

Grab your favorite dip powder and give yourself a fabulous girl boss manicure!