Forget everything you once thought you knew about nails because this will blow your mind.
If you’ve followed my Instagram account for some time now, you’ll know that I am loyal to Nail’d It, a small nail boutique tucked in a little shopping center on the north side of the town, with incredibly talented nail techs (shout out to my girl Alondra!). Any design your little heart can imagine – Nail’d It has the tools, ingredients and skill set to accomplish it and all for a very reasonable price.
However, acrylics can wreak havoc on the nail, as we all know, and I needed a break. I had spent so much time growing out my nails under the weight of acrylics, that when I removed the powder, I wanted to keep the length but knew my nails would be paper thin. I often do this after a particularly long bout of acrylics – I have the powder soaked off, my nails are sanded down, I have shellac placed on top only to have the sides start lifting about 2 weeks later and the revealed nail from underneath chips under the pressure of fresh air and I have to give all the girls a cut as a result of their sister’s betrayal. I needed a better alternative!
Cue this saucy little number called Dip Powder. I Googled it, like anyone does anything when they hear of something unfamiliar, and immediately tried to find a salon in Houston that offered this service. I asked friends who had done it before, I asked friends who had friends who had tried this before. I checked Yelp for reviews and while results were dismal, I finally landed upon a salon that had decent reviews and decided to give it a go. Here’s what I’ll say about this salon – the actual dip powder was cool and they have some pretty amazing infused water (the trick is to infuse the ICE, y’all!!). But the customer service was not worth my drive, time or money; the salon was dimly lit, which I’m assuming was for ambience? except it made it feel seedy and dirty. NOR did they allow me to snap a few pics of the process for my blog. *hmph!* So I decided I liked the whole dip thing, but I would not be returning to that salon. Which is fine, because the real testament to dip powder is in it’s staying power and the whole removal process.
A few things to know about Dip Powder
- No UV light to cure it
- It can last, on average, 3 weeks (it’s more durable & lasts longer than gel/shellac)
- While still not the safest option out there, it’s formulated without major harmful chemicals like formaldehyde
- They claim to have vitamins that help strengthen the nail
- Dip comes alone and will not include manicure (but you can ask for cuticle care separately)
After 4 weeks, my nails were grown out, but I only had one minor chip on my right index finger that didn’t occur until the very last week of my manicure. They had survived diy projects, dish washing, crawfish eating, countless workouts, and a trip to Vegas amongst other things that involve a lot of hand usage, you know, like everyday life..
I needed to switch out the colors and was curious about the process at this point. Normally acrylics would need a refill and shellac would need to be soaked and scraped off. So I took to Yelp again and found a place called Uptown Galleria Nails and Spa that has 5 stars, beyond amazing reviews, and a huge album of user-uploaded photos of their nails.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a really nice lady and her ADORABLE BABY BOY!!! The salon has large windows and the decor is very white, bright, simple and clean. I was getting all the good vibes. The lady who greeted me sat me down, offered me something to drink (water, tea, soda or red wine) and started to work on my nails. After some chit chat, I found out that Catherine is the owner of the salon.
A woman owned business? I was liking this place more by the minute. She even let me take some pictures for this post while we talked about the whole dip nail process, pros and cons, etc. I left having such a pleasant experience and having learned so much, I can’t recommend this place enough!
The Process :
The “strengthening” properties of Dip Powder comes in the removal process. More on that next time in Part Deux. In the meantime – check out how amazing natural nails can look!!
The Glam Greek