Dip nails sounded like the perfect solution to my nail problem. My nails looked more like gnarled claws than ten fabulously manicured tips. Frankly, I had given up on trying to grow them and make them look nice. What was the point? Did it matter if your nails looked good while trying to pull a dead shrub out of your garden? YES. Yes it did.
I come from a family of unapologetically extra women. The hair, the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, the nails – always on point. I was letting them down, man! Enough was enough! It was time to turn these Cryptkeeper claws into delicate, instagram-worthy gems.
I started doing weekly manicures on my own at home, but after a few weeks, I just couldn’t find the time. I also couldn’t keep still long enough to let the nail polish dry!! It’s hard to achieve a great manicure when you desperately need a cup of tea, desperately need to go to the bathroom, desperately need to find the Apple TV remote that conveniently worked its way into the bowels of your sofa.
The Influencer Gets Influenced
While out shooting with my buddy Tara one day, she flashed a set of the most perfect, shell pink nails.
Me: “Dude – that mani is bomb. Where did you have that done!?”
Tara: “They’re dip nails!! I got them done at the Nail Bar Ottawa!”
While tucking my ravaged paws into my blazer, I asked her what dip nails are. As she explained, the sun broke through the clouds while angels started singing. I had found the answer to my nail woes.
What Are Dip Nails?
A few days later, I had made my appointment with Annie at the Nail Bar Ottawa within Oxygen Medi Spa. I was thrilled upon my arrival. The spa is gorgeous! I settled into the light, bright and airy nail bar while Annie explained the process.
I would liken dip nails as a fake nail/regular manicure hybrid. Your nail technician gently buffs your nails to provide a good base for the product to adhere to. She then paints on a primer, then a tupe of base coat, then dips your nails into a resin powder. Each finger goes through the process three times. The hardened powder is then shaped and finished with a little drill and then a shiny top coat is added.
What To Expect
Once Annie was finished (this girl could be a surgeon, btw – so precise), I was left with a diamond-hard, very shiny manicure. Dip nails typically last over way over two weeks.
The entire process takes more time to complete than a shellac mani, but less time than applying a set of acrylics. There is no noxious smell and no grinding your nails down to a paper-thin shell of themselves. The Nail Bar Ottawa had a really nice selection of colours too, which was a major plus (some of the best nudes and pinks around).
A major advantage with dip nails is because the formuation is so hard and a bit thicker than shellac, your nails are completely protected. My nails never broke or chipped, and grew so long! I found the colour also stayed true, unlike some light coloured shellac polishes that change over the course of a week or two.
The best advantage to me though is unlike shellac, the polish never “lifts” therefore tempting you to peel it off. This results in taking a layer of your nails with it, therefore really weakening your nail bed.
Removal is a snap too. Annie soaks cotton pads with acetone, and then wraps each nail with foil. She then puts your nails under a heated drier to further soften up the powder formulation. When she pulls the foil off about 10 minutes later, you have a nice, bare nail.
I’ve noticed no adverse reactions, dryness, or weakened nails thus far. I’ve been really enjoying my bi-weekly visits to the Nail Bar Ottawa over the past three months, which also serves as some much needed down time for me. Easy to do also as Oxygen Medi Spa is a beautiful as it is peaceful.
I’ve already booked my appointment to get some red, sparkly holiday dip nails – excited! Have you tried dip nails? What did you think?