Home > Dip Nails…I Tried Them And Here’s What I Thought…

Dip Nails…I Tried Them And Here’s What I Thought…

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.

Dip Nails - super shiny, super long-lasting, super fabulous! Nail Bar Ottawa

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?

Dip Nails - super shiny, super long-lasting, super fabulous! Nail Bar Ottawa

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 base coat, followed by dipping 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).

Major Advantages

Dip Nails - super shiny, super long-lasting, super fabulous! Nail Bar Ottawa

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?

For those of you living in Ottawa, you can try out dip nails at the Nail Bar Ottawa within Oxygen Medi Spa (130 Slater Street). Check out their Instagram too and see all of their fab work!

Dip Nails - super shiny, super long-lasting, super fabulous! Nail Bar Ottawa


Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. November 22, 2017 / 9:42 am

    So I’ve never heard of dip nails before. Are you saying they’re better than getting a gel manicure? I’ve been getting those when I travel, but they’ve been messing up my nails.

    • Dominique
      November 22, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Yes – I wholeheartedly believe that dip nails are a better option. They don’t lift and take the first layer of your nail with them like gel manis. They are shinier, harder and the formulation that my spa uses is gentler and contains conditioners. I’m a total convert! I encourage you to give them a try!

  2. Carla BaNu
    May 17, 2018 / 1:21 pm

    Convinced❣️Heading over now 🙏🏽

    • Dominique
      May 18, 2018 / 8:44 pm

      AWESOME! Tag me on instagram if you post a shot of your nails!! YAY!

  3. Tara
    November 3, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    Love reading your posts Dom! They are always so well written and I’m so happy I converted you! That part was so funny lmao! “The sun broke through the clouds while the angels were singing” LMAO! Love you xo

    • Dominique
      November 23, 2018 / 8:57 am

      HAHAHA! Thanks, Tara! One of the best beauty finds of my life really was you introducing me to Oxygen Medi Spa and The Nail Bar. Dip nails fo’ life!!

  4. Sachelle
    January 2, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    Booking an appointment because of you. I am conscious of harsh products on my skin/nails. Less damage and no noxious smells has won me over. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Dominique
      January 2, 2019 / 1:07 pm

      Hi Sachelle! That’s awesome! Tell them I sent you. I have silver sparkle dip with a holographic powder over it. LOL! Amazing! Best of all, your nails grow really well as the dip powder hardens nicely protecting your tips. Hope you enjoy it!

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