First things first, I have quite the history when it comes to having fake nails. I got my first acrylic set when I was 12 years old because I thought the french manicure was so cool. You know what I’m talking about! I loved the long square shaped french was just so chic. LOL!

I would continue to get them done occasionally, but took several year breaks until a few years ago, when I was just sick of my natural nails constantly breaking. So 3 years ago, I jumped back on the acrylic train and didn’t stop until recently.

The #1 reason that I wanted to stop getting acrylics was actually because I also topped them with gel polish, which meant that I was putting my hands under UV light every other week. I know that nail techs will tell you that there is no risk, but there’s just no way around it. UV light is no bueno. I also wanted a more natural solution to my thin, brittle nail situation.

Enter dip powder. OH-EM-GEE, guys, this is life changing. Unlike Acrylic, manicure dip does not make use of any special chemicals to help it harden. And compared to Gel manicures, it does not require the special UV rays necessary for curing. {Source}

Dip powder application involves applying a base and then dipping them in powder. The powder adds the colors, and they come in different colors and shines. {Source}.

I was nervous that after removing my acrylics, which was a NIGHTMARE by the way (it took me 6 hours), that my nails would break even with the dip powder. Nope. It’s been 3 months since I’ve been getting them done, and my nails have remained strong and they have even grown out quite a bit. There are no “tips” on my nails, I just have the dip powder laid over my natural nails and they are thriving.

I. KEEP UP WITH NAIL APPOINTMENTS

When I got acrylics, I stuck with the same person because she GOT me. She always got my shape just right, and knew which colors I’d like. I was so sad to leave her because she doesn’t do dip manicures, but I have found someone at a new salon that does a great job. I recommend going every other week and sticking with the same person. This may require trial and error, but once you find the right person, keep them!

2. ALL ABOUT THE POWDER DIPS

We talked about dip before, but it really is the best alternative to gel and acrylics because it’s natural – the powder is fortified with vitamin E and calcium. It’s a win win. No damage, no chipping, no UV light…I mean, what could be better?!

3. USE CUTICLE OIL

If you’re trying to repair damaged nails or grow your nails longer, using a vitamin E oil on your cuticles helps a lot. It also helps keep your hands looking hydrated which is a bonus. I love this one from Jason.