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Why Do My Top Coat Brushes Harden When I Apply Dip Nails?

March 02 2022 – Nadia Stamp

Why Do My Top Coat Brushes Harden When I Apply Dip Nails? - DIPD NAILS
Why Do My Top Coat Brushes Harden When I Apply Dip Nails? - DIPD NAILS

Previously, we’ve taken you through our guide to the foolproof method to applying dip nails - but a method only becomes foolproof with practice! There are still a few annoying niggles that can crop up when you’re applying your dip powder nails, especially if you’re doing it yourself for the first time, and we’re here to help you avoid those so you can keep on using our DIPD dip powder nails for several looks with a hassle-free experience.

One of the common queries women have asked us when applying dip powder nails is about the top coat brushes hardening during or after the application process. Don’t worry, this isn’t because you’re doing the steps wrong, or the brushes or liquids are poor quality - with our Australian made, vegan, cruelty free and allergy free formula you can be guaranteed a safe and high quality manicure every time! It’s all to do with keeping a keen eye during your top coat application, and a few little tips to put in practice every time you do your nails. So without further ado, let’s get into stopping your top coat brushes from hardening:

So Why Do My Brushes Harden, Exactly?

Let’s go back to our step-by-step guide to applying dip powder nails. The top coat is usually the final touch to give your nails a smooth, even finish, and is applied after the activator liquid. This is where a lot of issues arise with the timing of applying both liquids - if the activator liquid is allowed to react with the top coat liquid, it can cause the brush to become rock hard or clumps to form on your nails when applying it, so watch out!

But never fear, our handy tips for dealing with top coat brushes hardening are here. All it takes is a bit of awareness between coats and practice, but before long, you’ll be recommending them to all your girlfriends and wondering why you never did them all along!

Tip #1: It’s All In The Chemistry

The purpose of the activator liquid is to seal in your dip powder colours, which is why you cannot have any excess activator remaining on your nails before going for the top coat - its chemical composition means it will do the exact same thing to your top coat, and you can imagine where this is going (nowhere good!). Refer to step 3 of the guide again: our recommendation is to leave the second coat of activator to dry, then use a lint free wipe dipped in rubbing alcohol to properly rub out any excess liquid, or you can wash your hands. Just make sure your nails are dried out before applying the top coat, and you can keep on going without your top coat brushes hardening.

Tip #2: Save The Brushes

Another good way to keep your top coat brushes clean and flexible is with our DIPD brush saver liquid. This nifty essential can also be used for your base coat brushes, and helps you properly wipe off any traces of excess liquid between applications. After your top coat application is done, it’s recommended that you leave the brush in the brush saver liquid for up to 15 minutes (or overnight to be extra safe) before drying it off with a lint free wipe and popping it back in the top coat bottle.

Note that brush saver liquid is only meant to safeguard your top coat brush after your dip nails are done, and we still swear by following Tip #1 so your top coat brush doesn’t harden after applying it to just one nail. Excess activator liquid reacting with the top coat is the main culprit almost 90 percent of the time!

Tip #3: Soft, Simple Strokes

Ideally, after your second coat of activator has dried and you’ve cleaned off the excess as detailed in Tip #1, there shouldn’t be any chance of it reacting with your top coat. But this may tend to happen if you apply too much pressure on your top coat brush or make your strokes too hard and thick. Refer to step 4 of our guide again: our recommendation is to apply your top coat in quick, thin and gentle strokes - it also helps counting them down as one, two, three. As with all DIY nail application techniques, it takes a bit of practice, but keeping your strokes sharp and gentle will not only preserve your brushes longer, but also give you a better, more even shine to your dip powder nails when finished!

And that’s all there is to it! Have you tried our handy tips and tricks to stop top coat brushes hardening and successfully created your best ever looks for dip powder nails? Do share your happy snaps with us on social media!

Nadia xoxo