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Why Is My Dip Powder Top Coat Not Drying?

Have you recently applied dip powder topcoat to seal your dip nails? Have you noticed that the topcoat just doesn’t seem to dry – even if you have given it ample time! Well, not to worry. I’m going to explain all you need to know here today to stop this from happening again. And more importantly, what you can do right now to get it dry! 

So, why is my dip powder topcoat not drying? There are a few reasons why your dip powder topcoat may not be drying. The most common reasons, however, are using either the wrong product, using a contaminated product, forgetting to use activator, cross-using (incompatible) brands, and simply not waiting long enough for the topcoat to dry.

As good as dip nails are, they’re not perfect. 

In fact, they can be a little finicky at times. 

A non-drying topcoat is a fairly common complaint too, but thankfully it can easily be overcome.

So, keep reading to find out why your dip powder nails are refusing to dry and what you can do to avoid this problem in the future.

How Long Does Dip Powder Top Coat Take To Dry?

It can take anywhere from 3-45 minutes for dip powder topcoat to dry. It depends on the type of products you use and how much product you apply!

If you use an activator on your dip powder nails, it can take as little as 3 to 5 minutes for your dip powder nails topcoat to dry. 

Without an activator, your nails can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes if other dip nail fans’ reports are anything to go by.

How thin your topcoat layer is will also affect how long it takes to dry. 

The thicker your topcoat layer is, the longer it will take to dry. 

This is why I always recommend using as thin a layer as possible when applying your dip powder nail coats while still keeping the look and opaqueness you desire for your nails. 

Reasons Why Your Dip Powder Top Coat Won’t Dry

Your first step should be working out why your topcoat isn’t drying. 

This can be something you’ve forgotten or things you’ve done that have affected how well your products work. 

So here are a few things that may be affecting the drying process of your dip powder nails.

Topcoat Or Activator Contamination

Dip powder nail products are notoriously fickle, as are most artificial nail products, and product contamination is probably the number one reason for most of the common dip nail issues. 

This contamination can happen from anything as simple as dropping a brush and forgetting to clean it or a blow of dust getting into your product bottles.

It’s important to keep your nail application area incredibly clean and keep all the lids on your pots and bottles until you are ready to use them.

If you drop any of your tools as you are applying your nails, switch to a fresh, clean tool, and remember to wash and dry everything really well once you have finished preventing contamination.

Forgetting To Use Activator

Using an activator is one important step you really don’t want to skip. 

The activator contains polymers that effectively cement together when they come into contact with other products, such as your dip powders. 

Without using an activator, your dip nails will either revert to a dust-like state or just won’t dry at all. 

Cross Using Brands

We’re so used to using a multitude of brands when it comes to our beauty products that many of us don’t realize that this is something you can’t and shouldn’t really do when it comes to your dip nail products. 

Different brands will not only have different quality levels, but they may have different chemical compounds that just don’t work well together. 

So, to avoid any mishaps and ensure your dip nails dry perfectly every single time, make sure you are using the same brand for every single product step of your application process.

You Haven’t Waited Long Enough

I know this one seems simple enough, but we can be an impatient breed.

Sometimes, you simply haven’t waited long enough. Give your nails another 10 or 15 minutes to dry.

If you’ve reached an hour and your dip nail top coat still isn’t dry, then it’s time to think that something a little odd is going on and that perhaps you may have to start all over again.

Suggestions To Ensure Your Dip Powder Top Coat Dries

If you’re ready to avoid non-drying dip powder nails, I’m here to help you. 

Just a few simple steps will help make sure you end up with beautifully shiny and hard-dried dip powder nails after you’ve put so much effort into them. 

Here are a few of my top tips.

Use Premium Product

Cheap products notoriously cause issues for all types of manicures, whether they are dip, gel, or acrylic.

So, if you want a long-lasting and high-quality dip mani, be sure to use a high-quality product.

Personally, I wouldn’t look any further than DipWell.

They have an extensive range, their products are easy to work with and apply, and it’s cost-effective too!

Read more: Dipwell Review [My Experiences From My Recent Order]

Make Sure Your Topcoat Is Contaminant Free

Keep your topcoat product and all of your other dip powder nail products clean and free from contaminants. 

Make sure you keep all bottles, caps, and lids on your products when you’re not using them. 

This will prevent any other product particles, dust, oils, and nail debris from getting into your topcoat bottle.

Store All Products Correctly

Dip powder nail products are very sensitive to being stored in the wrong conditions. 

They don’t like to get too hot or too cold. A dry, cool, and dark cupboard is the best place to store them. 

So, don’t keep them in your bathroom or kitchen or any other moist room. 

Not only will this keep them fresher for longer, but it will stop their chemical compounds from degrading so they can do the job they were made for.

Keep Brushes Clean

This is similar to contaminants; keeping your brushes clean and dry is incredibly important. 

If there are any oils, dust, or debris hanging around in the bristles of your application brushes, these can then affect how your dip powder nails cure. 

Make sure all your brushes are washed in warm soapy water after every nail application and allow them to dry in a safe, clean place. 

Once they are dry, you can store them somewhere where they won’t gather dust or anything else that can stop your nails from drying the next time you apply your nails.

Try Gel Topcoat

If you are still struggling to get your dip powder topcoat to dry, you can always try a layer of gel nail top coat.

You will need to use a UV nail lamp for 30 seconds to a minute to cure the gel coat, but it will give your dip powder nails an extra-strong protective layer that you shouldn’t have an issue drying, especially if you haven’t used an activator serum.

Final Word

Dip powder nails are the perfect faux nail method for those of us who love to do our nails at home, but it can be frustrating when they won’t dry.

Cross using your brands, contaminated products, and even just not waiting long enough are some of the most likely reasons your topcoat won’t dry.

So look into them first.

And by keeping your nail application area dry, storing your products correctly, and ensuring all of your products – especially the topcoat product – are free from all contaminants – of this will help avoid a non-drying dip powder nail top coat going forward!

Why is my dip top coat not drying shiny?

Like this? Then you may want to read my other dip powder nail articles: