Clear Versus White Acrylic Base; Knowing the Difference
Hello and welcome to blog entry number three. These entries are pretty slow going currently, but I do love writing when I get the chance! I have jumped back into some self care times and started doing my nails again. It's been over a year now since I've had to pull back and redirect my energy away from DIS. I am really enjoying being back in the nail life, I started using some sub bag colors I've made over the past year, quite a few of which are white based dips. Last mani I did had some places where I buffed out some color. The color was still there but the thermal effect lacked luster and it bummed me out.
So here we are with a discussion about clear versus white bases in dip powder. How to tell the difference, what methods work best with each, and a friendly reminder not to take it too seriously. Play with colors and powder. Even our biggest mistakes are hardly noticeable to those around us. It's human nature to be self critical, so by being aware of that we can see above any flaws.
Clear based dips are made of only clear acrylic. The pigments added in often have a jelly like appearance. Some examples are most of the Candy Shop Neon set and all of the ‘Jelly’ colors. If you can see through one dip easily, it's probably a clear base. White based dip powders are made of clear and white acrylic mixed together. White acrylic is inherently chalky and difficult to work with. I try to balance ease of use and opacity of color. All milky, creamy, pastel, etc are usually white based. There are some colors that have large amounts of pigments for various reasons. Some of these will be hard to tell what the base is. Most of my dips use a clear base since it's easier to work with. You can always ask about a color where you get your dips.
Clear based dips can usually be buffed directly on, whereas with a white base I suggest topping with a layer of clear. This extra layer or two helps protect the color below. Clear based layers will blend together more easily than white based dip layers. This is part of what makes white harder to work with. Always use a firm brush in between layers of any clear dip to keep bubbles out of the finished look.
With clear based dips I can apply base liquid to a part of my nail, and mostly blend the previous layer with it. I do this by manipulating the acrylic while it's wet. Dip and immediately tap the edges. For more moist dips, dip your tapping finger into some powder before touching so you don't get stickiness. For drier dips press firmly to flatten and blend any edges. This works for spot filling or for regular layers of dip at the cuticle edges. You can tell how wet or dry each dip is by how it looks immediately after dipping. There are a few different methods of protecting your finger; from gloves to Ziploc bag corners. I use my finger and a regular 100/180 file on my skin gently and all acrylic comes off easily.
Another very important thing I do after each dip is a soft pre-buff. I check for high spots, crevices, and make sure my nail is at least 3-4 dips thick to avoid chipping. I've had good luck lately with 4-5 dips (2 clear and 2 color. Plus clear on top if it's a white base.) Having a level surface will help avoid bulky layers or places that need a lot of filing. Doing this after the first two dips of clear is my best way to get two even dips of color, with a gentle buff in between.
Feel free to message me to ask what base a color is, or ask ahead of ordering to avoid white bases as you start your nail journey. Let me know below what topic you'd like to see next here. I have been checking email twice a month. Orders about the same. I am most active on Instagram. Please reach out anytime and know I am still here behind the scenes. Thank you for being a part of the DIS family.