Do this 1 Trick to Avoid Flooding the Cuticle when Applying Dip Powder

This Simple Trick Prevents Flooding the Cuticle So You Can Enjoy Longer Lasting Dip Nails

Flooding the cuticle is a leading cause of lifting and messy dip powder application. By doing this one simple trick during application, you’ll avoid having liquid leak onto your skin. Not only will this stop your dip nails from lifting, but it will also give you clean cuticle lines and a flawless finish.

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watch video: how to avoid flooding the cuticle

This tutorial will show you how to avoid flooding the cuticle when applying dip powder nails at home.

Flooding the cuticle when applying dip powder can lead to a big mess!

The term “flooding the cuticle” means you’ve applied too much base liquid in the upper part of the nail. This can lead to messy cuticle lines and getting product on the skin. It can also cause lifting if the product gets on the skin.

Luckily, you can avoid disaster by using this simple “push back” trick when applying your dip powder. It’ll avoid getting liquid on the skin and put you one step closer to achieving perfect cuticle lines with dip powder.

Products Needed

For this step in the dip powder application process, you just need your base liquid from a dip liquid set.

TIP: Not all dip liquids are the same. Some have consistencies that are more difficult to work with than others. For example, some liquids are quite thick which can make it harder to achieve thin, even layers. Others can have a liquid that is so thin that it resembles a water texture. This type of liquid can easily seep everywhere. I’ve shared some of my dip liquid set recommendations below.

    • Makartt Dippies Kit – When it comes to affordability, without sacrificing quality, this Makartt set comes out on top. The base liquid has a slightly thicker consistency which allows for a slower dry time. Giving you ample opportunity to paint the nail without feeling rushed. However, it’s not so thick that it’ll cause issues either. This is a great beginner-friendly option.
    • Sparkle & Co – This dip liquid set offers a slightly thicker consistency and slower drying formula. It’s a great option for beginners or people who want to take their time while painting their nails. These liquids also provide great wear!
    • Kiara Sky – This dip liquid set is fantastic. Though it does have a thinner consistency, it also dries quicker. So if you’re a beginner who needs to take your time, these may not be ideal. However, they do make it easy to achieve a smooth application with minimal buffing.

By starting your brush in the middle of the nail, you’ll avoid applying too much liquid in the cuticle area. Not only does this give you much greater control over where the liquid goes, it also prevents liquid from getting on your skin.

How to Use the “Push Back” Trick to Avoid Flooding the Cuticle

This technique will be useful for you at almost every stage of the dip powder application process. Not only will you have an easier time applying the base liquid, it will be helpful when applying the top coat as well.

Before you begin, make sure that you prep nails for dip powder following this routine.

Step 1) Wipe Your Brush

Having too much liquid on your brush can quickly wreak havoc on your dip manicure. That’s why you need to control how much liquid is on the brush.

wipe brush to avoid flooding cuticle

To do that, wipe the front and sides of the brush on the bottle to remove excess liquid. This will leave a good amount of liquid on the brush.

TIP: Make sure you wipe the brush on the inside of the bottle. If you get liquid on the threads, you risk gluing your bottle shut.

Step 2) Place the Brush in the Middle of the Nail

Many people (including myself!) make the mistake of placing the brush near the cuticle area upon making contact between the brush and the nail. This will distribute too much liquid in the upper portion of the nail. Putting you at increased risk of flooding the cuticle and getting product on your skin.

Instead, start by placing the brush in the middle of the nail.

start brush in middle of nail to prevent flooding cuticle

This will give you more control to distribute the liquid evenly across the nail.

Step 3) Push Back with the Brush

Then push the brush back on the nail towards the cuticle area.

push back to avoid flooding cuticle and causing lifting

You want to get as close to the skin as possible without making contact. Try to leave space that’s equivalent to the width of a credit card.

Remember: Getting product on the skin can lead to lifting. You do not want to get so close that you’re at risk of getting liquid on the skin.

Step 4) Pull Brush Down to the Tip

Drag the brush down to the tip of the nail.

pull down with the base liquid when applying dip powder

This allows for even distribution across the nail without leaving too much liquid in one spot.

Step 5) Swoop Brush Around the Sides

Then swoop your brush along each side of the nail.

curve brush around sides to get clean cuticle lines

You want to carefully trace the curve of the nail. Make sure you allow a small space between the brush and the skin to avoid contact.

Step 6) Dip into the Powder

Finish it off by dipping your nail into the powder at a 45-degree angle.

Final Steps

Once you’ve mastered this “push back” trick, you will achieve a much smoother application with dip powder.

To learn how to do dip nails at home, from start to finish, you can find the step-by-step tutorial here.

You should use this technique when applying base liquid to the entire nail. You’ll also want to do this when applying top coat for dip nails as well.


This trick is a game changer for getting a great dip powder manicure at home.

For more dip powder tips and tricks, you can find them shared here on Pinterest.

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