How to do the “Pour-Over” Method for Dip Nails

Dip powder supplies

The pour over method is a popular way to apply dip powder nails. It’s a bit more time-consuming than the traditional dipping method, but it can be a great way to achieve a smooth, even finish. Read on to learn how to do the “Pour-Over” Method for Dip Nails:

What you’ll need:


  1. Avoid water one hour before you work on your nails. Any moisture will cause early lifting.
  2. Prep your nails. Push back your cuticles and file your nails to a smooth finish. Use an alcohol wipe to dehydrate your nails.
  3. Apply the base coat. Apply a thin layer of base coat to your nails. Cap your edges once for color or glitter and once for your final clear layer.
  4. Pour the powder on the nail into a cupcake liners. Making sure to coat the entire nail. I recommend a layer of clear or two if you want to remove layer with an efile so you know when to stop using the efile.
  5. Tap off the excess. Tap your finger on a paper towel to remove any excess powder.
  6. Run a toothpick or precision tool along the cuticle to make sure powder doesn’t stick to your skin.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 two to three times with color or glitter powder. I dip until I get a solid application of color or glitter that looks good. Try to keep glitter to one to two layers as it tends to be bulkier.
  8. Repeat steps 3-5 one time with clear if covering color and two times when covering glitter. The clear dip protects and ensures you don’t file off your color or glitter layers.
  9. Apply the activator. Apply a thin layer of activator to your nails. Let dry according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  10. File the nail until all the bumps are gone. Buff to a smooth finish. Use your finger to feel the top and sides of your nails to make sure it’s smooth.
  11. Apply the activator a second time. Let dry to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  12. Apply the topcoat. Apply a thin layer of topcoat to your nails. Apply in three quick swipes.
  13. Apply a second layer of top coat. This time make sure to apply an even finish and cap your edges.


  • Use a glass cuticle pusher to remove the invisible cuticle.
  • Use a small amount of powder at a time. This will help you avoid getting too much powder on your nails.
  • Tap off the excess powder thoroughly to prevent it from clumping.
  • Apply the activator and topcoat in thin layers.
  • Dry each layer of product according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to master the How to do the “Pour-Over” Method for Dip Nails and create beautiful, long-lasting dip powder nails.

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