A Guide to Applying Pigment Powder to Your Nails




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Everybody loves these ground-up colors. Over the years, these powders have steadily climbed up the ladder to the beauty arena and have now become the holy grail. They are the actual colors per se only that they are preceded by fancy names.

These intensely colored powders are designed to work in their concentrated state. They are incredibly diverse and there is quite a lot you can do with them. You can create and customize colors until you drop. Perhaps it is their versatility that is steadily putting them in charge!

They will give your nails that efficient touch of glitz and glamour. Yes, you heard that right! You could use these powders to create glittery nail polish. The best part of it is that you can use as much pigment as you want to intensify the shimmer and accentuate the beauty of your nails.

Whether you want to customize an out-of-this-world color for your nails or you simply want the conventional casual look, here is a guide to applying pigment powder to your nails.

LET'S RESIN Metallic Pigment Powder, 5 Colors Fine Resin Pigment Powder, Each Bottle 20ml Shimmer Resin Color Pigment for Epoxy Resin Coloring, Polymer Clay and Other Crafts

A Step by Step Guide to Applying Pigment Powder

I don’t want to beat around the bush and make it like it is an out-of-this-world process. It is just as simple as using your regular nail polish only you are using these splendid pigments instead.

·         Prepare Your Nails

Before you add any beauty products to any part of your body, always do a thorough preparation. In this case, thoroughly cleanse your nails with antibacterial soap and warm water until squeaky clean. This will not only remove dirt but also any excess oil that can make your nails volatile to infections.

Dial Antibacterial Bar Soap, Gold, 4 Ounce - 8 Bars

Dry your hands and start removing or pushing the cuticle back into the skin. Clip and shape your nails to the desired size and shape. Puff and file both the nail beds and the edges into perfection. Once that is done, swipe methylated spirit on your nails with cotton wool.

·         Add a Base Coat

Before we proceed, you must have it in your mind that base gel polish might slightly alter the original look of your pigment powder. With that out of the way, apply your best base coat in thin layers and let them dry.

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, Nail Polish Base Coat, 0.5 fl oz

·         Add a Gel Topcoat

Once your base coat is satisfactorily layered and dried, add a non-sticky gel topcoat layer by layer. Let the layering be thin and allow them to dry before topping them. Remember that your pigment should adhere perfectly well to your topcoat. Everything should be precise and perfectly done.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Shiny Top Coat, 101 Miracle Gel 3.0 Shiny Top Coat, 0.5 Fl Ounce

·         Apply the Pigment

Apply your favorite pigment directly to your gel topcoat. Carefully and gently rub the pigments on the non-sticky nail beds one after the other. However, the application should be fast and precise once the lamp is lifted. This will have to preserve your colors. You can either use your clean fingers or a silicone brush.

17 Pcs Dip Powder Nail Kit Starter, AZUREBEAUTY Nude Pink Glitter 8 Colors Acrylic Dipping Powder System Essential Kit for French Nail Manicure Nail Art Set

·         Add a Primer

Once your pigment powder is completely in place and cured, add a primer. This is only best added to the edges of your nails. This step is very important as it will help your pigment colors to adhere to your nails and stay firm. It also acts as an artificial enhancement.

Modelones Gel Nail Polish Primer, Acid Free Natural Nail Prep Dehydrate & Bond Primer, 15ml Nail Protein Bond, Air Dry Superior Bonding Primer for Acrylic Powder Nail Supplies Set

What Do You Mix Pigment Powder With?

Pigment powders need a medium to mix with to improve their usability. There are several ways you can make these vibrant colors adhere well to your nail beds. These pigments are not only limited to nails, but you can also use them to paint and color other parts of the body.

1.    Use Acrylic Medium

Always ensure that your acrylic medium is wet enough to make your pigment powder viscous. They are mostly found in most stores and beauty outlets. They come with instructions on how to use them. However, they are excessively irritating, and they can be harmful to your respiratory system.

Mont Marte Premium Acrylic Flow Medium 8.45oz (250ml)

2.    Use Tempera

If you are an eco-conscious person, this is the right medium to use to mix your pigment powder. It is all about using egg yolk as a mixing medium. The method is completely natural, but it performs exceptionally well.

3.    Use Distilled Water

Distilled water is free of impurities and any other color-altering agents. Using distilled water is a sure way to get the best out of your pigment powder. Steadily and little by little, add water to your pigment powder until you are satisfied with the viscosity. This medium is eco-friendly, cheap, and easy to use.

4.    Use Nail Glue

This method sounds non-conventional, but it is yet another sure way to prepare your pigment powder for application. This method makes work easier for you. You will not require any other adhesive to lay the pigment on your nail beds.

Super Strong Nail Glue For Acrylic Nails, Nail Tips and Press on Nails (8ml) NYK1 Nail Bond Brush On Nail Glue For Acrylic Nails Long Lasting Acrylic Nail Glue Professional Nail Glue For Nails Glue

Once you plunge into the pigment powder arena, there is no going back. It is all a rewarding and fun activity to do. Especially during your manicure time if you are not a nail technician. This technique will expose you to a world of endless possibilities with pigment powders.

1.    Color Mixology

This is a sure cost-effective way to achieve all the manicure colors you have ever imagined. Play around with hard gels and your pigment powder and see where that road takes you. I can assure you it will only be one place. A creative road you will never want to come back from.

2.    Dramatic Finish

Yes, a world of possibilities is what the pigment powder exposes you to. You can come up with any melodramatic finish for your nail art. You can do chrome to hollow nails with this. It can also give you that metallic to mermaid impression. It allows you to play with your base colors and bring out something unique and extravagant per se.

3.    Stamping

Yes, you heard that right. Stamping. However, this technique will require a generous amount of time to work. Ensure that your pigment powder is finer than in its natural state. This technique does not dry quickly as it would with gel polish.

Here you can read more about stamping.

4.    Color Theory

Have you imagined creating colors that compliment your skin tone? What about the ones that would finely contrast with your outfit? Yes, this is what color theory does. You get to customize a color that suits you. You can coin out a color that you genuinely desire to wear on your nails!

5.    Acrylics and Nail Arts

You see those dull polymers you have been wondering what to do with them? Just a dash of pigment powder and they will spring to life! You can take advantage of all these ideas and mint some money while at it. Be creative with the pigments and sell. Try some easy ombre and if you are creative enough, you might end up with impressive space designs.

Here you can read what ombre nails are.


Pigment powders are cheap and easy to play with. Yet they are versatile and flexible for creativity. They are best for customization and you could never go wrong with them. They are intense yet natural.


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