How to Prevent Lifting
There are a number of reasons lifting can occur, especially at the cuticle area and for those who may be prone to having oily nail beds. Rest assured lifting can be prevented at the beginning, by very carefully prepping nails before dip powder application:
Without thinning the natural nail, carefully buff the surface using a 180 grit buffer to create a gritty/coarse texture. Having a coarse nail surface creates a foundation the product can adhere to. The goal is to help the product adhere to the ridges of the natural nail surface rather than sliding off a smooth surface.
After pushing back cuticles, keep in mind to also buff off any remaining part of cuticles that is left over and attached to the nail surface. If cuticles are not removed and product is applied on top of it, it will create a gap between the product and natural nail in which dirt and water can get into and create lifting.
For those prone to having naturally oily nails, be sure to buff more to ensure that the dip powder has better retention and will adhere to the natural nail.
Once nails are buffed especially at the cuticle area, be sure to remove excess debris and oil by washing hands and fingertips with soap and water, followed by wiping nails with a lint-free cloth saturated with alcohol. Carefully wipe each crevice of the nail where cuticles have been pushed back.
Again, note that any oil, debris, or cuticles left on the nail surface will make the product become prone to lifting as they grow out. Water and debris will get trapped within the exposed gap between the natural nail and the dip powder.
Avoid touching nails with fingertips to prevent natural oils from transferring onto them.
When applying Step 1 Bond to nails, ensure dip powder has better retention to the entire nail surface by swiping an extra coat on the nail plate closest to the cuticle area and at the tip of nails.
Lastly, be careful not to apply dipping liquid (Step 2 Base or Step 4 Sealer) outside of the nail surface, especially avoiding the cuticles. Be sure not to apply a thick layer of Step 2 Base around the cuticle area as it may run to the sides and get onto cuticles.
If Step 2 Base happens to get on fingers or cuticles, simply remove with acetone and start over. As nails grow out with product applied on the cuticles, it will create a gap between the product and the natural nail surface or skin where dirt, water or oil can enter and create further lifting.
Using Base & Finish Powder as a foundation will also help prolong dip nails and protect the natural nail surface from staining due to color pigments.