Dip powder nails aren’t exactly new, but they might be new to you. Dip manicures have experienced a massive surge in exposure and popularity, with manufacturers now offering expansive dip powder lines running the full gamut of color options. SNS, a long-standing champion and early innovator, actually developed their first dip powder in 1990. Touted as a healthier alternative to acrylic and UV gel manicures, dip powder boasts richer colors with longer-lasting results. With nail artists showing off inventive dip powder polish designs and eye-stealing color finishes on social media, those less familiar are left asking, “what’s this powder all about, and how does it all work?”
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A Fast but Technical Application Process
Liquid adhesive, liquid sealer, and colored powder comprise the typical dip powder manicure kit. In theory, the dip powder process begins with the application of a layer of clear adhesive to the nail, followed by dipping the nail in powder, and finished with a layer of sealer which is polished for a final, shiny result. But in practice, the best dip powder manicures are more involved. For the best, most beautiful results, your nail technician will most likely want to apply multiple coats of adhesive and powder — at least 2 or more. Ideally, an additional colorless powder coat will be applied to add volume and depth making your nails look even more rich and vibrant. The results dry almost instantly, and the total time for the manicure is faster than acrylic or gel manicures for a well-trained technician.
Can I Do Dip Powder at Home?
Of the manicure styles available in the majority of nail salons, the dip does require the most precision. Typically, you’re going to get your best results from an experienced technician, not to mention the much more expansive color options available to professionals. However, dip powder DIY kits have come a long way, and several brands on the market are delivering good results. A little patience and skill should be able to produce a satisfactory result at home.
What about Removal?
Removal at home is possible, too. Actually, removal is a relatively safe process if done properly. It requires a few minutes of keeping the hands wrapped in acetone-soaked cotton. Foil or a baggie are also useful tools to make the removal process quick and easy. The challenge for at-home use is to resist any urges to pick or pry off any dip powder. Picking and prying are the number one cause of nail damage and they are totally preventable. Take the proper time to soak off the old product or go to a salon and let a professional remove them correctly.
Color Like No Other
If there’s one aspect repeated by fans about the results, it’s the colors. They look positively stunning, sometimes even otherworldly, with a depth and gloss that definitely stands out. Because the color is actually in the powders, it forms a noticeably different finish compared to brushing on a polish or gel. When you see it in real life, the wow factor will blow your mind.
In the world of manicures, dip powder is the queen of longevity. Manufacturers claim they will last 2 weeks, but in our experience, they are erring on the side of caution. We hear of results lasting 3 even 4 weeks without chips. This is longer than gel manicures and certainly longer than polish. The shine amazingly maintains its brilliance right up until it is removed. The finished nail will be slightly thicker than with a gel polish manicure and slightly thinner than the old-fashioned acrylic manicure. The durability makes dip powder manicures more attractive to those who wish to make less frequent salon visits. There are significant savings and possibly cost savings as well.
Healthy Alternative for Manicure Fans
The other big difference involves health concerns. While the gel isn’t inherently harmful to the body, the use of UV lamps to rapidly cure gel manicures has caused many to seek alternatives out of concern for the risk of skin damage. While there are precautions that can be taken to avoid or reduce direct UV exposure at the salon, many prefer the stress-free dip powder process, which leaves you with beautiful nails without any UV exposure. Major names in the nail industry have welcomed newfound interest in dip powders as a healthier alternative to gel by making the extra effort to create a product that will increase health and wellness, rather than detract from it. To that end, you’ll find products like SNS Gelous Color powder kits that have calcium and vitamins added to the bases and sealers that actually strengthen the nails. Users report improved nail health compared to acrylic and gel manicures. Be sure to insist on a reputable brand that does not use harmful ingredients commonly found in nail products, such as xylene, triethanolamine, and formaldehyde.
Is Dip Powder More Expensive?
Surprisingly, not really when you consider the durability. Salon technicians are notorious for upselling, so they are quick to recommend an SNS manicure or dip manicure. But in this case, it does work out to be a good value. Though pricing varies city to city, in general dip will cost you the same as gel or perhaps $5-10 more.
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