Everything you Need to Know About Dip Powder Nails

By Milly / October 21, 2019

You might have heard your friend or coworker talk about dip powder nails and you are as curious as one can be, well, you don't have to wait longer because today we will tell you everything you need to know about dip powder nails!

Dip powder nails have taken the nail salon industry by storm. Everybody is talking about it and everybody is trying it: making dip powder the new trend. But actually, the dip manicure has been around since the 80s and just recently came back on-trend. Let’s talk about what is dip powder and its details.

Everything you Need to Know About Dip Powder Nails

dip powder nails

What Are Dip Powder Nails?

Dip powders are a combination powder and a glue liquid that hardens when the air hits, leaving a long-lasting color on your nails. There is no need to use ultraviolet (UV) lights when applying this type of powder, while gel nails DOES require UV lights.

Also known as SNS nails, (Signature Nail Systems), dip powder nails are a better option than gel nails due to its simple application. All you need to do is dip your nail into a powder of your choice and seal it with a coat of polish. You'll also need a base coat and a top coat.

How Are Dip Nails Applied?

As we said before, the application is pretty easy but it all depends on the method your nail salon uses. There are two techniques of dip powder nail application:

#1. Dipping Technique:

Some nail technicians use this method which consists of dipping the nails (hence the name) in the powder after applying a layer of polish like glue. The dipping process will continue depending on how deep you want the color to be.

This technique has been proven not to be the most healthy one. When you dip your nail into the powder you are exposed to germs, if the powder isn't changed constantly this can be quite unsanitary.

#2. Painting the Powder Technique:

The safest method to apply dip powder is to paint the powder with a brush onto the nails. This way the amount of powder used will be controlled and exclusive for you.

Just like the dipping technique, apply a coat of the glue polish and then paint/brush the powder. Apply another layer of glue polish and continue applying color until the color desired is reached. If you are doing this at home always be careful and clean the edges.

Pros and Cons of Dip Nails

dip powder nail system
Source: NailShapes.net


Every girl dreams of the perfect manicure that lasts a long time, well, dip powders gives you just that. Dip powder manicures last for almost a month.

You will be rocking your natural nails!! The powder goes on top of your natural nails so there is no need to get fake nails. Whether your nails are long or short, dip powder is for every type of nail.

Dip powder actually protects your nails, using it allows the nail to have an extra layer of protection to prevent breakage and allow the nail to grow without any complications.

No more chipped nails! Since it last longer and thanks to the glue-like polish, dip powder manicure won't chip or peel like regular polishes after a few days.

You can do it at home! Yes, dip powder manicure is so easy that you can do it yourself. Purchase a starter kit online and you are good to go but remember to be careful since you will be dealing with glue polish.


As we said before, the dip powder manicure can be kind of unsanitary since some salon uses the dipping methods. Imagine having 10 different people dipping their nails in the same powder, yes – no good – the amount of bacteria risk is huge. If you decide to get your dip powder manicure in a salon try to go to one that uses the painting powder technique instead.

The removal process can be a bit long if you are not careful enough. To remove dip nails, you need to follow every step carefully and not pick your nails. Luckily, removing your dip powder at home is possible, look into our nail section to find more about it.

It can be a bit more expensive than other manicures, this is due to how trending it is and not a lot of people know the techniques.

Dip powder manicure can cause some temporary damage in the nails and also tend to dehydrate them. It doesn’t cause permanent damage though, so don’t worry too much!

Differences Between Dip Nails and Gel Nails:

dip powder manicure
Source: NailShapes.net
  • The most obvious one, time! Dip powder manicure lasts longer than a gel manicure.
  • While all you need for dip nails are glue polish, powder, and air, for gel nails you need way more things like UV/LED light and the application can also take much longer.
  • The nail polish colors are more intense and vivid when using dip powder than when using gel.
  • Dip nails are thicker than gels.
  • Most dip powders do not contain any chemicals, unlike some gel nail products.
  • Dip powder removal is faster and easier than gel nails removal.

Dip Nails at Home:

Courtesy of Gabby Morris

Interested in doing your own dip manicure? Check out this video courtesy of Gabby Morris!

Like with everything, dip manicures has its pros and cons, so it's crucial that you read everything carefully before deciding to get it. For more information, ask your nail tech about dip nails!

After learning everything you need to about dip manicures, it's now your decision whether to try it or not! Make sure you choose the right technique for you and rock those perfect nails!!

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4 years ago

i love dip nails, but I don’t think I could ever do it myself!!

4 years ago
Reply to  Vee

Hi Vee,

It’s true it can be a little hard to pull off dip nails by yourself, but, once you have all the necessary tools and you do it a few times, it’s actually not so bad!

4 years ago

Are dip nails better than gel?

4 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Hi Lola,

In my opinion, yes, dip nails are better than gel because they last longer. Gel nails typically last for a week or two, while dip nails can last for 3-4 weeks.

4 years ago

how much do dip nails cost?

4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

This all depends on where you live, but usually dip nails will cost anywhere from $30-$50.

andrea lent
4 years ago

how long do dip nails last as opposed to gel nails?

4 years ago
Reply to  andrea lent

Hi Andrea,

Dip nails can last anywhere from 3 weeks to a whole month, depending on what you’re doing. If you’re washing your hands constantly (like we’re all doing now), they may not last as long. Under regular circumstances though, they do last longer than gel nails.

3 years ago

Dip nails really very effective.