The Most Durable Manicure? Learn About Dip Powder

Last Updated on May 9, 2021
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written by nail expert Jess Rowley

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Everything you need to know before your dip-powder manicure

Now I’m an acrylic girl at heart, I love having gel nails that last 2 weeks without a blink of an eye, don’t we all?  I love treating myself to a fresh set of acrylics in the salon, it makes you look and feel good. 

But acrylics are the most damaging manicure you can get for your nails, after taking them off your nails are so brittle and snap if you catch it on anything- ouch! 

But recently discovered a new trend, dip powder nails, and honestly, I am hooked!  But are they better for your nails? 

Yes, they are! They have nourishing ingredients like natural nail polish, with an extra protective layer for the natural nail.

It looks very similar to a gel, but unlike gel dip powder nails do not require curing under harsh UV lamps, making it better for the nail. Dip powder nails are like a godsend they’ll last more than 2 weeks without chipping and looking great on your nails.

Let’s get into everything you need to know! 

nail polish red

But what is dip powder nail polish?

Before we start you may be asking what is dip powder nails?

Dip powder nails are the bridge between a natural mani to fake acrylic nails.
Between the base coat activator and topcoat to seal the color, you dip your nails into a jar of colored powder and that pretty manicure can last up to 3 weeks!

It has been around for years but only recently has it become more and more popular and many salons are now offering it as a service.

The only thing about dip nail polish being offered as a service is that it can be very unsanitary for multiple clients to dip their fingers in the same powder.

Even with the powder falling back into the container, it can make an easy way for infections. Instead of these two methods, nail technicians use a brush to press the powder into the nails to reduce infections.

How Does Dip Powder Work? 

Whether you’re doing your dip powder nails at home or in the salon, here’s how it all works. Each salon does a slightly different but usually a similar basis. 

Prep the nails: Like any manicure, the nails be prepped and cleaned from any dirt and oils. Also, you should clip your cuticles.

Apply bonder: After prepping your nails you should use a bonder to adhere to the nail plate to prevent it from shifting.

Base and powder: Apply a base coat to a single nail, dip the nail in the tray of powder and repeat for all nails. Based on the color opacity and density you may need to dip 2 or 3 times.
Wait a few minutes, then apply topcoat: You should wait 5-10 minutes for your nails to dry before applying a top coat after you shape and file your nails to the look you want.
dip nail polish

How Do You Remove Dip Powder Nails?

It’s super easy to remove and very similar to how you remove gel nail polish. Gently file the top coat of your nails with a classic nail file, soak them in pure acetone for 15 minutes. The dip should begin to flake off and remove. 

Whatever you don’t peel or pick at your nails as it can actually cause damage to the nails. If it doesn’t flake don’t panic just keep soaking. 

The Benefits of Dip Powder Nails

If you love a long-lasting nail look, dip nails may be your best bet. They are much more durable than ordinary nail polish but much less damaging than gel or acrylic. But here are the benefits:

No need to cure with UV lights: This is one thing I love about dip powder nails, you don’t need to cure your nails under harmful UV lights, whereas with gel nails you do.

You can do this at home: There are many home gel nail kits that you can do your favorite manicures in the comfort of your own home.

Can last up to a month, chip-free: Dip powder nails last a long time, if you have them done professionally you can expect a chip-free finish that can last up to a month. However, at home, it can last up to 2 weeks.

So many color choices: With this being a growing trend, companies are jumping on the bandwagon to provide a wide array of color choices right at your fingertips (literally).

This is a great way to switch up your acrylic gel nails for a healthier, but just as beautiful set of dip powder nails- trust me when you try these nails you will be hooked!

Can you use normal acrylic powder for dipping?

Now traditional Acrylic powder is used to sculpt and build a body to your fake nails, they have a larger grain of formulation and require time to get the right consistency and shape.

However, you can use acrylic powder for dipping, to provide a gel polish-like manicure! Dip-powder is much more gentle for your nails but they will achieve similar results.

So what is the difference between the two?

Dip and acrylic powders are very similar but use a different method of applying and the bonding agents are much different.

Dip powder requires a resin-based adhesive like super glue whereas acrylics use a chemical liquid to form and hold the nail. Without this liquid acrylic nails cannot be activated.

Dip powder is often much thinner than acrylic, despite having the same structure. Dip powder is also much faster and feels more like natural nails but stronger.

How do use regular acrylic powder for dipping?

Here’s a step by step guide as to how to use acrylic powder for dipping:

Step one: prep the nail. For this step, you need to prep the nail in the same way you would for an acrylic manicure. Push the nail bed back, removing all the dirt from your nails, brushing away all the excess.

Step two: clean your nails with rubbing alcohol to remove any excess polish from the manicure before and removes any oils. Then use a buffer to remove the shine from nails and prep them for the manicure.

Step three: Apply your nail tips, filing and shaping them to your desired shape and size. Buff your nails until the tips blend in with your natural nails.

Step four: Get your acrylic powder and desired gel top coat ready. What you need to do is apply a thin layer of top coat to 80% your nails and then dip it in the acrylic powder, tapping and brushing away any of the excess.

Step five: Straight after you have brushed away the excess you want to apply a second layer of top coat on top of the nail, then dip in the acrylic powder for the second time.

Step six: Once you’ve done two layers and let them dry then repeat with a further two layers. This will gently build up an ombre color to your nails that gives an illusion of dipped nails.

Step seven: once you’ve let them dry fully then file and shape them again to your desired look. Then apply a UV shine top coat and cure under a UV lamp.

Step eight: If you want a glittery finish, repeat the previous steps before after but instead of adding more acrylic powder dip in glitter powder and then seal the deal with a topcoat, and then you’re done!

It is a much longer process than dip-powder but can still be used! 

What kind of acrylic powder do you need for dipping your fingernails?

You can actually use any acrylic powder for dipping nails, however, I would recommend one that has pigment in it, like a pink one if you’re looking for a natural dipped look. 

Overall I would recommend sticking to dip powder as it is much more simple, faster, and not as harsh for your nails. But if you’re looking for an alternative then give the acrylic powder a go! 

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