The late 90s, prepping for the prom, was the last I had fake nails. That was the first and that last time — until last week. Sure, I’ve gotten many a manicure over the years, but adding extensions or fake nails was not something I thought I’d like. Then last week, I went in for a regular gel manicure, but my nails were super short. I asked the nail technician to explain the dip powdered nails I’d heard about. She explained the process to me, so I decided to give them a shot. After wearing them for just over a week, I definitely have formed my opinions on them. Given my novice experience with fake nails, I’ve done a lot of research about what a powder dip manicure, what that I thought I’d share for other novice nail wearers. So here goes.
What are Powder Dip Nails?
The powder seems magic, but the articles I’ve read say it is acrylic powder. A base coat is applied and then the nails are dipped into the powder. Another layer of polish is applied and the nails are dipped again. The chemical reaction that occurs between the polish and the powder means it dries instantly and creates a tough, durable layer immediately. The powder they used on me was clear, but they also come in different colors. The benefit of clear powder is that I can change my polish color as often as I want. I actually opted to get a gel coat on top, not realizing there was colored powder.
First, a base coat is applied, and the nail is dipped into a powder. The process is repeated a couple of times depending on how many coats you want. Then, the rough, powdery layers are transformed into a smooth, glossy finish once a sealant is applied. The best part: You don’t have to worry about the possibility of skin damage from UV lamps. Unlike the classic gel manicure, it dries instantly.
How are they different than Gel Nails?
The main difference is gel and dip is that gel manicures require UV lamps to harden and cure the polish. The powder dip nails do not require any curing and they are hard and dry immediately.
How are they different than Acrylic Nails?
Technically, the powder dip is an acrylic substance, so they are acrylic. The application technique is different, but I can’t comment on which one is better because I haven’t had the other type of acrylic nails in two decades.
How Long do Powder Dip Nails last?
I’ve had mine for over a week already and they look nearly perfect. I have a little bit of grow-out on my nails, but they look really good still. I’ve read online that the nails should last 3-4 weeks. I have no doubt they would last that long. I’m actually going into the salon in a couple of days to change the color, get a bit shorter, and get them filled.
What are the Benefits of Powder Dip Nails?
The major benefit is the longevity and also it’s a great technique to add length to the nails. My aesthetician glued a tip onto my natural nails and then added the powder dip layers on top of the extension. The powder dip nails technique gave me length and also the popular almond-shaped nails – I couldn’t quite get to the stiletto style. It just felt a little much for me.
What are the Drawbacks of a Dip Powder Manicure?
Just like gel dip or acrylic nails, the cost is higher than a basic manicure, but they will last much longer. Also, the removal process is very involved. I would not recommend removing them without the help of a professional. I’m definitely planning to have mine removed by a professional only, which is an additional cost. It also takes a pretty long time to get nail extensions with powder dip. If you like spending time in the nail salon, this might be a perk for you. But for me, it’s just too much time to spend every couple of weeks.
Having powder dip nails for a week was fun, but they aren’t for me long-term. Although I like how the extensions look, I can’t actually function in my daily life – everything is more difficult. Typing, for me with nail extensions, is a nightmare. It’s also more difficult to get dressed, cook, etc. For me, the disadvantages of completing daily tasks are not worth the cute look. In a couple of days, I’m going to get them shortened quite a bit and I am hopeful I’ll still like the finish and longevity of the powder dip nails without the hassle of the longer length.
If you already wear fake nails but haven’t tried the powder dip nails, then I’d highly suggest them. If you don’t like long nails, then I’d definitely skip this beauty trend. In the end, I still think I prefer my natural nails with gel polish. It feels the most like me and also works the best for my lifestyle.