What Are Dip Powder Nails?

With so many different types of manicures, new trends and styles, it can be hard to keep up. You have probably heard of dip manicures before, but are confused about how they are different from gel, acrylic or just a normal manicure.  Dip manicures are an interesting technique, much different than others on the market. 

Learn more about dip manicures below to see if it will become your next request at the salon.

What Are Dip Powder Nails

Dip powder manicures are a powder technique where the nail is either dipped into a colored powder or the powder is brushed onto the nail. The manicure is then topped off with a clear sealant that smoothes out the texture and adds a glossy finish. 

The combination of powder and sealant creates a hard shell over the fingernail that is durable and resistant to chipping. 

Dip powder nails are essentially a combination of acrylic extensions and gel polish, offering the flexibility of a gel manicure with the durability of acrylic nails all in one manicure. 

What is an SNS Manicure?

Sometimes you’ll hear people talk about an ‘SNS manicure’. This is the same as a dip manicure. Asking for SNS became synonymous with dip powder nails over the years because SNS was the brand to pioneer and popularize dip powder in salons.

SNS Nails majorly changed the nail game by advancing healthy formulas. Also they invented the pink and white dip manicure, which is the French manicure done with dip, by introducing the French dip mold that makes it possible for technicians to use dip for a French manicure.


  1. As always, the manicure starts off with your nails being stripped of all dirt and oils, then buffed with cuticles pushed back.
  2. A bonding agent is then applied that will adhere to the nail. 
  3. The base is applied that will stick to a layer of dip powder. Each finger may be dipped up to three times depending on desired opacity of color. 
  4. A topcoat is then applied. Some formulas require the nails to be placed under a UV light to cure and fully harden. 


Removal of dip powder can be a tricky process. Professional manicurists know how to remove your dip nails to cause the least amount of damage to your nails, but it can be done carefully at home too. 

There are several options for how to soak your nail in acetone. One option is to dunk your fingertips in a small bowl and keep your hand in, but this can be very drying to your surrounding skin. As an alternative, you can soak a cotton ball in acetone, and secure it to your nail by wrapping it in cling wrap or tin foil. You will need to soak your nails for between 10 to 20 minutes. 

This will loosen the dip nail and will allow it to be easily pushed off your natural nail. To keep your skin and nails healthy, hydrate by using cuticle oil and vitamin E. 

Is Dip Powder Bad For Your Nails?

When applied and removed correctly, dip powder is not damaging to the nail. 

Just like with any manicure constant salon visits can wear down on your natural nails due to the constant buffing, dehydration, gluing, and so forth. It is always recommended to give your nails a break for a few weeks after months of repeated manicures to allow healthy nails to grow out from your nail beds. 

Forceful removal of dip powder from your nails can be damaging however. While it is recommended to get them professionally removed, they can be DIYed at home by soaking the cuticle in acetone for 10 to 20 minutes. 

How Long Do Dip Powder Nails Last?

When applied well, SNS dip nails will last up to two or three weeks. This is a fantastic advantage when compared to other manicures that last for a week less. 

Dip nails harden thoroughly before you even leave the salon, so there is no chance to smudge or ruin your freshly manicured nails so quickly. 

While dip nails can be slightly more expensive than its alternatives, its lifespan, odorless application, and beautiful application make it well worth the price. 


  • Dip manicures last for up to 3 weeks
  • Virtually no dry time
  • Creates a strong bond, limiting chipping and breakage
  • Odorless
  • Some dip nails do not even require a UV light, limiting exposure to UV rays 
  • Dip nails will not stain, even when in contact with dyes


  • Removal process can be damaging to nails
  • Some salons have ran into issues maintaining hygiene in between clients
  • Can become too thick if excess powder is not tapped off before sealant is applied

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