Everything You Should Know Before Getting a Dip Powder Manicure


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I’m an acrylic full-set girl through and through. Every two to three weeks, I march into my local nail salon with a collection of nail inspiration pictures, ready for my nail tech and I to create magic. But, after spending hundreds of dollars each month on full sets and gel manicures, my love affair with the services left me with cracked, fragile nails.

Then, a co-worker mentioned dip powder nails to me. As a self-professed beauty lover, I pride myself on staying on top of the latest fads in the makeup, hair, and nail world but I had to admit defeat—I never heard of the trend and was eager to find out what it entailed.

I was riddled with questions, mainly, “Is it safe for my nails?” which were in serious recovery mode post-acrylic. I Googled the best salons in New York City that offered the procedure, and took a trip down to Snow Fairy Nail Spa to see what the hype was all about.

To start, Anna, one of the nail technicians in the salon, removed all nail polish from my nail using acetone before pulling out her electric buffing machine to smooth out any rugged areas on my nail and create a clean canvas for the powder to stick to. After cutting and shaping my nail—I opted for an oval shape instead of my usual squoval—and pushing back my cuticles, it was time for the fun to begin. Anna brushed on a primer, then swiped on a clear polish. While there were an array of powder colors to choose from (pink, nude, purple, etc.) my heart was set on the pale orange shade I saw upon arriving at the salon so I chose to go with that.

Nail, Finger, Hand, Close-up, Nail care, Joint, Nail polish, Material property, Leg, Thumb,

My dip powder nails after one week.

Nerisha Penrose

To my surprise, the dip powder manicure process was fairly simple: Anna dipped each finger into the clear, finely-milled powder, brushed off the excess powder, set it with a protective clear polish and repeated these steps until my nail was fully coated and hardened. After applying OPI’s Freedom of Peach, Anna sealed each nail with a gel top coat and placed my hands under a fan dryer. The process took about an hour and a half in total—and for $51, the manicure was still in tip-top shape after a week of fumbling through my handbag for my keys, typing on my laptop, and washing my hands round the clock.

“But is it healthier than gel manicures?” you’re probably thinking.

“They are similar in that both provide an extra layer of protection to natural nails,” says licensed nail technician, Harli G, the nail mastermind behind the nail art account @nailsbyharlig. “Dip nails don’t require UV/LED light and are typically a much quicker process to apply from start to finish. Gel nails tend to look a bit more natural on the nails than a dip powered enhancement, so I prefer gel manicures.”

Before you speed over to your nail salon to test the manicure out for yourself, Harli suggests you consider a few things:

You probably shouldn’t try this at-home.

While nail dip powder seems harmless, they still contain harsh chemicals that pose as a health risk. “I would never recommend doing either of these treatments as a DIY at home because for both treatments, there are chemical products that can harm skin or the nail plate if not properly applied. Even professional grade products and products marketed for at-home use contain harming chemicals, so it’s just safer to go to a professional for both gel and dip treatments,” Harli advises. Err on the cautious side.

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Unlike regular manicures, dip powder treatments can last up to a month.

As a result, nail dip manicures can be both cost and time effective. “For busier clients, dip powder is a great option as they last 3 weeks or longer, depending on the level of at-home care after the manicure,” Lily, a nail technician at @zilythenailbar, tells us. This is almost twice the longevity of your standard gel manicure.

Many salons don’t carry the treatment due to sanitation concerns.

Check your salon before you make an appointment. “A huge risk for dip nail manicures is sanitation. It is incredibly unsanitary for multiple clients to dip their fingers in the same container of powder, even pouring the product over multiple clients’ nails and allowing the product powder to fall back into the container is an easy way for nail infections to be passed between clients. If you notice techs applying the dip powder in either of those ways, LEAVE and go to a different salon.” Ultimately your health and safety are of utmost importance, so it’s critical to do some research due diligence beforehand.

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Short nails, no problem. Dip powder nail extensions are available.

For years people have gravitated towards full set acrylics to achieve long nails until now. Dip powder still allows nail techs to add nail extensions. In fact, “Dip powder is more lightweight than acrylic, which allows it to wear and tear better and last longer,” Lily shares. Once the nail tech adds fake nail tips, they will file the nail down to the requested shape and then use the “dip” technique to apply a thin layer of colored powder to the nail.

To protect your nails, have a professional remove your manicure.

Manicures can be harsh on your nails—to minimize its impact, don’t try to remove your manicure yourself. “With all nail enhancements, there’s a risk of your nail plates becoming dehydrated and brittle. The removal process is crucial. In my experience, most issues with poor natural nail health are a result of nail enhancements, particularly dip nails, and stem from attempts at a DIY removal at home. It is always safest to go back to the salon and have a licensed professional remove any product for you,” Harli emphasizes. We know picking at a manicure is tempting, but it’s just not worth the health consequences.

Lastly, after-care is extremely helpful to restoring your nail’s health.

Outside of your manicure, being thoughtful and gentle towards your hands goes a long way. “Excess exposure to chemicals such as those found in household cleaners can lead to weakened enhancements or brittle natural nails. I always recommend wearing protective gloves to protect both the enhancement, your natural nails and the surrounding skin from weakening, which could lead to painful breakage. Restoring hydration after the treatment and during the wear time will help a lot of the problems that can arise from the dip powder enhancements. Try to apply cuticle oils and high quality moisturizers multiple times a day,” Harli suggests. We all know how important moisturizing is, so ensure your hands are getting the same treatment. Here we’ve done the research for you, the best cuticle serums on the market:

Nail art to try for your next dip manicure.

Picking out a nail color and design can be stressful. Below we have picked out a few trendy nail art deigns for your next manicure.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

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