Women's Health

Dip Powder Nails Explained & Designs to Try For Your Next Manicure

Acrylic and gel nails are most people’s go-to in the world of manicures. However, dip powder nails are a quick, easy, and cost-effective alternative for beauty grooming and offer an array of designs.

Dip powder nails have gained popularity in manicures as a versatile and long-lasting alternative to traditional acrylic and gel nails. Achieve the perfect balance between lightweight comfort and long-lasting durability with the rising trend of dip powder nails. This manicure technique offers the best of both worlds, resembling the feel of gel nails while providing the endurance of acrylic nails.

Depending on the nail salon, one can have dip powder nails done in multiple ways. However, most processes look similar, and you should be left with a manicure that can last weeks without chipping or lifting and offers versatile design options. Whether you’re a nail enthusiast or a professional, exploring the world of dip powder nails can elevate your nail game to new heights.

Black nails. | Source: Getty Images

How Are Dip Powder Nails Done, and Can You DIY?

After a technician has cleaned and filed the nails, ensuring to remove any excess oils and polish, they are now prepped with a bond liquid—also known as a dip base coat—that glues the powder to the nails.

Then, true to its name, the nails are either dipped into a finely granulated powder or directly brushed onto the nails. This process is repeated once or twice for opacity before the technician adds a clear powder coat as a protective buffer. This ensures the actual colored powder is not filed away during the following filing and shaping process.

Nails drying under a UV light. | Source: Getty Images

Nails drying under a UV light. | Source: Getty Images

The nail tech then uses a buffer layer to remove lumps and paints a sealant to harden and glue the dip powder to the nails. After they dry, which usually takes two to three minutes, the last step is to add a liquid top coat to give the nails a glossy finish, which takes up to 10 minutes to dry. Licensed nail technician Harli G said:

“Dip nails don’t require UV/LED light and are typically a much quicker process to apply from start to finish.”

Because dip power contains harsh chemicals that pose a health risk, professionals do not advise doing dip powder nails at home. “…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 harmful chemicals, so it’s just safer to go to a professional,” Harli G said.

Different colored nails with patterns. | Source: Getty Images

Different colored nails with patterns. | Source: Getty Images

How Long Can This Type of Manicure Last

Dip powder nails offer impressive longevity, with an average lifespan of up to three weeks before signs of wear and tear become noticeable. According to Syreeta Aaron, a professional nail technician, this timeframe is a reliable estimate for chip-free, flake-free, and lifting-free nails.

It’s essential to keep in mind that your natural nails grow at an average rate of 0.03 inches per week. While dip powder nails can provide excellent durability, they will eventually need maintenance due to the regrowth of your natural nails.

A different colored manicure. | Source: Getty Images

A different colored manicure. | Source: Getty Images

Ideas for Dip Powder Nails Design to Try

Dip powder nails do not only offer the best of different manicure options, but they also allow for decorative nail art designs for different tastes. A red and pink color scheme with hearts is a go-to for Valentine’s Day-inspired look because heart-shaped nail designs are timeless.

You can achieve this cute and feminine look by choosing a base color and using your favorite red polish color to design a heart on your nails. This design offers versatility, allowing you to explore various heart shapes and sizes.

Pink nails with red hearts. | Source: Getty Images

Pink nails with red hearts. | Source: Getty Images

Accent nails have become a beloved trend in nail art design, providing a delightful and effortless method to personalize your manicure. They are polished nails with one or two fingers revealing a contrasting color.

While the ring finger is typically the go-to choice for an accent nail, the possibilities for incorporating this design element on dip powder nails are endless. You can experiment with different fingers and creative approaches to achieve a unique, eye-catching look.

Yellow and gray accent nails. | Source: Getty Images

Yellow and gray accent nails. | Source: Getty Images

Adding glitter to your nail art instantly infuses a touch of glamour and playfulness into your manicure. One trend that has gained significant popularity, especially among celebrities, is incorporating glitter in ombre and gradient designs.

These captivating nail art techniques create a mesmerizing transition of colors with the sparkling allure of glitter, resulting in a statement-making and stylish look. Combining colors and glitter will elevate your dip powder nail game to the next level, whether you opt for a subtle gradient or a bold ombre effect.

Glittery ombre nails. | Source: Getty Images

Glittery ombre nails. | Source: Getty Images

French tip dip powder nails are a go-to choice for a classic yet trendy look. However, you can put a fun and colorful spin on this timeless style by swapping the traditional white tips with vibrant hues like neon pink, purple, or orange.

If you prefer a more subdued look, you can also opt for pastel colors that add a subtle twist to the French tip design. By embracing these playful variations, you can give your French tip manicure a fresh, modern update that will turn heads and showcase your style.

White French tips nails. | Source: Getty Images

White French tips nails. | Source: Getty Images

How to Take Care of Nails with Dip Powder Manicure

After your manicure, there is a list of ways to maintain the sleek finish of dip powder nails that help to prevent future painful damage. Harli G said:

“Restoring hydration after the treatment and during the wear time will help many problems arising from dip powder enhancements. Try to apply cuticle oils and high-quality moisturizers multiple times a day.”

Wearing gloves when using chemicals such as household cleaners goes a long way, and remember to moisturize with the best cuticle serums on the market.

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