As if picking a nail color wasn’t hard enough, there are also many different types of manicures to choose from. First came acrylic, then gel. And although dip powder nails have been around for decades, they do seem to be having their time in the spotlight. Or at least the salon light.
Before you burn out from decision fatigue, we’ll help you figure out what the difference is between regular gel and a dip powder manicure (also known as SNS).
What Are Dip Powder Nails?
SNS or dip powder nails are nails dipped into colored powder. This type of manicure is a hybrid between gel nail polish and acrylic.
The main difference is the application process. First, a base coat is painted on to the nails. While the polish is still wet, your manicurist will dip each nail into a small container of powder that’s made of acrylic powder and a glue-type resin.
Your nail gets dipped into the powder usually two-three times, or until they reach your desired level of coverage. (Ideally that’s something closer to Verizon, and not T-Mobile.) To finish things off, they’ll brush on an activator polish as a top coat, which cures the formula, and remove any excess powder.
What are the benefits of dip powder nails?
- No UV lights needed: With gel nails, you have to cure your nails between each coat using UV light. However, with SNS or dip powder nails, once you put the top coat on, you’re good to go.
- You can DIY-it: If you can paint your nails at home, you can also do dip powder nails at home! Or your roommate with surgeon-like hands can help you out.
- It lasts longer: While gel manicures last longer than traditional polish, dip powder nails last longer than gel. We’re not saying it’s a competition or anything… but it is.
Is SNS bad for your nails?
The main accolade for dip powder nails is that they don’t require UV light to cure, unlike their gel counterparts. But that doesn’t mean they won’t cause any damage to your nails. Like with any manicure, you’re buffing and filing your nails. But, with SNS you’re coating them with a strong, bonding, glue-like resin.
There are also some slight sanitation concerns if salons are using the same jar for multiple clients.
How long do dip powder manicures last?
Dip manicures typically last for three to four weeks. This will vary based on how well they’ve been applied, and also your day-to-day activities. Your underwater basket weaving will take a toll on them.
What’s the removal process like?
This removal process is the same as it is for gel manicures, but takes slightly longer. Here are the steps:
- File the top of your nails to break up the top coat.
- Soak your nails in nail polish remover for 20-30 minutes.
- Wipe away polish with a cotton ball.
- Repeat if needed.
How much do SNS nails cost?
Dip powder manicures at a salon will cost a little bit more than a gel manicure, which in turn cost a little bit more than a traditional manicure. On average, you can expect to pay about $50. The payoff, of course, is the lasting length.
Since you’ll likely only have to get them done once a month, that price seem much more reasonable. Or at least more reasonable than $50 bottomless mimosas you won’t remember.
Can you do dip powder nails at home?
Yep! With the right tools, a lot of patience, and something to binge watch, you should be good to go. Try it out with one of these dip powder nails starter kits. They pair great with reruns of Cheers!
- OPI Powder Perfection Dipping Powder Set
- Beetles Mermaid Collection Nail Dip Powder Set
- AzureBeauty Dipping Powder Kit