Dip Powder vs. Gel Nails: What's the Difference?

If you love having your nails painted, you're probably like most women who are constantly searching for the next best manicure technique to keep your nails looking perfect for longer. The most popular manicure options include gel nails and dip powder nails, both of which claim to last for weeks at a time, much longer than a traditional nail polish manicure. 

Want to learn more about the differences between gel nails and dip powder nails? Read on. This guide will help you decide which option is the best one for you.

What Are Gel Nails? 

Gel manicures are applied like regular polish but require the use of a UV or LED light to cure. The result of gel nails have the closest look to nail polish and will give you perfectly glossed wear without chipping or peeling moments after applying - something we’re all sadly familiar with when it comes to regular nail polish.

There are many benefits of gel nails, especially longevity. Once gel nails are on - they’re on for a good amount of time! Gel polishes tend to be formulated with stronger ingredients that have a stronger adhesion to nails compared to regular nail polish. A gel manicure can last two to three weeks without chipping and peeling, depending on how quickly your nails grow. 

They have the strength and flexibility to withstand daily activities. A few precautions on your part, such as pushing back your cuticles, using cuticle oil, and keeping your nails dry, can help extend the life of your manicure. 

The removal process is quite easy and is something you can do at home. All you need to do is soak some acetone in cotton balls and wrap over your gel nails  for 10-15 minutes and it should come right off. Any remaining gel polish can be scraped off with a cuticle stick or lightly buffed with a buffer block.

Within the SNS nail system, there is SNS Gelstar and the Basics 1+1 Gel and Lacquer duo products to choose from. Each has hundreds of colours to choose from with colours that match SNS dip powders and nail lacquer too!

What Is Dip Powder?

SNS created the world’s first dip powder for nails to give mani-lovers an alternative to acrylics and gels. SNS dip powders give you the strength and durability of acrylics and the flexibility and lightness of gel nails. You could say it is a hybrid of the two in terms of results. The Signature Nail System dip powders are designed to improve the condition of nails with every application and are formulated with less toxins and vitamins A, E, B3, D5, and calcium to promote nail health. 

Dip powder nails and gel nails have some similarities in that they both last for several weeks. The application process however, is entirely different. The obvious part is that dip powders involve a dipping technique whereas gel nails are brushed on like regular polish. With dip powder nails, a resin-based agent is used to adhere dipping powder to the nails to form a strong and durable foundation for the nails. 

SNS dip powders are derived from an acrylic ester polymer, which in the very small amounts used for nails are not considered harmful to humans. Dip powders come in many colours and with SNS you’re spoilt for choice with over 800 stunning hues to choose from. SNS sources the best pigments available from around the world and are the most refined on the market today.  

After forming the base with layers of the bonding agent and dip powder, a liquid activator is required to set the nails. In the SNS dip powder system, this is the Sealer Dry product. Two coats of top coat are brushed on to give nails that super shiny look. Unlike gel nails, there's no light needed to cure and seal the polish. 

Dip manicures can last longer than gel nails. It's possible that a dip manicure can last up to four weeks and more! These products are also gentler on your nails and are beneficial for thin and brittle nails, giving them a chance to grow and repair. 

The removal process is similar to gel nails. The shiny top surface of dip powder nails are lightly buffed off before being soaked in acetone. SNS’ gentle formulation allows acetone to effectively penetrate the layers within 10-15 minutes. After soaking, the dip powder can be wiped off completely to reveal undamaged nail beds.

SNS dip powders has been awarded NailPro Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Dip Powder System” for 3 consecutive years (2018-2020). Nothing compares to the Original Dip Powder! There are several dip systems within SNS: Pink & White, Gelous Color, Fabulous Dip, and Dipstar.


Which Is Better? 

Both gel and dip manicures have their benefits. They are both long-lasting, lengthening the time between trips to the nail salon or your DIY at-home manicure. 

A benefit of dip powder over gel is that no light is needed to cure the polish, but it can go on a bit thick if you're not careful. Gel polish goes on thinner and looks more like regular nail polish.

Both the SNS dip powders and gel polishes have added vitamins A, E, B3, D5, and calcium, helping increase the health of your natural nails and strengthening them. Both of these are vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and non-allergenic and come in hundreds of different colours to choose from. 

The question you should ask yourself is, “Which is the better option for my lifestyle?”

Which one is best for you depends on what you're looking for, your nail health, and how much time you have, and whether you’re getting them done at a salon or by yourself at home.

Make Your Nails Stand Out With One of Our Manicure Products 

Whether you choose gel nails or a dip powder manicure, your nails are sure to stand out and elevate your look. From nudes to neons to traditional red, we have every colour under the sun for your manicure. 

If you're ready to take your manicure to the next level, check out our products that you can order online.