Gel Versus Dip Nails


I got my first “dip” manicure a few weeks ago and there are some things I really love about it and some things I wish I would have known before I took the plunge.

Or the dip, if you will.

When you receive a dip/powder manicure, the technician preps your nails, applies a liquid to your nail bed, then literally dips your nail into a small container of powder, shakes off the excess, and repeats this process on all the nails. During my service the technician dipped my nails 3 times each, so there were 3 rounds of liquid then powder applied to my nails.

After the nails have set, the technician may take an electric tool to buff the nail surface to smooth it out. The service is finished with what looked to me like regular top coat and that needed to dry for 5 minutes before I headed out the door.

I tried this because I was continually disappointed with gel manicures at salons in my area. I used to do my gel nails at home, which I still can do, but I wanted to find someone that did a good job to do that for me to save a bit of time. I got it down to a pretty quick science when I was doing it myself, but going to a nail salon is something I like to do during my “free” time so I was looking for a good, clean salon.

Many recommended dip powder manicures and while I had looked into them a little bit I was skeptical about how smooth the finish would be. A bumpy finish would have driven me crazy so I avoided it for a long time.

When I finally tried it, I found the process to be very fast and simple, and roughly the same length of time for a gel manicure. I like that you don’t need to cure this process under a light! The finish is a lot like acrylic and is very thick on the nails. It had a smooth finish which I was very happy to see!

At about a week in to the manicure I was happy to see my nails still looked pretty good! My cuticles were starting to look a little rough, but the color on my nails still looked flawless. I got used to the thickness of the nails in about a day, but I do wish I would have known it was going to be so thick! I type a lot and kind of dislike the feeling and sound of acrylic nails hitting the keys.

The removal process was very simple, and I took them off on day 15. You can have them removed at the salon or let acetone saturated cotton balls sit on top of the nails to loosen, then scrape them off. My natural nails were in pretty bad shape but I expected that. I doused them in Solar Oil for a few days, then applied Essie’s TLC nail polish.

Would I do it again? At this point yes I would, but only for times that I really wanted my nails to look perfect for a long time. So if I was traveling, or had a long week of shooting, I’d do it. I can’t see making it a regular thing because the thickness was a bit bothersome.

I’ve gotten acrylics before so I imagine it will be very similar. I’m already planning on doing a few weeks of Essie’s TLC polish to help restore my nails after the dip/powder!

Have you gotten a dip manicure before? What did you think?