Dip powder is the biggest thing in the nail industry right now and for good reason. Different from gel polishes and tried-and-true nail lacquers, dip powders, which typically have a small amount of the same ingredient in acrylic powders plus vitamins, last longer—up to three weeks, if not more. In a nutshell, dip powder is the longest-lasting manicure you can get your hands on.
Although dip powders aren’t exactly brand-new, the rise in popularity on Instagram have led many women to forgo regular nail polish and even gel polish for this of-the-minute mani. Comprising a multistep system—nails are continuously dipped into acrylic powder before the color is locked in with a special topcoat—the results, which are nothing short of continuous shine and long-lasting color, make for nails that are rock hard and resistant to chipping and breaking. That alone is enough for women to make the switch to dips.
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Salons and nail spas across the country are offering dips, which go by the brand names of Nex Gen, OPI Powder Perfection and Kiara Sky, among others. With finer powders than years past, Vanessa Hagglund of Kiara Sky says the dip process is faster than acrylic, and complex bonds in the formulas prevent nails from chipping, becoming discolored and lifting.
But the biggest coo for the new generation of dip powders is that, unlike gel polish, there is no need for the formula to cure under UV light. And, like gel polish, the removal process is somewhat similar—soak your nails in acetone to remove the polish.
However, not everyone is on the dip powder bandwagon. Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann isn’t a fan. “In all my experiences using dip powder polishes, they require after-tone and crepe-ing, which dry out the nail. Lots of layers of cyanoacrylate are also used. It’s not a natural answer to an artificial nail and it is no easier than Shellac, which I believe is a better option.”
Also, there’s a hygienic concern. Celebrity manicurist and nail expert Mazz Hanna says that for personal use, it is OK to “dip” your nails into the powder. “But if you are having it applied in a salon, they should be sprinkling the powder onto your nail rather then dipping it in to keep things sanitary.”
With all the advancements in the nail industry, Hanna says this is an incredibly exciting time in terms of technology that offers less toxic alternatives for a beautiful and long-lasting manicure, while keeping the nails healthy. “When it comes to dip powder, I view it as a slight improvement to an otherwise antiquated nail technology. But I will say, if you are someone who prefers acrylic for a variety of reasons, dip powder could be viewed as a time-saving improvement to traditional acrylic nails.”
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