Dip Powder Nails vs Gel Nails – How to Choose



From acrylics to nail lacquer, gels, extensions, and dip powder, we have more options than ever for achieving long, beautiful nails that last. While this is excellent news for manicure enthusiasts, it also means that visiting the salon – or creating DIY nail art – is a bit more complicated than it used to be. Choosing the best manicure material will depend on how much time you want to spend applying nail art, your budget, and how long you want your nails to last, among other factors.

In this guide, we’ll break down the difference between gel and dip powder nails, two of the most popular nail treatments of 2022/2023. Gel and dip powder nails are similar in that they combine the strength and durability of acrylics with the light-wearing versatility of nail polish (and unlike acrylics, they don’t require frequent salon visits to fill in new nail growth). There are, however, several important qualities that make each material unique:

Dipped Nails Vs Gel Nails: 6 Things to Consider

1. Ease of application.


Image by @Dipping by Tony Huynh

Dip powder and gel nails are easy to apply at home, but the gel application process is slightly quicker and more beginner-friendly.

  • Gel nails are brushed on like nail polish and then cured with UV light.
  • For dip nails, on the other hand, the nails are primed, dipped in a pot of powder, and sealed with an air-drying topcoat. You can expect to spend 30-45 minutes applying a full set of gel nails and 45 minutes to an hour on dip powder nails. 


2. Durability.


Image by @Dipping by Tony Huynh

Both gel and dip powder nails are highly durable, but dip powder nails tend to be more chip and scratch-resistant. On average, gel nails last two to three weeks and dip powder nails last two to four weeks, but these results can vary from person to person. Individuals with oily nail beds or chip-prone nails, for example, may have trouble getting a gel manicure to last for more than two weeks. If that describes you, dip powder nails are the superior option because they’re built up in layers, which enhances nail strength and creates a barrier against chipping.  

Aside from practicing proper nail care, the most important factor in how long your gel or dip powder manicure lasts is the quality of the materials you’re using: Choosing a gel or dip powder with premium organic ingredients manufactured in North America, like the products at NuGenesis Nails, is the best way to avoid premature chipping, cracking, or peeling.


3. The removal process.

Image by @Dipping by Tony Huynh


Dip powder nails take a bit longer to remove than gels, but the removal process is gentler. Even the strongest dip powders readily dissolve when soaked in an appropriate solvent, like acetone, for 10-20 minutes. Gel nails are also removable with acetone, but many people can’t resist the temptation to pull or scrape off the gel, which makes nails soft or brittle over time.


4. Safety.


Image by @NuGenesis Nails

At NuGenesis, all of our dip powders are made for professional use and safe for everyone. Gels (and acrylics), while safe for most people, contain ingredients that can sometimes cause allergic reactions. If you’ve experienced an adverse reaction to manicure products in the past, we recommend using an all-natural dip powder instead of gels, acrylics, or nail varnish.

Likewise, some people don’t feel comfortable applying gels due to concerns about ultraviolet radiation. Though UV nail lamps are considered safe (when used as directed) by the FDA, it’s perfectly acceptable to choose dip powders over gels if you’re worried about UV exposure. 


5. Nail's health.


Image by @NuGenesis Nails

Though dip powders are generally considered the gentlest option, both gels and dips can be used long-term without damaging your nails. Once again, choosing a high-quality product – and taking care of your nails properly – are the most important factors when it comes to nail health. 

To keep your nails from getting dry or brittle, look for a dip powder or gel that contains nail-strengthening nutrients, like vitamin E and calcium. Keep your cuticles moisturized and always work slowly and carefully when removing your old manicure; never try to pull or peel off any variety of nail varnish!


6. Cost.


Image by @NuGenesis Nails

Dip powder nails are a bit more expensive than gels up-front; however, this cost difference disappears when balanced against their longevity. A set of dip powder nails usually costs just $5-10 more than gels, so the difference is negligible if you plan to wear your manicure for as long as possible. If, on the other hand, you like to change your nail color frequently, gels are probably the most budget-friendly choice.

Dip Vs. Gel: You Decide!

With all the choices available today, there’s no right or wrong way to create the perfect manicure, provided that you're working with safe, trusted materials. NuGenesis carries a full range of stunning dip powders and gel and lacquer colors, so you can express yourself freely without worrying about nail chips, cracks, or exposure to chemicals. 


Are you interested in learning more about dip powder nails? Check out the many benefits of nail dips, or get started with our simple how-to guide. Getting the perfect manicure for any occasion is easy with NuGenesis nails!

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