Someone giving a woman a manicure

Dip Vs. Gels Vs. Acrylic Nails: Which is Best And Why

Here at Nailboo, we love to think about our options—what to wear in the morning, what kind of coffee we’re going to get, and what new restaurant to try first. We also obviously like to think about what's best for our nails. Before dip nails, we used to get gels and acrylics—let’s face it, haven’t we tried it all? Out of curiosity, we decided to compare the methods of dip vs. gels vs. acrylic nails: which is best and why. 

Below is a dip into the world of nails and why one method is the future of manicures. 

What Are Dip Nails?

Dip Nails are the hottest new trend for anyone in search of the most durable manicure. At Nailboo, we bring the salon home with our at-home dip powder kits. 

Here are the steps we suggest for a perfect dip at-home manicure:

  1. Prep Nails —Start by washing hands, cleaning dirt from underneath nails, push back cuticles, and buff the nails surface 
  2. Apply Base Coat—Paint nails with the provided base coat for powder bonding
  3. 1st Dip—Place nails into powder of choice 
  4. Brush— Remove the excess powder
  5. 2nd Dip—Re-dip nails for a solidifying second layer (if needed)
  6. Apply Top Coat—Seal color with a final top coat that will make the dip manicure last for up to six weeks 

Facts about dip nail polish:

  1. It takes minutes to apply 
  2. It achieves super pigmented colors
  3. It lasts longer than any other manicure method 
  4. It doesn’t cost as much as a salon
  5. It can be applied to fake or natural nails
  6. Dip nails harden immediately, without UV

What about the impact on your health? Dermatologist Dr. Amy Kassouf explains that a big pro of using the dip method is that there is no UV light needed. UV lights can damage skin and raise a person's risk of skin problems and even sunspots. UV nail beds are so strong that a person is supposed to apply sunscreen to their hands before getting a gel manicure. 

The only con presented by Dr. Kassouf is that she recommends individuals do not dip their nails into the same powder jar that every salon goer has prior. With our at-home Nailboo dip nail kits, however, we’ve solved the problem—there’s no need to share dip powder with anyone.

How Does Dip Compare To Gel And Acrylic? 

The gel and acrylic manicure methods are beautiful but tend to be more expensive and don’t last as long. A gel manicure requires a salon, UV, or LED light and starts to chip around week two.   

Gel and acrylic are definitely durable methods, but dip powder has been found to last for weeks beyond the two. Gel manicures can last up to two weeks, and acrylics can last up to six weeks, but acrylics need to be filled every two weeks. Many acrylics also contain toxic chemicals, some of which are banned in specific US states.

Gel nails are odorless and non-toxic, which is definitely a pro, but they tend to cost the most out of the three methods. The problem with gel and acrylic nails is that they’re hard and require removal that is not healthy for nail beds, whereas dip nails are bendable and mimic a natural nail, making the removal process simple. 

Gel and acrylic definitely have their pros, but they’re older methods that aren’t as reliable and affordable as dip powder.  

Pros And Cons Of Dip, Gel, And Acrylic

Below are a few of the pros and cons of the dip, gel, and acrylic methods and why they are preferred or not preferred. 

The Pros and Cons of Dip Nails


  • Easy to do at home
  • Lasts up to 6 weeks
  • Vibrant color choices
  • No UV lights


  • Too much powder during application can make the nail look bulky
  • Strangers should not dip into the same powder (but this is only an issue in salons) 

The Pros and Cons of Gel Nails


  • Quicker process than acrylic nails
  • Doesn’t use harsh chemicals
  • Odorless application


  • Requires UV light
  • Harmful removal process
  • Lasts only two weeks

The Pros and Cons of Acrylic Nails


  • Lasts up to six weeks
  • Very strong
  • Can be repaired at home
  • Less expensive than gel nails


  • Harsh application process with toxic chemicals
  • The removal process can be harmful
  • Needs biweekly tending 

There are pros and cons to all three methods. However, powder dip nails have our hearts. With our at-home application kits, all hygiene-related issues are avoided, and individuals get a chance to save money and time on their manicures. In a few simple steps and within minutes, everyone has a chance to have a professional manicure with dip powder. 

At Nailboo, we unanimously agree that there’s nothing more satisfying than receiving a salon manicure in the comfort of our own homes. With nails that last up to 6 weeks, thirty nail sets per jar, and a removal process of fewer than 15 minutes, there's no other method more exciting and practical. 

Facts About The Dip Manicure Method

Dip powder applies like a snap and is the most durable manicure available. After the second dip, the powder turns smooth and level for an even manicure in minutes. The truth about our dip powder is that it’s affordable, DIY, and dries like a salon standard. Dip nails are also safe and simple to remove. 

There are hundreds of hues, moods, and styles to choose from with our Nailboo color powder options, from Cabana Crush to Velvet Lust. All of our Nailboo powders are cruelty-free and made in FDA-approved factories, making a choice with us a safe one. 

From our starter kits to our powders, we at Nailboo are here to make our best-selling nail kit system the talk of every household. By spending less money on maintenance, and more time rocking Lilac Attack dip powder, Nailboo is here to be bold and beautiful because we’re the best manicure option out there!

Dip Powder Is The Best Overall Option

Gel and acrylic are fine methods for manicures, but they’re slightly outdated, overpriced, and in need of some updates if we’re going to keep using them. When we switched to dip powder, there was an instant satisfaction that made us fall in love with the process. It’s so simple to apply dip powder, and the fact that we can do it ourselves at home is what changed the game for all of us at Nailboo. 

We loved this process so much that we created our company to help everyone bring the salon process to their home—no more trips to the salon, no more quick chipping, no more UV hazards, and no more touch-ups. 

Dip powder nails are seriously the most durable manicure available, and they keep nails looking healthy and natural. The steps are simple, and the process saves money and time. Gel and acrylic, it’s time to step aside. Dip nails are trending for a reason.


Getting Started With The Dip Method And Nailboo 

With no harmful UV rays and prices that are totally doable, our at-home dip powder Nailboo kits are safe and simple for everyone to use. We have shining powders, sparkling powders, and powders that dip into every mood. With the ability to customize nail color at home, we at Nailboo provide everyone with a chance to make their own salon-grade choices. 

Three Nailboo kit options:

  1. The Nailboo Dip Kit Starter —liquid essentials and cleaner, build powder, one colored dip powder, accessories, and remover clips 
  2. The Nailboo Dip Kit Essential —liquid essentials and cleaner, build powder, four colored dip powders, accessories, and remover clips
  3. The Nailboo Dip Kit Pro—liquid essentials and cleaner, build powder, six colored dip powders, accessories, and remover clips

We also have an option to build your own kit. Our Nailboo dip kits put the fun back in at-home manicures and bring the nostalgia back of doing our own nails. Trying to do acrylics and gel manicures at home is a total hassle, so this is an easy solution. The satisfaction of a quick dip with Nailboo is exciting, new, and compliments our fast-paced lifestyles. 

None of us had time to sit in a salon and wait for our nails to dry or be filed and filled, so we decided to take matters into our own hands—literally—and settle the problem for good. 

Dip nails are the instant satisfaction we love, so we made the process even more instant by bringing the salon to everyone's home. Nailboo gives everyone a chance to have their own unique manicure that lasts up to six weeks. Goodbye gel and acrylic, hello dip powder!



Acrylic, Gel or Dip Nails: Understanding the Pros + Cons for Your Health

What Are Dip Powder Nails?: Benefits, Best Kits, & More

Gel Nails —Everything You Need To Know About Getting Gel Manicures

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