Person with painted nails holding a leaf

Gel Vs. Dip Nails: Which is the Best for You?

If you don’t have time for weekly trips to the nail salon for a fresh manicure, you need a long-lasting solution to gorgeous salon-quality nails. Luckily, there are a couple of different types of long-lasting manicures that will last more than a week or two without chipping. You can choose between gel manicures or dip powder manicures for stunning chip-free results. But which one is best?

Today, we will cover everything you need to know about gel manis and dip powder manis, so you can choose which one is best for you. We’ve got the inside scoop on both of these long-lasting manicures. 

Gel Manicures: The Basics

Gel manicures have become very popular over the last couple of years. Perhaps you have tried one. If not, you’ve likely seen someone sitting with a blue lamp over their nails at the salon before; this is a gel manicure. 

A gel manicure is applied much like a regular manicure, except that between layers, the polish is cured under a UV lamp which causes the manicure to harden instantly. Once the manicure is complete, the nails are fully dry and ready to go. No waiting time needed, no smudges, just a shiny, gorgeous set of fresh polish. 

Pros Of Gel Manicures

These manicures are great because they are dry instantly, which means that you no longer have to schedule your entire day around getting your nails done. Instead, you can squeeze your manicure into your schedule and get back to using your hands immediately after without smudging your freshly painted nails. 

Gel manicures also last twice as long as regular manicures. When the manicure is hardened under the UV lamp, it is bonded to your nails so that it will stay put for longer. This hardened polish won’t chip for up to two whole weeks. This durable manicure is also less prone to nail breaking than regular polish because of its hardening effect, which reinforces the strength of your natural nails. 

However, this manicure isn’t invincible. After two weeks, your polish may begin to lift as moisture works its way underneath. 

Cons Of Gel Manicures

Gel manicures last twice as long as regular manicures but cost twice as much and take twice as long to apply. To sport a gel manicure, you have to be willing to put in more time and money upfront. 

When the gel polish is applied, you will have to sit with your hand under a UV light for a minute to cure each layer of the manicure, including the base coat, each layer of color, and twice for the top coat. This time adds up and ends up taking much longer than a traditional manicure. 

A gel manicure will typically cost $35 for application and $5-$10 for removal when you return for your next mani. Never try to remove a gel manicure by picking or peeling the polish, which could damage your natural nails. When it comes to removal, it is best to leave it to your nail tech. 

Another downside of gel manicures is that the UV light that is used could be potentially harmful to your health. This mini light is essentially the same as a miniature tanning bed. Getting gel manicures all the time could be risky. 

Gel manicures are also prone to lifting if exposed to water too frequently. The water can get underneath your gel polish, causing it to lift away from your nails. This is not due to improper application; it’s just an unfortunate thing that can sometimes happen. 

Because this manicure uses UV light to harden, it is also not ideal for an at-home manicure. UV lights can be somewhat expensive and bulky. The cost of getting an at-home setup may not be worth it in the long run. 

Are Gel Manicures Safe?

The safety of gel manicures is heavily debated amongst beauty experts. Many people do not believe that gel manicures are safe because of the UV lights. Others suggest that you can safely use them as long as you apply sunscreen to your hands beforehand or use protective fingerless gloves. Choosing whether or not gel manicures are right for you is ultimately a personal decision. 

Dip Powder Manicures: The Basics

Dip powder manicures are relatively new and are quickly becoming the most popular type of manicure. This amazing new manicure uses a superfine acrylic powder to create durable manis that can last up to six whole weeks without the use of UV lights. That’s twice as long as gel manicures! 

Dip powder manicures harden instantly just like gel, but instead of curing the polish under a UV light, you simply paint on a layer of clear activator. This activator will cure your dip powder manicure in two minutes—no harmful UV light needed. 

Dip nails are not only super long-lasting but are also super easy to apply.  With the help of a handy Nailboo Dip Kit, you get everything you need for a stunning salon-quality manicure at home. Once you get the hang of it, you can apply this manicure in a matter of minutes. It is even easier to use than traditional nail polish. 

If you are someone who has trouble finding time to go to the salon, then an at-home dip kit could be the perfect solution for you. With a dip kit, you can have gorgeous nails for a fraction of the time and expense of going to the salon. Even if you are a fan of the salon, these dip kits will save you so much money without sacrificing the quality of your manicure. Get ready for a new favorite way to do your nails!

Pros of Dip Powder Manicures

Dip powder manicures are durable, long-lasting, and can be applied at home with ease. With just one jar of Nailboo Dip Powder, you can apply 30 sets of stunning salon-quality nails. That's 30 trips to the salon for a fraction of the cost. 

Dip nails are the longest-lasting type of manicure available. These manis will last for six whole weeks without chipping. They bond to your nail tightly and will never lift or peel. The only way to remove this manicure is by soaking your nails with acetone once you are ready for a color change. Dip powder takes long-lasting manicures to the next level. 

Another great thing about dip powder manicures is that with Nailboo’s special Build Powder, they actually protect and fortify your natural nails. As long as you always remove your dip polish properly, you don’t have to worry about any damaging effects to your natural nail. The top coat that is used will even protect your nails from the harmful UV rays of the sun. 

With a handy Nailboo dip kit, you will get everything you need for gorgeous, long-lasting nails. Each kit includes the complete set of liquids, a cuticle pusher, four-way file, brush, Build Powder, color powder, and even some handy removal clips. Starting at $75, these kits are incredibly affordable compared to the salon and will get you everything you need for 30 or more flawless manicures. 

Cons Of Dip Powder Manicures

The only downside of this manicure is that it may last longer than it looks good. Your polish will stay put until it is removed. If your nails grow very fast, you may need to switch out your polish sooner than six weeks for a fresh-looking manicure—but really, where’s the hassle? This just means a little extra you-time.

Are Dip Manicures Safe?

If you get a dip powder manicure at a salon, you need to be sure that the powder they use is sprinkled on your nail, not dipped. Because multiple people use the powder at the salon, it is not sanitary for your nail to be dipped into the same powder as everyone else. If your salon dips the nails instead of sprinkling the powder over the nail, then you will be better off trying this manicure at home with a dip kit. 

The only other safety concern with dip powder is that it can harm your natural nail if you remove it improperly. Luckily, with Nailboo’s handy removal clips, you can remove your polish safely time and time again. As long as you never attempt to peel off your polish, dip powder manicures will not harm your natural nails. 



Wrap Up

Dip powder manicures are the best option for long-lasting manicures. They last longer than gel manicures, never lift, and can be easily applied at home. Dip powder manicures will save you time and money while giving you the best nails of your life. After trying Nailboo, you will never return to the time and expense of the salon. You’ve simply got to try it! 



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

Powder Dip vs. Gel Manicures: Which Is Better For Your Nails? | Huffington Post

Acrylic nail curing UV lamps: High-intensity exposure warrants further research of skin cancer risk | JAAD

A Dozen Tips for More Beautiful Nails | Web MD

Back to blog