Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Dip Powder Manicure

Getting your nails done is a nurturing way to pamper yourself after how hard you've been working. However, getting your nails done regularly can definitely add up and take a huge chunk out of your bank account. On average, I spend a little over $60 a month either getting my nails done with regular polish twice, or upgrading to gel polish once. Depending on how harsh you are on your nails, where you work, and your regular daily habits, that fresh mani doesn't last very long. And if you're like a lot of my friends who get acrylics done at least twice a month, that amount spent on nails gets even higher.

But what if I told you there was a nail job that was almost virtually indestructible and it lasts well over four weeks? Sounds unbelievable, but dip powder nails are just that. Last year, I had my first experience with dip powder nails, so I thought I'd go ahead and give you a bit of an education on the process if you're looking for a manicure option that lasts forever. Well, maybe not forever, but it sure will feel like it. 

How it works

For all of my nail care newbies, dip powder is the process of dipping your nails in colored powder, sealing with a top coat, and repeating the process a couple of times until a hard, polished shell forms on your nails. It sounds crazy, but once you've seen it executed, it's actually quite simple. The process is quite similar to acrylics where the nail technician will smooth and buff out your nails and then apply a base coat. Then, while the base coat is still wet, the technician will go ahead and dip your finger in the colored powder of your choice and seal with a top coat. What's definitely a nice perk with dip powder nails is that this process is much quicker than acrylics, and way less fragile than the long cat claws you see on Instagram all the time. 

The results

If you're in need of some reference, here is what my dip powder nails looked like after an entire month. 

After one month, the extent of damage was the chipping on the edge of my thumbnail. To be honest, I wasn't planning on keeping them on as long as I did, but I never had time to go to a nail technician to remove them. And yes, you do have to go to a nail technician to remove them. As you can see, those shells are firmly attached to the nails. 

Nail health

Now the real thing you might be wondering about is if dip powder is healthy for your nails. To be fair, getting your nails done regularly isn't healthy in general. Process-wise, though, this is slightly better in my opinion because it does not require UV lighting, unlike gel manicures. However, the process of multiple fingers dipping into nail powders is considered unsanitary, so fewer nail salons are offering this kind of treatment. If you're really wanting to try it, I'd say read the reviews on the salon and if you do like it, just don't do it too many times in a year. Also, be mindful that your natural nail will still be impacted, so aftercare with cuticle oil and treatments to strengthen the nail are super important. 

I will say that from my experience, it was really nice having these last for so long. Even though they had grown out and needed to come off a lot sooner, at least I didn't have to think about getting my nails done before big events so often in that month. To determine whether or not you should get them, you should evaluate your lifestyle. If your job requires some harsh use of your hands, or if you like a one-and-done job that will last you forever, then that will determine whether these are right for you.