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What's the Difference Between Dip Powder and Gel Nails? Manicurists Explain

There are numerous manicure options available today. However, dip powder and gel remain two of the most common solutions. Both can help you create a beautiful,  

chip-resistant manicure, but which is better (or safer)? Ahead, two celebrity manicurists explain the distinctions between dip powder and gel paint manicures. 

Celebrity nail artist Natalie Minerva says dip powders are acrylic. Dip powder lasts four to five weeks due to its polymers. " 

What Is Dip Powder?

"Dip is best for a long-lasting manicure that strengthens the natural nail," says Nailing Hollywood CEO Elizabeth Hanna. 

How it works: Nail bonding liquid and base coat are applied first. Each nail is then immersed in the colored powder one or two more times, depending on the effect. Nails are buffed and filed. 

The powder is hardened and sealed with liquid sealant. The final step? For lustrous nails, swipe on a top coat. To speed nail drying, some nail artists cure clear gel topcoat with a UV or LED light.  

Salon dip powder manicures are controversial from a hygiene standpoint. Scrapes or cuts in a powder jar can contaminate it and spread bacteria if numerous individuals dip their nails in it.  

"If unclean hands are dipped directly into the dip powder pot, there is a risk of contamination or infection," Hanna says. Request that your manicurist spray the powder on your nails to avoid this.  

Gel nail polish is applied as regular nail polish (base coat, color, and topcoat), but each layer must be cured under a UV or LED light (most salons use the latter) for 30 to 60 seconds. 

What Is Gel Polish?

Minerva claims "gel polish is a resin-like liquid." "LED and UV light activate gel catalysts, drying and hardening it rapidly. Modern gel nail artists use LED lights, which provide less UV exposure and require less time under the light." 

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