Can You Do Designs on Dip Nails?

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Have you seen the videos of people dipping their nails into fine, colorful powder when you scroll down TikTok or Instagram?

Gel and Acrylic have been popular for a while, but now it’s time for dip powder nails to take center stage. We love dip nails (AKA SNS nails)

But this manicure method has been around since the 80s, so why are people just being introduced to it?

Can you do designs on dip nails? Yes, you can, but it’s a bit different from other types of nails.

We’ll go over it all below!


What are Dip Nails?

The dip powder nail manicure is done by dipping the nails into a selection of colored powders or applying the powder with a brush. Then, a sealant is used on top.

The powder used is acrylic with a glue-type resin that cures in the air, and no UV light is needed. Depending on your top coat, you may use a UV light to finish that off, though.

Dip powder nails are often thought of as a combination of gel manicures and acrylic nails. They have the flexibility of gel polish nails and the longevity of acrylic ones.

Oh, and dip nails can last you for about a month without chipping.

Gotta love that!

The dip powder nail manicure is done by dipping the nails into a selection of colored powders or applying the powder with a brush. Then, a sealant is used on top.

Can You Do Designs on Dip Nails?

Since dip nails are growing in popularity, you can find more and more content about them. Thousands of videos on the Internet teach you how to use this method properly and creatively, making it even easier to go with the DIY route.

Not only do these videos and tutorials feature every possible shade you could think of, but they also show you amazing designs you can do yourself.

Here are a few ways you can express yourself creatively with a dip powder manicure:

French Tips Manicure

The french manicure using pastel colors as tips is the new summer look for nails. It’s an easy look to achieve. Using dip powders, it can be precisely done too.


This look is a little more difficult to do with dip powders than other manicure methods. But you can get amazing results with a little bit of practice and some patience.

All it needs is a fluffy eyeshadow brush and at least two shades of dip powder that give you the ombre effect.

If you have a little extra money to spend, you can always buy the mood-changing dip powders with the same thermally activated color-changing technology  as the famous mood rings.

The tip of your nail will always be cooler than the rest of your nail, creating an easy ombre look.

If you have a little extra money to spend, you can always buy the mood-changing dip powders with the same thermally activated color-changing technology as the famous mood rings.

Glitter Nails

Glitter nails are straightforward and yet still give that glamorous effect you want.

Whether you are going for an accent nail or a full-on glitter manicure, this look is easy to achieve with a good dip powder.

Geometric Designs

Geometric designs are relatively easy to do with any kind of polish. It requires some precision and care, and you have a classy and stylish manicure.

Just use a little bit of tape, or nail art tools if you have any, and paint your nails with dip powders that complement each other.

Since geometric designs are mostly just lines, the show’s real stars are the colors you use, not the design.

Jelly Nails

Jelly nails, often referred to as glass nails, are translucent nails that can be completely transparent or colored. This fun look is perfect for summer!

Many dip powders are specified for this look, giving you see-through nails with a pop of color.

Glow in the Dark Nails

Want to stand out? Here’s the perfect manicure for you. A great fit for parties, raves, or just a fun night out, glow-in-the-dark nails  can be done with dip powders.

How to Do Your Nails With Dip Powder

Dip nails are an easier manicure to do at home since they don’t require a UV or LED nail lamp to cure them as gel nails do.

So, how do you do them?

Make sure your nails are clean and shaped according to your preference. You can then apply a bonder, a UV gel base that increases the adhesion of the powder. Then, apply your base coat as you would normally and dip your nails into the powder in the dipping tray. Brush off any excess powder and repeat the process for each nail. 

If you want a more opaque look, or if you want to darken the color, apply a second or third coat in the same manner. 

Let the product dry, harden, and file to get your desired length and shape. Finally, finish off with a layer of topcoat, and your beautiful dip nails are ready!

Are Dip Nails Safe?

You may be thinking, “A quick and easy manicure that lasts long? Where’s the catch?” Well, unfortunately, there is one. Dip nails aren’t the safest manicure for your nails. Famous nail salons like Vanity Projects in New York City don’t even offer this manicure.

Ingredients like MMD are found in cheaper dip nail powders, which are very damaging to your natural nails.

What’s MMD exactly? It is a chemical compound, methyl methacrylate, that can cause skin irritation, allergic skin reactions, and respiratory irritation. 

Dip powder nails are also very difficult to remove. This prevents the chipping of the manicure, but it can damage your natural nails in the removal process. It requires you to put 100% acetone nail polish remover on your nails.

Acetone peels layers off your nail and thus thins the nails over time.

There are also some hygiene issues in some nail salons.

They use products that aren’t approved. They often don’t use a separate bowl for each client’s application.

Dipping many clients’ nails into the same container is extremely unhygienic and unsafe, especially after coming out of a global pandemic. Oh, and dip pedicures are even more complicated, particularly at a salon.


Whether you use acrylic, gel, dip, or just some regular nail polish, make sure you take care of your nails during the application process and the removal. Take a break from time to time to give your nails a rest!

And remember to have fun with it!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).