Can You Mix Dip Powder Brands?

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If you’ve gotten wrapped up in the world of nail dipping, you may have acquired a fair share of different products from a bunch of different brands. You wouldn’t be the only one, either (ahem)! 

While it’s generally best to stick to using the products from the same brand to complete a set of nails, you may be wondering just how frowned upon it is to mix different brands. 

Can you mix dip powder brands without issue? For the most part, yes, but there’s a chance the nails could go wrong. In this article, we’ll go over all the questions you may have about mixing brands.


The Process of a Dip Nail Manicure

Dip Powder Steps

In order to fully understand why it may or may not be okay to use different brands on the same set of nails, it helps to understand the process of completing these nails.  

First, the cuticles get pushed back and the nail gently filed to create a rough texture. You can use a standard nail file or electric nail file. This rough texture will help with adhesion.

Next, apply a base coat to the nails. Virtually all nail dip kits will include a base coat in the package.

This will help the nail dip powder adhere to the nail bed.  After that is where the fun comes in! Pick the nail powder color of your choice (or make a mix), and dip the nail in! 

Dip Powder

Apply another thin coat of base, and then dip the entire nail into the base and finish powder. This will seal all layers of powder.

Now it’s time to activate the process. Apply the activator to harden the powder and liquid blend.

Give the nails a few minutes to dry completely

Once hardened, it’s time to file the nails to the shape you’re looking for. If you need to take a lot off, consider a nail dust collector. No one wants to breathe that!

After that, it’s time to buff your nails until smooth.

Next, your hands will be either thoroughly washed or wiped with an alcohol towelette.

Apply another coat of activator, and let it dry. Then hit everything with a top coat/sealer to finish complete the process. 

Dipping Science

Now, let’s talk about the scientific side of all this. All dipping systems require a chemical reaction between powders and liquids to achieve that perfect manicure you may be familiar with. 

The chemical reaction that occurs is called polymerization. This reaction is responsible for the durability and strength that dipping systems are best known for. 

Generally, almost all dipping systems are made up of similar structures and follow similar application instructions. 

Where the trouble may come in with mixing different brands’ products is if there are slight variations in products.

While it may not seem like the biggest deal, that slight marginal difference could throw off the chemical reaction needed to create the perfect manicure.

Can You Mix Dip Powder Brands?

Lattorice Dip Powder Kit

As you can tell, the process of getting a dip nail manicure requires quite a few different products, from base coats to powders to topcoats. So, what happens if you switch out one or two to those of a different brand? 

SNS (Signature Nail System) is the most popular dip powder system. They claim to have invented the technique. We discussed the Pros and Cons of their system here. But there are tons of other brands out there, all doing similar things.

Mixing Powders from Different Brands

Let’s start with mixing different dip powders, which is probably what you’re most curious about.

Fortunately, there is plenty of room to play around with mixing different powders. It’s generally not an issue to use one brand’s powders with another brand’s liquids. Just be sure to follow the powder’s suggested application procedures.  

As long as you stick to one brand of dipping liquids, you can confidently play around with mixing different dipping powders and know that you’ll end up with an amazing manicure.

So, the answer to the ‘can you mix dip powder brands’ question is, thankfully, yes! 

Mixing Liquids from Different Brands

You’re on thinner ice if you mix a base coat from one brand with an activator from aonther brand. They may work together, but the end result may be less than stellar. And it’s also possible that they completely fail. 

Let’s revisit that powerful reaction called polymerization. The key part of creating this reaction is in the dipping liquids. 

This is why you can easily get away with using different brands’ powder. The powders don’t affect the structure of the manicure.

In order for polymerization to happen correctly, the dipping liquids must contain the proper balances of everything they’re intended to, or you run the risk of the manicure not setting.  

Most dipping liquids contain the same ingredients regardless of brand, but you’re rolling the dice by mixing the liquids. If you’re a gambler, go for it! If not, stick to one brand for liquids. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many layers of dip powder should I do? 

Either one or two. Doing two will ensure a super glossy look. 

Can you use any activator with dip powder? 

Usually, you can. But if you mix different brands of liquids, your manicure may not set properly

Why does my dip powder crack? 

Cracking happens when the product is applied unevenly between layers and coats.

Why are my dip nails not smooth? 

This is typically caused by getting too much base or topcoat on the nail. 


The art of dip nails is both fun and rewarding. The process leaves you with a beautiful and long-lasting manicure. There’s plenty of room to play around with things like colors and styles, leaving you free to express your creativity through your nails. 

As long as you try and stick to using one brand’s dipping liquids, you’re generally able to mix and match any powder you want and should have no problem getting a perfect manicure every time.

Happy dipping!

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).