There’s something about the way a fresh manicure looks that can give your confidence a boost, even when you choose to spend the day makeup-free and in your pajamas.
And those of us with manicured fingers have a whole bunch of different ways to do it. Whether we visit our favorite salon, or prefer to do our nails at home.
Whether it’s normal nail polish, or extensions with acrylic lacquer, creating the manicure of your dreams is as easy as loading your results on TikTok.
But when it comes to dip powder nails and acrylic nails, which one should you choose? In this article, I look at Dip vs Acrylic Nails to help you decide. And when you’re done, you’ll have all the information you need to make the right choice for your nails.
Dip vs Acrylic Nails
To start with, here’s a quick table comparing dip and acrylic nails:
|Feature||Dip Powder Nails||Acrylic Nails|
|Application||Nail color is applied in layers and then dipped into a powder||Liquid and powder monomer are mixed together to form a paste and then applied to the nails|
|Durability||Long lasting, can last up to 4 weeks||Can last up to 6 weeks|
|Strength||Strong and durable||Stronger and more durable than dip powder nails|
|Removal Process||Soaked in acetone for 10-15 minutes and then gently pushed off||Filed down or soaked in acetone for longer period of time|
|Damage to Natural Nails||Minimal to no damage||Can cause damage to the natural nails due to the harsh removal process|
|Cost||Generally less expensive||Generally more expensive|
|Maintenance||Regular touch-ups are needed||Regular touch-ups are needed|
When it comes to choosing the right manicure to suit your needs, the one thing that may be at the top of your mind will probably be: how long will it last?
One of the advantages that acrylic and dip powder manicured nails have over regular nail polish, for example, is that they last longer without chipping, splitting, or cracking. But is there much more of a difference besides this fact?
One of the advantages that acrylic and dip powder manicured nails have over regular nail polish, for example, is that they last longer without chipping, splitting, or cracking.
What’s The Difference Between Dip Vs Acrylic Nails?
The first big difference between acrylic and dip powder nails is the way in which each type of manicure is applied. When it comes to adding length to your nails with the use of extensions, this is where the acrylic nail process is generally used.
Acrylic Nail Application
With acrylic nails, pre-formed nail tips or forms are glued onto your natural nail bed, and then the acrylic liquid and powder are mixed to shape the artificial nail. The artificial nail can be lengthened or shaped as needed.
Each nail is usually then covered in a top coat and (in the case of gel polish) sealed under a UV or LED lamp for added strength and longevity. Note that sometimes in the days after getting a new set of acrylics, you can feel some discomfort. This is normal.
Dip Powder Application
Dip powder nails (also called SNS Nails) on the other hand are created after each natural nail has been applied with a base coat, and is then dipped into the powder.
The nail is then sealed with a top coat, which creates shiny, long-lasting, and more natural-looking nails, when compared to acrylic manicures.
This means that the application of dip powder manicures is much easier to do than applying acrylics, which requires a lot more skill and many tools besides tips and glue, such as nail drills. They’re also much thinner, and so feel lighter to wear, even though they’re just as strong as an acrylic manicure.
Another difference between these two manicure options is that many dip powders come in non-toxic formulas. Acrylic nail formulations contain harsher chemicals that can cause your nails to become damaged over time. Acrylics almost always need to be removed with acetone.
Another difference between these two manicure options is that many dip powders come in non-toxic formulas.Acrylic nail formulations contain harsher chemicals that can cause your nails to become damaged over time.
Dip powder manicures are also really easy to do from the comfort of your own home, while most people visit a salon to have an acrylic manicure done. You can DIY an acrylic manicure, but it’s definitely tricky.
Creating a dip powder manicure at home is also a much faster process, taking about half an hour to do both sets of nails. On the other hand, it can take up to 1.5 hours to have an acrylic manicure applied, and that doesn’t include the time that it takes to get back and forth from the salon.
So, How Long Does Each One Last?
Even though it’s a more laborious process, many people love choosing acrylic manicures because of their longevity. It is possible to wear them for up to six to eight weeks, although you’ll need to visit your nail technician again after a couple of weeks to have them filled in instead of having to renew your manicure altogether.
As your nails grow, you need to fill in the new growth. But the good news is that this can be done seamlessly with acrylic nails. See also: How Often Should You Get A New Set Of Acrylic Nails?
Dip powder manicures, on the other hand, can only be done once.
So when they start to look bad, you’ll have to remove them. This typically happens in 2-3 weeks.
Removing Acrylic and Dip Nails
When it comes to removing your manicure, dip powder nails are fairly easy to remove. All you need to do is soak your nails in warm soapy water or acetone for a few minutes, and they should slip off without a problem.
When it comes to removing your manicure, dip powder nails are really easy to get rid of. All you need to do is soak your nails in warm soapy water or acetone for a few minutes, and they should slip off without a problem.
Removing acrylic manicures is a much more challenging process. First, the acrylic needs to be filed down layer by layer, using either a nail drill or a coarse nail file. You also have to be extremely careful not to really damage your natural nail bed.
And afterward, your nails may need to be soaked in acetone to be complete removal. This can cause skin irritation and damage your nail even more with continued acrylic applications.
Nail Art on Dip and Acrylic Nails
You can do designs and nail art on both dip and acrylic nails, the sky’s the limit.
Here is some design inspiration:
- 50 Pink and Purple Nails for Design Inspiration!
- 38 Square Short Acrylic Nails for Inspiration!
- 21 Purple French Tip Nail Designs
Cost of Acrylic Nails vs Dip nails
Finally, the last difference between acrylic and dip powder manicures is the price.
On average, dip powder manicures cost about 25% less than having an acrylic set of nails applied at your local salon.
So, if you choose to create your dip nails at home, then you’ll be saving even more.
And best of all, dip powder manicures are long-lasting, considering that they’re easy to create at home.
On average, dip powder manicures will last for 2-3 weeks, which is why this nail treatment became so popular during the pandemic.
How To Nail It
When it comes to making the choice between dip vs acrylic nails, it’s a pretty easy decision to come to when you focus on your current situation. Talk to your nail tech to get exactly what you want.
If you’re on a budget and like being creative, then doing your own dip powder manicure at home would be a great option, especially if you prefer a more natural nail appearance.
But if you want longer and more dramatic nails, and have the time and money to spend visiting your local salon, then acrylics are your answer. Either way, you’ll be rocking beautiful nails that will be the envy of your friends and IG followers.