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To dip or to gel?

Sometimes heading to a nail salon and indulging in a lasting manicure is the ideal way to relax. Dip powder and gel polish are popular methods of prolonged wear, each lasting about two weeks. Both processes form layers of protection, prevent nail biting and are more natural alternatives to acrylic nails that use glue and other chemicals. Preferences differ when it comes to choosing between dip and gel, so it may be best to experience both for yourself.


Dip powder has gained traction as a trend within the last year. The nail tech applies clear polish and dips each nail into colored powder that sticks to the polish. This process is repeated multiple times to build layers of secureness. The layers of powder are topped with a glossy finish to tie everything together. The layers of dip powder form a solid, beautiful final product that doesn’t chip as easily as gel.


The gel polish process has been around for a while and is a more traditional manicure. The nail tech applies gel polish, then places the nails under a UV lamp to activate. This process is repeated multiple times for multiple layers of polish. Gel is much stronger than regular polish, but it still can chip with prolonged wear.


Everyone wants a beautiful manicure, but no one wants to cause harm in the process of removing it. Chipping off your gel or dip powder at home can damage your nail beds, so it’s important that your nail tech soaks off your manicure and doesn’t rush the removal. If you leave your gel or dip powder on for more than two weeks, soaking off should take at least 20 to 30 minutes.


  • Forms a solid, firm feel
  • Lasts slightly longer than gel
  • No UV rays
  • Usually $5 to $10 more than gel


  • Forms a more flexible, durable feel
  • More prone to chipping
  • UV rays used to set polish

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