Now that women have gotten used to gel manicures, which amazingly last two weeks, it’s time to up the ante. Introducing the new dip powder nail manicure. The latest in nail polish innovation lasts an impressive four weeks without using a UV light to set the polish.
This manicure is ideal for those prone to chipping their nails or those concerned that gel manicures are ultimately damaging their nails. Though dip powders seem like a breakthrough in manicures, they have actually been available for a while, though they’ve traditionally been referred to as "glue manicures" since they use an adhesive that allows the dip powder to cling to the nail.
"With dip powder, the actual color of the clients' manicure is the color of the powder their nails are dipped into," Joy Terrell, the owner of Powder Beauty Co., a luxury L.A. salon, told InStyle Magazine.
The dip powder manicure takes 45 minutes to an hour and costs $30 to $50, depending on the nail salon. First, the nail must be prepped, which includes cuticle care, cleansing, and dehydration. This is done to ensure the powder properly adheres to the nail. Then the cuticles are pushed back, and the nail plate is cleaned using a dehydrating product like 99-percent alcohol.
After, the adhesive is applied to the nails, which are then dipped into a clear base powder. Finally, the nails are dipped into a color powder to achieve pigmentation and then dipped into a clear powder to protect the pigment.
"Clients with longer nails or more active lifestyles require additional coats of color for added strength," Terrell says. After the process is completed, the nails are buffed and filed for a smooth finish and a top coat is added.
Like gel manicures, the dip powder manicure can be removed by immersing the nails in acetone for 10 minutes and cleaning them with a towel. Yet according to Dr. Dana Stern, a New York board certified dermatologist and nail specialist, if the dip powder is not easily removed, the nails can be damaged when the powder is filed off, resulting in lumps, bumps, and white patches on the nail plate, and infected cuticles.
Ideally, those who opt for a dip powder manicure should let their nails rest between sessions. After a month, the powder should be removed, and a strengthening treatment or a nourishing oil should be applied.
"As we know from Seinfeld, double dipping is never a good thing," Dr. Stern says. "The salons seem to be aware of this and are now either pouring the powder onto the nail, painting the powder on, or dipping the nail into individual disposable containers of powder."
According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, dip powder manicures are safe if they are applied by a trained nail professional. He adds that they may even be safer than gel manicures since they don’t use UV light, which can harm skin. He recommends that those who have dry or brittle nails or skin conditions like psoriasis abstain from dip powder manicures.