Dip Powder Nails vs. Gel Nails: What’s The Difference?

Dip powder nails vs gel nails are types of manicures. The most notable difference between these two types of manicure is their appearance, application, and durability.

Dip powder nails tend to look bulkier than gel nails. They also last longer because they can remain in pristine condition for up to 4 weeks.

The application and removal of dip nail powder and gel nails are similar. However, dip powder nails require you to apply a bonder so that the powder attaches to the nail.

To further understand the difference between powder nails and gel nails, this article contains everything you need to know about their unique characteristics.

Differences Between Dip Powder Nails and Gel Nails

Difference Between Dip Powder Nails And Gel Nails

Most dip powder nails use resins susceptible to damage caused by household cleaners and water. Meanwhile, gel nails are solvent resistant.

Dip powder nails also tend to look bulkier because it’s hard to adjust the amount of powder that sticks to the nails when it’s dip. This makes gel nails appear to look more natural looking.

Aside from this, here are the notable differences between powder nails and gel nails:

Application Process

Dip powder nails are applied by prepping the nails first before putting them on the bonder. Once the bonder is applied, the base polish is put on, and the nails are dipped into the powder. After a couple of minutes, the nails will harden, then the top coat can be applied.

On the other hand, gel nails are applied like traditional manicures. They are then cured under a black light for a few minutes.

Pros & Cons

Dip powder nails are long-lasting. They are also easy to apply and do not require special equipment such as a UV light.

However, dip powder nails appear to be bulkier and less natural. There are also concerns over dipping the nails into the powder jar at the salons.

Meanwhile, the benefits of gel nails are that they are very natural looking and durable.

However, it’s not something that you can DIY at home. They are also difficult to remove without the help of professionals.

Price / Cost

Dip powder nails are slightly more expensive than gel nails but the price difference is usually just $5 to $10. However, they can be more expensive if you get them from upscale salons or if you want to add designs.

Safety & Healthy

Both dip powder nails vs gel nails are safe to use. However, some people might have allergic reactions to the powder of dip powder nails. But, this is a rare risk.

If you do both of these manicures with proper intervals, you might damage or weaken your nails. This is a possible result due to the number of chemicals applied. It’s highly recommended that you let your natural nails be for a couple of days or use reliable base protection products.

Which One is Easier to Remove?

Dip powder nails can be removed using foil or bowl soak methods. Both methods are doable at home.

However, it’s highly recommended that you get a professional to do it to prevent damaging your nails and cuticles. They also provide proper after-care to ensure that your nails are ready for your next manicure.

Gel nails can also be removed using both methods mentioned above.

How Long Do They Last?

Gel nails typically last for two weeks, while dip powder nails last up to 1 month. However, how long these nails last also depends on how much care a person puts into them.

If the user tends to do sports activities that involve their hand or labor, then the nails’ appearance will likely not look as good as it was put on.

Which is Less Damaging to Your Real Nails?

Gel nails are less damaging than dip powder nails because it uses a milder polymer. However, this is also the reason why it tends not to last as long as dip powder nails.

What Are Some Good Salon Brands?

Some of the top-rated dip nail powder brands are OPI, Cuccio, TP Nails, and Lavender Violet. You’ll commonly find gel nail brands in the salon: CND, Gelish, Essie, and OPI.

Color Range

Most dip nail brands have glitter hues with different shade options. Since gel nails have existed for years now, you’ll find over 120 different colors for you to choose from.

Dip Powder Nails vs. Gel Nails: Quick Comparison Chart

Dip Powder Nails vs. Gel Nails:


Dip Powder Nails:

Gel Nails:

What are they?

Artificial Nail Enhancements

Artificial Nail Enhancements


Nails are prepped then bonder and base are applied. The nails are then dipped into the powder and wait to harden before applying the top coat.

Applied like regular manicure and cured under a black light.



Glossy and natural

Average Cost:

Average between $20 to $60

Average between $25 to $60

How Long Do They Last?

4-6 weeks

Up to 2 weeks


Recommended to be removed by professions.

Soak in acetone and scrape away using a cuticle pusher. Recommended to be removed by professions.

Dip Powder Nails vs Gel Nails: Which is Better?

Dip Powder Nails or Gel Nails: Which is Better

Dip powder nails are better options if you prefer a longer lasting manicure. When cared for properly, it can last up to 5 weeks. But, gel nails are your best option if you want a more natural-looking nail.

Dip Nails vs Gel vs Acrylic: How to Choose?

Dip nails are the middle ground between gel nail polish. It’s DIY-friendly because it does not require special machines such as a UV light like Gel nails. Compared to acrylic nails, it does not use strong chemicals that can potentially damage your cuticles to harden, making it the best choice between the three options.

Final Verdict: Dip Powder Nails vs Gel Nails

Dip powder and gel nails have notable differences in application and appearance. But they are removed using the same methods and are equally safe to use. By the end of the day, deciding which among these two is the best option boils down to personal preferences.

Leave a Comment