ishonest / Chloe Jeong
Nails have really upgraded over the last few years. From traditional polish to gel manicures to out-of-this-world nail art, expressing yourself through the tips of your fingers almost feels necessary now. These days, we're hardly the only ones obsessing over dip powder manicures. The name comes from its unique applicationâ€”an adhesive base is applied onto a clean, dried nail, then dipped into a powder color, made of a highly pigmented polymer, of your choice. Several coats can be â€œdippedâ€ and then coated with a glossy sealant.
The best part: It manicure-and-pedicure-last-longer-346814' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' >lasts much longer than a gel manicure, feels stronger, and requires no curing time under LED or UV lights. When applied correctly, a dip powder manicure can last for three to four weeks and can even add strength to your natural nails, says manicurist and salon owner Anastasia Totty, a LeChat Nails Educator. Lucky for us, achieving this nail look is easy, thanks to at- home kits that are simple-to-use and affordable.
Meet the Expert
- Anastasia Totty is a manicurist and a LeChat Nails Educator. She is the salon owner of Artistique Nails in Saint Johns, Florida.
- Nail artist Syreeta Aaron is a LeChat Nails Educator and brand ambassador.
Below, find our favorite dip powder nail kits for use at home.
- Our Picks
- Final Verdict
- What to Look For
- Why Trust ishonest?
Best Overall: Nailboo Essentials Dip Kit
Personal color selection
Complete kit with all tools and products
Extra steps involved
This one-stop-shop comes with everything you need, even including helpful clips for removal. It does require a few extra steps, but that makes for an extremely impressive mani (or pedi, since this also works on toes). Plus, not only do you get four colors, you can choose exactly which colors those are, a major win in our book.
Shades: 4 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Brydie Clean: Yes
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Red Carpet Manicure Dip Color Kit
Easy to use with minimal steps
Only one shade included
Affordable and easy to use, this simple kit gives you long-lasting, shiny color that lasts for up to 21 days. (Indeed, reviewers rave about the lack of chipping.) The kit comes with a classic red color included, though there are plenty of other colors that you can purchase separately.
Shades: 1 included with kit | Dry Time: 30 seconds | Cruelty-Free: N/A | Brydie Clean: Yes
Best Long-Lasting: Le Chat Professional French Dip Kit
Includes a clear shade
This professional-grade powder touts a whopping four weeks of wear, all while also imparting the length and strength you get from acrylics (just without any of the damage effects afterward). It also feels very lightweight and natural on the nails and comes off easily, always a win.
Shades: 4 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Brydie Clean: N/A
Best Red Colors: Honey Joy Dipping Powder Kits
Includes glitter shades
Small containers; hard to dip nails
Anyone who loves to rock red will appreciate that this kit comes with eight shades in a nice variety of red tones, from a classic, fire-engine red to a deep berry. (Three of them are also glittery, should you prefer a little extra shimmer.) It also comes off in just 10 minutes, and the application is super easy.
Shades: 8 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry up to 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: N/A | Brydie Clean: N/A
Best Splurge: Kiara Sky Dipping Powder Starter Kit
Nice range of colors
Comes with nourishing oil for cuticles
No tools are included
Yes, this is on the pricier side, but it does come from one of the better-known, professional, dip powder brands. Itâ€™s an Amazon fan favorite, with reviewers raving about how easy it is to use and how incredible the results are. You get five colors plus all the accompanying products, including a bonder, base coat, protectant, topcoat, nourishing oil, and even a brush cleaner.
Shades: 5 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry up to 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Brydie Clean: Yes
Best Budget: Kiss Salon Dip Color System Kit
Not as high-quality as other options
â€œThis affordable option is great for someone who wants to try out dip powder without investing,â€ says nail artist Syreeta Aaron, a LeChat Nails Educator. (However, she does note that the results may not be quite up to par with what youâ€™d get with other products.) Still, if youâ€™re just looking to test the dip powder waters or arenâ€™t concerned about the results lasting a super long time, this is a good option. You get one color included with the kit, a nude pink, though other colors are available.
Shades: 1 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry 5 to 10 minutes | Cruelty-Free: No | Brydie Clean: No
Best for French Tips: Dipwell Easy Acrylic Dip System Starter Kit
Nice French mani colors
Clear powder preserves color vibrancy
In case you missed the memo, French manis are backâ€”in a big way. This kit makes it easy to achieve French tips, with both a beautiful sheer pink that works great as a base and a crisp white for the tips (though FYI, the white also looks nice worn on its own). Whatâ€™s most noteworthy about this option is the addition of a clear powder that gets applied in between the two colors, helping to protect the clarity and vibrancy of both colors. AKA, thereâ€™s no need to worry about yellowing.
Shades: 2 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry up to 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Brydie Clean: Yes
Best for Beginners: Revel Dip Powder Starter Kit
Personal color selection
Complete kit with all tools and products
Only one color included
Aaron says this is a good option for dip powder newbies, and while itâ€™s not professional-grade, it is â€œgood quality for a DIY option.â€ While it only comes with one shade of dipping powder, we like that you get the option to choose which shade that is. (And there are over 200 dip colors to choose from.) Plus, per the point of newbies, this comes with every possible tool and accessory you could need to master the dipping process, even cotton balls included.
Shades: 1 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry 2 minutes | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Brydie Clean: No
The Nailboo Essentials Dip Kit is our pick for the best dip powder nail kit overall, a high-quality formula that comes with four colors that you can pick. DIY dip novices will appreciate that the Revel Dip Powder Starter Kit comes with every tool and accessory you could need to master the dipping process. The Dipwell Dip Nail Starter Kit-French Set is great if you love French tips, but if you prefer a bold red mani, check out the Honey Joy Dipping Powder Kit, which also boasts a very non-damaging formula.
What to Look For in a Dip Powder Nail Kit
Also known as a non-acid primer, youâ€™ll definitely want a kit containing one of these as itâ€™s an essential prep step that will ensure a good application, says Totty.
Similarly, youâ€™ll also want to make sure your kit comes with an activator, a chemical thatâ€™s used to dry the dip base and greatly speeds up the process, Totty says.
A Variety of Colors
Totty suggests choosing a kit that comes with a variety of colored powders. Not only does this give you more options to play and experiment with, but itâ€™s also a good way to ensure youâ€™re getting the most bang for your buck.
According to Totty, as long as dip manicures are applied and removed correctly, they are completely safe and not bad for your nails. â€œItâ€™s extremely important to practice the application and follow the manufacturerâ€™s instructions,â€ she says. â€œPatience while removing dip nails will give you the best results and healthy nails afterward.â€
When it comes to removing dip powder nails, do not pick at them or pull them off. (We know, it can be tempting, especially if theyâ€™re beginning to lift.) Instead, Totty recommends purchasing a soak-off solution designed specifically for dip powder. â€œThe best and safest way to remove dip nails is to individually wrap them with the solution and wait for 10 to 15 minutes,â€ she says. â€œAny residue left on the nail can be easily buffed off.â€
It's possible to fill dip nails, though Totty says that opting for a fresh application is a much better option. â€œItâ€™s possible to fill dip nails only if you use a clear or clear pink for a natural nail overlay,â€ she says. â€œHowever, that will not give you the best-lasting manicure because, over time, the resin base used with dip manicures will lose its integrity and lifting might occur. A fresh application will ensure you have a long-lasting result every time.â€
According to Totty, the standard wear for a dip manicure is between 21 and 25 days, but how long yours will last depends solely on your nail growth speed and how rough you are on them. â€œFor example, a bartender is lucky to get three weeks of wear, when an executive assistant who has less contact with water and other liquids daily will get a full four weeks before the nails completely grow out," she says.
Why Trust ishonest
ishonest contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. A manicure devotee, she admittedly prefers the professional route over the DIY options, so she relied on expert intel and tons of reviews and consumer input when researching this article.