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Powder vs. Gel: Which Manicure Is Better for Your Nails

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

Powder vs. Gel: Which Manicure Is Better for Your Nails

There are many different types of manicures out there, and all have various benefits and drawbacks. Powder dip and gel nail polish have become two of the more popular manicures. They are both acrylic-based, but they have their differences. Read on to figure out which manicure is better for your nails, powder vs. gel.


The application process is one of the main differences between gel and powder manicures.

Gel manicures are painted on similarly to a regular manicure. After applying each coat, a UV or LED light will harden or cure the polish.

With dip powder manicures, the manicurist will dip your nail into an acrylic-colored powder. They will then apply a top coat as an activator and cure it using the air.

Staying Power

If it’s applied correctly, a gel manicure can last anywhere from two to three weeks. This depends on how oily your nail beds are or if you’re prone to nail chipping. The manicure may not last for two weeks if that’s the case.

Dip powders will generally last longer than gel. The polymers in dip powder manicures are more substantial than those found in gel polish. If properly cared for, a powder manicure lasts up to five weeks.


Powder dip manicures are more challenging to remove than gel polish manicures because of their acrylic-like nature. The removal process is the same for both: you need to soak both gel and powder manicures in acetone before removal, but the powder will have to soak for longer.

The first step is removing the top layer with a rough nail file. Then, you can either fill a bowl with acetone and let your nails rest inside or soak cotton balls in acetone and apply them by wrapping your fingers individually with aluminum foil.

Potential Damage

Both have the potential to damage your nails if you’re not patient in the removal process. Pulling the polish off hurts the nail beds, but you can avoid this by removing them properly.


Powder dip manicures are pricier than gel because they last longer and typically take the same amount of time to complete. With the powder, you won’t need as many trips to the salon.

A freshly coated set of nails does wonders for a woman’s confidence but figuring out which is best is tricky. For your next trip to the salon for powder dip nails in Chicago, IL, visit NaiLaCarte. Reference back to this blog post if you need help deciding which manicure is better for your nails.

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