shellac vs dip nails

There are many types of manicures available in the salons today. But not all of them what you might like to have for your nails. If you do not know the difference between different types of manicures, you may end up ruining your original nails. So this is what we are here for. Among many types of manicures, there are shellac nails and dip nails.

If you plan to go on holiday and cannot bring your nail polishes along, we can understand it. No one has time to cure the nails while they are on the run. Plus, why waste time working on your nails when you are out to have some fun or to spend time with your family? It is always a better idea to get a perfect manicure before you pack up and leave. Having a manicure that can last as long as you are away is a big sigh of relief.

If you are confused between shellac and dip nail powders, you are not alone. Many of us do not know the exact difference between the two types of manicures. Let’s unveil the mystery once and for all.


What Are Shellac Nails?

During the last few years, shellac nails have grown in popularity, but very few of us know what shellac nails are. But first, we move ahead; we need to know that shellac is not a type of manicure; it is a product name by CND (creative nail design). Shellac nails are a combination of gel and nail polish. It is applied to the original nails just like any other nail polish. The manicure includes a branded base coat, color coat, and topcoat. Like acrylic nails, shellac nails cannot be used to extend the nails. However, it does add strength to the nails. If we see this manicure in the longer run, it is way less damaging than gel or acrylic nails. It also reduced nail chipping.

Shellac nail polish lasts for two weeks or even longer if you do not engage in too much washing or cleaning activities. This nail polish is dried using UV rays or a lamp to cure the polish. Those who have brittle or broken nails should avoid having shellac nails. This manicure should only be removed by a professional.

Dip nail powder

What Is Dip Nail Powder?

Dip nail powder is a form of nail polish application that involves painting your nails with a liquid base coat and then dipping it in a dip powder. Dip nail powder typically lasts for for up to a month and has a variety of colors and finishes to choose from. There are many dip nail powder brands out there but some are considered more professional than others. Brands like OPI dip powder can only be found at nail salons.

Dip nails are longer lasting than gel nails and as durable as acrylic. So you can say that dip nail powder is a combination of acrylic nails and gel nails. The solution in which nails are dipped is odorless. They dry super-fast without any UV rays or lamps. Reading a dip nail tutorial can give you a clear idea on how to apply dip powder nails.

Difference between Shellac and Dip Nail Powders

The difference between Shellac and dip powder nails is their longevity, application process, and color options. Shellac nails typically last up to 2 weeks, while dip nails last up to 5 weeks. What you choose depends on your preferred method of application. Shellac nails require a UV light while dip nails do not. Shellac nails have a thinner application while dip nails are usually harder and sturdier. Ask yourself: how long do I want to wear my nails? If you’d prefer only two weeks, because you enjoy changing the color frequently, then choose Shellac nails. If you want your nail color to last as long as possible, choose dip nail powder.

Shellac Nails Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the best strengths of shellac nails is that they add durability to natural nails. These nails are a popular option as they are versatile and long-lasting. It lasts up to two weeks because the polish is hardened using UV rays. So if you are in a sunnier climate, the sunlight will keep on setting the nails, and they will last even longer. Similarly, if you live in colder weather, the shellac nails will peel off quiet earlier because our skin and cuticles tend to dry out fast in cold conditions.

If we talk about the weakness of shellac nails, it is essential to note that not every salon can do it properly. Only an expert nail artist should handle your nails because an inexperienced nail artist can harm the nail bed. A UV lamp is also a must to dry out the product, which is harmful to the skin. The period of two weeks should also be kept in mind as the nail polish is easier to remove after two weeks; after that, it continues to harden and takes a bit longer to clear.

Dip Nail Powders Strengths And Weaknesses

Dip nails are available in many beautiful colors and designs, such as chrome, thermal, glitters, glow in the dark, and more. You can choose the ones you like. Various colors and textures are added to dip nails to add more style. Dip nails are easier to apply then acrylic nails with minimal, if any, damage to the nail. They help to create new shape and length for the natural nails. To apply dip nails, all you must do is paint your nails with a base dip liquid and dip it in the powder, which is much easier in comparison to Shellac nails which require a UV light to cure.

The biggest weakness of dip nails is that they are not as flexible as Shellac/gel nails, so the application does not feel as natural on your nail. The shell is tough like a fake nail. It’s also harder for nail salons to apply dip powder effectively without having to dip multiple client’s nails in the same container, sometimes risking cross contamination.

Conclusion: Choose which Method You Prefer

In the end, it all comes down to what you want. Both Shellac and dip nail powders have good and bad benefits. If you want to avoid the harmful UV rays, a dip nail is a good option for you. Consider the outcome you want to achieve, and it will be easier to decide. If you’re looking for a new dip nail brand to try, Fairy Glamor has over 130 unique colors to choose from in a wide variety of professional finishes.

Thanks for reading! Do you prefer Shellac or dip nail powder? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

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April 16, 2021 — Fairy Glamor
Tags: question


Catherine said:

I am struggling with my nails. I have always had thin, brittle nails that split. When shellac came out it was great! Then the nugenesis dip powder, love it, but after having my nails done with the dip powder, the removal has made them extremely thin. My nails are bare and I am using a hardener. I have no answer how to take care of my nails. Not pretty.

Christi said:

I agree with Amy! It’s been 10 months since I’ve gotten dip powder and my nails are still thin and brittle. And another thing I noticed they mentioned was that it lasts 5 weeks. Well yes it does but who’s nails don’t grow our way before that? So in all reality you’ll need a redo around the same time you would getting shellac. So at the end of the day it’s just personal preference and cost. And one last thing… shellac goes on like polish so it will go with your nail shape. If you get someone that isn’t that great at doing dip nails you can end up with bumps or creases where the powder didn’t fill in smooth. That’s happened to me many times and then they don’t want to fix it. Uggg! So be cautious and watch them doing it if you choose dip. If you see it’s not smooth make sure you tell them to fix it before they cure it.

Amy Marks said:

You failed to mention one of the major cons of using dip. They have to file off a top layer of your nail in order for the dip power to stick properly. Then when you have it removed they file off more. This constant filing down of the top layer of your nails eventually makes your nails extremely thin. It’s been over a year since I’ve had a dip and I’m still struggling with paper thin nails that are constantly splitting due to the damage having dips has done to them over the course of a year. I personally will never do a dip manicure again. I do shellac only now and remove it at home with acetone because the salons always want to file it off instead of just soaking it off and my nails can’t handle the filing anymore.

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Fairy Glamor designs unique 3-in-1 dip and acrylic nail powders in Galveston, Texas. We're a 100% family owned business that was founded in 2020 and went from making handmaking powders in our spare bedroom to shipping out of a big warehouse. We believe in both quality and affordability--that's why our powders are used by both professional nail technicians and in homes. Our unique colors are hand-designed to give you gorgeous manicures that'll make your nails feel magical.