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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 application—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 “dipped” and then coated with a glossy sealant.
The best part: It 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.
Below, find our favorite dip powder nail kits for use at home.
Best Overall: Red Carpet Manicure Dip Color Kit
This handy set gives you 21 days of vibrant wear. The included color is a gorgeous red called “Seductive Star," so this kit is perfect for special occasions (or every day). Also, if you’re prone to weak nails, reviewers say that this formula really lasts with no chipping.
Best Red Colors: Honey Joy Dipping Powder Kits
Ideal for all-year-round, these red-toned shades really evoke each season. From the deep wine to the bright, eye-popping pink, you have your choice of color all depending on your mood. This formula is resistant to chipping and cracking (rejoice!) and is also non-damaging to the nail bed.
Best Splurge: Kiara Sky Dipping Powder Starter Kit
One of the better-known dip powder brands, this Kiara Sky kit is more on the expensive side, but absolutely worth the higher price tag. Included in the set are six liquids and five neutral-colored powders. Reviewers like using this kit for more natural-looking nails or for a French tip.
Best for French Tips: Lavender Violets Dip Powder Nail Kit
The neutral pink and white powder work great together to create the classic French manicure look. Just make sure to apply the pink coats first—at least two—and then follow up with two coats of the white strip. One reviewer loves how light and smooth the powder is, making buffing at the end of application nonexistent.
The Red Carpet Manicure Dip Color Kit is our pick for the best dip powder nail kit overall, offering 21 days of wear time, even for those whose nails may not be in tip-top shape. The Nicole Diary Starting Kit makes it easy for nude mani fans to get a great manicure. And if you prefer a bold red mani, check out the Honey Joy Dipping Powder Kits, 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, you’ll definitely want a kit that contains one of these as it’s an essential prep step that will ensure subsequently good application, says Totty.
Similarly, you’ll also want to make sure your kit comes with an activator, a chemical that’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 it’s also a good way to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.