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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: 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 flawless 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
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
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
Best Red Colors: Honey Joy Dipping Powder Kits
Nice red colors
Small containers make it 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
Best Splurge: Kiara Sky Dipping Powder Starter Kit
Nice range of colors
Comes with nourishing oil for cuticles
No tools (cuticle pusher, brush) are included
Yes, this is on the pricier side, but it does come from one of the better-known, professional, dip powder brands. It’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
Best Budget: Kiss Salon Dip Color System Kit
Quality is slightly less than of other products
Only one color included
“This affordable option is great for someone who wants to try out dip powder, without investing,” says nail artist Syreeta Aaron, a LeChat Nails Educator. (However, she does note that the results may not quite up to par with what you’d get with other products.) Still, if you’re just looking to test the dip powder waters, or aren’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 5-10 minutes
Best for French Tips: Dipwell Dip Nail Starter Kit-French Set
Nice French mani colors
Use of clear powder to preserve color vibrancy
Slightly more expensive than other options
In case you missed the memo, French manis are back—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). What’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, there’s no need to worry about yellowing.
Shades: 2 included with kit | Dry Time: Air-dry up to 2 minutes
Best for Beginners: Revel Dip Powder Starter Kit
You can choose the color
Comes with every tool and accessory needed
Only one color included
Aaron says this is a good option for dip powder newbies, and, while it’s not professional-grade, is “good quality for a DIY option.” 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 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
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 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 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 containing one of these as it’s an essential prep step that will ensure a 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.
Is dip powder bad for your nails?
According to Totty, as long as dip manicures are applied and removed correctly, they are completely safe and not bad for your nails. “It’s extremely important to practice the application and follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” she says. “Patience while removing dip nails will give you the best results and healthy nails afterward.”
How do you remove dip powder nails?
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 they’re beginning to lift.) Instead, Totty recommends purchasing a soak-off solution designed specifically for dip powder. “The best and safest way to remove dip nails is to individually wrap them with the solution and wait for ten to 15 minutes,” she says. “Any residue left on the nail can be easily buffed off.”
Can you fill dip powder nails?
It's possible to fill dip nails, though Totty says that opting for a fresh application is a much better option. “It’s possible to fill dip nails only if you use a clear or clear pink for a natural nail overlay,” she says. “However, 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.”
How long do dip powder nails last?
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. “For 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 Byrdie
Byrdie 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.