Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The SNS Dipping Powder Manicure

So I don’t know if you know this about me, but I used to be a gel nail evangelist. Evangelist.

Ha ha I was exposing my hands to UV light every other week and now I’m probably going to have premature hand-skin aging.

But seriously, I am obsessed with getting my nails done and now I feel just as shiny and new as the nails I will be rocking for a solid MONTH (yes a month) thanks to a little invention called SNS dipping powder!!! Yes, you’ve heard of it. Yes, you have no idea what it is, and that’s why I am going to explain it to you!!


So SNS is actually a brand, much like CND Shellac or Gelish. It stands for “Signature Nail Systems,” and they have a shit ton of colors including neons and glitter. Instead of a polish, the nail color is done with an organically-processed color-pigmented powder that your nails get dipped in after a polish base coat is applied.  According to lifestyle website Mamma Mia!, the powder is made with Benzoyl Peroxide, Titatum Dioxide, and Acrylic Ester Polymer. If those names terrifying you, definitely don’t google what’s in regular acrylics, gel nail polish, or standard polish!


The process is repeated until a desired level of color is achieved, and the whole thing is set with top coat. Depending on where you go, your nails will be filed down with either a machine (like an acrylic) or with an actual nail file to achieve the desired shape and thickness. Don’t worry, they dust off all the powder with a cute little brush and you can even wash your hands.

The best part is, the dried powder clings to your nail like a gel but feels strong like an acrylic. Go ahead, tap those babies on a table! Clack them against your teeth! They’re tough as hell and not breaking for anything. Plus, the polish will last you a freakin MONTH if you can handle the grow out and don’t get sick of the same color for 4 weeks. Oh, and it only costs about $5 more than a gel would. So if you’re sick and tired of your gel chipping but don’t want to deal with getting acrylics or fills, SNS is a godsend.

Worried about taking them off? The color is removed similarly to gel, but whatever salon you go to shouldn’t scrape it off your fingers with any metal instruments after. The top coat is dissolved, and the powder gets rubbed off. At most, they will buff your nails after if needed.


Why is the SNS manicure so life changing? Well for starters, no more UV light thank god. So I’m saving myself from possible skin cancer and future crepe-y skin. Also, my gel habit was leading to a bunch of broken and thin nails. SNS has strengthened TF out of nails and as I type this they are long and luxurious and if I scratched your scalp you would fall asleep forever it would feel so good.

If you’re interested in trying, I would recommend calling your favorite salon first or doing some Yelp snooping with the keywords “SNS” or “Dip powder.” And make sure they don’t set it with a gel top coat. That shit is a scam : )