There has been a spate of professional acrylic dip systems released in the last year or so, perhaps due to the sudden increase in client interest and demand. There’s no question that acrylic dip systems have made a comeback, and received a bit of an update in the process. Years ago, we did not have all these beautiful colors to choose from!
I love this enhancement service and highly recommend trying it if you have not already. My recommendation for professional users is the Gelish Dip system. Check out my recent results with this system:
I trimmed my nails a few weeks ago, and used Gelish Dip to protect them as they grew out again. When I was at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies over the summer, the Gelish rep suggested that I try using Simple Sheer (instead of the Clear As Day powder I had used previously) for wearing on long natural nails with no polish. So I finally purchased some and applied it, and I think the results look very natural.
While I recommend Gelish Dip, there are other professional options to hit the market in 2016 and 2017. Recently Nails Magazine Readers voted for their favorite dip system for 2017, and the top three were:
- Young Nails SlickPour
- Gelish Dip
- OPI Powder Perfection
Notice that SNS Nails is not on the list!
Home and pro users can find a couple different options at Sally Beauty:
I haven’t tried any of these except for the Gelish Dip system. If you have, please let me know your thoughts! Also, check out Part 1 of this series, explaining what SNS Nails really are… and what they aren’t!
Have you heard about “SNS nails” a lot lately? For the past year or so it has seemed like a lot of ladies in my area were trying “SNS nails”, and really liked the service. I have one friend that has been getting “SNS nails” done for 3 or 4 years now. Let’s talk a little about what that actually means.
First – “SNS” is the brand name, not the treatment name. SNS stands for Signature Nail Systems and you can check out their website here. Second – the treatment is nothing new. It’s actually just a standard acrylic dip service, and acrylic dip systems have been around since the 1980’s.
All acrylic dip systems are all basically the same, made of two main components – a finely ground acrylic powder and a cyanoacrylate-based adhesive. To use the system you apply the adhesive, then dip in the acrylic powder. Let dry, then repeat one or two more times, as desired, on each nail. Then file, buff, and polish as desired.
There are a few advantages to the dip method over the traditional sculpted acrylic method.
- Since there is no monomer used in this service, salon odor is reduced.
- Whether overlaying the natural nail or a tip, the service is faster, allowing techs to work quickly and efficiently.
- Fewer tools are required for a dip service – gel or acrylic brushes, lamps, fans, etc. not required.
- Dipped nails can be thinner and lighter weight than traditionally sculpted acrylic or even gel enhancements. Depending on the number of layers applied, they can feel very natural.
However, you should be aware that dipped acrylic nails can actually be more brittle than traditional acrylic or gel nails.
The SNS website may lead one to believe this is a new or healthier product, but now you know that the dip acrylic method is time-tested for the last 30 years! We also know that nutrients are provided to the matrix from within, via the circulatory system of the body. So the claims that SNS powders contain vitamins and calcium, while a nice thought, are actually of little consequence.
Don’t get me wrong – the SNS dip system may be a fine product (I haven’t tested it myself!). Just keep all this in mind the next time you visit the salon and they try to up-sell you on this new and exciting product! It’s actually a very common service and not any better for your nails (or your general health) than other services.
Come back to the Smoke & Mirrors nail blog soon for Part 2 of this series, where I have an acrylic dip system that I have personally tested multiple times to recommend to you!
These are my nails after 10 days with 2 layers of Gelish Dip acrylic on them. As you can see, they’re intact and still a little shiny, even though I put Gelish over the acrylic. They’re a tiny bit yellowed but held up exceptionally well considering all I put them through – between my workouts and painting at our house, they’ve been thoroughly tested for durability.
The acrylic did not chip at all, but it did lift a little near the cuticle. This could be partially due to user error, however, as I am a little rusty with my dipping technique and applied the Base Coat too close to the cuticle. (See my previous post on how to avoid this issue.) I’ll simply file down the lifted acrylic before performing a fill on my nails.
The Gelish polish (Potts of Tea, from the Beauty and the Beast Collection, over Arctic Freeze) only remains on one nail because I peeled it off all the others. It started to peel after only a couple days without me picking at it. But when it started to peel, I did peel it off and it came off quickly and easily in one or two pieces. I made the mistake of applying the Gelish polish on the smooth, shiny surface the Gelish Dip Top Coat provides. Next time I’ll buff the surface with a 180-grit buffer to give the Gelish polish a better hold.
As surprising as it was, the Gelish polish soaked off the one nail easily and did not ruin the acrylic underneath. I soaked it for about 10 minutes with a cotton ball on top (not in a bowl of acetone) and the polish came off easily. The acrylic was noticeably softer underneath but it did not come off; I filed and buffed it as usual after a couple minutes.
My final verdict is that this product is a WIN. I’m so glad Gelish took the time to create this product for us! I will definitely continue to use it on my own nails and can now confidently begin offering it to my clients.
Have you tried the Gelish Dip system? What did you think of it?
(Note that I purchased the Gelish Dip system with my own money. I am not compensated in any way to provide a review of the Gelish Dip products. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.)
Last Thursday I ordered my Gelish DIP system, and it arrived in the mail yesterday.
I’m so excited that Gelish has developed this system. As I mentioned in a previous post, the dip method is how I first “dipped” my figurative toes into the pond acrylic enhancements. Dipping was popular in the 90’s and I’m really happy to see this technique come back around. Stay tuned for a full review!