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Gel Nail Polish vs Dipping Powder: Why Gel is the Better Choice

  • 6 min read

Wondering what sets Gel Nail Polish apart from dipping powder? While both options offer a striking manicure, there are several reasons why Gel Nail Polish stands out as the superior choice. From its hassle-free application and removal to its unmatched versatility and kinder formula, Gel Polish takes the crown.

Read on to learn what makes Gel Nail Polish so special over dipping powder, and why it’s worth making the switch for your next manicure.

Gelous Galaxy Fairy Floss gel nail polish - photographed in New Zealand on model

What is Gel Nail Polish?

Gel Nail Polish applies just as smoothly and effortlessly as regular nail polish but is formulated slightly differently. It contains special ingredients that activate under UV light, so once exposed to your UV/LED Lamp for a mere 60 seconds, it dries and hardens into a strong, glossy coating with a lasting shine. The result is a durable, yet flexible gel manicure that lasts for 2+ weeks without any fading, peeling or chipping.

Read all you need to know about using UV/LED Lamps for gel manicures.

What is Dipping Powder?

As the name implies, dipping powder is a nail coating that comes in powder form and is applied by dipping the nail directly into the container. Through a combination of nail resin (nail glue), activator and resin top coat, the dipping powder seals to the nails. This is a method that involves multiple steps, applied layer-by-layer to build a manicure that can last for up to 4 weeks. Whilst dipping powder can provide a longer-lasting manicure, it certainly has its downsides. Gel Nail Polish offers a simpler, cleaner and more versatile solution, making it a preferred alternative.

What makes Gel Nail Polish superior to Dipping Powder?

Easy Application

Gelous Vanilla Latte gel nail polish - photographed in New Zealand on model

Applying Gel Nail Polish is simple and stress-free with a straightforward process that can easily be done at home. No complicated techniques or hidden challenges, just prepare your nails as usual, apply your base, colour and top coat, and cure each layer under your UV/LED Lamp as you progress. The polish paints on just like regular polish with tools you’re already familiar with, so you'll feel confident from the outset.

Time-consuming and complicated, the dipping powder method involves many steps that require a lot of patience. First, you’re to apply a base coat, dip your finger into the powder at a 45-degree angle, brush off the excess and repeat the process several times until the desired coverage is met. A sealing polish is then applied to activate the powder, before filing and buffing the nails to smooth out the bulkiness left behind. Your dip manicure is finished by applying a final top coat and left to air dry. Eliminate all this hassle and frustration with Gel Nail Polish, a simple, more forgiving application process that doesn’t require precise techniques or your whole evening to create.

Learn how to apply Gelous Gel Nail Polish.


Gelous Summer Flowers gel nail art - photographed in New Zealand on model

For a neat and tidy manicure, Gel Nail Polish is the obvious choice. The repeated process of dipping your fingertips into loose powder and brushing it off naturally leads to excess powder being left behind every time. Whilst wasteful, it’s also a pain to clean. Not to mention, if the base coat is not precisely applied, the powder will stick to these areas, sure to create a messy result.

Gel Nail Polish glides on smoothly, and thanks to its self-levelling formula you won't have to worry about any dips, lumps, or bumps affecting your results. If any excess polish smudges onto your finger or cuticle during application, it can easily be removed before curing with an Orangewood Cuticle Stick, Nail Art Brush or Silicone Tool. For a salon-quality experience that produces salon-quality results, Gel Nail Polish is the way to go.

Simple Removal

Gelous Winter Wonderland gel nail polish - photographed in New Zealand on model

Removing Gel Nail Polish is a breeze compared to dipping powder. To remove, simply file off the shiny top layer, soak Lint Free Wipes in an acetone-based remover and place them onto your nails to soften the polish. Only taking 15 minutes for the polish to flake off, you’re then free to gently push it away using an Orangewood Cuticle Stick and begin prep for your next set. If you'd like to fast-track your removal, opt to use Gelous' Express Gel Nail Polish Remover instead. With a simple, brush-on application, this game-changing solution works like magic to lift your Gel Polish in minutes, leaving your nails ready for their next manicure in a flash.

Due to the multi-layered, thick nature of dipping powder and its super-glue-like components, it becomes far more challenging to remove, requiring a longer soak time with methods that are harsher on your hands and nails. After filing off the top layer, you will then need to soak the nails directly in acetone to loosen the dip manicure. With acetone being so dehydrating, longer soaks and complete submersion can lead to weak, thin and brittle nails. A removal that is gentler on the nail plate is always going to be the winner.

Improper removal of both Gel Nail Polish and dipping powder has the potential to damage your nails, so be sure to follow instructions and stay on top of aftercare, such as applying Hand Cream and Cuticle Oil daily. Learn how to remove Gelous Gel Nail Polish.


Gelous Hippie Trail gel nail art - photographed in New Zealand on model

Gel Nail Polish promises a wider range of options when it comes to colours, finishes and the final look of your manicure - giving you the freedom to switch up your look whenever you like. Dipping powder is far less versatile, with a limited range of opaque shades and basic glitters, paired with a heavier look and feel. Why confine yourself when you could have it all?

From neutrals through to neons, and high-gloss finishes to Matte Top Coats, the possibilities are endless with Gel Polish. Add some sparkle with a Glitter or Metallic Gel Nail Polish, a touch of elegance with a Sheer Shade, or experiment with a Special Finish Polish to create a unique, standout look with the likes of a tortoiseshell, galaxy or marble effect. Or, why not get creative by trying your hand at nail art, completely customising your manicure with the help of a simple Video Tutorial? Whether you want to keep it simple or make a statement, Gel Nail Polish has got you covered for every style, mood and occasion.

Experience Gelous’ full range of over 300 Gel Nail Polishes and never settle for less again.

Kind To You

Gelous P.S. Olive You gel nail polish - photographed in New Zealand on model

Choosing products that are kind to you is vital for your manicures to stay as fun as they’re intended. When it comes to dipping powder there are a number of issues, one being that powder jars can harbour bacteria and other germs after use. Sharing the powders with others increases the risk of infection as the bacteria can easily be transferred from one person to the next. Gel Nail Polish is formulated to restrict the growth of microbes, so you can rest easy knowing there’s no cause for concern.

Whilst the durability of a dip manicure may seem desirable, it can actually come as a detriment to your nail health. Such a long-lasting coating can conceal any issues lying under your nails and makes it difficult to check for any damage. Gel Nail Polish allows you to monitor and maintain the health of your nails with ease, so you can continue to enjoy beautiful, long-lasting manicures for years to come.

At Gelous, we keep it clean with high-quality yet affordable products that are proudly vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic - so you can trust your manicure to be kind to you, your wallet, and the planet.

Signature Shine

Gelous Darkest Forest gel nail polish - photographed in New Zealand on model

Gel Nail Polish is renowned for its exceptional finish, delivering a signature shine and radiant gloss that is unmatched by other nail coatings. The fine pigment suspended in the gel formula results in an even-toned colour, unlike dipping powders, which are known to suffer from issues like fading, inconsistent shades and pigment dots - particularly in poorer-quality brands. With Gelous Gel Nail Polish, you can expect a brighter, shinier and more consistent result, with a final finish that you can wear with pride. It’s no wonder why Gel Nail Polish is the go-to choice for a professional-looking manicure.

Gel Nail Polish is the standout choice for flawless, glossy nails that are sure to shine the brightest. Its easy application and removal, paired with its superior finish and kinder formula make it the best option for maintaining beautiful, healthy nails. Bid farewell to the inconveniences of dipping powder, and invest in a Gelous Gel Nail Polish Kit today to experience the difference for yourself - your nails will thank you!

Get your Gel Nail Polish and Gel Manicure Kits now, with free shipping on orders over $100 throughout New Zealand including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Tauranga and more! We also ship throughout United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe and the rest of the world with free shipping available. 

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