Can You Mix Brands Of Dip Powder? Here’s What You Need to Know

Dip powder manicures are an increasingly popular way of getting stronger and longer nails. But with so many to choose from, can you mix brands of dip powder? We’ve got the answer.

Photo Credit: Addoro/Shutterstock.

Yes, you can mix brands of dip powder for maximum creativity, and you can also mix between one brand and another brand of dip liquid. Just take care never to mix different kinds of dip liquid, which may cause unwelcome chemical reactions.

What Is Dip Powder?

Dip powder is a new kind of manicure that is an alternative to either gel or acrylic nails. It’s somewhere between the two. 

This type of manicure will tend to look more natural than an acrylic manicure, but it also doesn’t require the UV light that a gel manicure does.

Dip powder is a finely milled powder with high pigmentation. The thickness, consistency, and finish of the powder will depend on the brand. The manicure technique also goes by the name of SNS (signature nail system) manicures.

A dip powder manicure can be done both at home and by a nail technician. It’s a fairly quick process, taking anywhere from half an hour to fifteen minutes. 

If you’re unsure about performing this manicure on yourself, then we recommend heading to a professional.

Although it involves fewer chemicals than an acrylic manicure, there are still some involved in the process, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.

The manicure is achieved when you dip your nail into the dip powder.

The powder is designed to polymerize with base coats, activators, and top coats, giving you the strong, beautiful manicure that you’d expect. 

If you’re having a salon dip powder manicure, your fingers should never be dipped into the same pot as another client – this is unhygienic.

The powder should either be decanted into another container or brushed onto your nails.

Because a dip powder mani doesn’t rely on a monomer, it can be less irritating than an acrylic manicure.

This is why some people who have sensitivities prefer dip powder manicures. 

Can You Mix Brands Of Dip Powder?

Part of the appeal of dip powder manicures is their flexibility. Plus, with so many nail care companies cottoning onto their popularity, there are ever more brands available to play with.

Thankfully, you can mix brands of dip powder. You should always follow the application procedures of the manufacturer and take any other advice. It’s also always best to stick with reputable brands, too.

Although most dip powders are similar, there may be minute differences between them, which might make their application process differ. 

It’s therefore important to follow this application advice to avoid confusion.

For example, some SNS brands are ‘pre-bonded’, meaning that they have a different application to non-SNS brands like OPI Powder Perfection.

You can also mix different brands of dip powder and dip liquid (the sealant that the powder polymerizes with in order to create your manicure). 

Most dip powders and liquids will be compatible, no matter their brand. It’s obviously a better idea to use the same brand of dip powder and liquid, but they should be able to mix if you’re in a bind.

Can You Mix Dipping System Liquids?

You should not mix two different dip liquids together. For example, don’t mix the base coat of one brand with the activator from another. 

It is these liquids that are primarily responsible for the necessary polymerization. Without that, you won’t achieve the manicure you want.

Whilst some liquids from different brands might mix, you won’t know until you try, and you might cause an adverse chemical reaction if you choose to do so.

As with applying the dip powder, it’s also wise to follow the manufacturer’s advice for using the dipping liquid. 

The application process and order of application of one brand may differ from another, so it’s important to stick to the same brand of dipping liquid.

What Makes One Dip System Different From Another?

Dip powder manicures rely on polymerization. This is a chemical reaction that causes the dipping liquid and dust-like powder to transform into one bonded polymer. 

Dipping ‘systems’ are reliant on the chemistry between the two in order to create the strong, durable manicure that you know and love.

It is true that most dipping systems operate in the same way, via the same chemical processes.

However, not all systems work in the same way. As such, different dipping systems will have different application processes. 

It’s always worth double-checking that the systems that you intend to use can be combined and mixed.

Tips For Mixing Dip Powder Brands

These tips will help you to achieve the perfect dip powder manicure. They are important if you choose to mix dip powder brands, but are as useful if you choose to stick to one system.

Ensure nails are water and oil-free

Water and oil are the enemies of dip powders. Dip systems react badly to both water and oil, and will impact the polymerization of the dip powder and liquid, resulting in over-long drying times or inconsistent shine. 

Ensure that your nails are free of both water and oil before dipping them.

Shake up your powder

It’s okay to be a hoarder of different dip powders. After all, the joy is in having as many colors as possible.

But if you’ve got a dip powder that hasn’t been used for a while, it may well have separated.

This is quite normal, but just be sure to shake up the dip powder before use, so as to avoid any uneven color on your nail itself.

Don’t be too enthusiastic with the base and top coat

You need both the base and top coat in order to ensure that your dip powder manicure looks its best, but being too excited with their application will impact your manicure.

If you use too much of either product, the dip powder will spread unevenly, and the overall texture of your nails will vary.

Try to be sparing with your use – if you don’t have enough on the first stroke, you can always go in for a second.

Take care with your brushes

Using a brush is a great way of ensuring that your dip powder manicure looks its best. You can be more precise with the application, and use it to brush off any excess powder, too.

Once you’ve applied your base coat, don’t rush into the activator, or the brush bristles will harden as a result of their chemical reaction. It’s all about being slow and steady.

You can also wipe your brushes between each use, so as to prevent cross-contamination.