What Are SNS Nails? Here’s an Explainer for You

Wondering what SNS nails are? SNS simply means Signature Nails System—a brand name for dip powder manicures. Ever wondered if there is a nail enhancement technique that does not require the use of a liquid, primer, and UV light, you have your answer right here. 

Dip powder manicures are so adorable, as they are lightweight, and look so natural. They may even help your nails grow stronger and healthy. Let’s not overlook the fact that it is less damaging compared to acrylics and gel nails. 

This technique of nail enhancement is different from the others and that makes it special. Keep reading to find answers to other possible questions about SNS nails.

What Are SNS Nails Made Of?

SNS nails are made of powder and glue. The combination of these two ingredients is what creates a long-lasting bond for your nails. SNS is just a brand name, while the technique is generally known as nail dipping or dip powder manicure. 

The nails are made without light fans and other unnecessary drills which other nail techniques like gel and acrylic nails use. If you do not have much time on your hands, you can consider getting SNS nails instead of acrylics and gel nail enhancements as they are quick to make. 

Additionally, SNS nails have no odor or strong smell like gel and acrylic nail extensions. 

How Are Dip Powders Applied to Nails?

The process begins with the washing of hands to disinfect and remove dirt from the fingernails. Then the nails are shaped and buffed in preparation for the application of dip powders. If you’d like more nail length, you can make use of plastic tips as well.  

After all this is set, a base coat of reason is then applied on each nail before they are dipped into your choice of dip powder color. You can repeat the process until you achieve the right amount of thickness you desire. 

After applying the dip powders on all the nails, add on a coat of activator to harden the nails quickly. This gives room for the technician to quickly remove all bumps before the final result. 

The overall process should take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on the removal of a previous set is required. If you are removing old SNS manicures, then you can look forward to spending about 45 minutes on both the removal and the application process.

Meanwhile, you can also bond the SNS to a thin coat of raisin instead of your natural nails. Doing so will protect the top layers of your nails from being pulled away during the removal process. 

Once you apply SNS nails, you will notice that they are also flexible and light. You can easily bend them slightly without breaking them. That automatically increases their lifespan and durability. 

During the removal, you can file off layers of SNS before soaking your nails into acetone. This will help to prevent soaking your fingers into the harsh chemical for a long time. 

Are SNS Nails Better Than Acrylic?

This depends on your choice and taste. You can choose between SNS nails and acrylic nails depending on your needs, style, and what you are trying to achieve with your nails.

If you want long, strong nails that will last for a very long time, then you should consider acrylic nails instead of SNS nails. The reason why acrylic extensions are better than SNS when it comes to nail length is that they can last up to a month and have a rigid exterior.

Likewise, if you are the type to experiment with and would like to play with colors and forms, and shapes, acrylic nails are better for you. This is because SNS nails are not available in too many forms and colors. 

However, if you are applying dip powder yourself and would want to go for one that has a quick application and removal process, SNS is the best option for you.

With SNS nails, there is no fake extension that can fall off like with acrylic nails; this could also mean that you would experience no risk of wear and tear or rippling of nails.

It is important to consider what you want for your nails, how much money you want to spend, and the amount of time you can dedicate to the nail application process.

Are SNS Nails Safe During Pregnancy?

You’re probably already used to hearing lots of dos and don’ts for pregnant women. Well, you need to take the most caution when you are pregnant. There are certain activities that you can simply do without worrying. Such activities include getting SNS nails.

SNS nails are safe for pregnant women, and you can easily enjoy pampering your nails without feeling scared of the consequences. There is no research or scientific proof that says you shouldn’t get your manicure as a pregnant woman.

Getting a manicure won’t put your baby at any risk. However, the biggest concern is the risk of skin infections that you may develop after visiting a salon. Pregnant or not, ensure that you visit a salon that practices good hygiene.

A good and reputable salon would properly sterilize its tools to avoid risking its customers’ health. Skin and nail infections can show up right after a Mani and Pedi session or they can take weeks to develop.

Are SNS Nails Better Than Gel?

Choosing the best between SNS nails and dry nails can be very difficult as they both give you beautiful nails without taking much time to apply. 

For more durability, SNS nails are better than gel nails. While SNS nails can last for 4 or more weeks, gel nails can only last about 2 to 3 weeks. 

If you prefer something less damaging, you can choose gel nails instead of SNS nails. 

If you’re looking to experiment in terms of color design and style, you shouldn’t use gel nail extensions instead of SNS. This is because SNS nails do not have much variation compared to gel nails. 

As for the price, SNS is more expensive than a gel manicure. For comfortability, SNS nails are better than gel nails as it feels more comforting and natural. The buffing process of gel nail application can be very annoying. 

If you don’t like the idea of exposing your nails to UV damage, then SNS is better for you than the gel technique.

SEE: Get Your Ultimate Professional Finish With the Best Nail Lamp

Can You Let SNS Nails Grow Out?

You can allow your SNS nail enhancements to grow out, but make sure you trim them down to avoid breakage. File and buff them with a buffer or file once your nails are growing out. 

However, ensure that you get a manicure every few weeks to keep your natural nails from growing out of your SNS nails.

Can SNS Manicure Be Filled In?

Yes, you can fill in your SNS in a salon. There is a filling process option, although not many salons offer the service. 

When you get a regrowth, you might have to do a complete removal and reapplication of the SNS. You can do the removal yourself by soaking your nails in acetone and gliding down the powder with cotton wool.

Can SNS Nails Cause an Allergic Reaction?

According to AAD, You may develop an allergic reaction to dipping nail products used as SNS. This is mostly caused by the adhesive used to hold the powder in place. It may take hours for the allergic reaction to occur. Some of the allergic reactions include: 

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Discoloration of the skin around the nails
  • Fluid bumps 
  • Nail lifting

To protect your nails and overall health, do a patch test by applying the powder to only one nail at first. Go to a nail technician and request just one SNS nail. Wait for 7 days after that to check for allergic reactions. 

If you do not experience any skin reaction after 7 days, go for your full dip powder manicure. If you notice any reaction within seven days, get rid of the nails and give your skin some time to heal. 

SEE: Get Fake Nails Off With These Effective Nail Removal Techniques

Can SNS Nails Be Removed at Home?

Yes, you can remove your nails at home using acetone or white vinegar. All you need is 100% pure acetone, cotton wool, cuticle oil, and a bowl of hot water. 

How to use it:

  • Place another bowl on top of the bowl of hot water
  • Pour your acetone into the empty bowl
  • Buff your nails to remove to the top layer of the dip powder
  • Dip your nails into the acetone to dissolve the powder
  • Use the cotton wool to glide down the powder from the nails
  • Soak your nails into the acetone again till you can get all the powder off
  • Clean your natural nails and apply cuticle oil to replenish your cuticles

Do SNS Nails Break Easily?

SNS nails do not break easily. However, If you notice your nails keep breaking, it could be due to several reasons. 

One of the most common reasons is having too many powder layers. Two to three coats of dip powders are enough to give you the best result.

Does SNS Ruin Your Natural Nails?

As with other nails enhancement procedures, there are chances of damage to your natural nails. SNS itself is not the cause of the damage, but the removal process may ruin your natural nails. 

The removal process requires you to soak your nails in acetone, which is harsh on the skin and hand. The filing process has to be done with caution too—to avoid peeling off lets from your natural nails. 

SEE: Do-It-Yourself Ways to Remove Nail Glue

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are SNS nails supposed to last?

Minimum of two weeks. SNS nails can last up to four weeks and more when applied and maintained properly

The regrowth of your nail beds is another factor that influences the durability of your SNS nails. You can also get your nails refilled to increase their lifespan. 

How much do SNS nails cost?

Between $35 to $75. The cost of an SNS manicure depends on the salon, as prices vary from the services offered by a salon. 

The design you choose also determines the price you will pay for the application of SNS nails.

Should SNS nails be long?

No, it shouldn’t. The beauty of SNS manicure is the lightweight feel and natural look it gives at the end of the application process.  

However, you can apply dip powder on any nail regardless of the length of the nails.


If you have ever wanted natural-looking manicures that scream glamour, SNS nails are your best bet. Not only do they look natural, but they also have a lightweight feel that gives comfort to your nail beds. 

While you can do your SNS manicure at home, you should visit a salon for professional pampering. In addition, ensure that you check for allergic reactions on one nail before proceeding to get a full SNS manicure. 

Thanks for reading.

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