Move over, shellac. SNS is the nail trend we can’t stop talking about.

Listen up, shellac addicts: there’s a new manicure technique on the block that’s the same price (if not cheaper), doesn’t require setting under UV light, and won’t ruin your nails.

It’s called SNS, or Signature Nail Systems, and after seeing what it’s done for Mamamia’s Lucy’s nails (above) we’re dying to try it out. Here’s what you need to know.

What is SNS?

“SNS is a nail dipping system that uses a brush-on gel base on the nail, which is then dipped in a powder. The powder comes in natural pink and white for a french manicure look, as well as a range of colours,” nail educator, nail technician and blogger Julie Morrow explains.

The powder, which also lends strength to the nails, consists of organically-processed chemicals Benzoyl Peroxide, Titatum Dioxide, Acrylic Ester Polymer.

Here are some banger examples of SNS nails.

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SNS nails
Images: Instagram.

What are the benefits?

Morrow says SNS is a very popular choice for both consumers and nail technicians, for multiple reasons. Here are the main ones:

1. It looks natural.

There are multiple aesthetic benefits of getting SNS. It looks natural, and is thinner than other options like shellac and acrylic nails.


Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team debate whether or not your fingers should match your toe nails. Post continues after audio. 

2. It's strong, but feels light.

It's more durable yet more flexible than traditional acrylics, and the powder provides more strength than many gels.

"SNS also feels 'lighter' on the nail. It is a quick and easy application, an advantage for both nail technicians and clients, and there is less filing, which means less dust and less drilling than many other products," Morrow explains.

Lucy Ormonde's nails.

3. It doesn't require UV lights to set.

Unlike shellac, SNS doesn't require UV lights to bond it to the nail.

One study by the Division of Dermatology at Georgia Regents University, published in JAMA Dermatology, found that while the amount of UV radiation produced by a nail-drying lamp during a single visit to a nail salon is not a serious concern, as few as eight visits may produce enough exposure to cause skin damage (depending on the lamp used).

If this is an issue that concerns you, SNS will give you the nails you want without the need for a lamp.

While you're here, here's some of our favourite nail polishes right now.

OPI Nail Lacquer - Russian Navy

OPI Nail Lacquer in Russian Navy, $9.99

OPI Nail Lacquer 15mL - Two-Timing The Zones

OPI Nail Lacquer in Two-Timing The Zones, $9.99

OPI Nail Lacquer - Malaga Wine

OPI Nail Lacquer in Malaga Wine, $9.99

OPI Nail Lacquer - Big Apple Red

OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red, $9.99

Essie Nail Lacquer Carry On

Essie Nail Lacquer in Carry On, $4.99

Essie Nail Lacquer Allure

Essie Nail Lacquer Allure, $4.99

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Colour 14.7mL - Sweet Tea

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Colour in Sweet Tea, $5.99

How do you maintain it?

To remove SNS manicures, the gel surface is sanded off before the nails are soaked in acetone. Morrow says you can maintain the nails for as long as you like, although she recommends refills every two to three weeks depending on your lifestyle and the care of your nails.

"The product itself does not cause damage to the nail. As with any nail enhancement, the damage is done in the removal," she adds.

"If the product is are peeled off it removes layers of the natural nail, causing it to weaken and peel or break. When removed correctly and carefully by a professional the nail should remain intact."

Have you tried SNS on your nails? What did you think?