How to dry nails?

How to Dry Nail Polish Fast and Without Smudges

You’ve successfully applied two coats of Essie’s Wicked without spilling or turning your cuticles bordeaux. Well done! Now all you’ve got to do is sit still long enough for your nail polish to dry. But when there are emails to write, texts to be sent, and Instas to post, you can’t afford to be digitally sidelined for long. So we tapped New York City-based manicurist Liang for his tricks to make nail polish dry faster.

1. Get a Blowout — for Your Mani

The cool-shot button on your dryer can do more than seal your hair’s cuticles — it can set nail polish, too. “It’s probably the most effective way to dry nails fast,” says Liang, who notes that hot air actually prevents polish from hardening. Blast that chilly air about six inches from your nail beds for about a minute. Then gently tap nails to gauge if they’re still tacky.

RELATED: The Best Nail Polish for Summer 2019

2. Take a Dip in Cold Water

Now that we know cold air helps polish harden, employ the same cool principle with water: Dip wet nails into a bowl of cold H2O, says Liang. (Just be sure to wait at least a minute before doing so to allow your polish to set preliminary.) A two-minute dunk should dry nails to the point that you can go about your business as normal.

RELATED: Find Your New Favorite Nail Polish Color

3. Invest in a Quick-Dry Nail Polish

Trade your usual top coat for a quick-dry version, says Liang, who favors longtime InStyle Best Beauty Buy award winner Seche Vite ($10; ulta.com). For extra insurance, invest in drops, like Liang’s favorite, Essie’s Quick-E Drying Drops ($15; kohls.com), formulated with special resins to speed up dry time. Apply just a droplet to each nail after your top coat for best results.

The One Trick to Drying Your Nail Polish Insanely Fast

We’ve all been there: You paint. You blow. You wait. You reach for your phone and gahhhhh you went in too soon. Suddenly you’re left with a mangled index nail that you now have to re-paint and re-dry and re-waste your life.Why doesn’t nail polish dry faster? We even reached out to a manicurist, who told us it actually takes up to two days to set. Two. Whole. Days. So that explains why your thread count always ends up imprinted on your new mani. Well, we have a pretty easy trick for cutting your drying time in half. The best part? All you need is bowl of cool water. Here’s the breakdown.

How to dry nails fast:

Step 1: Fill any size bowl with cool water and some ice cubes (not freezing—hello, frostbite—but slightly chilly).

Step 2: Choose your color (might we recommend one of these guys?) and paint your nails. Then let them air dry for one or two minutes.

Step 3: Dunk your fingers in the bowl of cold water for two to three minutes. When you remove them, you’ll notice beads of water on top of the polish, meaning it’s all done. This is because the shock of the cold temperature will instantly firm up the polish. Magic right?

Step 4: Stare at your nails in amazement. You’re good to go.

Now go enjoy those 15 extra minutes (or 2 days?) we just saved you. Lesson complete.

How To Dry Your Nail Polish Faster Esha Saxena Hyderabd040-395603080 January 4, 2019

If you love painting your nails but hate waiting for your polish to dry, this article is for you. Let’s face it – there’s nothing more frustrating than going to bed with freshly painted nails and waking up to find your hard work smudged and ruined. The same applies for the times you’re running late for that dinner or meeting, but your polish just won’t dry. Need a solution? We’ve put together a bunch of easy and effective methods that will help you speed up the painstakingly boring process of drying your nail polish.

Moreover, you’ll find most of the stuff needed for it right at home!

6 Foolproof Ways To Speed Up Your Nail Polish Drying Time

1. Freeze It Out

Dipping your fingernails in ice-cold water is perhaps the most efficient technique to dry your polish faster. It’s also insanely simple!

What You Need
  • A bowl of cold water
  • Ice cubes
Step-By-Step Tutorial
  1. Before you begin painting your nails, fill up a bowl with cold tap water, add a couple of ice cubes, and set it aside.
  2. Once you’re done painting your nails, wait about 2 to 3 minutes to allow the polish to set before dipping your nails into the bowl.
  3. Keep them in there for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. When you remove your hands from the bowl, you will see water beading on the surface of your nails. This is a telltale sign that your polish is completely dry.

2. Use A Blow Dryer

The cool-setting is what we’re looking for!

  • A hair dryer with adjustable settings
  1. Plug in your hair dryer and pop it on its coldest setting.
  2. Once you finish painting your nails, swirl the dryer around your nails in small, circular motions for 2 to 3 minutes. Just make sure that you don’t use too much force or hold it too close to your nails as it will blow ripples into your polish.

3. Spray On Some Cooking Oil Or Hairspray

A spritz of non-stick cooking oil is a great way to cut down on nail polish drying time. Alternatively, you can also use a little hairspray if you are out of cooking oil.

  • PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
Step By Step Tutorial
  1. Paint your nails and spritz a little cooking spray on your yet-to-dry manicure.
  2. Hold the can about 30 centimeters away from your hand. This ensures that the force of the aerosol does not smudge the wet polish.
  3. Wait a few minutes and before rinsing your hands with cold water.

4. Buy Yourself A Drying Spray Or Drops

Using a commercial nail polish drying spray or drops will cut your wait time in half. These products not only help dry the paint faster but also make your nails look super shiny. They also nourish and condition the skin around your cuticles.

5. Thin It Out

As opposed to thick coats, applying several thin coats of nail polish gives your nails time to dry quickly in between applications. It also leaves you with a more even finish. Although it might seem like your manicure is taking forever, it really isn’t. You’re actually cutting the overall drying time way shorter.

6. Add A Quick-Dry Top Coat

Investing in a clear coat of nail polish that’s specially formulated to speed up your nail polish drying time is perhaps the easiest way to dry nails faster. Besides, some of the formulas even claim to add a glossy sheen to your nails, prevent chipping, and make your manicure look fresh for longer. Here’s the best part – you can find some insanely great drugstore formulas for very low prices.

Waiting, as we all know, can be the absolute worst sometimes. And when you’re saying something is as boring as watching paint dry, you’re describing it as truly mundane. We hope these tricks and hacks help you cut down your nail paint drying time, so you have a set mani in about five minutes. Do you have any personal nail polish hacks? Let us know in the comments section below!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How do I dry acrylic nails faster?

Acrylics are a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer that creates a hard, protective shell over your natural nail. It’s always a good idea to get acrylics done by a professional at your local nail salon. Ideally, you need to cure (dry) the nails for two minutes under a UV lamp or for a minute under an LED lamp.

Can I use olive oil to dry my nail polish faster?

Yes! Soaking your freshly coated nails for about two minutes in extra virgin olive oil can actually help dry the polish faster. You can also use sunflower oil, extra virgin coconut oil, or baby oil as alternatives.

Does an LED or UV lamp dry regular nail polish?

No, your regular nail polish requires air drying while gel nail polish must be cured by an LED or UV lamp.

The following two tabs change content below.

  • Latest Posts
  • Bio

Latest posts by Esha Saxena (see all)

  • 9 Of The Best Green Concealers To Cancel Out Redness – October 10, 2019
  • The 9 Differences Between Loving Someone And Being In Love – October 9, 2019
  • 9 Of The Best Rainbow Highlighters Out There – September 30, 2019
  • 10 Of The Best Morphe Brushes Of All Time – September 30, 2019
  • What Is the Difference Between Primer, Foundation, And Concealer? – September 30, 2019

Esha Saxena

Esha Saxena is a writer, journalist, and a full-time wallflower. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Mass Communication and firmly believes that makeup is nothing less than art. Combining her love for writing with her passion for makeup, she brings to you reviews, techniques, and her ever-growing knowledge on this form of art. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to obscure indie bands, and writing poetry – all of this while being a crazy dog lady.

Getting a manicure is so calming—whether you’re doing it yourself or getting one at the salon, it’s a fab opportunity to zone out while beautifying your nails with whatever hue you like. But all the fun stops once you’ve gotta sit for-e-ver to wait for the nail polish to dry.

It’s literally sitting and watching paint dry, but it’s also a necessary evil. If you don’t wait long enough, you’re undoubtedly faced with wrecked fingertips that you just spent all that time getting for yourself. So in the pious pursuit of finding a hack that makes your nail polish dry fast, I’ve finally found the one that works—and all it takes is some ice cubes.

“Typically, polish can take up to an hour to fully, fully dry, but you’re in the clear of wet polish after about ten minutes,” says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, CEO and founder of Olive and June, a nail salon and nail polish brand based in California. But the ice cube-in-water hack chops that drying time down exponentially—all you have to do is dunk your wet manicure into the ice water for it to work.

“I feel like it works—we like to think that it shocks the polish into setting,” says Gibson Tuttle, who does the trick herself. “I do it because it works for me—but my biggest piece of advice is to do this step when the polish is closer to dry than wet. The closer to wet it is, the less helpful this hack can be.” According to her, you only have to dunk your nails for a few quick seconds in order to reap the drying benefits.

Sure, you can always turn to quick-dry drops, nail drying fans, or air drying options, but the ice dunk is expert-approved and easy as cake to do—so that you can go on with your day, sans-ruined manicure.

If your nails are brittle, here’s what the experts say you can do to heal them. And these are all of the cuticle oil benefits that you never know about, but should.

You don’t need to be a professional manicurist to do a great job painting your nails, but you do need to watch out for some common nail polish mistakes, from using old polish to doing your nails right before bedtime. We all make these mistakes (and yeah, knowing how long it takes for nail polish to dry is half the battle), so rest assured that you’re not alone.

We’ve rounded up the 10 most common nail polish mistakes and how to prevent them.

1. Taking a hot shower right after applying polish

Never shower immediately after a manicure, as you probably haven’t give the polish enough time to set in, but a hot shower? That’s even worse.

“Exposing the nail polish to the heat and steam of the shower can cause it to bubble or smudge,” says Danielle Candido, manicure expert for Gelish. “It’s best to wait a full hour after the manicure is done before showering.”

2. Going to bed right after applying polish

Although nails will appear dry within 20-30 minutes, it actually takes a full 24 hours for nail polish to fully dry.

“A super easy trick to help the drying process along is to wait a minute or two for your polish to start setting up, then run very cold water over your hands for about three minutes,” says Candido. “The cold water helps the polish set up faster.” However, she warns, “Be careful to not to run the water directly on the nails as the force of the water may cause the polish to smudge.”

3. Skipping topcoat

“Skipping a topcoat not only cuts down on the shiny finish of the manicure but it also shortens the longevity of the manicure,” Candido says. She also recommends applying an additional layer of topcoat every other day for an even longer lifespan.

MORE: 5 New Nail Polish Colors We’re Obsessed With Right Now

Who hasn’t thought they could get away with skipping the base coat once or twice? You live and you learn: Candido explains that base coat smoothes the surface of the nail for a flawless finish, improves adhesion of the polish to the nail plate, and prevents the pigments in the nail polish from staining the natural nail, which means avoiding the yellow nail struggle altogether. It’s an extra step, but totally worth it—for more reasons than one.

5. Applying thick coats of color

To compensate for the color looking lighter and sheerer on nails than in the bottle, we tend to paint on thick coats of color. In this case, though, patience really is key.

“When we apply color in thick layers the polish takes much longer to dry, and the longer it takes to dry, the more likely we are to smudge the manicure,” Candido says. Instead, apply thin, even coats and wait two minutes in between. The polish will actually dry faster. Also, Candido adds, “If you apply a heavy coat of polish, it’s much more likely to flow into the cuticle area which means you’ll have to clean up the mess with an orangewood stick and remover.”

6. Using one stroke to apply polish

If there is one technique you should take with you from the salon, it’s that manicurists use three to four strokes to apply polish to the nail. With one single stroke, it’s difficult to get the sidewalls (left and right edge of the nail) and cuticle area, making the nails look unfinished. Plus, the color will grow out in mere days.

“Apply color to the nail in three or four strokes,” Candido advises. Her approach? “Start in the center near the cuticle, swipe down the nail to the right side, return to the starting point and swipe down the nail to the left, then return to the center and swipe down the middle. If there is any uncovered area, swipe down the whole nail one more time.”

7. Starting with greasy nails

“If there’s oil on the surface of the nail before the polish is applied, it’s much easier for polish to peel—nothing sticks to an oily surface,” Candido says. Instead, wait to apply cuticle oil after the polish, and go easy with the lotion. “It’s best to use a product like Gelish pH Prep to ensure all surface oil and moisture are eliminated before applying your basecoat.”

This kind of product works by neutralizing the pH level in the nail to better accept the base coat. Basically, it’s like a primer for your nails.

8. Using old nail polish

There’s nothing more depressing than saying goodbye to a favorite nail polish that’s looking a little worse for the wear, but it’s gotta be done.

“As polish ages, the solvents evaporate, causing it to thicken and get stringy. This makes applying polish quite difficult,” Candido explains. “Old polish doesn’t adhere to the nail as well as fresh polish does. As a rule of thumb, go through your polishes every year and replace anything you didn’t buy in the last 12 months.”

MORE: Ugly Nail Polish Colors Are Trending For Summer 2017

If you’re not super diligent about keeping your cuticles in check, your manicure will look messy.

“You only need to leave a hairs’ width between the polish and the cuticle,” says Candido. “To get as close as possible without touching the cuticle, plant the brush on the nail plate near the cuticle and apply light pressure to spread the brush out. Then, lift slightly and push towards the cuticle, stopping at the cuticle without touching it. Then, swipe down the nail turning the brush slightly in your fingers to the left or the right to get along the sidewall (left or right edge of the nail plate).”

10. Using acetone remover

Nail polish removers high in acetone dehydrate the nail and surrounding cuticle.

“Repetitive use can cause white spots on the nail as well as splitting at the free edge and drying of the cuticle,” Candido warns. “Non-acetone remover is a much kinder and gentler choice.”

Originally published November 2015. Updated June 2017.

There’s nothing more annoying than spending half an hour getting your nails just right only to have them ruined the minute you put your hand into your purse or need to itch that place behind your ear. Luckily, there are lots of ways to speed up what can otherwise seem infernally long drying times. To check out our easy fixes, keep reading.

Related: How to Wear Neutral-Colored Nail Polish

Blow it up
Salons use fans to help speed up drying, but your hair dryer works just as well. The secret is to put it on the “cool” setting. Heat actually keeps polish from firming, so giving your digits a shot of cold air is much more helpful.

Freeze it out
Since cold hardens polish, ice water baths are also a great setting trick. Before you start painting your nails, fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and run cold water over the top. Then, when you’re finished painting, dip your nails in for about a minute. This is a great way to help protect against divots, since it helps solidify polish all the way through, not just on top. The opposite also holds: if you’re having trouble removing polish, soaking your hands in warm water will make it easier.

Spray it down
You can get nail-drying spray at the drugstore, and it really does help your polish set in a couple of minutes. But Pam (and other cooking oil aerosols) legendarily does the job as well. Just wait a few minutes after you spray it on and rinse your hands so you don’t smell like canola oil.

Thin it out
Instead of putting on one or two coats of thick polish, apply three extremely thin coats, and let each dry for a couple of minutes before you layer on the next. It might seem like it slows down your manicure, but it actually makes overall drying time much faster.

Top it off
Using a quick-dry topcoat is always smart, because it helps keep everything in place and protects your polish. The only caveat is that the still-liquid polish underneath can move around, resulting in lumps or ripples, so don’t treat it as a cure-all.

Related: Get Your Nails Ready For Spring With This Bright French Manicure

Related: How to Tell If a Gel Manicure Is Phony

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Dry Nail Polish Faster

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
 

You take your time to apply nail polish and by the time you are done, you can’t stop admiring how perfectly you have done it. Then as you stretch your fingers to admire your manicure as you wait for them to dry, you mess up with it all and you have to redo it. Haven’t we all been there? Or even worse, the nail polish accidentally stains your outfit.

To prevent such mishaps, the trick is to make your nail polish dry faster. Plus, sometimes you are just in a rush to leave and you don’t have 20 minutes to wait for the nail polish to dry. For a quick dry of your nail polish, try out these simple tricks:

1. Cold water

Cold water dries up nail polish fast (Half Squeezed Lemon)

If you want your nail polish to dry fast, then stay away from heat. Before you start doing your manicure, fill a bowl with cold water and add two or three ice cubes in it. Then after you are done applying your nail polish, dip your fingers in the bowl for like three minutes. That’s enough time to allow the polish to dry.

ALSO READ: Easy ways to remove nail polish at home without remover

2. Your hair dryer is your friend

Handheld hair dryer

Before you start painting your nails, plug in your hair dryer and put it on cool air setting. As soon as you are done, hold the dryer some inches away from your freshly done nails and ensure they get enough supply of the cold air. This is one of the fastest ways to dry your nail polish at home.

3. Apply thin coats

Matte blue nails (pinterest)

Instead of applying one or two thick coats, apply several thin layers. This not only shortens the drying period but it also helps in avoiding smudges. Between each application, you give your nail polish time to dry up.

ALSO READ: Easy peasy tricks to hide your wrinkles and fine lines

4. Use baby oil

Olive oil

You can either use baby oil or cooking oil to dry your nail polish. Just add a drop or two after painting your nails and give them some time. It dries your nails while also leaving them moisturized. You could also use olive oil for the same purpose.

5. Quick-drying top coat

How to remove nailpolish without remover (MetDaan)

Instead of applying the ordinary topcoat, you can invest in a quick-drying topcoat. After you are done applying your nail polish, just brush the top coat on top to allow the nail polish set in fast and also to enhance the drying process.

Because there’s better ways than this (Picture: Getty)

There is nothing more irritating than waiting on your nail polish to dry, and why is it that your nose only seems to need a scratch just when you have freshly painted talons?

Here are some really effective ways that you can speed up this boring process, so that you don’t have to sit watching paint dry.

Soak your nails in ice water

Before you start painting your nails, fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes.

Once you have all your polish on, plunge your fingertips into the icy depths – the cold will harden the paint and speed up the drying process.

Use your hairdryer

You know that weird flapping motion we all make drying to air dry our wet nails?

You don’t need to bother. Just grab a hairdryer, pop it on the cool setting, and let that blow dry them.

(Picture: Getty)

Get hold of some Seche Vite

Advertisement Advertisement

This cult nail varnish top coat is popular for a reason – it really speeds up the drying process of your nails as well as strengthening them and offering them protection from chipping.

It penetrates through all of your polish layers so that they get more than just touch dry fast.

Be willing to get greasy

Yes, this is a weird one, but it does work.

Coating your fingers in baby oil after painting makes them dry more quickly.

Leave the oil on there for a few minutes before washing off.

An extra bonus is that it moisturises your hands at the same time!

You can also use a cooking oil spray, but this isn’t as enjoyable and might make your dog eat your fingers.

Paint on thinner coats

Painting on multiple thin coats of polish may sound like it takes longer, but the drying time is actually quicker than with one thick coat.

Paint on a few very thin layers, leaving a minute or two between each one.

(Picture: Getty)

Laura Pearson-Smith is founder and blogger at fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog A Life With Frills.

Advertisement Advertisement

The Fix

The daily lifestyle email from Metro.co.uk.

Find out more

Can anyone relate to the pain in the butt, that is waiting for your nails to dry?

Picture this, you’ve finally found the time in your busy schedule to sit down and paint your nails, only to realise that once you’ve committed to the polish, you’ve also committed to not being able to use your hands properly for the next 30 minutes of your life, or risk completely ruining your paint job . . . Not exactly an ideal situation, right?

In an effort to cut down on the wasted time that is waiting for your nails to dry (because let’s be real, you’ve got more important things to do), here are the fastest ways to get those nails dry. Products included.

Swap In a Quick-Dry Polish

If you find you’re constantly ruining your nails before you’ve even had a chance to apply top coat, consider replacing your current polish with a quick dry alternative. Many brands have these available to shop in a variety of colours, so you should be able to find an almost perfect match to replace your current favourite.

Give Your Nails a Blow Dry

Mimic an in-salon service, and use your hair dryer to blow dry your nails. Just remember to make sure you’ve switched to the cool air setting before blasting your nails.

Invest in Drying Drops

Investing in quick dry drops, or nail drying spray is probably our number one tip! Although it might feel like just another added expense, these products really do have the ability to cut your nail drying time in half. After all, time is money, right?

Apply in Thin Layers

Have you ever noticed how nail professionals always apply product using thin, even layers? Well, there is logic behind this method. Not only do the thin layers allow the polish to dry down much quicker, it will also help to extend the life of your manicure by keeping the polish as close to the nail as possible, preventing lifting.

Quick Dry Top Coats Are Your Friend

If you’re painting your nails and not adding top coat, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Ending your manicure with a specially formulated fast drying top coat will help to smooth out the finished product, and lock in the base layers to prevent you from smudging your hard work.

Imagine you have just painstakingly painted each and every nail on your hands perfectly and are super proud of your accomplishment. You want to click a picture and share it with your girls. But you can’t. Unfortunately for you, you have to wait for the darned nail paint to dry or you will end up smudging all your hard work. Sad, right? But it doesn’t have to be so. Check out these ways to dry nails fast, so that you can click that picture… like right now!’

Also read: Acrylic Nails Dos And Don’ts For The Nail Enthusiast

Fast Drying Top Coat

The simplest method to help dry your nails fast has to be applying a layer of a transparent top coat that dries super fast. As soon as the nail polish has set enough not be smudged by the bristles, with a light hand apply your top coat. Apart from the fact that it will make your manicure dry super fast, the top coat also makes your mani last longer.

Also read: Must Try Tips And Tricks To Have Strong, Healthy And White Nails

Ice Cold Water

Grab a bowl big enough to easily accommodate all your fingers at one go, and drop in some ice cubes in it. Top this by filling the bowl with some cold water. Set aside. Apply your nail paint, and once done submerge your pretty manicured nails slowly into the ice cold water. This will help set in your nail paint super fast. When you remove your hands from the water after a few seconds, you need not worry about any smudging.

Hair Dry Them

If you own a hair dryer, then drying your nails can be turned into a faster process. Just make sure you put the dryer on cold air setting, as hot air will further increase the drying time. Also, don’t hold the dryer too close to your nails, or the blasting air may create bubbles or ripples in your nail paint. You don’t want that now, do you?

Also read: Easy-Peasy Nail Art For Short Nails

Quick Dry Nail Drops

This is a relatively new product in the Indian market, but is available nonetheless. The sole purpose of this product is to make the drying of your nail paints super fast. All you have to do is use the dropper and drop a few drops of the liquid onto your nail polished fingers. Et voila! Pretty dried up nails instantly.

Cooking Oil Spray

This might seem a little silly, but surprisingly it works. Go the kitchen and grab the can of cooking oil spray, and spray some directly onto your painted nails. Make sure you keep plenty of napkins underneath your hands though, to avoid making an oily mess. Once done, wash out the excess oil with water.

Also read: Make Nail Polish Last Longer With These Useful Tips

So now the choice is yours. Are you going to wait around doing nothing just waiting for your nails to dry or are you going to try out one of these ways to dry nails fast?

We’ve all been there. You paint your nails and have that annoying moment of fanning your hands about and furiously blowing on the tips in an attempt to get them to dry quicker.

It’s common knowledge that it doesn’t do much (except leave your fingers covered in spit) and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the nail polish to set. But is that really the case?

We recently stumbled across a tip that holding your hands in cold water can make the polish dry a lot quicker.

Filled with excitement and hope, we turned to celebrity manicurist Michelle Humphrey for some answers – because who else would be better informed than the woman whose talent graces the talons of Madonna and Katy Perry?

MORE: EASY WAYS TO STOP YOUR NAIL POLISH CHIPPING

‘Yes, you can speed up your drying time by submerging your nails in cold water,’ confirms Michelle.

Hooray!

She advises, ‘Simply fill a bowl, dip your nails, and wait 3-5 minutes – or however long you can spare! You can even add a few ice cubes to make the temperature cooler.

‘But be sure to take care when drying your hands and nails afterwards as they may still get marked.’

MORE: HOW TO REMOVE NAIL POLISH STAINS

Next time you paint your nails and need to rush out of the door, head towards the last place you’d expect: the tap.

This handy tip got us thinking about other techniques the pros may use, so we asked Michelle to delve into some of the tricks of the trade:

  • ‘My top tip for drying your nails at speed at home is to use the hairdryer on the COLD setting and give them a good blast. Avoid shaking your arms around to dry your polish, as this can end up in disaster if you bump them.’
  • ‘Make sure the consistency of your polish is correct. If it’s going gloopy, thick or lumpy, it’s time to throw it out and invest in some new colours!’
  • ‘It can be down to the application. Apply your polish THINLY! Sometimes we load it on if it’s looking a bit streaky, but this is a guaranteed way to get smudges.’
  • ‘Blowing on your nails doesn’t speed up drying time. As you breathe on them, the humidity of your breath will prevent the polish drying any faster. Polish dries faster when it’s cooler.’
  • ‘Apply cuticle oil to your manicure to help speed up drying and protect the polish. My favourite is Solar Oil by CND.’

MORE: IS IT TIME TO BIN YOUR NAIL POLISH?

(All images: Getty)

Like this? Subscribe to the Good Housekeeping newsletter.

4 easy ways to dry nail polish quickly

You paint your nails. You marvel at how well you did. You blow on them. You add a second coat. You blow on them again. You gracefully wave your hands back and forth. You check whether they’re dry. You smear all your hard work.
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. So once you’ve perfected the at-home manicure, how can you keep your nail polish looking perfect?
Here are our four easy tips for how to dry nail polish fast.
Chill out
To some degree, we all know that the cold helps harden nail polish, otherwise we wouldn’t wave our hands around trying to get cool air on them for faster drying. But there’s a really simple way to take that concept to the next level for even quicker drying: giving your nails a cold water bath. Not only is it super easy, it’s also highly effective.
Step 1
Fill a bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes. You don’t want it to be unbearably cold, but you do want it to be closer to Arctic than lukewarm. Make sure the bowl is big enough to submerge all ten fingertips at once.
Step 2
Paint your nails – with either one or two coats as normal – and let them air dry for about one minute. You want the paint to be set enough so it doesn’t move around when you dunk your nails. You’re just trying to reach that stage where the paint is tacky but secure.
Step 3
Submerge all ten nails in the cold water bath for two to three minutes. When you take them out, you should notice the water bead up on the top of the polish as it runs off your fingers. This is how you know you’re all set. Simply dry off and you’re good to go.
Bonus tip: If you’re having a hard time removing chipped polish, use the opposite method to ease the process. A short dunk in warm water will help to loosen up stubborn polish for a far easier nail polish removal session.
Lighten up
If cold water submersion techniques aren’t for you, consider the art of layering. People often layer on thick coats of nail polish thinking that they’ll cover more ground, but if you’re looking to shorten your drying time, consider using thinner layers of paint. Choosing a highly pigmented colour, like L’Oréal Paris Color Riche Le Vernis a L’Huile, will help ensure that a thin layer doesn’t mean an uneven application. Simply wipe the applicator brush on the inside of the nail polish bottle to remove excess paint and apply in thin, even coats. Wait a couple of minutes, then apply a final coat if needed.
It may feel counterintuitive and as though you’re extending your drying time, however it actually cuts time by half in the long run.
Get breezy
If you’ve ever had a salon manicure, you’ll know that they often use fans at the end to help speed up the process. The at-home version? Your trusty hair dryer. The key to using a hair dryer to set nail polish is simply to use it on the cool setting. As you will have read above, heat works against you in keeping your freshly painted polish in place.
Simply paint your nails and then, holding the dryer about six inches away from your hand, apply the cool air for about a minute. Gently tap your nail to see if it’s still at all tacky and apply more air as needed. For multiple coats? Use this method between each to really add nail polish staying power.
Choose wisely
We all have certain nail polish shades we’re attached to, but when looking for new colours, opt for quick drying formulas. Colours like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Nail range have a two-minute drying times and offer gel-like finishes (with top coat included!). This is the kind of polish technology that really lets you have your cake and eat it too.
All it takes is a two-coat application, a two-minute drying time and a quick swipe of top coat for a hard, gel-like finish that lasts for up to 12 days without chips or cracks.
So, there you have it. Four easy ways to speed up your at-home manicure process that’ll have you ready to go in no time.

Is it a good idea to use a blow dryer to dry nail polish?

I wouldn’t recommend it to use a blow dryer to dry nail polish, cause the nail polish is not easy to dry, you should use the professional machine. Gustala | Enjoy a new day with Gustala is my favorite nail dryer, the fast, safe and odorless curing lamp is used for drying gel on both fingernails and toenails. Designed for professional nail experts or personnel, quickly dry UV glue/extension glue/LED glue.

Feature:

Anti-glare light
Gentler than traditional purple UV lights, offering you a comfortable manicure/pedicure experience and protection to your nails, skin and eyes.

36pcs LEDs
Double light source (365 + 405nm) LEDs with durable 50000hrs lifetime are evenly distributed inside without deadzone.

Infrared sensor
Put the hand into the nail dryer without pressing timing buttons and it will automatically turn on to work.

Portable handle
Compact and lightweight for constant travels and business trips, easy to be carried.

4 timers
Its common 10s, 30s, 60s and 99s let you control the curing time with each layer.

Dual uses
Good for hands and feet, also ensure 2 hands at the same time.

Operation Instruction:
1. Connect the power supply to the lamp.
2. Set working time by timing button (10, 30, 60 or 99 seconds) as your requirements after the nail dryer starts.
3. Or use the auto-sensor, it would automatically start when hands get into the nail dryer and work with the faster mode of maximum working time – 120 seconds.