How to Make Your Nail Polish Dry Quicker


If you've ever smudged your freshly painted nails, you know the frustration of wrecking your manicure in an instant. Whether you are a nail polish newcomer or a manicure maven, it can be difficult to tell when your nail polish is completely dry. If you have a busy schedule and can't sit for an hour, there are various things you can do to make your nail polish dry more quickly and give yourself a salon-worthy mani.

Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish
  • Top coat nail polish
  • Fast-dry nail spray
  • Blow dryer
  • Fan
  • Apply thin coats of nail polish. In order to achieve evenly applied nail polish, you'll need to apply two layers of polish. If each layer is thick, it will take a very long time to dry. Make each coat of nail polish you apply thin for faster drying.

  • Finish your nails with a top coat of quick-drying clear polish. These top coats are available in beauty supply and drug stores and will quickly harden, thereby protecting your nail polish from smudges. Most contain mineral oil which dries quickly.

  • Spray your nails with a fast-drying nail spray. You can find such sprays in beauty supply stores and they'll greatly speed up the drying process. Hold the aerosol spray about 12 inches away from your nails and spray a light layer.

  • Dry your nail polish with a blow dryer. Set your hair dryer to the coolest setting and direct the air at your nails for one to two minutes.

  • Place your nails in front of a fan. Any household fan will do the trick, helping to dry your polish more quickly.

  • Dip your nails in a bowl of ice water. You'll only need to keep your nails in the water for about 30 seconds. The cold temperature will quickly set the polish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold your nails under cold running water if you don't have ice handy.

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