How to Make Your Nails Dry Faster

Augusta Falletta

how to make nails dry faster

The number one reason painting your nails at home can be frustrating is the amount of time it takes. Between manicuring your nails, painting, and then letting your nails dry, at least an hour goes by. Plus, after that, you need to be careful to not ding your nails for at least another few hours. While there are only a few shortcuts to making your manicure and painting go quickly, there are tricks that you can do to make your nails dry faster. Use the tips below to get your nails to dry faster the next time you DIY a manicure.

Paint lightly: If you get a thick bead of polish on your brush and then heavy pressure to paint your nails, you could be making your polish too thick, which is why it won’t dry quickly. Use gentle paint strokes with as little polish as possible to cover your nail, and apply another thin layer of polish if necessary. Two thin layers will dry much faster than one thick, tacky layer.

Fast dry top coat: Using a fast dry top coat will help to seal in the polish and dry your nails faster. The same painting technique goes for top coat, t0o, so use thin layers that will dry faster.

MORE: Anti-Chip, Quick Dry and Gel: The Best Top Coats

Submerge your nails in water: Fill up your sink or a large, shallow bowl with ice cold water and place your hands flat at the bottom. Hold your hands there for about three minutes, and they’ll come out of the water dry and hard as rock. Before you put your nails in water, though, let them dry for about five minutes.

Cooking spray: Grab a can of cooking spray from your kitchen and spray nails with the oil from about six inches away. The oil helps to dry the top layer of polish, plus it will lubricate your nails a bit so that you won’t get as many smudges. The spray is a great way to moisturize your cuticles, too. Be sure to do this over a sink as the cooking spray can be a bit messy.

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Nail dry spray: Typically sold at beauty supply stores, pick up a can of nail drier spray (the kind that you’d see at the nail salon) so that you can use it at home. The same way you would with cooking spray, hold the can about six inches from your nails and coat them in spray.

If you do get a smudge in your polish while it’s drying, immediately lick your index finger and lightly drag your finger on the smudged nail, towards the tip, to smooth out the smudge.

Image via Christine Schneider/Getty Images