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How to dry nail polish fast - Tipsy Turvy Nails by Heena

8 Tips to Make Nail Polish Dry Fast

Can anyone relate to the pain taken in waiting for your nails to dry?

Picture this: you’ve finally found the time in your busy schedule to peacefully paint your nails, only to realise that you’ve not only committed your time to the polish, but you’ve also committed to not being able to use your hands properly for the next 30 minutes!

Taking care of your nails with clear or coloured nail polish can feel good.

We’ve all gone through this: You paint your nails, blow them and wait for them to dry. You reach for your phone and pooofff you went in too soon. Now you’re left with a mangled nail that you now have to re-paint, re-dry and re-waste your precious time. Why doesn’t nail polish dry faster?

There are some shortcuts you can try to make the process of 10 to 12 minutes for polish to fully set and dry on the nail go faster.

To cut down on the wasted time that is waiting for your nails to dry, keep reading for some safe suggestions for how to dry nail polish faster.


1. Quick-dry top coat

Ensure that you add a top coat when painting your nails. By not doing so, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

To cut down on drying time, use a clear coat of nail polish that’s been formulated specifically to dry nails faster.

Ending your manicure with this specially formulated fast drying top coat will not only help to smooth out the finished product but will also lock in the base layers to prevent you from smudging your hard work.

Many of the quick-drying top coats are as cheap as the regular polishes. The best nail polish top coats claim to add a layer of sheen to your nails, prevent chipping, and dry your nails in a minute or less.


2. Swap in a Quick-Dry Polish

Do you constantly ruin your nails before you’ve even had a chance to apply top coat?

Then you must consider replacing your current polish with a quick dry alternative.

Many brands have these available to shop in a variety of colours. Hence, you should be able to find an almost perfect match to replace your current favourite.


3. Cold water quick-dry

This method requires a bit of prep work. Follow the below steps:

Step 1: Take a small bowl and fill it with cold tap water. Add an ice cube or two and set the bowl near where you’ll be painting your nails.

Step 2: Start painting your nails. After your nails are painted, wait about two minutes to let the polish “set” — this will ensure it adheres to your nails fully.

Step 3: Dip your fingers or toes in the bowl of cold water for two to three minutes. When you remove your hands or feet from the water, you’ll notice beads of water on top of the polish. This a sure sign your polish is completely dry, firmed up and all done.

Step 4: Enjoy those 20 extra minutes you just saved.


4. Give Your Nails a Blow Dry

Before you start painting your nails, plug in a hairdryer with a “cool air” setting. Once you’re finished putting on polish, use your hair dryer to blow dry your nails with a steady stream of cool air.

With this method, you paint the nails on just one hand, use the hairdryer, and then repeat the process for your other hand.

It is essential that you use the cool setting for this drying solution.

You don’t want to have your skin burning with a hot hairdryer!


5. Oil your nails

Baby oil or olive oil may help your nails dry faster. Use a decanter or a medicine dropper to hold the oil. This lets you easily control how much oil you put on each nail. You certainly don’t need much!

Then, once you’re ready to dry your nails, apply a drop or two to each nail and sit patiently for a minute or two.

How this works is that the oil sits on top of your nail bed and soaks into the paint.

As a result, it aids in drying the nail polish faster. Thinner paint dries faster, and this method basically thins the paint that’s already on your nail. Once you see beads of oil at the top of your nail, wipe the oil off with a dry paper towel.


6. Thin coats of polish

Have you ever noticed how nail professionals always apply product using thin, even layers? Well, there are two reasons to it:

  • the thin layers allow the polish to dry down much quicker
  • it also helps to extend the life of your manicure by keeping the polish as close to the nail as possible, preventing lifting

This technique could save you lots of drying time. By applying several thin coats of polish, as opposed to one or two thick coats, your nails get a chance to dry in between each application. As a result, this leads to a more even finish as well as faster drying times overall.


7. Drying drops

If you believe that time is money, then investing in quick drying drops, or nail drying spray is probably the best tip. You can purchase these drying drops for your nails online or at any beauty supply store.

In contrast to quick-drying top coats, drying drops do not add another layer to your manicure.

Furthermore, these drops are oil-based. Therefore, they condition your cuticles as they dry your nails. Although it might feel like just another added expense, these products really do have the ability to cut your nail drying time in half.


8. Take care of your manicure

Air-drying your nails takes a lot of patience but getting them to dry more quickly just takes a little bit of forethought and some creativity. If you want your nails to dry faster, don’t wave your fingers around, as you might smudge the polish.

Some nail professionals claim that even after polish appears dry, a manicure isn’t fully “set” for 12 hours or more.

Take special care of your nails the day after giving them a fresh coat of polish.

To make a manicure last longer without chipping, refresh them with a thin layer of quick-dry top coat every two or three days.


  • Beth

    Just a heads up on the drying drops…once I did a polish manicure but wanted to use a gel top coat so I tried using the drops to dry the polish so the manicure wouldn’t wrinkle under the gel top coat. I ruined the whole thing, it was a mess!

    January 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm