How to Make Nail Polish Dry Faster

You did it! Your perfectly manicured claws are ready for a night out when tragedy strikes. Your polish wasn’t totally dry when you hit send on that IG post, and now you’ve got smudged nails and no time to repaint them. The panic has set in. What do you do now?

Don’t let this happen to you. It’s seriously so frustrating. We have some tips on how to prevent smudged nails by making your nail polish dry faster.

What Is Nail Polish

Yes, we realize that you know what nail polish is, but here is a breakdown of what’s inside it so that you understand just a little bit about what you’re working with. 

Nail polish is paint that is made especially for your nails and comes in all types of colors. It is applied using a small brush attached to a tiny wand. Nail polish is made up of a power team of several compounds:

♡ Solvents: Solvents make the polish easy to apply and spread. It also helps in the evaporation process. AKA dry time.

    ♡ Resin: Resin is a tough material that holds the polish together.
      ♡ Polymers: Polymers strengthen the polish, help the polish spread, and adhere to the nail bed.
        ♡ Dispersants: Dispersants are additives that help mix the resin with the solvent.
          ♡ Pigment: Pigment adds color to the polish.
            ♡ Plasticizers: Plasticizers increase the flexibility of the polish.
              ♡ UV Stabilizers: UV stabilizers help prevent your polish from changing in color and fading in the sun’s UV light. It sort of acts like sunscreen for your nail polish.

                Some nail polishes contain mica. Mica is small light-reflective particles that add sheen and shimmer to nail polish. Mica is a naturally occurring mineral. Glitter is man-made light-reflective plastic particles cut into tiny pieces that are added to nail polish. Whew! That’s a lot of info for such a tiny bottle of paint. So, you want to know how to make it dry faster? We’ve got some cool tips and tricks for you.

                Nail Dry Time Shortcuts

                Waiting around for your nails to dry can be a drag. Here are seven shortcuts to make the clock tick faster.

                ♡ Quick Dry Polish

                Opt for a quick-dry polish if you know you’ll be pressed for time. Also, it sounds crazy, but lighter-colored nail polish or metallic dries more quickly than strong pigmented darker ones. So if you’re really pressed for time, choose a light or metallic color. 

                ♡ Apply Thin Coats

                Always apply thin coats of polish. This is the key to creating a nice, even polished nail. It also helps avoid bubbles in the polish. But most importantly, the thicker the layer, the longer the drying time. Several thin layers take less time than thicker ones. Try to allow each coat to dry for two minutes before applying your next one.

                ♡ Speed Dry Topcoat

                Always look for a quick dry topcoat. Quick dry topcoats are specially formulated to dry faster than regular topcoats, which can seriously be a lifesaver. They also dry with a nice shine and help prevent pesky chipping.

                ♡ Out With the Old

                Throw out your polishes that are older than six months. Stale nail polish tends to be thicker and takes longer to dry, plus it tends to carry air bubbles that can settle on your nails.

                ♡ Cool Blowout

                Your hairdryer isn’t just for your mane anymore. Set your blow dryer to cool, and whirl the dryer about 6 inches away from your nails for about a minute. This will help “set” your nails. Gently and carefully tap your nails after a minute to see if they’re still tacky. 

                If you don’t have a cool setting on your hairdryer, try placing your hands in the freezer for a few minutes. The cold air will harden your polish. Just be careful because the layers underneath might not be completely dry yet.

                ♡ Chilly Plunge

                Before you begin your mani, fill a bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes. After finishing your mani with a top coat, wait about two minutes for the polish to set. After the setting time, dip your digits into the cold water for about five minutes. When you remove your hands, the water should bead on top of your nail’s surface. This means that your polish is dry. 

                ♡ Oil Slick

                Apply a quick-dry nail oil or spray. If you don’t have any handy, try baby oil, cuticle oil, or olive oil and apply it to your barely dry nails. This will create a protective barrier that will help allow your mani to dry quickly and smudge-free. 

                ♡ Drying Drops

                Rapid drying drops or spray absorb the solvents in your nail polish and help it to dry faster, usually within a minute. If you don’t have nail drying drops or spray, hairspray will work too. Hold the hairspray nozzle about six inches away from your nails and give your nails a light spritz. 

                Any of these tricks can help dry your mani quickly and avoid smudges. That said, if you don’t have time to paint and dry your nails and you still want a trendy manicured look, press-on nails are always a girl’s best friend.

                Adorable Press-On Nails

                Glamnetic has designed celebrity-inspired press-on nails that are simple to apply. Plus, they’re water-proof and chip-proof. Whether you’re craving the style of a Kardashian or longing for a classic everyday look, we’ve got you covered.

                Try our BOBA style for a classic black glossy finish with an almond shape or ANGEL for a heavenly white almond finish. We have holographic nails, animal print, ombre, chrome, and many other hot styles. Seriously, there’s something for everyone. 

                To Sum It Up

                Going to the salon can be a treat, and doing your own nails at home can be fun. But dealing with polish that takes forever to dry can be a hassle. Whether you need some pampering self-care or don’t want to spend the money at a salon, mastering the craftsmanship of the at-home manicure is a niche that will serve you well.

                Polishing your nails can be fun if it’s planned for and if you have the proper tools—and the time. If even these tips to help your mani dry faster aren’t doing it for you, we have the solution.  

                Press-on nails were created for a salon look without the salon cost and hassle. They’re fun and can make you feel just as good as if you had visited a salon or done your nails yourself. Be the CEO of your mani and create your very own today. 



                How Nail Polish Works and What It's Made Of | Thought Co

                Secret Ingredient: Mica: Wellness | Nails Mag

                What Is Glitter? | NY Times

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