Whether or not you consider yourself a generally patient person, we can all collectively agree that waiting for nail polish to dry is a special form of torture. Especially during this time of social distancing, with some choosing to forgo their professional gel manicures for the DIY variety, we find ourselves blowing on wet paint more often than we’d like.
So, whether you’re brushing up on your nail-art skills or just swapping your polish colours out of sheer boredom, we’ve assembled some quick-dry hacks to make the inevitable waiting process a little less agonising.
Consider these steps before this weekend’s DIY mani-pedi, or just read through and keep them in mind the next time you pick up a bottle of nail polish.
Apply Polish In Thin Coats
While it might seem counterintuitive to getting your nails done quickly, you want to make sure you’re not globbing your polish on thick. Instead, work in layers. “I always recommend painting you nail polish a little thinner than you want,” explains Lauren Berkovitz, CEO and Founder of Lauren B. Beauty. “Yes, you will have to do a few coats, but a thin layer of polish will dry very quickly, whereas a single, heavy layer will not only take forever to dry, it will likely smudge.”
Consider A Quick-Dry Formula
If you’d take a one-minute dry time over a glossy, high-shine manicure, consider investing in a quick-dry polish. Many nail brands now make speed-dry formulas — Essie has its new Expressie collection, or there’s Sally Hansen Insta-Dri — which are made with quick-dry solvents for paint that dries crazy fast. Though, again, you may be sacrificing in the shininess of your manicure, as many of these formulas dry down to a ceramic-like finish.
Seal It With A Top Coat
While it’s always a good idea to cap your manicure with a clear top coat for longevity, it’s also helpful in speeding up the drying process. According to Berkovitz, a quick-dry top coat will make a huge difference. “After polish, apply a quick-dry top coat and you’ll be pretty much good to go in two minutes flat,” she says. “The best part, it adds shine, too.” Manicurist Naomi Gonzales-Longstaff tells us that she prefers to use quick-dry drops, specifically Zoya’s Fast Drops, which when applied over wet polish, absorb the solvents to speed up the dry time. Either way, the logic is the same: Shine, seal, and get on with your life.