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13 Most popular ways to dry your nail polish fast

Getting your nails done at a salon or DIY nail art at home will definitely make you feel cheery, especially if you get or create a design that you have been longing for a while. My heart certainly does a mini jump when I see what I have accomplished! I’m sure even you end up feeling proud and happy. However, that happiness is at times short-lived or side-tracked when it comes to making your nail polish dry.

It indeed requires patience to just sit idle waiting for the nail polish to dry off so that you can continue on with your life (uff). And what if you are in a hurry? Will you risk getting your freshly painted nails smudged? If you, too, are caught up in this love-hate drama, this article is what you need!

So, no more sitting like a statue post your manicure appointment, nobody got time to waste in this hustling world. Want to know how to make your nail polish dry faster? Scroll on!

13 Most popular ways to dry your nail polish fast

Use ice cold water to dry nail polish fast


Probably the oldest trick in the book that works effectively to date. All you need is a bowl (big enough to disperse your fingers), some ice cubes, and teenie-tiny prep work. Follow these ultra easy steps below –

  • Before you start painting your nails, fill the bowl with cold tap water and add those ice cubes.
  • Keep the bowl near to wherever you will sit to design your nails.
  • Once you are done painting your nails, wait roughly a couple of minutes to let your polish set (in order to make the drying process spread evenly).
  • Then dip your nails in the bowl and hold them there for a minimum of five minutes.
  • After five minutes, remove your hands (or toes) from the bowl. Check if there are water beads on top of your nails.
  • If yes, your nail paint is completely dry.
  • If no, put your fingers back in the water for another couple of minutes.

Blow dry your nail paint


Before you start painting your nails, plug in your hairdryer and turn on the cool air setting. Once you are done painting your nails, carefully use the dryer to blow dry your nails with a steady stream of cool air. Remember to keep the setting at a cool temperature and low fan speed ONLY.

This trick works best if you paint the nails on one hand, use the hairdryer, then paint the nails on your other hand, and repeat the drying process.

Freeze them nail paint


Once you are done painting your nails, go to your kitchen and carefully open the freezer section of your refrigerator. Place your hands in there for as long as you can hold off the cold or at least five minutes. After which sit with your hands spread and let the icy nails turn normal. You will see water beads on your nails after a few seconds. It shows that your nails are completely dry.

Apply quick-dry top coat


Many of the marketed commercial quick-drying top coats are almost as cheap (some are even cheaper) than your regular nail polishes. These quick-drying top coats claim to add an additional layer of glossy sheen to your nail polish to dry your nails in less than a minute. Moreover, the best top coats even aid in preventing chipping. It’s an interestingly worthy investment, I guess.

Use Olive oil drops OR Drying drops


Another old-school hack – just don’t ask questions, try it, and be amazed. Soak your freshly coated nails for about a couple of minutes in extra virgin olive oil to help dry your nail paint faster. Apart from olive oil, you can also use extra virgin coconut oil (it really is everywhere – the OG), sunflower oil, or baby oil as alternatives.

Similarly, you can purchase drying drops from any cosmetic store or online. No, these are not the same as quick-dry top coats. Unlike top coats, drying drops do not add any additional layer to your nail paint. But, they condition and nourish the skin around your cuticles as they are oil-based drops.

Anecdotally, this trick seems to dry only the top layer of your nail color. So, do not be tricked even if your nail polish appears dry after applying these drying drops. Give your nails another two to three minutes to fully set.

Put your hands under running cold water


Once again, freeze your nail polish by placing your hands under running cold water. How it works – no idea. Does it work – yes!

Remember how we put our hands under running cold water when we get hurt and are bleeding? The trick does slow down the amount of blood coming out of the wounded area, and eventually, your bleeding even stops. The same logic goes here.

Apply thin layers, ALWAYS


This clever trick could actually save you lots of drying time. You see when you apply several thin coats of your polish, rather than one or two thick coats, you are practically giving your nail paint a chance to dry in between each layer.

This, in turn, leads to a more even and leveled finish and overall faster drying. I know, it may seem bizarre at first as if you are slowing down the whole process, but it does make a huge difference in making the overall drying time quicker.

Spray hair spray or special drying sprays


You can get a nail-drying spray at a cosmetic drugstore to make your nail polish dry quickly. However, your hair spray at home will work equally great to set your nails faster. The hair spray gives your nails a quick spritz. Though, remember that (like nail-drying oil drops) it only hardens the uppermost layer of your nail paint and not the base layers.

UV lamps or LED lamps


You must have seen salons or professional artists using LED or UV lamps after they paint your nails. Ideally, you should dry your nail paint for about two minutes under a UV lamp or for a minute under an LED lamp. This tip is useful, especially for gel nail polish.

Consider your nail paint color


If you are rushed and want to get your nails dry faster, picking the right color can do the trick. How? Studies have shown that some nail paints take lesser time to dry comparatively. So, when you choose a lighter nail color, nude nail paint, or a glossy or metallic shade, there are chances that your nail paint will dry quicker with fewer coats. Whereas darker nail paints usually tend to take longer to dry as they are strongly pigmented.

Increase the time gap between two coats


We have all made this silly yet most common mistake of being impatient. We continue to just layer one coat after another without waiting for the previous layer to dry. Now, in such a scenario, the process surprisingly tends to increase your overall dry time. Not to forget, you will definitely end up with a globby and messy nail design. 10 minutes – 10 minutes is all you need, and trust us, it will make a world of difference!

Opt for fast-drying nail paints


With several varieties available at your fingertips, quick-drying nail polish has to be THE best invention for all the manicure lovers out there. Just apply them to your freshly painted nails, and be wowed by how fast they dry them nails.

Try air duster (risky)


Some beauty experts suggest that spraying your nails with an air duster will help you dry your nails at a rapid rate. Honestly, it makes sense as cool air comes out of those compression cans. However, inhaling it frequently may be risky, especially if you have a sensitive nose or skin.

Listen to music, chit-chat, or get yourself a massage


…relax fully if you have the time – pamper yourself and let’s make the best use of our precious time. After all, you deserve a break, girl!

Hello beautiful nails


No, do not go around hastily waving your hands in the air – they’ll ruin your nail design, AND either you or someone else may get hurt.

With this exclusive guide on how to dry your nail polish faster, you really do not have to worry – only flaunt those gorgeous nails of yours.

So, the next time when you have to head out maybe for brunch, attend a party, or merely cheer yourself up, and your nails aren’t done, just forget about everything else and paint those nails. Then, use one of our most popular tips to dry your nail paint quickly and be party-ready in no time!

Have you tried any of these popular tricks before to dry your nail polish quickly? Which ones worked for you? Tell us in the comments section below.

Also Read: 24 Super gorgeous ombré nails trends of 2022

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