There’s nothing worse than feeling funky after applying a fresh coat of your favourite colour to your nails, only to quickly realise you're stuck in “hand-limbo” waiting for your polish to dry.

While it often only takes up to 10-15 minutes for the top coat to dry, if you’re anything like me you’re usually stuck desperately blowing on your fingers to speed up the process because the uber is about to cancel on you.  

If you’re in a rush or you’ve just got that “time is money” kind of attitude, we’ve put together a simple list of cheats to help you dry your nail polish faster.

1. Apply Thin Coats

Sometimes the simplest methods are the most effective, and applying thinner coats is about as simple as it gets. By using several thinner coats of polish, rather than a couple of big coats, you give your nails the chance to dry quickly between each application. 

Overall the time it takes to dry is much faster and you’re more likely to end up with an even, smooth, glob-free finish.

2. Use Cold Water or Cold Temperatures 

Exposing your fingers to cold temperatures is an effective way to help polish dry quickly and there are a few different ways to about this. One way is to simply dip your fingers into a bowl of cold, icy water. 

Give your polish an initial couple of minutes to set before taking the plunge, and then leave them in for a few minutes. Once you can see water beading on the surface you’ll know they’re done. 

The second option is to expose them to cold air, either outdoors or inside your fridge or freezer. And if your housemate asks “why are your hands in the freezer?”, just say it’s because you slay at painting your nails.

3. A Touch Of Baby Oil 

A few drops of baby oil (or any oil) will help dry your nails faster by thinning the paint. Use the oil sparingly to avoid any mess and wipe any excess oil off  with a cotton bud after a few minutes. Not only will your nails be ready to go but they’ll even get a little bonus moisturisation from the oil.

4. Use A Quick Dry Top Coat

Another simple hack is to use a specially formulated quick-dry top coat, which work by absorbing the solvents in the polish without affecting the colour. Applying a top coat also comes with the added benefit of acting as a barrier for your nails, preventing chipping, creating shiny cuticles and moisturising them too. Just be sure to avoid top coats with nasties in them. 

The Takeaway 

When you’re in a rush there’s more than a few ways to get your nail polish to dry faster. All you need is a little creativity or prior planning. Or… just do it the old fashioned way. Use the time waiting for your nails to dry to take a moment for yourself, you deserve one, make the rest of the world wait.  

November 12, 2022 — Destiny Flaherty