3 Ways to Make Your Nail Polish Dry Faster

An at-home manicure sounds luxurious until you’re in the middle of it, am I right? It always starts out fun until you’re five coats of base, color, and top coat-deep, reach for your phone thinking your nails are dry, and then ruin all your hard work in three seconds with an unsightly smudge. But is there actually a way to dry your nails fast? The answer is yes — with the right tricks up your sleeve, says Gina Alcedo, in-home celebrity manicurist whose high-profile clients include George and Amal Clooney and, yes, the Carters. 

Here, Alcedo, who is also the founder of Nailvana LA, weighs in on how to dry nails fast, including the final word on whether or not dunking them in cold water really does work.

Invest in a Solid Top and Base Coat

When it comes to drying your nails quickly, Alcedo says it’s all about that base (and top) coat. 

“My best trick is to invest in Dazzle Dry’s base coat and top coat because it really works,” she says. “Your polish is fully dry within five minutes. It’s the best stuff in the world — I wish I had invented it.”

When it comes to products, Alcedo says she’s also a fan of OPI’s Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops ($13, Amazon). 

VIDEO: Beauty Now: Gel Manicure Removal

Give ‘Em a Blowout

If you don’t have the time (or budget) to invest in a solid base and top coat, Alcedo says blasting your nails with a blow dryer shouldn’t be underestimated for speeding up polish drying time.

“Set the dryer settings to cool (warm or hot can cause warping) and give each hand a good 2- to 3-minute blow-dry,” she says. “Be sure to get the blow dryer out of your cabinet before you polish, that way you don’t dent or smudge your fresh manicure.”

Put Them on Ice 

Ah, the one you’ve been waiting for: Is it really worth it to torture your fingertips by freezing a fresh mani in a bowl of ice water? Alcedo says the answer is yes, but you don’t have to use frigid water. A couple of ice cubes will do the trick just fine.

“After you polish, put your fingertips in ice cold water for 1 to 2 minutes,” she says. “But, again, make sure you’ve prepared the bowl of water in advance.”

Because who said an at-home manicure can’t look profesh?

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