My Quick-Dry Nail Tricks and "Are They Dry Yet?" Test

Posted 11/02/10 at 04:07PM by Audrey Fine

How often do you smudge your nails before the polish dries? I'd guesstimate that eight out of every 10 times I leave the salon, I ding at least one -- even if I logged the requisite time in front of the fan or under the UV light. (Does that thing even work?) And, when I do them myself, I ruin them pretty much every single bleeping time.

But, that was B.A. Before Ashley. She's my sister-in-law and she does the books for a hoity toity spa in Pasadena, Calif. And, when Ashley's not crunching numbers, she's picking people's brains for insider tips. Love that girl.

Here are her top four DIY tips that have been keeping me and my digits smudge-free for going on six weeks now (without having to use one of those "quick dry" polishes that never seem to work):

Tip 1: Allow the first coat to dry for at least five minutes before applying the second. If the first coat's not completely dry, the second one makes the whole thing mushy and you'll have to wait three times as long for the polish to harden.

Tip 2: Use a quick-dry spray. I love OPI RapiDry Spray. It reduces drying time by nearly half and, unlike many others, is in a pump bottle instead of an aerosol can, so it's not harmful to the ozone layer.

Tip 3: Empty out an old bottle of clear polish, wash the brush and fill the bottle with olive oil. Apply the oil (using the brush) to freshly painted nails and it will help expedite the drying process -- and impart a nice (albeit temporary) sheen.

Tip 4: Dip your hands into a bowl of ice water. The cold helps solidify the polish.

I also learned a cool trick for being able to tell whether or not your nails are really and truly dry; when you suspect that they are, gently touch two nails together -- you're good to go when they pull apart without a tacky, sticky feel.

Now that you have these tips, it's time to pick your polish -- this snazzy OPI app will help.

Then see why I'm steering clear of the blue polish craze and whether it's right for you.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 10 Comments

  • Posted by EricaF123 on 04/13/13 at 02:07pm

    Nice info

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  • Posted by anna_davis on 11/28/11 at 02:23pm

    i touch my nail on the skin on my thigh. I feel whether its tacky better and if they are it doesnt get messed up because there are no prints like on ur hand to mess it up.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by tiffany_l_davis on 06/25/11 at 08:01pm

    I heard spraying Pam on the nails work - with a 4 kids I dont have time 2 wait so I tried this! It works!

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  • Posted by MissPurple on 04/29/11 at 04:07pm

    Good advice. I use the Sally Hansen to sry my nails as well.

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  • Posted by LipglossandSpandex on 03/26/11 at 05:41pm

    I stopped going to the nail salon for just color... I always ended up ruining at least one of my nails before I even left the parking lot! I figured I could mess up my own nails at home and save myself some money. I'm with PinkNymphette---touching my nails together didn't work out very well. I just touch the polish gently with my finger and check for prints, like Bon_Bon. I use Seche Vite, which adds a nice amount of shine and dries my nails nice and quick! Sally Hansen Insta Dri topcoat is like Seche Vite and works well also.

    Report Abuse

  • Posted by Jewelrydesigner on 02/23/11 at 04:15pm

    I'm a Seche Vite girl, too.

    Report Abuse

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