How to Dry Nail Polish Quickly for the Perfect Manicure 

With holiday parties and end-of-the-year events coming up, we’re all rushing around trying to get our to-do list DONE. For beauty, I need everything done fast so I can get out the door. I even found a way to do polish nails right before bed without smudging them! Sounds like something you need? Chances are you already have everything you need to dry nail polish quickly for the perfect at-home manicure.

orly mullholland collection
Photo Credit: ORLY

Disclosure: I received complimentary ORLY nail polish Mulholland Fall Collection 2016 and Sunset Strip Holiday 2016 Collection to facilitate this review with my honest opinion. I’m also giving away the Sunset Strip Holiday Collection below!

How to Dry Nail Polish Quickly

for the Perfect Manicure

Dry Nail Polish Quickly

Apply Thin Coats

I chose the Hillside Hideout color (value: $8.50) from the Mulholland Fall Collection because the color is mauve, yet deep with a bit of gold shimmer.

From my own experience, applying polish in thin coats is the most important step. Thick layers can get clumpy and take too long to dry.  Brand new nail polish is easier to apply in thin coats or you may need to add nail polish thinner to your old bottles.

I applied three super thin coats of the Hillside Hideout. The week before I applied three weeks of one of my other favorite colors and because I rushed a bit, I saw tiny bubbles in the polish.

ORLY Muholland Nail Collection

Nail Polish Drying Spray

Dry Each Coat Thoroughly

In between each of the three super thin coats of polish, let each later dry completely. I do just like my favorite manicurist when I’m at the salon.

Fan – Put a household fan on a high setting, hold your hands up and let the fan blow for about two minutes.

Nail Spray – If you don’t have a fan, use a quick-dry nail spray. I bought the Target store brand and it works fine.

Nail Polish Dryer – To really step up your perfect at-home manicure, invest in an electric nail polish dryer. When we moved, I found a dryer I’d bought years before and packed away.

Apply Top Coat

After all three thin layers are completely dry, apply your favorite top coat to add shine.

Dry Top Coat Thoroughly

Repeat the second drying step with either a fan, spray or polish dryer. I’ve gotten the best results when I’ve done all three.

Apply Quick Dry Top Coat

By far, my favorite quick dry top coat is Seche Vite (value: $6). It goes on thick and smells weird at first, but dries fast.

Orly also makes In A Snap (value: $11), “Dry nail lacquer quickly while preventing color from fading with UV filters.”

What’s your go-to tip to dry nail polish quickly?

It may seem weird that I apply five to six layers of nail polish (if you count a base coat), but when you wear natural nails with polish it’s more likely to chip without a gel or acrylic.

Smiling African American woman with blue nail polish and blue eyeshadow

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. I love the ORLY brand and looks like they have some really cute colors for the holiday. These are very pigments and I like the Hillside hideout hue on you!

  2. OK, the drying spray is very interesting. I’ve never heard of it! I do my nails at home quite a bit. I use the “wave your hands around” drying method!

  3. quick drying top coat dries my nails pretty quickly

  4. Sometimes to get my nails to dry quicker I will dip them in a bowl of ice water.

  5. I can never get my gel nails to last that long. I am going to try wearing gloves when I wash dishes to see if that helps. Love that blue polish!

  6. I like to put my hands in ice cold water for a few minutes to set the nail polish. That makes them dry a little quicker!

  7. I would love to try the drying spray. I normally just try to run them under cold water!