Who hasn’t experienced this before: The nails have just been freshly painted and it still takes less than five minutes for the first quirks to become visible. In most cases, the drying time was not observed – although it must also be said here that there is no guarantee that the paint is really dry if you stick to the recommended waiting time. Because the fact is: Depending on how thickly you apply the paint, the drying phase varies. Therefore, the manufacturer’s minutes of how long a nail polish has to dry are not always accurate. The good news is, there are helpful tips on how to speed up the process. We present seven of them.

Basically, the same rule of thumb applies to all nail polishes: the more layers you apply, the longer the color has to dry. Regardless of how many minutes the manufacturer recommends. It usually takes at least five minutes for an ordinary nail polish to harden – if you apply another layer, the waiting time is extended by another ten to 15 minutes. A third layer therefore only hardens after about 30 minutes. Painting your nails becomes a real test of patience. You can shorten this process significantly with the following seven tricks:

1. Cold (Ice) WaterTake a large bowl, fill it with cold water and add a few ice cubes. After that, paint your nails as usual and let the paint dry for at least a minute. Then dip your fingertips in the water and let the nail polish harden in it for one to two minutes. In theory, this also works under running water, but excessive water pressure can damage the paintwork. In addition, several liters of water would have to be wasted.

2. Top CoatThis is a so-called quick-dryer that is applied to the fingernails after painting. The top coat is clear and seals the color underneath quickly (within 10-20 seconds) and effectively. In addition, the top coat ensures that the nail polish can withstand external influences for longer. In other words, quirks and scratches should be seen less frequently or at least much later.

3. Drying sprayThe quick-drying nail spray has the same function as a top coat, only it is not painted directly on the paint, but sprayed over it. Due to the spray, it is important not to hold the can too close to your fingernails so that the fresh paint is not attacked. It is best to hold the drying spray 30 centimeters away from your nails before applying it. It must then act for at least 20 seconds before the paint hardens. Repeat the process two or three times.

4. Blow dryer Have you ever tried to dry your freshly painted nails faster by blowing or breathing on them? Then you certainly know that this method is not very promising – since you only add more moisture to the paint. In fact, dry air can help the nail polish harden faster. For example with a hair dryer: set it to the cold setting and hold it in front of your fingernails for 45 to 60 seconds (after they have been allowed to dry for 30 seconds).

5. UV lamp Alternatively, you can use artificial heat to dry the nail polish quickly. All you need is a special lamp that uses UV light. However, it should be noted that not every paint is suitable for this process: only gel paints that contain so-called polymers dry under a UV lamp. Hold your hands in the light for a few minutes to allow the nail polish to cure faster.

6. Quick-drying nail polishOr you consciously choose a quick-drying variant when buying nail polish: Depending on the manufacturer, the color should be cured after just 60 seconds – although there is no guarantee here either. And it always depends on how many layers you apply on top of each other.

7. Quick-Dry DropsAnother way to let nail polish dry is with these Quick-Dry Drops (e.g. from Essie). Your task is to let the solvents in the paint evaporate faster so that the paint hardens. Important to know: Only apply the drops to the nail polish after it has been allowed to dry for 60 seconds. Use just one or two drops and then wait for them to soak into the nail polish.

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