The Secret to Making Nail Polish Dry Faster, Last Longer

Nail Polish

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In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: I don’t have time to sit around and wait for my manicure to dry. What’s the best way to speed up the process?

A: We get it: We’re all in a hurry, and no one really has time to sit idly and wait for our polish to dry. What’s more, we also don’t have the luxury of touching up our manicures every few days—we need a polish that lasts! While blow dryers, ice baths and nail-drying sprays all work wonders when it comes to speeding up polish drying time, we asked Deborah Lippmann, Founder and Creative Director of the Deborah Lippmann luxury beauty line, for her best advice on making nail polish dry faster and last longer. The bad news is that the technique does require a bit of patience. The good news is that it really works.

“Allow lacquer to dry a minute or two between coats, says Lippmann. “This allows the lacquer to dry faster, adhere better and last longer on the nail.”

“During application, the tendency is to try to make it look like the shade in the bottle on the first coat, but you want to apply two thin coats and build the color. If you use too much lacquer, the polish will peel and chip. If you apply very thin coats, letting the polish dry in between each layer so that the solvents evaporate, it will wear better and last longer. If applied properly, you’ll get the appropriate shade on the second coat.”

Bottom line: Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to nail polish application—then once you’re finished, you can expect a shorter final drying time, and a longer-lasting manicure!

Read more: How to Remove Glitter Polish, the Easy Way

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