Waiting for a manicure to dry is the worst. Until the polish gods create a product that dries at the speed of light, you need to learn how to sleep with wet nail polish—because all this waiting around just won't do. How's a girl supposed to get the proper amount of beauty sleep when she has to wait for her nails to be smudge-proof? The answer: helpful hacks.
What if instead of the cruel world where—for hours on end—we can't rummage in our purse due to the threat of a messed up manicure, we resided in a peaceful paradise that allowed us to dream through the nail danger zone and awake ready to rock? That would be great.
Why does nail polish do what it does anyways? According to Physics Buzz, nail polish is made of some flexible stuff, some strengthening stuff, some colorful stuff, and the stuff that holds all three of those previous stuffs together. When we wait for nail polish to dry, we are waiting for the last one (the solvent) to evaporate, leaving behind hard, colorful lacquer on our nails.
If you've ever known the struggles of waking up with smeared polish on your sheets, read on for success tips to making sure the evaporation occurs before the smudging goes down.
1. Become An Expert At Doing Your Own Nails
Take tips from the pros and do your home mani/pedi well. Cosmo outlined every trick in the book to keep your DIY nail job in tip top shape.
2. Use A Base Coat
Based (wink, wink) on your nails, the team at All Lacquered Up created a list of the best base coats for your needs.
3. Let Your Base Coat Dry
We know. The point of this article is to sleep through the work, but sometimes we have to put in a little effort to get the gold we want.
4. Don't Shake The Baby
And by baby, of course we mean your favorite nail polish. The bubbles that can come from whacking that little ball around the bottle can lead to weird drying issues. Instead, roll the bottle like play-doh between your palms.
4. Think Thin
Employ all strategies for keeping your nail polish from clumping. Temperature control is important. If your bathroom is hotter than Hades, keep your polish in the fridge—this will help keep it from turning into goop. Now that your polish is the proper consistency, apply it on thin. No double and triple strokes. One swoop up each side of the nail followed by a finishing line up the center is all you need. If you're getting your nails done at the salon, roll or swirl the bottle to gauge its consistency. If it looks like molasses, pick another bottle.
5. Let Each Layer Dry
We know. You want to go to bed, but give it about five minutes. Be strong! Also—hot tip—the older the nail polish, the longer it takes to dry. Learn about the why behind this physics fact.
6. Apply A Top Coat
Check out this list for the best top coats out there and yes, after applying it, you must wait patiently for it to dry.
6. Ice Your Nails
People are talking about the miracle solution to smudged nails: icing them. What are the facts? Science says that in cool temperatures, the evaporation of your polish's solvent will speed up, thereby drying your nails faster. But before you go taking the ice bucket challenge, remember that the outer layer will harden the fastest, so if you neglected to let lower layers dry, your polish can be prone to dents cause the inside will be softer than the outside.
7. Oil Up
At the nail salon, they should oil your nails and cuticles. If they don't, ask—nay demand—them to. At home, brush on a cuticle oil, olive oil, or spray those talons down with Pam. The idea being the oil provides a slick surface that helps absorb impact when you're tossing and turning in bed and helping to avoid smudges.
8. Act Like Sleeping Beauty
Can you sleep with your hands resting motionless in one position all night? Perfect. Do that. If you can't, these hacks will help you go into dreamland equipped as best as possible to fight the good fight against funky nails.