How to Dry Nail Polish Fast - Côte

8 Best Tips On How To Dry Nail Polish Fast!

Nail polish is beautiful when allowed to dry completely, though depending on the formula and the number of layers painted, it can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to set.

Though this is still relatively quick, waiting around can feel like forever even though you know it’s necessary for the success of the manicure. This can be especially problematic if you are in a rush for an event or running slightly behind schedule!

We have gathered some of the best shortcuts and tips for how you can dry nail polish faster; speeding up the process.


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How Long Does It Take To Dry Nails?

On average, nail polish can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes to completely dry. This timing is also dependent on several factors that include the color of the polish, the environment/room, the varnish temperature, as well as the number of layers painted. 

Darker shades and colors that contain more pigment than lighter shades, can cause dry times to be slightly longer. Additionally, using too much paint when coating your nails can increase the drying time as well. Nail art (especially if it’s intricate) can also slow down the drying process by 10 to 15 minutes or more.

Top Tips to Dry Nail Polish Quickly 

Listed below are some tips that you can use to help your nail polish dry faster. 

Apply Thin Layers of Polish:

The number one tip to incorporate when it comes to making your nail polish dry faster is applying thin layers of polish. This is due to the fact that thin coats are much quicker to dry as they have more even exposure to cool air. 

Thicker coats of polish can lead to globby polish on the nails and a high drying time, especially if the coat has not been evenly spread over the nail bed. As a result, thick layers of nail polish can lead to inconsistent drying, which can severely impact the overall aesthetic of your nails.

Simply paint a thin layer of your base coat; aim for around 3 brush strokes on each nail. You can then build up these light layers for a heavier color look, but make sure that you allow the layers underneath to dry first.

Increase Wait Between Applying Layers:

Depending on the specific formula of the nail polish that you are using, you should try to wait at least 2 to 5 minutes before applying the next layer of polish. This will aid the layers in drying properly before another coat is introduced, helping to prevent bubbles and smudges from forming. 

Exposure to cool air in between coats of polish will also help the nail polish to cure the nail correctly, ensuring a smooth and thorough layer.

Try a Quick-Dry Topcoat:

Quick-dry topcoats can absorb the solvents in the polish without affecting the color of the nail varnish. Simply paint your nails with quick-dry drops of fast-drying nail polish and wait for a few minutes. As a result, your nail polish will not only dry more quickly, but your topcoat will enjoy a more beautiful, shiny, professional finish.

Côte's quick-dry topcoat boasts a speedy 3 minute or less dry time while offering a luxurious shine. The formula is vegan and non-toxic, making it the perfect finishing touch to set your non-toxic nail polish in place. Furthermore, topcoats can protect the nails from harmful UV rays, which can alter the pigment of your nail polish and cause discoloration.


How to Dry Nail Polish Fast - Côte


Light and Metallic Shades are Time-Efficient:

If you know that you are short for time or in a rush, opt for lighter and metallic shade set nail polish from your online beauty supply store. Lighter and metallic shades are quicker to dry in comparison to a darker nail color due to their lower pigment levels, enabling you to get on with the rest of your day faster.

Lighter and more sheer shades of nail varnish also allow more room for mistakes to be made as opposed to their darker counterparts. It is not as obvious if a little polish slip onto your cuticle (and it can always be cleaned up later!). The subtle look means that any small scratches, dents, or smudges to your nail polish will be less noticeable to other people.

Ice Water Dip:

Another time-efficient way of drying your nail polish is by gently dipping them in ice-cold water. To do this, simply fill a basin or a bowl with some cold water and a few ice cubes. Once you have finished painting your nails, place the tips of your fingers into the icy water. 

It is important that you do not knock your nails against each other or anything else when you first place them under the water. Hold your wet nails in the water for one to two minutes before taking them out. 

This method can help your nails dry in minimal time due to the exposure to cold elements, thus hardening the nail polish until it is completely dry.

Blow Dry Nails:

Blow drying your nails is an effective way to quickly dry your nail polish. All you have to do is set your hairdryer to a cool setting and hold the hairdryer a few inches away from your nails. It is important that you ensure the air being blown is not too strong in order to avoid smudging or disruption of the top layer. 

Make sure that your hair dryer with cold air, as warm air can cause bubbles and make the nail polish melt and stay wet. Keep the blow dryer over your nails for a few minutes and check to see if they are dry. If they are still a bit wet, continue to blow dry them.

Expose Nails to Cold or Freezing Environments:

This technique works on the same principles as the ice water dip, with frigid temperatures causing the nail polish to harden quickly. The best and easiest way of exposing your nails to cold or freezing environments is by popping your hands into your freezer for about a minute or two. Gently check to see if your nails are dry. If they are then you are too to go, if not, simply repeat the process.

Hairspray Hack:

The hairspray hack is another innovative way that you can help to dry your nails using standard household goods! The use of hairspray or even cooking spray can help to harden the top layer of nail polish, making it less malleable. 

As a consequence, this hardened top layer can help to protect the other layers of varnish underneath as they continue to dry. This allows you to continue performing tasks and running errands, though we still recommend being cautious to avoid smearing, denting and damaging the nails. 

To check if your nail varnish is completely dry, gently tap the top coat of your nails and check for any movement or color smearing. Add Argain Oil, cuticle oil, or baby oil and hand cream afterwards to moisture your cuticles.


In summary, there are several tactics that you can employ to help speed up the drying time of your nail polish. The best course of action is always to be patient, but we understand that life can be hectic sometimes! 

This is exactly why we at Côte have formulated our own quick-drying top coat to ensure that even those leading the busiest of lives, can still enjoy beautiful nails. 

Our formulas are non-toxic and cruelty-free, using only the best ingredients to achieve healthy and luxurious nails.


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