We have all been in the situation, trying to get out the front door, nails in a semi dry state and in the process of leaving the house wrecked out manicure. It makes me angry just thinking about it. Yet for me at the moment, having the time to sit down and have the full manicure is just not always an option and more often I am applying a quick coat of colour and waiting for nails to dry.

Any product for me which can help speed up the drying process is a must for my manicure routine. Don’t get me wrong, speedy quick dry top coats, fast drying drops, sprays and oils are great to have in your nail care armour, something I do use from time to time. Some of the products on the market can be expensive and are not always readily available.

But if you are looking for a quick fix, there are some simple things you can use from home to help prevent a manicure disaster.

Do bear in mind these tips and tricks I have picked up over the years, help to dry the outer layer of polish and the nails will still be wet underneath. Remember polish dries from the outside in! So for touch dry nails, these tips are for you!


imageThe first tip I picked up, which is similar to quick dry polish sprays, is using spray cooking oil on the nails. You could use olive oil for this, a nice nourishing oil suitable for hands. Sprayed onto the nails, it adds a barrier to drying polish and prevents smudging of nails. Position your hands into a claw shape and spray the nails lightly and it will get your nails dry in next to no time. Tissue off the any excess oil, without putting pressure on the nail as it will disrupt the drying process.

Hey Presto, your nails will be dry to touch in no time!


imageThere are several drying sprays on the market if you wanted to use a more specific item designed for this purpose, which work in the same way as the cooking oil spray method.

My favourites are Elegant Touch’s Rapid Dry for Nails, a bargain from the drugstore.

If you wanted an excellent salon professional spray, try Leighton Denny’s Miracle Mist, the was the first of these sprays I tried and works extremely well to get you dry, super fast.



Sticking with the oil based theme, a tip I have picked up watching manicurists at the salon, is using a cuticle oil or nourishing oil around the entire nail.

The manicurist would dab them on with a cuticle oil brush but alternatively you could use a cotton ball gently dabbed in a nail oil of your choice. This using the same method as before creates an oily barrier, prevents smudging and nourishes the nail and cuticle, bonus!




I like OPI’s Avoplex Nail Oil to go for this purpose, or alternatively you could use The Body Shop’s Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil.

This product has a lovely scent and isn’t too greasy, a great option for less than a tenner.


Quick drying drops work in a similar way to the sprays and oils and are an inexpensive item to pick up. Several of the drugstore nail brands are now selling a product like this. They dry the top layer of polish and act as a barrier also.


My favourite is Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure Dry & Go Drops, an excellent budget product along with OPI’s Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops. These products last an eternity and are excellent to slot into your manicure routine, to speedily finish your manicure.


The third tip, also inspired from salon visits, is using a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry your nails. If you have ever had your hands parked under a nail polish dryer in a salon, for what seems like an eternity, you will see my thinking behind this method.


I found this works quite well as long as you don’t have the dryer too close to the nails and use a less powerful hairdryer. Position nail in the claw shape and turn your hairdryer to a cool setting. Dry the nails for a good 5 minutes on each hand and your nails will be touch dry in no time.

Whatever you do, set the hairdryer up prior to polishing your nails and make sure the dryer is not on a hot setting. If the dryer is on a hot setting it will liquify the polish further. So take caution with this method!




My final tip, which I only tend to use in a serious rush, is popping the nails into extremely cold or iced water.

Leave the your hands in a bowl of ice cold water for as long as you can stand! At least soak for a minute or two if you can manage it.


This will harden the top layer of polish and once wet hands are delicately dried, will leave the top layer of polish touch dry.

I use all of these from time to time and they do help dry nails so you can get out the door!
If you find yourself forever waiting for polish to dry, one of these methods may be perfect for you! Give them a try next time you are doing a rushed manicure!

Any tips for drying nails? Any favourite quick dry products?
Let me know in the Comments.