The Top 5 Most Common Nail Polish Questions Answered

I love hearing from you. Often the questions you ask, prompt me to look at things in a different way and research new solutions. 

This week I thought I might answer some of the most common questions I am asked about applying nail polish. 

I nearly always get six days wear when I do my nails myself by following some simple rules. In the picture my nails are wearing well after 6 days. Let me know what you think.

As a general comment, when having a manicure or pedicure, keep in mind that it takes ALL NAIL POLISH (excluding Gel) at least 1 – 2 hours to fully dry, especially if you use a base and topcoat as recommended - so resist the temptation to go washing your dishes or diving into your handbag.

This will almost always give the best result – and is what it means when people say a polish is “fast drying”.

Let’s start with the most often asked question;

1. How long should I wait between coats when I’m painting my nails?

The simple answer to this is at least 2 mins. In warmer weather it may take a minute longer.

I always say, for best results try not to be in too much of a hurry. Often when applying polish, ‘less is more’ and we need to resist the temptation of applying too much or reapplying too soon.

2. My nail polish is thin and pooling when I paint my nails. Why is this and how can I fix it?

Like all paint, when nail polish is left to sit over time it will thicken. 

If it is super fresh, initially it may be a little thin. As you continue to use the polish it will soon thicken up. 

However, if you want to hasten this process here are my suggestions.

  • Open the bottle and let the air get to the polish. Leave it like this for 10 – 15 mins and then lightly give it a shake. Repeat if necessary.
  • Fill a small bowl with very hot water and sit the polish bottle inside it. Sit it in the hot water for 2 minutes then gently shake the bottle to mix the polish.
  • Remember, don’t shake the bottle too rigorously as this will introduce bubbles and the polish will not apply evenly.

3. I’m in a hurry! How can I dry my polish faster?

Other than applying a quick dry nail polish (which will not be free from chemicals and I do not recommend) here are some suggestions;

  • Have a bowl of cold water (with ice) ready and immerse your nails in the bowl for 3 – 5 minutes.  Don’t dry off with a cloth or towel. Just let it dry.
  • I have some clients who say they use a hairdryer on the cool setting.
  • Use a mini fan positioned to dry your hands and feet (just like they do in the Nail Salon).

4. My absolute favourite polish colour is all gloopy, how can I revive it?

It depends how old the polish is.

Nail polish dries out when the solvents in a nail polish evaporate and this should take well over a year. 

The easiest way to revive gloopy, dry polish is to add 2 drops of solvent based nail polish remover or thinner and then give it a gentle shake.  Remember, do not use a water-based remover as this will not work.

However, often if the polish is a few years old, it is better to buy a new colour and start afresh – less hassle and a better result.

5. Why do my nails chip after two days of wear?  Note – If your nails are dry and flaky then when you apply polish it will do the same.

This is a tough one as it depends on many factors, including, what you do with your hands and how the nail polish is applied. It also depends on what you use to remove your nail polish.  Acetone and Acetate based nail polish remover will continually dry out your nails and cuticles. 

So even if you are using a breathable, healthier option, if you are using the acetone/acetate based remover your nails will continue to split and dry out.

Solution – Get your nails in tip top condition first

  • Every night rub a cuticle oil into the cuticles and nails.  Follow this with a thick, rich hand cream. 

This should ideally be done just prior to sleeping.  Remember this is not a quick fix and could take months before you see improvement. 

Let me know what you think of my 6 day old nails.

My favourite nail polish kit is Balmoral Calling, what is yours?

Sylvie xx