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The bliss of a perfectly painted set of nails doesn’t have to be spoiled by the annoyance of drying time. Skip all the fanning and blowing and take a shortcut to harden the paint. While your freshly dried digits won’t be ready for digging in the depths of your purse, you can confidently cast aside most fears of accidental smudges.

Finishing Spray

Mist your marvelous mani with a finishing spray designed to speed up drying time. The directions on the can are similar to the guidelines for hairspray — shake, hold at a distance and spray. Within minutes or less, your nails are good to go. Some showers feature oils to give your nails a gorgeous sheen and banish the tacky surface. Eyeball product labels for drying times and a list of ingredients.

Top Coat

For ladies who like to brush their nails to perfection, a clear top coat is a perfect choice. Look for top coats that promise to speed up drying time and leave your nails with a shiny, chip-resistant finish. Some formulas even do double or triple duty and offer your nails moisturizing and strength-building benefits.

Added Insurance

Forget about huffing and puffing on your nails to help the finishing spray set or the top coat dry. Instead, slip your digits under a nail dryer for a few minutes. The marriage of the fast-drying formula with forced air makes the paint on your nails harden much faster than the mere passage of time. Opt to skip this step if you’re in a rush. However, remember — a nail dryer helps seal the deal between your nails and an armor-like finish.

Right to Know

Every girl can benefit from a few wise words of advice. Stay away from old nail polish. Older finish tends to thicken, which makes it harder to dry and harden. If you’re in a hurry, stick with sheer polishes instead of thicker, denser formulas. The drying time is less, so it’s easier to harden the paint. Avoid loading the application brush with so much polish on the first go that it creates a thick, runny coating. Instead, lightly brush on a couple of coats — with a bit of drying time in between — for best results.

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