It’s Friday night, and you’ve already had a glass of wine. You’ve got an episode of Succession queued up and are ready to change the color of your nails. Everything about this scenario is soothing…until you apply the top lacquer and notice that your manicure is dotted with small air bubbles. To say the least, it’s a buzz killer, but there’s a solution.
1. What is the root cause of nail bubbles?
Bubbles often appear during the drying process as a result of air trapped between layers of polish. We understand how aggravating it is, which is why we’ve compiled some tried-and-true tips for achieving the smoothest, bubble-free finish every time.
2. To avoid nail paint bubbles, follow these steps:
Step 1: Always begin with a blank canvas, even if your nails are bare. Wipe your nails absolutely clean of any oil or residue that could hinder the polish from sticking correctly. After wiping them clean, avoid touching your hair or face (which may transfer oils back to your tips).
Step 2: Apply thin layers of paint. This is important because thick coats of polish dry more slowly. This leads us to our next point…
Step 3: Have patience! Before applying the second coat of polish, make sure the previous one is totally dried. (Three to five minutes between coats is the sweet spot for us.) If at all possible, avoid adding a third layer because it tends to make things gloopy and uneven. After you’ve allowed enough time for the last layer to dry, apply a top coat and enjoy your job.
Another thing: You know how when you go to a manicure salon, the technician will normally tell you to put your hands in front of the small fan linked to their station to speed up the drying time between coats? That’s not the best plan. The air from the fan can actually produce more bubbling, not to mention the increased chance of dust flying onto your still-wet polish. The same is true for fanning or blowing on your hands. Simply try to be still and let time take its course.
We finally solved the problem (and perhaps you will, too) by applying the polish in thinner coats and allowing them to fully dry in between. Have fun painting, everyone.