I love all these happy, springy colors. However, the urge to paint my nails always seems to strike about an hour or so before bedtime. You know how this goes: you spend 30 minutes filing, buffing, polishing and top coating, you don’t touch anything until you’re positive that your nails are dry, only to find a smudge a few minutes later. Or worse. Sheet marks the next morning. Ughhhh. So frustrating. I’ve been there. It’s the worst. But worry no longer, ladies. I have tried just about every trick I could possibly find on the internet and have the (thoroughly tested) answers.
Smudge No More
1. Obviously, the best thing is to avoid smudges all together by painting in thin layers and allowing your mani to dry completely. Thick, goopy layers are the enemy of manicures. But who has tons of time to just sit and be still and not touch anything? Nope, not happening. So after many sheet-marked nails the next morning, I have found the one, sure-fire way to not smudge.
The answer: Zoya Fast Drops.
Seriously. This stuff works and is worth the $16 price tag. One bottle lasts a looong time. After you’ve finished polishing, add one drop per finger (it includes a handy little dropper) and let the solution spread out over each nail. Wait only five minutes and you’ll have dry, smudge proof nails. This gets through each layer, making sure each is dry, instead of just drying the top.
I’ve tried the tricks of dunking your fingers in cold water to dry nails quickly. Still prone to smudges. I’ve also tried spraying cooking spray on the nails and wiping it off to dry them quickly. This dries the top layer, but the coats underneath are not completely dry and will then smudge. Don’t be fooled by the “touch test”.
2. Another problem I’ve encountered is the air bubble. I HATE this. A quick tip is to put your polish or top coat in the fridge for about 15 minutes before you use it. Simple trick. Works like a charm.
3. So. You’ve tried and tried and still get a smudge. Or you haven’t had time to get your Fast Drops yet. You definitely don’t want to redo what you’ve already done. Many times, you can smooth out a newly acquired smudge by the spit trick. Yep. Spit. Get a little saliva on the tip of one of your fingers and lightly smooth over the smudge. Or just go all out and smooth it with the tip of your tongue. It sounds gross and unsophisticated. But it works for those tiny little nicks that happen. Add another coat of top coat. Seche Vite is my absolute favorite.
4. Okay, so spit didn’t work. Or you’re averse to spitting on your nails. Dip a different finger into a little nail polish remover (I usually fill up the cap of the bottle and keep it nearby for touch ups and for this purpose) and lightly run the finger over the smudge. This will thin out the polish and even out the surface. Then you can paint another thin layer of polish, wait a few minutes, then add a thin layer of top coat to the offending finger.
5. Prevention is key. Avoid thick layers. The key to quick drying and a good manicure is to paint in thin layers.
I hope these tips help you achieve a smudge free manicure. Do you have any tried and true methods you use to fix the dreaded smudge? Let me know in the comments! .