This is what happens every time I painstakingly give myself an at-home manicure: I admire my pro-level work and go to bed…then wake up with my thread count laid bare to the world on the surface of my nails. But the polish was dry! Or so I thought. It turns out, it takes longer for that polish to dry completely than I thought.
When I chatted with my manicurist, she dropped the bomb that nail polish actually takes up to two days to set.
TWO DAYS? I can’t sit still for 30 minutes post-top-coat, let alone treat my hands like precious, delicate flowers while waiting for that lacquer to cure.
There’s a science lesson behind it all…so bear with me. Nail polish is made of a film-forming polymer and a solvent. When you swipe it on, the solvent slowly evaporates and the polymer dries. So when you’ve got multiple coats of polish…plus a top coat, well, you get the idea. That solvent isn’t going anywhere fast. (It’s also why, after a day or two, your mani might feel tight or heavy on your nails.)