Which Nail Polish Dries The Fastest?

A lot of how quickly polish dries depends on application technique (keep your coats thin and your results will be better!) and texture (glitter polish, for example, almost always dries more rapidly). But there are also a few formulas everyone in our office agrees are particularly fast and effective. The drugstore standby is, of course, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, which really does set in a couple minutes, applies super easily, and comes in an impressive color range. Our resident polish expert Elizabeth swears by Nars nail polish; she says even though it's not specifically designed for quick application, it still hardens up in no time and, just as importantly, lasts a long time without chipping.

You can also always just use whatever polish you want and then put a drying agent on top, of course. Essie Drying Drops are great as long as the polish underneath isn't too thick. Which it shouldn't be, because... again, light coats!

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  • Jessica

    I've had a totally diff experience with the Nars polishes - mine always chip after a few days and I'm not much of a nail chipper type person.

  • emiillly

    Seche Vite is my absolute favorite (you can find at duane reade or amazon). It makes mani/pedis last so much longer and dries really quickly.

    • Amanda

      Agreed. And it's super glossy. Though I tend to get shrinkage at the tips of my nails after the halfway point in the bottle.

  • Luna

    OPI Rapidri spray makes every polish dry faster in my case

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    I find that the L'Oreal polishes always are easy to work with, long lasting, and fast to dry. Many polishes on me start to dry quickly but then stay gummy no matter how thin the coat is. I just did a blog post on my favorite color so far, Tangerine Crush!

  • conni boykins

    I've found that Dior polishes, aside from having an amazing brush and impressive formula, dry very quickly.

    • Madalyn

      I think Dior polishes dry quickly but chip so easily compared to their high end counterparts! Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs last twice as long

  • Lola

    I try to use less stuff on my nails, since base, laquer and top coat is already a LOT. Try to keep my nails strong by keeping them short, applying strengthener and lately I don't buy any other nail polish except OPI, guessed I got used to it. I apply 2 coats, and frankly I don't really need a drier since they dry quite quickly. Something that works well when I apply top coat and dont have too much time to rest my hands, is get them into a bowl with ice water, and then let them air dry, that accelerates the process a lot.

  • starryhye

    CND Vinylux polishes! Total gamechanger

  • Denisse

    I just bought the Rimmel 60 seconds polish (is that really the name?) and was super impressed at how quickly it dried! I painted them at night and there were no problems when I woke up this morning!

  • Guest

    Seche Vite is the answer. Period.

  • Kayleigh Harrington

    Sally Hansen Insta Dry in Petal Pusher is in my desk at work at all times. Instant manicure touch up, pretty similar to Essie's Fiji.

  • Kira Retana

    OPI for sure. I love how I can use OPI and i dont even need a top coat.
    I hate when the nail polish is too think and never dries.

    The trick is to do one coat let that one c o m p l e t e l y dry then add the second coat if needed.

    also who doesnt like to speed up the process with a hair dryer!!

    great question


  • figandthewasp

    Are any of the 3- or 5-free nail polishes fast drying?

    • Lins

      100 percent pure- dries fast, looks professional, lasts for a long time. It's 7 or 10 free (can't remember). Best I've ever used, and I've tried it all.