Why Is My Nail Polish Still Soft Hours After Painting My Nails?

One of the most frustrating questions I get asked on a daily basis, is ‘Why is my nail polish still soft hours after painting my nails?’ There are many answers to this question, depending on the product you buy and how long it takes to dry.

Products with high alcohol content will have hard water build up on them after being exposed to water for a long time.

The water in your nail polish is what the hard water deposits on, this hard water then hardens the nail polish which makes it extremely dry and brittle. After a lot of hard days painting your nails might just be too much for you, or maybe you just got a really good nail polish.

When I paint my nails I usually only use a very thin layer of nail polish and I let it dry overnight. If you are like me then you probably use a nail hardener to keep the nail polish from getting too hard, but I have also read about people using regular nail polish remover to help remove nail polish and the results are the same.

If you want to know why your nail polish is still so soft, it may be because you are not applying the nail polish properly. If your nails are too long, it can also cause your nail polish to harden because it is hard for the brush to reach all the way down the nail without the polish being rubbed off.

If you want to know the answer to the question ‘Why is my nail polish still soft?’ you need to start using a regular brush when applying nail polish, using a regular brush will make sure all the nail polish is applied evenly.

If you apply your nail polish in an irregular manner you are more likely to miss some spots and this will cause your nail polish to become flaky and dry.

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Why Does My Nail Polish Not Harden?

Many of us have been guilty of wearing nail polish that we really like, and not using any type of product to help protect our nails. If you are one of these people, and you care about your nails, you need to find out the reason as to why your nail polish doesn’t harden.

Your nail polish could be coming from a chemical in the bottle that is making it difficult to get hard because it is too chemically treated. You should know about this, because many nail polishes are being sold today with this type of problem.

The reason why many nail polish products don’t harden is also due to how your nail grows. Nail growth is pretty fast, so there is no reason for your nail polish to harden over time. The reason for this is that your nail grows at a pretty fast pace, and it can be hard for it to continue growing and hardening at this rate.

What some nail polish manufacturers will try to do is to put little pieces of heat-resistant glass in your bottle of nail polish, which will make it harder for them to harden. When this happens, it is much more likely for your nail polish to start thinning out.

It might sound hard to believe that your nail polish could be coming from places that you can’t see, but you can use a product that can easily tell you if it is coming from somewhere around your nail. A very popular product that can tell you if it is coming from the bottle is called ChemSculpting Kit.

You simply use this kit and take a swab of your bottle and send it to a lab for testing. They will be able to tell you what is in your nail polish through testing. If you feel like your nail polish is coming from a different part of your body, you can get a kit to test for this as well.

You won’t be able to use a kit that tests for in your eyes, but you will be able to test your nail polish and see what is in it.

Why is my nail polish still soft

How Do You Fix Mousse Nail Polish?

It happens to the best of us, after you’ve just painted your nails and when you look at your hands you have a little green rash on your nails. The best thing you can do about this problem is to try and fix it with some homemade remedies.

When you do this, the chances are that the cause of your problem is that your nails are too soft or too hard to hold onto and this makes it so that your nail polish doesn’t stick properly. This is why a lot of nail artists will tell you that it is better to paint your nails the night before and let them dry overnight.

That is also one of the reasons that you will sometimes find that when you apply the nail polish that it leaves a thin film on your nails. Although you might not think it because your nails look great, this type of damage can cause a lot of problems if you don’t get it fixed quickly.

One of the biggest problems you can face with your nails being too hard is that you’ll have a lot of difficulty trying to remove them. There are a lot of different tools out there that you can use but many of them have the same problem.

The biggest nail polish remover I can think of is the steel wool pads that you place on your nails. These work great because they’re not going to scratch or damage your nail polish and they come off fairly easily.

Although you will have to get a lot of them in order to completely remove your nail polish, which is something you will have to do in order to make sure that all of the hard residue is removed.

When you are trying to determine how do you fix mushy nail polish? One of the best things you can do is to go visit a nail salon near you and ask them for help. Usually, they have the equipment to be able to get your nail polish to where you need it.

What I usually do is take my nail polish and get some acetone in a spray bottle from my local pharmacy. I spray the entire nail with the acetone and allow it to sit for about fifteen minutes before I wash it off with warm water.

What is the Cause of Why Does My Nail Polish Smudge Hours Later?

If you have just painted your nails and they look great, you probably don’t have many questions on your mind. If you have ever tried to remove nail polish yourself, though, you might wonder why does my nail polish smudge so much later?

The answer lies in the fact that the nail polish isn’t actually clear. When you apply nail polish, there is a thin film of “nap” that forms on the top layer of nail.

When you remove this film, you are left with a hard, chunky layer underneath that looks just like a freshly painted nail. This “nap” or film has a hard time bonding with the next layer of polish. As time goes by, the layer of hard film will begin to chip away.

Eventually, if you do not scrape and buff your nails often, the polish may start to flake away from the nail bed. Over time, it can cause your nail to appear less than perfect.

Some people think that this problem can be avoided if they use the right type of nail polish, but the reality is that this is rarely the case. It is extremely important to choose the right kind of nail polish for your nails.

It is especially important to choose a polish that is meant for your type of skin and nail. If you have fair skin, avoid strong nail polishes that may cause excessive damage. Instead, opt for a nail polish that is meant for your fair complexion. If you have dark skin, however, you should opt for a nail polish that is meant for your darker skin tone.

How Do I Know If My Nail Polish Is Dry?

You may ask yourself, “How do I know if my nail polish is dry?” This is a common concern for nail artists. If your nail polish is wet, it can start to flake and peel off.

But if your nail polish is dry, or if you just got a new coat and don’t like the color, then the best thing that you can do is buff your nail to remove the excess nail polish and reapply your color.

The way to tell if your nail polish is dry is by using a cotton swab dipped in baby oil to clean off any excess nail polish. Once your nail polish is nice and soft, you can apply your nail color and make sure it’s on well.

When you apply nail polish, especially if you are doing something intricate like painting nails, you have to be careful and move slowly and gently. Apply nail polish in a circular motion with very light pressure. A little bit of pressure is necessary because you don’t want to scrape your nail while you are painting.

If you see a yellow stain on your nail, stop what you’re doing, take a minute, and swab the hard part with baby oil. This will loosen up the yellowed area of the nail.

Now apply the paint and wait for it to dry. If you are a serious nail artist, you may want to practice on a scrap area first before applying on the whole nail.

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Why is my nail polish still soft

How Do I Harden My Nails After Painting Them?

If you are thinking of doing some artistic nails on your own, you probably want to know how you can harden them. The first step is to decide whether you will be painting your nails using a paint brush or a soft bristle instrument.

It seems that painting your nails using a brush takes longer, but if you have a bristle nail brush and it is just the right size for your nails, then you might find it easier to do.

How do I harden my nails after painting them? Once you have decided whether you will be painting your nails using a brush or a nail brush, you need to choose the method of application.

As mentioned above, if you have a bristle nail brush, then you might find it easier to paint your nails if they are just the right size for your nail plate. If you want to apply a coat of nail varnish, then you will have to harden your nails at this point.

This can be done by applying a layer of nail varnish in the same way as you would paint your nails. Once you have hardened your nails, you can then take off the hardening agent and your nails will become soft.

The Disadvantages of Too Thin Nail Polish Coats

If you’ve ever applied too many nail polish coats to your nails, you’ve probably experienced all of the negative effects, from uneven globs to stains and chipping. If that wasn’t bad enough, now you know what is. But how can you solve these problems? Read on for some tips! Here are some examples of problems with too-thick nail polish:

Uneven globs of nail polish

Applying too thick coats of base gel to your nails can cause the polish to glob up on certain parts of your nails. These globs are impossible to smooth out and will become more prominent the more layers you add to the nail. Luckily, there are ways to revive your old nail polish and get back to enjoying your favourite colours. Below are some tried and tested methods to revive old nail polish.


Too-thick nail polish coats stain, but there are ways to get rid of them quickly. First, check the fabric content label. If the stain is on wool or silk, you cannot remove it yourself. In that case, you should take it to a dry cleaner to remove it. To remove acetate, triacetate, and modacrylic, use an acetone-based nail polish remover. If you want to use a non-acetone-based nail polish remover, you can use dish soap or baking soda.

Next, use basecoats before applying the colored nail polish. These help the polish bond with the nail plate, resulting in a longer-lasting manicure. Alternatively, you can apply acetone to the nail and backwards from the cuticle line. Using a whitening toothpaste or cuticle remover may help remove stained polish. If you have staining nails for a long time, apply a basecoat before every manicure to prevent future staining.


Chipping nail polish is a common phenomenon that results from the gradual fading of the color of the nails from the edges to the center. This can happen after just a few days, or even weeks. The ability to chip your nail polish coats depends on the formula. Thinner formulas tend to chip easier than those of normal thickness. On average, nail polish will chip in five to ten days. To prevent chipping, use a long-lasting top coat.

A touch-up can be applied over the chipped area, preserving the color of the nail polish. It will be not as pretty as the rest of the nail, but it can at least prevent it from chipping. If you do experience chipping, do not panic! There are many easy ways to prevent your manicure from chipping. Apply one or two of these tips to reduce the number of chips that you have. Chipping nail polish coats can happen to anyone, and the sooner you catch it, the better.

The first step is to apply a base coat. This will help the nail polish adhere to the nail bed. The next step is to apply the top coat. The top coat seals the polish and provides shine. When you apply a top coat, your manicure will last longer and avoid chipping. You should also use a quality base coat before applying the top coat. Lower-quality polish tends to chip faster, because the consistency is thinner and the nail polish can’t adhere properly.


If you’ve ever seen your manicure start to look a little shabby after a few coats, you may be experiencing shrunk nail polish. You may even have had an accident where you touched the freshly polished surface. In such a case, you should look for a faulty product and take steps to fix it. There are several causes of this problem, and by knowing about them you can prevent it.

First, make sure that your top coat reaches all edges of your nail. Ideally, the top coat should wrap the free edge of your nail and contact the nail bed at every edge. You should also apply a regular top coat. A quick-dry top coat is notorious for shrinking. It’s a waste of time and money. Here are some simple tips to prevent your nail polish from shrinking:

When using gel polish, a gel base coat should be used. The primer helps the solvents evaporate faster. It also provides a smooth surface for the final gel coat. Finally, when applying gel polish, always use UV light to cure the final coat. The UV light will dry out the top layer of the gel polish and cause it to shrink, while the inside will remain uncured. Using UV lights is a great way to minimize shrinkage while creating a long-lasting manicure.


Nail polishes containing toluene are not recommended for pregnant women. This chemical has been associated with reproductive issues and has been linked to neurological problems. Some studies have also linked it to birth defects in children. The chemical has been banned in Europe but is still used in the United States. Pregnant women should apply toluene-free nail polishes in an area that is well-ventilated.

Fortunately, the presence of toluene in nail polish products is being addressed by the introduction of n-Free labels. Some cities have even established new regulations for the ventilation of salons. In addition, the California government is actively working on banning the use of toluene in nail polishes. However, this may not happen in the near future.

If you use nail polish only occasionally, you shouldn’t worry about toluene and other chemicals. But if you use it regularly or work in a cosmetic salon, you may be at a greater risk. If you use nail polish all the time, be sure to use a high-quality polish that contains anti-fungal ingredients. You should also take care of your cuticles to minimize the amount of contact between the nail polish and your skin.

While avoiding toluene is not a problem for everyone, a lot of people still use too-thick nail polish coats. Toluene is a neurotoxin and may be harmful for your health. However, you can avoid the use of too-thick nail polish coats by choosing a 3-free, 5-free, or 7-free formula.

Unfavorable side effects

There are several potential negative side effects of wearing too-thick nail polish coats. These include birth defects, miscarriages, and lung disease. The toxic trio of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene have been linked to lung diseases. In a recent study, environmental experts at Duke University found that the plasticizer triphenyl phosphate is a hormone disruptor. It also may cause obesity and early puberty.

In addition to creating a mess, using too-thick nail polish can lead to allergic reactions. It may even cause fungal infections. When applied too thickly, nail polish coats can block light and cause discoloration and thickening. Fungus thrives in moist areas, so thick nail polish is a breeding ground for them. You should wear nail polish that dries quickly, and try to avoid applying too-thick layers as much as possible.

Too-thick nail polish coats aren’t the only side effects of excessively thick nail polish. If you’re prone to developing an allergic reaction, you may want to consider removing the polish or avoiding the brand with the triggering ingredient. Some reactions to nail polish don’t appear as a rash on the nails or hand. If you’re prone to nail rash, consider removing the nail polish immediately.

What to Do When Nail Polish Does Not Harden

If you’re looking for ways to fix nail polish that won’t harden, keep reading to learn about a few different ways to get your nails looking their best. Listed below are some tips that you can try: Baby oil, Hair spray, and the Cool-shot button. Also, make sure you wait at least two minutes between coats of nail polish. These tips are not guaranteed to work, but will give you at least some relief until your nail polish hardens.

Hair spray

A common mistake is using hairspray when nail polish isn’t hardening. While the formula of hairspray will keep nails looking shiny and glossy, it will also make them brittle and break easily. If you’ve ever tried to remove a stain with a cotton ball, you’ll know that it can be a difficult task. However, there are some tips you can follow to avoid such a mishap.

When nail polish doesn’t harden, apply hairspray to the top layer and then wait for it to harden. Although the top layer of polish will dry quicker, the base layer won’t harden. Also, if you’re in a rush, choose a color that dries quickly. Sheer and metallic polishes dry faster and require fewer coats. You can apply this technique several times for best results.

Another tip is to avoid using hairspray too close to the nails. Apply hairspray six to eight inches away from the nail to avoid touching it. Doing so will avoid rubbing off the nail polish or the glue. In addition to drying your nails, using hairspray will tame flyaways and hold bobby pins. The application of hairspray is so simple that you can do it without a hairbrush and a nail polish brush.

You can also use hairspray if you’re in a hurry. To apply it, hold it between six to 12 inches from your nails and shake it gently. Do not spray too close to your nails, because the aerosol can ruin your paint job. However, you should never spray hairspray directly on your nails. Just hold it away from the nails and try to get a clean look.

Baby oil

You can use baby oil when your nail polish does not harden. This natural oil will make your nails look cleaner and healthier. It will not make your nails stronger, but it will make them smudge-free and give your hands a nice shiny finish. It’s inexpensive and has great cleaning properties. Use baby oil if your nail polish doesn’t harden completely. You can also use baby oil on your lips.

You should wait at least 24 hours after applying the baby oil to dry your nails. Baby oil makes your nails dry faster because the oil in your nail glands dries faster. The water evaporates with the oil. However, you should always keep your finger away from your nails while applying the oil. Water can damage the protective coating on your nails. You should also never rinse your hands with water after applying baby oil to your nails.

Another use for baby oil is to prevent nail polish seepage. If you have a temporary tattoo, you can use baby oil to prevent seepage. This will keep your temporary tattoo from flaking or peeling off. It can also help prevent smudging on your nails. This is one of the most common reasons why nail polish does not harden. It also slows the drying of your nails because of the humidity in the air.

Alternatively, you can also use essential oils on your nails to help speed up the drying process. Lavender, peppermint, or citronella oil are all great essential oils for lubrication. You can use them to dab onto your nails or use an empty nail polish bottle to apply them to your nails. This will help them dry faster and the essential oil will keep your cuticles soft.

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Cool-shot button

The problem with regular nail polish is that it does not harden at the first attempt. The solvents in the nail polish must be allowed to vaporize before it can be applied. Some nail polishes can be dried by dipping the nails in ice water, but this can cause smudges. A more effective method is to blast cold air directly onto the nail polish. This method will help the nail polish harden quickly without harming the nails.

You can also use a blow dryer to help speed up the process of drying nail polish. When using a blow dryer, make sure to use a cool-shot setting. The cool-shot button in the dryer will release a wave of cold air, which will speed up the drying process. Be careful not to use hot air, as it can cause the nail polish to melt. Do not use a hair dryer for this, because the temperature setting in a hair dryer will not dry your nails faster.

Waiting between coats of nail polish

Depending on the formula of the nail polish, you need to wait at least five to ten minutes between coats to ensure the top layer dries completely. It may take even longer to dry between coats, resulting in a globby mess. While the time will vary depending on the formula, waiting at least two minutes between coats will help minimize the risk of bubbles and smudging.

The first layer of nail polish should be light, with approximately three brush strokes per nail. You may need to apply additional coats to get a darker color or build on a lighter layer if desired. Be sure to allow enough time for the first layer to dry before adding another. Moreover, exposure to cool air will also speed up the curing process. Lastly, you should never apply a second coat until the first layer has completely hardened.

Another cause of delayed nail drying is using thicker coats of nail paint. If you use thicker layers, the paint will take longer to dry, and it will most likely smudge or bleed. Another reason for slow nail drying is the presence of humidity in the air. Several people forget to shake the bottle before applying the polish, but shaking it is ineffective. Another cause of slow drying is too much humidity in the air.

The best way to prevent a messy nail finish is to wait at least two minutes between coats of nail polish. If you are painting your nails while watching TV, you can dip your hands in the water between commercial breaks. A cold water bath will also help the nail polish adhere to your nail and prevent any air bubbles from forming. You may want to wait a full five minutes between coats if you are using the cold water technique.

Using a UV lamp

A UV lamp is a great tool to use when your nail polish doesn’t harden. UV light is an effective way to cure nail polish. Make sure you buy a UV lamp made for curing nail polish. Most UV lamps have blue lights. However, you can get a pink or whitish light if you change the bulb to an orange or red one. A UV lamp should be replaced every four to six months, depending on the type of light you are using.

To use a UV lamp for nail curing, you must use special gel polish. Not all gel polishes contain special compounds to cure nail polish. Using a UV lamp when nail polish does not harden can help speed the drying process. Using a UV lamp for nail curing can also help speed up the drying process of regular nail polish. However, it is important to note that excessive UV exposure is potentially dangerous and should be used only for professional applications.

Another way to cure your nail polish is to apply a UV-absorbing glove. It will protect your hands from the UV rays, but you should wear gloves if you have sensitive skin. Also, the UV-absorbing gloves should be worn when using a UV-curing lamp. Generally, LED lamps are preferable to UV lights, as they only take 45 seconds to cure the polish. Because they do emit UV rays, make sure to wear sunscreen and wear gloves while using them. The instructions on how to use a UV lamp will vary depending on the type of lamp you are using. In addition, if your LED lamp does not have a timer, you can use your cell phone to set the timer.

When using a UV lamp, you must make sure that the lamp has a light indicator. Some lamps can take up to two minutes to dry gel polish, which can be uncomfortable after a while. However, you should avoid using a UV lamp if you have sensitive skin or are on certain medications. Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, estrogens, and St. John’s Wort, can cause sun sensitivity, so be sure to consult your doctor before using a UV lamp.


How do I harden my nails after painting them? A question that people often ask when learning how to harden one’s nails is about applying an over-the-counter nail polish. In general, you can apply a coat of this polish right before you are going to paint your nails. This will allow you to have a nice smooth surface to paint on with the most ease.

— Update: 20-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Why Is My Nail Polish Still Soft? (Even After Drying) from the website getlongnails.com for the keyword why is my nail polish still soft.

Nail polish is a product used to decorate fingernails. Nail polish is made of a solvent, acetone, and a pigment. The solvent dissolves the pigment, which forms a film over the nails when it dries. However, a question is circulating “why is my nail polish still soft, especially after drying?

There are a few reasons your nail polish may still be soft or sticky even after it appears to dry. It may be because you applied the polish too thickly. Also, your polish may take longer to dry if you don’t use a base coat.

Lastly, the polish is old or has gone bad. Nail polish can go bad over time, especially if it’s not stored properly. If your polish is old or exposed to extreme temperatures, it may be more prone to staying soft or sticky even after it appears dry.

4 Possible Causes of Soft Nail Polish

There are several possible causes of soft or sticky nail polish, even after it appears to be dry:

1. The polish is old or has gone bad

Nail polish can go bad over time, especially if it’s not stored properly. If your polish is old or exposed to extreme temperatures, it may be more prone to staying soft or sticky even after it appears dry.

2. The humidity or temperature in the room is too high

Humidity and high temperatures can affect the drying time of nail polish. If the air is too humid or the room is too hot, the polish may take longer to dry and remain soft or sticky.

3. You didn’t allow the polish to dry fully before applying a top coat

If you apply a top coat too soon after applying the polish, it may cause the polish to remain soft or sticky. It’s important to allow the polish to dry before applying a top coat.

4. The polish was not allowed to dry completely

It’s important to give the polish plenty of time to dry completely before attempting to do anything that might cause it to come into contact with water or other substances. If the polish is still wet or partially wet when you attempt to wash your hands, it may remain soft or sticky.

What Causes Nail Polish to Remain Soft or Sticky After It Has Dried?

One of the most common problems with nail polish is that it remains soft or sticky after it’s dried. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to apply another coat of polish or use a topcoat and find that it just won’t stick to your nails. Several factors can contribute to this problem:

1. Your nail polish is too thin or thick

If you apply too thin a coat of polish, it may not dry properly, while a thicker coat will take longer to dry and may remain tacky.

2. You are using low-quality nail polish

Some brands have more additives than others, so if your brand has fewer additives and more natural ingredients, it may not dry as fast as other brands.

3.  Not allowing enough drying time

You didn’t give your nails enough time to dry before applying another coat of polish or using a topcoat. If you don’t let your nails dry completely before applying another layer of polish or using a topcoat, they’ll be too wet for the new layer to stick properly.

How Can I Fix Soft or Sticky Nail Polish?

If your nail polish is soft or sticky even after it appears to be dry, there are a few things you can try to fix it:

1. Apply a quick-drying top coat

A quick-drying top coat can help seal in the polish and make it dry faster. Simply apply the top coat over the polish and let it dry completely.

2. Use a nail polish drying spray

Nail polish drying sprays are specially formulated to help your polish dry faster. Spray the product onto your nails after applying the polish, which should help the polish dry more quickly.

3. Allow more drying time between coats

If your nail polish is soft or sticky, you might haven’t allowed enough drying time between coats.

For example: if you’re applying a first coat of nail polish and then immediately applying a second coat without waiting long enough for the first to dry, your manicure will become soft or sticky.

To avoid this issue, allow more drying time between coats.

4. Remove the polish and start over

If none of the above methods work, you may need to remove the polish and start over. Use a nail polish remover to remove the soft or sticky polish, then apply a new coat of polish and be sure to use a base coat and top coat to help the polish dry faster and stay in place.

What Can I Do to Prevent Soft or Sticky Nail Polish in the Future?

Soft or sticky nail polish can be a real problem. If you’ve ever had to take your polish off before it was fully dry, or if you’ve had to deal with goopy layers of paint, you know what we’re talking about. But there are some things you can do to avoid this problem in the future. They are:

1. Use high-quality nail polish

The best way to prevent sticky nail polish is to use high-quality nail polish. If you use cheap nail polish, it won’t have the same ingredients that help keep it from getting tacky and clumpy. Try to find a brand with fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients, like those that are made with beeswax or other plant waxes.

2. Apply thin layers of polish

Apply thin, even layers of polish. You don’t want a thick layer of polish on your nails. Your nail polish should be as thin as possible so that it can dry quickly, and you don’t have to wait around for it to dry before applying another coat.

3. Don’t apply too much pressure when brushing on your nail polish

The brush should glide smoothly over your nail without leaving behind any streaks or bumps. If you get any bumps or streaks, take a cotton swab dipped in nail polish remover and rub out the problem area until it’s smooth again.

Is It Possible to Speed up the Drying Time of Nail Polish?

Yes, it is possible to speed up nail polish drying time. Conventionally, your nail polish takes 20-60 minutes to dry completely. But if you want to speed up the process, then you try one of the tips below:

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1. By painting your nails in light, thin layers to enable each layer to dry

Ensure you wipe off polish pieces from your applicator container and apply 2 or 3 light layers. Allow your polish to dry for about 2-3 minutes between each coat. Know that nail polish will not completely dry if you apply it in multiple layers.

Of course, we know it may take longer to apply the whole polish. However, the drying will be significantly less. Ensure you paint each nail one after the other. If you are patient in painting each nail, the first nail will be ready for its second round of coat by the time you finish painting the last nail.

2. Use a blow dryer to blow cool air for 2-3 minutes

Put on your hairdryer and select the cold air setting. Then use the dryer to run across your painted fingers for 2-3 minutes.

The cold air will effectively dry your nails quickly. Repeat the process for each nail to dry quickly. But make sure the dryer is set on the low setting before starting.

As you dry your nails, ensure you hold the dryer approximately 12 inches (30cm) above your nails to avoid damaging the nails.

If you make the mistake of holding the dryer too close or using a warm heat setting, your polish may start to ripple.

3. Place your fingers in a bowl of ice-cold water for 2-3 minutes

Give your nails at least 60 seconds to dry. Then fill a small bowl halfway with very cold water. You should also place 3-5 ice cubes for it to be effective. Then hold your painted fingertips in the ice water for 1-2 minutes before you take them off the bowl.

The cold hardens the nail polish. The reason why dipping your fingers for a brief moment is that it is a good way of getting your polish to stick.

4. Apply quick-drying nail polish products

There are numerous brands advertising nail polish as fast drying. If you use these products to paint your nails, it may speed up the drying.

5. Avoid contact with water or other substances immediately after painting

It’s important to give the polish plenty of time to dry completely before attempting to do anything that might cause it to come into contact with water or other substances.

Can the Quality of the Nail Polish I Use Impact Its Ability to Dry Properly?

Yes, the quality of the nail polish you use can impact its ability to dry properly. Nail polish comprises several different ingredients, including pigments, resins, and solvents. The quality of these ingredients can affect the performance of the nail polish.

For example, if the pigments used in the nail polish are of high quality, the polish will likely have a more vibrant color and be more resistant to fading. If the resins used are high quality, the nail polish will be more durable and chip-resistant. And if the solvents used are of high quality, the nail polish will be more effective at drying and will not become thick or clumpy over time.

It is also worth noting that the application process can impact nail polish drying time. If you apply the polish too thickly or do not allow enough time for each layer to dry before applying the next, the nail polish may take longer to dry or may not dry properly. Using a fast-drying topcoat can also help to speed up the drying process.

Is It Important to Use a Base Coat When Applying Nail Polish?

Yes, it is important to use a base coat when applying nail polish. A base coat serves several purposes:

  • Protects the nails: A base coat helps to protect the nails from the potentially harmful ingredients in the nail polish, such as pigments and solvents. It can also help to prevent the nail polish from staining the nails.
  • Improves adhesion: A base coat helps the nail polish to adhere better to the nails, which can improve the durability of the polish.
  • Evens out the surface: A base coat can help to even out the nails’ surface, making the nail polish appear smoother and more even.
  • Enhances the color: A base coat can also enhance the color of the nail polish by providing a more even canvas for the polish to be applied on.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why your nail polish may still be soft even after drying. These can include using low-quality nail polish, applying the polish too thickly, not allowing enough time for each layer to dry before applying the next, or having dry or damaged nails.

To help ensure that your nail polish dries properly and has a long-lasting finish, it is important to use high-quality nail polish and to follow proper application techniques. This includes applying the polish in thin, even layers, allowing each layer to dry fully before applying the next, and using a fast-drying topcoat if desired.

— Update: 22-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Why Does Nail Polish Stay Soft and Tacky? from the website luxeluminous.com for the keyword why is my nail polish still soft.

Sometimes you apply a coat of polish and it dries in a 30 seconds. And other times, it feels like it takes forever and your polish stays tacky.

Why does that happen?

So, why does nail polish stay soft and tacky? You might have a nail polish that has reached the end of its shelf life and has dried up, or maybe you’ve picked a poor-quality polish.

Perhaps too many coats are being applied in a short period without allowing the previous coats to dry fully. Or maybe there was a lot of air in the bottle.

In this post, we will discuss what causes your nail polish to stay tacky and soft, and what you can do to fix it.

Why Is My Nail Polish Soft and Tacky?

Why is my nail polish still soft

1. Air Is Getting In The Bottle

Your nail polish bottle’s neck may be clogged with nail polish residue and dried gunk. If nail polish dries too much around the neck, air can enter the bottle because the cap is not tightened properly.

In addition, nail polish can be contaminated with residue, compromising its original consistency and making it too thick to dry properly. 

If nail polish dries too much around the neck, air can enter the bottle because the cap is not tightened properly.

2. You Are Trying to Skip a Topcoat

If you’re using gel polish, sometimes the top layer stays sticky. Some gel polishes need to be wiped down, others need a top coat.

Follow the instructions of your polish, as there are different formulations.

Also, keep in mind that there are different kinds of gel polishes. There’s air-dry gel polish  that requires a top coat. There’s also gel polish and builder gel/gel overlay.

These can stay sticky after drying unless they are wiped down or a topcoat is applied (depending on the system)

3. Poor Storage

Do you keep your nail polish in the bathroom cabinet?

People tend to not think about this and just throw their polish anywhere. There is a good possibility that your nail polishes are not being stored properly.

Light, heat, moisture, are not good for polishes..

Nail polish is loaded with alcohol which helps nail polish to dry when you use it.

When you store the bottle incorrectly, (such as in direct sunlight) it can dry out the alcohol. The polish does not dry properly and remains tacky.

This also occurs if the polish is out of date. Always check the date before using, as polish can expire.

When Gel Polish Is Over-Cured, It Can Still Be Sticky 

A gel polish’s mirror-like finish is revealed by removing the top inhibition layer with an alcohol-based cleanser. It has a sticky, dull appearance.

Gel polish manufacturers provide instructions for removing this gel layer, but most people fail to read them.

Check your bottle to see if you have this type and should be wiping the coat off.

A gel polish’s mirror-like finish is revealed by removing the top inhibition layer with an alcohol-based cleanser.

See also: What Happens If You Over-Cure Gel Nails?

How Help Your Nail Polish Dry Quicker

1. Use Thin Light Layers

Apply 2 or 3 light layers of polish after wiping off the polish from your applicator container.

Before applying the next coat of polish, ensure the previous one is completely dry. Applying nail polish in multiple layers will not completely dry the polish.

Before applying the next coat of polish, ensure the previous one is completely dry. Applying nail polish in multiple layers will not completely dry the polish.

We know that applying the whole polish will take longer, but the drying time will be shorter. This is because each nail should be painted one after the other.

If you paint each nail patiently, the first can be painted again by the time you’ve finished painting the last nail, provided you use thin layers.

2. For 2-3 Minutes, Blow Cool Air With a Blow Dryer 

Use a hairdryer with cold air settings. Run the dryer for 2-3 minutes across your fingers.

Your nails will dry quickly using just cold air. Each nail should be dried quickly by repeating the process. Keep everything on low power.

You should hold your hair dryer 12 inches above the nails while drying them.

You may start to see ripples in your polish if you use a warm heat setting or hold the dryer too close. This means you are melting the polish.

You may start to see ripples in your polish if you use a warm heat setting or hold the dryer too close. This means you are melting the polish.

3. Spend 2-3 Minutes in an Ice-Cold Bowl of Water 

Make sure your nails are dry for at least 60 seconds. Pour very cold water halfway into a small bowl, or throw a few ice cubes in it.

Place your painted fingertips in and let them sit for 1-2 minutes. Nail polish hardens in the cold. 

4. Use a Nail Polish That Dries Quickly

Numerous nail polish brands claim to be fast drying. How well they work is variable. It’s often best to be patient. Also note that sometimes 5-fre nail polishes and above can take a bit longer to dry.

5. Use Nail Polish Thinner to Thin Your Nail Polish 

Thin out your nail polish with acetone. Just one or two drops is enough.

This method should be used with caution. Adding too much acetone can dilute the polish and create runny polish. For gel nail polishes, a thinner formulated specifically for them is required. 

The original formula is preserved when using a gel polish thinner, while other solvents such as nail polish remover will simply break it down.

6. Change Up Your Nail Polish Brand 

Suppose your nail polish becomes sticky before its expiration date. That may be a signal they’re not using high-quality, long-lasting ingredients. Is it a big name brand, or did you just fall in love with the color?

You don’t need to spend much money on nail polish to gain good quality.

7. Avoid Painting Your Nails in Humid Weather 

If the sun is out and the summer heat is kicking in, paint your nails indoors with the AC on. The heat and humidity will stop your nails from drying properly.

Try to paint your nails before the weather gets too hot or when the humidity is low. 

Humidity can also create more oil and residue on our natural nails. Make sure you clean the nails properly before applying polish so it has a clean surface to adhere to.


There are many reasons why your polish stays tacky and soft. Most likely your bottle wasn’t fully closed, or it is old, stored improperly, or is poor quality.

Fortunately, new nail polish is generally pretty inexpensive. But if you can’t go buy a new bottle immediately, follow our guide and hopefully you’ll be able to get your polish to work one last time.


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About the Author: Tung Chi