Beauty

This Ice Cold Hack Is The Chip-Free, Almost-Magic Way To Dry Your Fresh Manicure In Seconds

Yes, you read that correctly.

By Diandra Malivindi
Life is full of disappointments, but there is nothing quite as soul-crushing as painting your nails, giving yourself a pat on the back for a job (mostly) well done and then immediately chipping a nail.
You've spent the better part of an hour meticulously painting each finger, avoiding your skin and even mastering the 'wrong' hand, just to have it all ruined because of a seemingly 'dry' nail that clearly was not.
For most of us, an at-home manicure isn't always possible, given that spare time can often feel like a luxury. But, that shouldn't mean that painting your nails before you head out the door shouldn't be possible.
So, guess what? Science has come to the rescue.
It turns out, a chemical reaction is the reason why the age-old myth that plunging your fresh manicure in an ice-cold bath might actually work. Yes, you read that correctly, submerging your fresh coat in water helps them to dry faster.
Main image via @overglowedit.
While the idea of dunking a fresh coat of polish into water sounds like a hellish ordeal, the tried-and-true method has been taking over social media, with beauty aficionados and manicure savants alike, thanking the heavens for the time-saving hack.
After all, even if you aren't in a rush, who wouldn't benefit from bone dry nails in seconds. If you don't, then you've clearly never had to brush hair out of your eye with wet nails.
But how exactly does ice-cold water help speed up the drying process? Below, we've outlined how the chemical reaction works and how to use the hack to keep your manicure chip-free.

How Does Ice Cold Water Help Nails To Dry?

Well, it does and it also, well, doesn't. While, yes, the trick does work, there is room for error and the chances of no smudging isn't entirely removed. But, it can definitely help.
Nail polish is a polymer, which means that it's formed by a chemical reaction. So, when you paint your nails, a chemical reaction takes place to begin evaporating the solvents in the polish, when the solvents have disappeared, the polish is dry, as per Thought Co. But when the weather is extremely warm, or you're in a heated room, the warmth of your surroundings will decrease the rate that the solvents evaporate, which delays drying time and increases your chance of the dreaded smudge.
Naturally, this means that the colder the environment, the quicker the drying process. And while the ice water technique definitely thickens the polish, there still needs to be some air drying involved to be 100 per cent safe.
But don't get too disheartened, because the ice water hack can help you out quite a lot. Not only does it chew up some of the drying time, but if you're often smudging wet nails thanks to busy hands, then the method can also make sure that your digits stay still for a few minutes.
If you're often under a serious time crunch, then drying your manicure with a hair drier—only on the coldest and lowest settings—is a great way to speed up the wait time. Plus, you can also get your hands on 'quick dry' products, like OPI or Essie's offerings, to help speed it up for you.
Still curious about the ice water method? Find out exactly how to dry your nails à la ice plunge below.
Black Velvet Dryer 2000W by Silver Bullet, $119.95 at Adore Beauty.
Drip Dry Drops by OPI, $24.95 at Adore Beauty.
Quick-e Quick Dry Drops by Essie Nail Care, $19.95 at Adore Beauty.

How To Use Ice Cold Water To Dry Freshly Painted Nails

First, preparation is key. When assembling your tools, polishes and your patience, take the time to sort out your ice water. Choose a large bowl, preferably one that you care very little about and is large enough for both hands, and fill it with cold water. Then, throw in a handful of ice from the freezer and set aside.
When painting your nails, neatness isn't the only thing you should prioritise when mastering an at-home manicure. As you paint, remember to keep your layers thin, otherwise drying time will take ions (even with this ice water trick)—no thick or lumpy polish and stick to applying around two layers.
Once you've finished your manicure masterpiece that Picasso would be proud of, set your palms down on a flat surface and let them dry naturally for two minutes.
Then, dunk your hands into the bowl of ice water—remember to keep your fingers separated and away from the edges, we don't want any accidental collisions. Sit with your submerged digits for another 3-4 minutes and let chemistry do its thing. When the time is up, lift your hands out of the water, and if there are water droplets sitting atop your nails, then they're dry.
Place your wet hands, palms down, on a towel and wait another few minutes, double-checking with a touch test. And voilà, here's hoping that there's no chipped nail in sight.
You (and your manicure) can thank us later.
SHAREPIN
  • undefined: Diandra Malivindi