photo: spencer higgins, post designed by kristin ess

So annoying– You finish your mani, it looks amazing and then a short time later you look down to see bubbles in your polish. Here are some ways to avoid that problem…

  1. Don’t shake your polish bottle. Try rolling it between the palms of your hands instead. Shaking the polish vigorously creates a bazillion little bubbles that you can’t seeā€¦ until they rise! If you absolutely have to shake the bottle to mix your color, do so and then wait about half an hour so all the bubbles can surface before you start your mani.
  2. Avoid thick polish. The thicker the polish, the longer bubbles will take to surface. A new bottle of polish is thinner and the bubbles rise quicker. You can add a couple drops of polish remover to thin out thick polish, but just remember that adding acetone/remover weakens the bond between the polish and your nail. AKA: it will probably start to chip sooner.
  3. Keep the lids on your polish. Sometimes we forget to screw the lids down while doing nail art or cleaning up the cuticles. The longer you leave the lid off, the more air gets in and the more the polish will thicken and thick polish is a bubble trap!
  4. Use a base coat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen bubbles in a base coat. Have you? Laying a proper foundation for your polish is a must when trying to avoid bubbles.
  5. Do your nails in a cool, dry place. If you’re body temp is up, heat will radiate and can actually cause polish bubbles. If temperatures are high where you are, try using a small fan to dry/cool your nails right after polish is applied. Soaking or running your hands in cold water and then drying them before you start painting can also help if it’s hot out.
  6. Let the first coat dry completely. I’ve noticed that with some polishes, you have to let the first coat fully dry before applying the second coat to avoid bubbles. If you don’t have time to let the first coat dry entirely, at least make sure you’re using a polish with a “quick dry” label.
  7. Lift the brush as little as possible. On your first coat, try doing long strokes instead of short quick strokes with the brush. I find that the quicker shorter strokes will push air into the polish. If you need to do short quick strokes to get to a certain spot, do it on the second round after the first coat dries all the way.

These are some tricks that have really helped us with doing TBD manicures. What tricks do you have for avoiding bubbles in your polish??