Tips for Speeding Up Your Manicure at the Salon

We asked Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics, how to get perfectly groomed nails in a flash-and without a smudge.


  • Skip the soak and ask your manicurist to apply a lightweight lotion, which hydrates your hands and cuticles just as effectively-but shortens the treatment time by 5 minutes.
  • Push back your cuticles instead of trimming them. "This is a smart move in terms of time and safety," says Weingarten.
  • Request a single coat of polish to reduce drying time. "Two coats are ideal," says Weingarten, "but one will suffice, provided you secure it with a basecoat and topcoat." Just remember to choose a light, almost translucent shade, not a dark one. "You won't get the dramatic effect of a deep polish in just one coat." More Tips: How to Do a Dark Manicure
  • If you don't have time to sit under the dryer, apply a few drops of dry oil after the topcoat to help prevent smudges and dents. "You'll be out the door in 15 minutes, as opposed to 50," says Weingarten.
  • And if you're in the most insane hurry ever, forget the polish altogether. Instead, ask for a thorough buff, a basecoat (to smooth and condition), and a topcoat (for shine). "Your nails will have a healthy glow," says Weingarten.
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