Monday, May 30, 2011

Guide: Manicure Bubble Prevention

Don't you hate those pesky bubbles you sometimes get when doing a manicure? Like this perhaps?
Thanks for the bubble pic Jen :D
Well here are some things you can do to help prevent that:

1. Start with a clean, dry nail plate. Always swipe with remover before polishing even when you don't have polish to remove to remove any residue, oils, or moisturizer.

2. Use thin coats instead of thick coats of all polish, including base, color, and top. I know, the first coat looks awful when it's thin. Deal with it. It will help I promise.

3. Don't shake the polish bottle!
Tilty swirl it
Or roll it between your palms gently
This will prevent bubbles from getting trapped in the polish from the bottle to the nail.

4. Make sure your polishes aren't too thick. They can thicken up with age. Add some thinner, not nail polish remover, a couple drops at a time until it looks normal again before using.

5. Don't try to dry your polish too quickly using air. I think some light blowing on your fingers is fine, but using a fan, polish dryer, or aerosol dryer increases the risk for bubbles.

6. Wait until each coat is a little bit dry, or dry to the touch, before applying another coat. Dry to the touch is when you can very lightly touch it without messing it up. At this point you can still mess it up easily if you try to dig for your keys in your purse or anything like that. It really doesn't take long at all if you use thin coats - like a minute for each coat.

7. Wait a couple minutes after your final coat of color before you apply your top coat. If you're using a quick dry top coat, they're usually applied over polish that is not totally wet but still tacky.I have noticed that some quick dry top coats, applied at the first sign of bubbles, can stop them in their tracks!

If you have anything to add to this guide, please email me or comment here and I'll add it!!


  1. I used to always get bubbles until I started using Seche Vite topcoat. It is designed to go on over wet nails and it dries super fast. I've been using for well over 10 years and haven't had a bubble!

  2. I definitely like Seche Vite! It can be a bit finicky though. I'm wearing it right now. I have heard that it was made for wet nails, but I don't know. It has given me bubbles before when I put it on too soon. I need to try putting it on right away.

  3. I shake my polishes like a mad man! And I haven't had any trouble with bubbles.... yet. *crosses fingers* :)

  4. Devin LOL! Well especially with the thicker polishes, shaking can trap bubbles in there. Jen was trying it for me earlier to make that pic and she shook her SV and it was really bubbled.

  5. I've noticed that I tend to have more bubble issues if I have my window air conditioner unit on while doing my nails. I sit near it while doing them, so the air is rather close. Also, the ceiling fan has been known to be a problem as well.

  6. I love the 'tilty swirl'! I hadn't seen that until now; I'd only heard of rolling it between your palms. Thanks!

  7. Very helpful post Megan.
    I would like to add that as you mention it is important to have a clean and dry nail plate, and while swiping with nail polish remover is a good idea some removers have moisturizers and other additives in them so it is safer to swipe with a little rubbing alcohol instead. This removes all traces of oils of any kind and it dehydrates the nail plate just enough to get a better adhesion of any nail product. I cut up a few paper towels into little squares, and I have 99% alcohol in a small pump spray bottle, and that's what I use. 70% would be fine. I just have 99% because that what I use when I am doing gel nails.


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