​We've all been there. You paint your nails and have that annoying moment of fanning your hands about and furiously blowing on the tips in an attempt to get them to dry quicker. It's common knowledge that it doesn't do much (except leave your fingers covered in spit) and all you can do is sit and wait patiently for the nail polish to set. But is that really the case? We recently stumbled across a tip that holding your hands in cold water can make the polish dry a lot quicker. Filled with excitement and hope, we turned to celebrity manicurist Michelle Humphrey for some answers – because who else would be better informed than the woman whose talent graces the talons of Madonna and Katy Perry?

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​Yes, you can speed up your drying time by submerging your nails in cold water,' confirms Michelle. Hooray!She advises, 'Simply fill a bowl, dip your nails, and wait 3-5 minutes – or however long you can spare! You can even add a few ice cubes to make the temperature cooler. 'But be sure to take care when drying your hands and nails afterwards as they may still get marked.'

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Next time you paint your nails and need to rush out of the door, head towards the last place you'd expect: the tap. This handy tip got us thinking about other techniques the pros may use, so we asked Michelle to delve into some of the tricks of the trade:

  • 'My top tip for drying your nails at speed at home is to use the hairdryer on the COLD setting and give them a good blast. Avoid shaking your arms around to dry your polish, as this can end up in disaster if you bump them.'
  • 'Make sure the consistency of your polish is correct. If it's going gloopy, thick or lumpy, it's time to throw it out and invest in some new colours!'
  • 'It can be down to the application. Apply your polish THINLY! Sometimes we load it on if it's looking a bit streaky, but this is a guaranteed way to get smudges.'
  • 'Blowing on your nails doesn't speed up drying time. As you breathe on them, the humidity of your breath will prevent the polish drying any faster. Polish dries faster when it's cooler.'
  • 'Apply cuticle oil to your manicure to help speed up drying and protect the polish. My favourite is Solar Oil by CND.'

What do you think?