How to Prevent Nail Polish Bubbles

Since March, when nail salons closed, I’ve been on a mission to learn to do my own manicures. Now five months in, it’s become a nice relaxing self care routine. I pour myself a glass of wine or make iced coffee, turn on an episode of Sex and the City or Gossip Girl, I start painting my nails,  and I’m completely relaxed. My manicure always starts out nice but then the bubbles start appearing. After some trial and error, I’ve finally figured out how to get that perfect bubble free mani!

How to Prevent Nail Polish Bubbles
  • Save


 Sally Hansen Good.Kind.Pure. – Pinky Clay

Follow these steps for a bubble free finish:

Start with clean nails. Make sure to remove all polish, oils or lotions from nails. Use an acetone free polish remover to clean nails, even if you didn’t have any polish on.

Put polish on in thin layers. Some polishes are easier to do this than others but try your best not to use thick layers. Thick layers make it all goopy and it will never dry nicely! 

Let each layer dry. This is the hardest part but be patient! This is where I was messing up the most. I’d put each layer of polish on back to back but that was creating air pockets. Set a timer for 2-4 minutes after each layer. Wait and let it dry! Seriously, just don’t rush the process.

Stop shaking the bottle. I was so guilty of this. I’d just shake and smack the bottle against my hand. Why? I’m not really sure but I just did, thinking I really needed to shake up the polish before using it. I realized doing that creates little air pockets which lead to bubbles. Now I just kind of roll the bottle back and forth between my hands a little. Gently is key!

Adding nail polish remover. We’ve all done this or I’m pretty sure we’ve all done this. In an attempt to get every last drop of polish out I was really ruining the polish by adding drops of polish remover. 

Now that I have my routine down, I probably won’t be going back to a nail salon on a regular basis anymore. Pre-COVID, I went every week or every other week. The thought of trying to do my own manicure used to stress me out. Patience and practice is key! Not saying I won’t ever go back to nail salons when it’s safe but I’ll probably only go like once a month or for special events.

What are some of your at home manicure tips?

  • Save

How to Prevent Nail Polish Bubbles
  • Save

Shop the Post

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Maria S. wrote:

    I learned the hard way about the thin layers.

    Very good advice.

    Posted 8.6.20 Reply

current beauty faves

Before you go...

Let's stay in touch! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to receive a roundup of post and exclusive content. I promise to never spam.
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap