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The Best Fast-Drying Nail Polishes for a Perfect Home Manicure

Kaitlyn Neese
Written by Ashley Neese

Step into the future of nail care with our exclusive guide to the best fast-drying nail polishes of 2024. In our busy lives, every second counts. Luckily, we found some cutting-edge formulas that redefine the art of the manicure, delivering stunning results in mere moments. From bustling city streets to glamorous events, our handpicked selection ensures that your nails are always on point, with zero compromise on speed or style. The leader of our list is the wet n wild Fast Dry AF Fast-Drying Nail Polish. It can dry in just 40 seconds, will last up to five days, and is available in a wide range of colors. But, that’s just one of five amazing nail polishes we have for you below!


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Buying Guide: The Best Fast Drying Nail Polish

Whether you're a busy bee or a beauty fanatic, fast drying nail polish promises quick, smudge-free glam in seconds. And to help you find the ideal polish, we have a guide to the most important features below.

Drying Time

When choosing a fast-drying nail polish, you should look for one that is labeled along the lines of ‘quick dry’ or ‘super-fast drying.’ What you can expect is for the polish to dry to the touch within 60 seconds. But, remember that the formula still may need time to cure so still be careful for a couple of minutes. While the drying time may vary, look for polishes that state their dry time clearly on the bottle so you can make an informed decision.

Finish and Shine

Many fast-drying nail polishes leave either a glossy or matte finish. Glossy finishes are shinier and more vibrant, whereas matte finishes are more subtle and softer looking. The level of shine achieved with fast-drying nail polish depends largely on the polish formula. Look for brands with a high-shine finish for a consistent, glossy manicure. You can also add a top coat to add a shiny, durable finish.


Opacity describes how well the polish covers the nail completely which affects the number of coats needed for full coverage. Fast-drying nail polish tends to have higher opacity to achieve a quick, one-coat application. If your nails require multiple coats to be adequately covered, then look for a brand with higher opacity levels.


Like all cosmetics, be careful of the ingredients used in nail polish. Ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate are typically added to make polish hardened and durable, but they can lead to allergic reactions and neurotoxicity among other effects. The good news is that most brands, even familiar drugstore brands, do not use these ingredients.

Comparing the Best Fast-Drying Nail Polishes


Wet N Wild Fast-Drying Nail Polish


  • Built-in base coat
  • Cruelty-free brand
  • Lasts up to five days


  • Consistency is too thick for some

wet n wild's fast drying nail polish brings a world of fashion to your fingertips in a single coat. Not only does this color provide a vivid, rich finish that lasts up to five days, but it also dries in as little as 40 seconds to prevent smudges and smears. This polish is ideal for those who are short on time and need to get out the door fast yet still look polished, making it the best overall pick on our list.

Available in a variety of colors ranging from solid to sparkle finishes, this fast-drying nail polish provides your nails with just the right amount of pizzazz to stand out in the crowd. We love that the single-coat application leaves nails with a brilliant, shiny finish and long-lasting color without fading or chipping. With this polish, you can enjoy nails that look as if you’ve got a manicure from a professional salon. In addition to being fantastic when it comes to convenience and longevity, this nail color is also cruelty-free.


Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast-Drying Nail Polish


  • Smooth finish in a single coat
  • Over 50 shade options
  • Built-in base and top coat


  • Colors may differ from online photos

If you want an on-trend manicure delivered quickly, with beautiful results and no smudging, you should add the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast-Drying Nail Polish to your collection. This innovative nail polish is perfect for those who need quick and long-lasting manicures. It features a revolutionary formula that allows you to apply a single coat in one stroke. Plus, it finishes drying in only 60 seconds, making it easy to get a salon-quality finish with minimal effort.

If you're anything like us, applying base and top coats can be annoying. Luckily, the formula has a base and top coat built in to provide extended wear and stunning shine. It also comes in different captivating colors that are sure to make any manicure stand out from the crowd. Highly pigmented and opaque, the polish has a smooth consistency that ensures even application each time. In addition to its great color payoff, this fast-drying nail polish stays put for days before it requires any touch-ups.


Essie ‘expressie’ Fast-Drying Nail Polish


  • Angled brush for versatile use
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Dries in about a minute


  • On the sheer side

The Essie 'expressie' Fast-Drying Nail Polish is a one-step color and shine formula to give your nails a much-needed makeover. The polish includes an angled brush for easy application and requires no base or top coat, making it perfect for on-the-go applications. And it comes in a variety of iconic colors to help you dress up your nails just the way you want. 

The quick drying time makes it great for those who need to get out the door quickly, as the polish will be dry in only a minute. With two coats of this nail polish, you will have exceptional coverage and beautiful color. And we love that the vegan formula is made without any animal-derived ingredients. 


Townley Girl Disney Princess Fast-Drying Nail Polish


  • Non-irritating, water-based formula
  • Has a subtle bubble gum scent
  • Comes with a nail separator


  • Colors aren't opaque

This Townley Girl Disney Princess Fast-Drying Nail Polish is ideal for kids who love to explore fashion and beauty. It enables young girls to enjoy a spa day at home with complete manicures and pedicures without having to wait a long time for the polish to dry. Perfect for small hands and feet, this set includes 12 polishes and nail separators. We think it would make a wonderful birthday or holiday gift for any child.

Each bottle in this set is decorated with an image of a beloved Disney Princess, so your little angel is bound to fall in love with this kit. Thanks to its non-toxic, non-irritating water-based formula that is bubble gum scented, applying the polish is easy and fun as well as safe for the nails and skin. The non-toxic formula makes it safe to use for children ages three years and older. And removing the polish is just as simple—all you need to do is peel off the dried polish from your nails.


Abitzon Fast-Drying Nail Polish Set


  • Eco-friendly, non-toxic formula
  • Water-based and peelable
  • Comes in a range of colors


  • Not as long-lasting as alternatives

Abitzon's Fast-Drying Nail Polish Set is a great choice for those looking to add some color to their life. This 10-bottle set features non-toxic and non-irritating nail polish that’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP chemicals. The unique formula allows the polish to dry quickly in around 60 seconds under normal conditions. You also don’t need an LED or UV lamp to cure it, so you don’t have to wait long before applying a top coat.

It’s easy to remove with just a little water, keeping your nails safe from the harmful effects of acetone and harsh polish removers. This set provides an array of rich nail polish colors that can be used for any occasion. To ensure your manicure stays intact for longer, the product instructions suggest washing hands thoroughly before application and then adding two layers of nail polish followed by a top coat. We like this set since it allows you to have all the fun of painting your nails without worrying about harsh chemicals.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Can fast drying nail polish be used for nail art?

    A:Yes, fast drying nail polish can be used for nail art, but it's important to work quickly to prevent the polish from drying before you're finished. Consider using thin layers and a fast-drying top coat for optimal results.

  • Q: Do I need a base coat and top coat when using fast drying nail polish?

    A:Yes, it's recommended to use a base coat and topcoat every time your paint nails to make sure the manicure lasts as long as possible. The base coat helps protect against staining and provides a smooth surface for the color layer. The topcoat helps seal everything in place and provides a glossy shine. But, there are some polish formulations that have the top and base coats built in.

  • Q: Is it safe to use fast drying nail polish?

    A:Although nail polish is not regulated by the FDA, toxic-free formulas may be safer. It’s important to follow directions on the bottle and avoid contact with eyes or skin unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Some people may experience adverse allergic reactions, so it’s always best to test out the product on a small area before use and consult with a doctor if you experience any discomfort or swelling after use.

  • Q: How can I make fast drying nail polish dry even faster?

    A:To speed up drying time, try applying thin coats of polish, using a quick-dry top coat, or using a fan or cool air to help set the polish.

  • Q: How do I remove fast drying nail polish?

    A:Fast drying nail polish can be removed using nail polish remover and cotton pads or balls. Soak the cotton with remover, press onto the nail, and wipe away the polish.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Kaitlyn Neese

By Ashley Neese

Hi, I'm Ashley Neese and I graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.  I'm passionate about all things beauty, fashion, and wellness — specifically skin care, makeup, and natural health. I love writing about things that help people feel like their best selves, whether it's finding their perfect lip color or a supplement to alleviate anxiety. In my free time, I am usually reading a romantic comedy or playing with my two dogs.

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