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Question: "My polish smudges whenever I do my nails. How long do I really have to let it dry?"
Answer: This is one of the great beauty mysteries. Even if you get your nails done at a salon or spa, inevitably, at least one gets nicked before you're out the door. The secret, says star manicurist Deborah Lippmann, is to devote time during the polishing process as well as afterward. "Stroke on the absolute thinnest layers of polish and give them at least one minute between coats," she advises. To finish, apply a clear top coat, wait five minutes, then brush on nail oil -- it helps set polish and lock in shine. While the whole shebang will cost you about 15 minutes, just think of how much more time will be wasted if you smudge a nail and have to start from scratch.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.