You can improve your salon speed without cutting corners on the excellence of your service! Apply your polish and gel-polish more quickly and accurately with these simple tips.

1. Apply the base coat as neatly and carefully as you would apply a red polish.

Where the base coat goes the color flows, so if you are fast and sloppy with your base coat, you will be spending time cleaning up the color.

2. Apply very thin layers of color.

Thick layers of polish take longer to dry, and thick layers of gel-polish may wrinkle or undercure. Two thin layers of color should give you beautiful, even color coverage every time.

3. If two thin layers aren’t giving you full coverage, ensure that your color is mixed well.

Either shake or roll the product, depending on the manufacturer’s suggestion for that product. Taking the time to add a third layer of color is going to be more of a time drain than if you had just ensured it was mixed properly.

4. Seal the edge before you polish the nail plate surface.

If your routine is to polish the nail, seal the edge, then pull back over the nail to remove excess, you are duplicating effort and that takes time. If you seal the edge first, followed by polishing the surface there is no additional time taken to remove excess from the edge.

5. When applying polish, leave a tiny margin of at least 1/16-inch around the color so that you are able to seal it with the top coat.

The margin makes it easier to apply the top coat just past the edge of the color without getting it on the skin and requiring cleanup.

These tips were adapted from a longer piece by NAILS contributing editor Holly Schippers. Read Speed Up Your Services — Part 1: Work Habits, Prep, and Natural Nails for more.

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