Techs share their tried-and-true methods for avoiding “Oops, I dinged my polish.”

I either have her put on her coat before I polish the nails, or I have her make a loose fist and I put my hand up the sleeve of her coat and hold her hand, shielding her nails. Then I gently guide her arms through the sleeves of the coat. If the client has an arm that is less flexible than the other, I do that hand first.   INGRID BIGENHO, JCPenney Salon, Monroeville, Pa.

I make the client sit still at least five minutes. If the client is in too big of a hurry to sit, I’ll sometimes put a drop of cuticle oil on each finger before she rushes out.  RACHEL BOLEK, Hair Studio 227, Dover, Ohio 

Before we polish a client’s nails we have the client put her jacket on, get her keys out, and pay for her services. That way she just has to sit at the nail dryer before she leaves. We have even put children in their car seats or put seat belts on our clients.  D.J. BEAL, Sassy Nail Salon, Gettysburg, Pa.

For toes, I apply OPI cuticle oil and wrap her feet in plastic wrap or slip on sandwich bags. Then it is safe for her to slip on her shoes (although most clients are brave enough to wear flip-flops even in the cold winter). I usually like to do a client’s feet before her fingernails, so the toenails can dry before she puts on her shoes. DEB BLOWARS, Artistic Trends Salon, Sellersville, Pa.

I apply the nail enamel as evenly as possible in order for it to dry, then I apply INM’s quick-dry top coat “Out The Door” for natural and nail enhancement guests. TITILAYO BANKOLE, Visionary Nail Spa, Largo, Md. 

I use a UV top coat on artificial nails only, and a fast dry (Seche Vite) on natural nails. I’ll help the client to the drying area, easing her hands into the nail dryer while I carry her belongings over for her.  BECKY BENCE, Salon 505 The Day Spa, Austin, Texas

I always make sure my base coat, top coat, and polish are new and fresh. I’ve found that when any of those items are old, they have a longer drying time. I swear by CND’s base coat Stickey and top coat Super Shiney. DEBBIE BREW, jenniff er & co., Mentor, Ohio 

After using a fast-dry top coat, I always use CND’s Solar Speed Spray. We love the way it works, and it smells wonderful. LISA DEVIESE, Salon Vogue, Birmingham, Ala. 

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.