Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting Rid of Bubbles/Sheet Marks Without Ruining Your Mani

I'm sure many of you have noticed bubbling polish at least once. When I first started polishing my nails I noticed it was usually my Sally Hansen top coats that would cause them, so I stopped using them. So I guess my first tip would be:

If you are experience bubbling for the first time try to narrow down what caused it; was it a new brand of polish, base or top coat? Did you wash your hands before applying your polish etc. Once you narrow down what is causing the bubbles, you know now to prevent it in the future.

If you still cannot pin point what exactly it is  that causes bubbling, read on. I applied Revlon's Perplexed last week and loved it to death! These are the photos I took of it right after application of the polish and top coat.

Not too bubbly, right? Well, I did this before bed and when I woke up in the morning all of my finger nails had some degree of bubbling and slight sheet marks! I wish I had photos to show you, it was way worse than the ones above.

The first thing I did before going to work was take out my trusty nail polish thinner and a paint brush I picked up from the dollar store. I dipped the brush in to the thinner and applied it on to the nail like you would nail polish. Let it dry and I was off to work. It helped, but some of the bubbling was so bad you could still see it.

As soon as got home I repeated what I had don that morning and finished it off with a thin coat of top coat. Tada! Good as new without having to redo the whole thing!

So basically follow these tips to get rid of bubbling without having to start all over again. 

1. Once polish is completely dry, apply nail polish thinner to the nail with a brush. 

2. Once the polish thinner is completely dry, if no bubbles are present, apply top coat. If there are still bubbles repeat step 2 once the polish is completely dry from the first layer of thinner. 

3. Once you are happy with the smoothness of the polish apply a top coat and you're done.

Pretty easy right! And it works for sheet marks too. This is how my manicure looked afterwords:

This was also after several days of wear.

Some other things to consider to prevent bubbling in the future are:

- Always wash your hands before applying polish. Natural oils in our skin may prevent the polish from adhering properly to the nail resulting in bubbles or an uneven look.

- Make sure not to apply lotion before applying nail polish.

- Before polishing your nails, swab each nail individually with nail polish remover or pure acetone. You don't need a lot, just a light swipe on each nail.

- If you have only recently started to realize that a polish, including top or base coat is causing bubbles that didn't before, I would suggest thinning out the polish and applying thinner coats.

- If you're using a new polish, always start out with thinner coats and build up, thicker coats usually lead to unevenness and bubbles. I think this is my main issue, I can be so impatient sometimes!

I hope I helped! Let me know if you have any of your own tips :)


  1. The tinner tip is super helpful! I never would have thought of that, thanks :D

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  3. What about polish that won't completely dry? I'm having this problem now. So frustrating! Thanks for any comments.

    1. I would invest in a good quick dry topcoat, my favorite is Seche Vite, just make sure you give the polish a few minutes to dry a bit before adding the top coat. I also use Sally Hansen quick dry drops, an oil that you apply to the polished nail to help accelerate dry time. Mineral oil helps, as well as running your fingers under cold water a few minutes after application. Some other tips I have are:

      - apply thin even coats
      - allow a few minutes to dry between coats
      -thin out thicker polishes before applying

      hope this helps :)

  4. Thanks so much for doing this blog. So very helpful! I have a question that I have not seen an answer for anywhere, can old polish cause bubbles? Thanks for any help.

    1. This is kind of open, it depends on the polish brand and formula and how old it is. the formula of many polishes have changed over the years to restrict the use of harmful chemicals.

      Generally what I have noticed with older polish (from the 90's) is that it has gotten thicker with time. the best solution for thick polish is to thin it out, not with polish remover or acetone, but polish thinner purchased from a beauty supply.

      Bubbling can also because d by natural oils or lotions on the skin and nails, so be sure to wipe the nail bed with some polish remover or alcohol before applying your polish.

  5. Thank you sooooooo much for this! Total life saver :-)!!


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