How do you stop nail polish from bubbling?

The Beauty Brains receive hundreds of questions each week and while we read each and every email, there’s no way we can answer them all. So, we thought we’d try something new – we posted a few of your recent questions in our Forum where we’re blessed with over 1000 helpful and knowledgeable members. Today we’re posting the best of their responses in answer to the following question…

Chris’s question: I’m having a problem with nail polish bubbling, but not on every nail and some nails are worse than others. I prep the nails by wiping them down with alcohol after the hand massasge and also scrubbing them with the nail brush and soapy water, then i apply a basecoat , 2 color coats (OPI), topcoat (Out the door), it seems as the nails are drying the bubbles appear?

The Beauty Brains Forum responds:



Are you shaking the polish? This can cause the bubbles. Instead of shaking the bottles, slowly roll them in the palm of your hand to mix the polish.

Purple Rules

Keep the coats as thin as possible; three thin coats is better then two thick coats. Make sure you’re not sitting in a draft when you apply your polish. Don’t “work” the polish too much; the fewer brush strokes the better. This might mean getting polish on your cuticles but you can clean that up after with NP remover and a cuticle stick wrapped in cotton but there’s nothing you can do about bubbles. If you’re only using OPI, try a different brand. The older Revlons bubble on me but the newer ones (the big three free ones) don’t. You may have better luck with a different brand. I think that the reformulated OPIs are hit or miss. You might also try a different base coat.


When I used to wear it, I recall that some ones would bubble no matter what, and some wouldn’t. Revlon NEVER did — by far, that’s the best nail polish I’ve ever used back in the day.

I think it just goes on in nice, thin coats — the cheaper stuff was always too gloopy and thick.

Nail polish seemed to fall into two categories for me — the thick, cheap ones that bubbled and peeled, and the thin, cheap ones that were brittle and chipped off.

Revlon was the best one, and was right in the middle — thin enough to not bubble and dry smooth, and pliable enough not to chip if you so much as looked at it.

OPI’s supposedly pretty good, though; I’ve used it on my mom’s nails with no problems … hm.

A big BB thanks to Anne, Purple Rules, and Janis for their answers. What do the rest of you think? Did you find these Forum comments helpful? Would you like to see more Forum answers to your questions? If the answer is “yes” and you just can’t wait, then head over to the Forum today to post your questions under Open Beauty Questions.