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Mistake No. 6: Applying thick coats of paint.

Generous painters, beware: globbing on polish is a surefire way to get smudges and nicks in your handiwork since it takes so much longer for the paint to dry. "It's always better to apply three or four thin coats of polish than two thick and gloppy coats," confirms Miss Pop. "Using thin coats is how the paint dries faster. Polish is just not formulated to dry well when the coat is too thick." On the other hand, that rule can bend a little when it comes to topcoats. "Topcoats are more forgivable when applied thick and usually don't take too long to dry, no matter what, but heavy layers still can make topcoats get very bubbly," she says. "It must have something to do with the pigment in the colored polishes that makes them take longer to dry."

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