Trust us, shaking won't do your mani any favors.

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Woman Selecting Nail Polish
Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you've mastered an at-home manicure, only to discover imperfections in your DIY paint job. If you've ever had those troublesome little air bubbles appear on your nails the minute they dry, boy, do we have some surprising news for you. Those less-than-perfect nails could all come down to you making this single-handed mistake: shaking the bottle of nail polish.

If your mani prep work includes giving your bottle a vigorous shake, you should know that it causes air to be trapped inside, creating tons of tiny bubbles that can only be seen once the color dries. According to POPSUGAR, in an interview with nail artist Miss Pop, tiny air pockets can also form when quickly dipping the brush in and out of the bottle. For a longer-lasting, bubble-free formula, all you need to do is roll the bottle back and forth between your palms, you know, like you're rolling a dough ball in your hands to make Mama's biscuits.

We know what you're thinking: What if I need to mix up the color?

While everyone has a tried-and-true nail polish they rely on, your favorite polish—particularly if it's a low-quality lacquer—will coagulate over time, resulting in a thick, gloppy formula and uneven consistency. If you must shake (only as a last resort) to get the polish flowing again, try waiting at least 30 minutes for the bubbles to settle before applying.

Another way to redistribute the color is to turn the bottle upside down and roll between your hands, rather than shaking. The heat from your hands will help to warm and thin out the rest of the polish. Lastly, you could always go the safe beauty route and opt for a thinning solution, like Amazon's OPI's Lacquer Thinner.

WATCH: 8 Surprising Hacks to Fix Beauty Fails

Unfortunately, if you notice the bubbles after application, there's no easy fix to your mani-emergency, except to start the process all over again.