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Perfect Your Manicure with Ridge-Filling Base Coats

I love a classic, glossy manicure. In fact, my go-to polish choices are Essie’s Ballet Slippers or Limo-scene. But it took some time to perfect the application of my favorite shades, as I could never seem to get it right. All I wanted were shiny, evenly-coated nails—but I kept winding up with patchy coats of polish. The problem wasn’t my lack of nail-painting abilities or the manicurist I frequent, but rather my uneven, ridged nails.

Nail ridges are fairly common, permanent impressions on nails that never go away and can apparently get worse with age (yikes!). These irregularities on the nail can be caused by trauma to the area above the cuticle, aging or just plain old genetics. Since I’m stuck with these forever, I looked into options to relieve the manicure-hindering effect they have to ensure a long-lasting, even manicure. Regardless of your nail issues—ridges, peeling, splits—or lack thereof, these four ridge-filling base coats will create a smooth foundation for your nail polish of choice. Like most base coats, these go on clear, but contain silk fibers to fill the uneven nail’s surface. Tip: it’s also helpful to buff your nails before the application of any polish to help further smooth out those imperfections.

FROM TOP: OPI NAIL TREATMENTS RIDGE FILLER, $8, DRUGSTORE.COM; ESSIE RIDGE FILLING BASE COAT, $8, ULTA.COM; DEBORAH LIPPMAN RIDGE FILLER BASE COAT, $18, NORDSTROM.COM; NUTRA NAIL BASE COAT & RIDGE FILLER, $2.98, WALMART.COM

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