Wipe nails with cotton pads soaked in rubbing alcohol to ensure that your base adheres. Then slick on a ridge-filling version, like Nail Tek Foundation III ($11; ulta.com) and follow with the first coat of color. Don't worry about it looking exactly right—the second coat will even it out. Need help deciding on a shade? Opt for one of these unexpected hues (left) chosen by L.A. manicurist Jenna Hipp.
Left: Nubar Nail lacquer in Hot Orange, $8; bynubar.com.