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Jennifer Velez
Mar 27, 2015 @ 11:15 am

When it comes to achieving the perfect manicure, it’s all about the prep. One important step you should never overlook is the base coat. It provides nails with a smooth canvas for polish, prevents staining, stimulates growth, and can help give your manicure a longer lifespan. But instead of swiping on any old formula, you should use one that caters to your specific nail needs. Have unsightly ridges? Sensitive skin? There’s a base coat for those problems. Keep scrolling to find one that best suits you.

If You Have Weak, Brittle Nails:If you thought you couldn’t work kale into your beauty routine, think again. Nails Inc.’s Superfood Base Coat ($15; sephora.com) is infused with kale extract, which by now we all know is chock-full of vitamins A, C, and K. This boosts keratin production (the protein that makes nails hard), leaving you with stronger, healthier-looking nails as a result.RELATED: 3 Ways to Make Your Nails Dry FasterIf Your Nails Have Ridges:

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Ridges can sabotage a perfectly good manicure, and aging nails are at a higher risk. The good news is a ridge-filling formula like Essie’s ($10; nordstrom.com) will provide you with a smooth, even foundation every time you use. And because it’s hydrating, your nails will have a more youthful appearance.RELATED: Will You Accept This Rose? Our Favorite Rose-Based Fragrances

For a Longer-Lasting Manicure:

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Nothing is more frustrating than chipped polish, especially when it happens a day or two later. That’s why we recommend Julep’s Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat ($18; sephora.com), an innovative formula that’s designed to help your manicure last that much longer, while also preventing dark colors from staining.

If You Have Sensitive Skin:

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Have sensitive skin or eyes? This one’s for you. Thanks to Clinique’s Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skin ($13; nordstrom.com) you can properly prep your nails without the fear of having an allergic reaction. It works double duty as a glossy top coat, too.

For an All-in-One Treatment:

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Have breakage, ridges, yellowing, and everything in between? No problem—Deborah Lippmann’s All About That Base ($20; sephora.com), a CC cream for nails, will cure those woes in one quick step. It can even be worn alone for a nude, matte finish.

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