This $14 Product Is My Hack for a Salon-Perfect Manicure At Home

No nail appointment, no problem.

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I've always been a fan of DIY manicures, even in the "before times" when I didn't give nail salon safety a second thought. However, I'm a little lazy when it comes to prepping my nails before painting them, and it often results in a pretty novice-looking manicure.

My manicure might not chip for days, thanks to my favorite gel formula top coat, but the actual paint job often looks streaky and uneven — and don't get me started on the stains left on my nail beds when I remove bold colors like red.

The unevenness of my nail polish partially has to do with my hands, but it's also due to the vertical ridges I have on multiple nails. These slight vertical ridges are pretty common and usually not harmful (but If you're ever concerned consult with a doctor). However, they get in the way of a smooth, "perfect" manicure. That is, until I tried Olive & June's Ridge Filler.

Olive & June Ridge Filler Review

To shop: $14;

The concept of the Ridge Filler is essentially like repairing nail holes in dry wall before painting a room in your house or apartment. It creates a smooth canvas for whatever nail polish you're feeling for this week's manicure. The formula contains vitamin E to nourish and condition the nail plate and a mineral called silica to fill in the gaps made by any ridges.

I applied a thin coat to my nails and it dried down in a minute or so. Then, I painted my nails with two coats of cherry red nail polish, followed by a top coat. My cuticles are dry and cracked right now, so I'll save you from that visual, but trust that my nails looked as smooth as the after shot (the photo on the right) from this before and after image by Olive & June.

Olive & June Ridge Filler Review

As someone who's avoided nail prep products, because I assumed the application plus drying would tack on more time to my at-home manicure process, I'm admitting I'm wrong.

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Using Ridge Filler only added about two extra minutes to my nail painting session. And you know what? The results are worth it.

Now I just need to convince myself the same of regular cuticle care.

Good to Go used to be the column where we'd share the beauty products we can't travel without. But while travel's off the table, we'll be focusing on products that make us feel good in quarantine. This month, why Olive & June's Ridge Filler makes me feel like I'm back at the nail salon.

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