Secrets from a Celebrity Manicurist

nail tips base coat

Never Use A Base Coat

If that headline makes you do a double take, you’re not alone. Most women apply a base coat to their nails before putting on the actual polish. Leavitt says skip it. “I think it’s an antiquated way [to do nails]. I don’t think formaldehyde needs to be in the formula. A lot of the ingredients don’t need to be in there.” Not only do some manicurists have concerns about the chemicals in traditional polish, but Leavitt swears that it causes the polish to chip faster. “If you prep the nail, you are applying the color directly on it. As long as you have a clean nail plate, your color will look great. And it lasts more than when you put on a base coat,” she says.

To get a clean nail plate, Leavitt first uses nail polish remover. She prefers a non-acetone nail polish remover, since alcohol can actually dry out your nail. Then she uses a light buffer to take off any other bits of polish and remove any nail discoloration. Once finished, the nail is ready for its first coat of polish.