Even if you take good care of your nails, ridges, bumps, and cracks are inevitable, especially if they were passed down to you from a family member (they can be hereditary) or you have your hands down in chemicals and water most of the day.
Whatever the reason behind these tiny grooves in your fingernails, you can hide them easily and give your nails a silky-smooth texture without going for a pricy manicure session at the salon. The magic ingredient here is nail ridge fillers!
These gel polishes can even out your nail plates, strengthen their surfaces, and reduce the lumps and rough spots, making any nail polish you wear look fabulous like you’ve just got it by the hands of a professional nail technician.
Ready to take your manicure skills to a whole new level with the best nail ridge filler? Continue reading!
At a Glance:
- Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler - Top Pick
- Nail Tek Foundation Xtra 4 - Best For Weak Nails
- 786 Cosmetics - Most Nourishing Formula
- IBD 5 Second - Fastest Application
- Mavala Ridge Filler - Best 2-in-1 Formula
The 5 Best Nail Ridge Fillers in 2021
Without the right materials, preparing your nails for nail polish can be such a chore. And because everyone has different nail types, it’s important to pick the ridge filler formula that works best for your special fingernails. Below are our picks of the top nail ridge fillers classified according to what they do best to help you rock some first-class mani action!
1. Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler - Top Pick
If there’s one product that can do it all, it’s the Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler. For dry, brittle, and weak nails with tiny peaks and valleys going through them, this work-of-art from Barielle boasts an impeccable formula that smoothes, hydrates, and promotes nail growth and strengthens nail plates for the ultimate nail polish application.
Made from silk protein fibers, not only does it fill in the gaps and smooth out nail surfaces, but it also boasts moisturizing capabilities that help heal the problem from within, not just cover it. The treating formula helps the nails trap moisture and keep their natural balance for healthier edges and a stronger overall feel.
That’ll also reflect on your nails’ appearance. The filler actually works on making your nails healthier, so although it won’t heal the ridges problem, it’ll make your nails look shinier and fresher on their own.
Not to mention, it’s completely translucent, so you can wear it alone without applying nail polish if you prefer the French look; just add two layers of the ridge filler on your nails and enjoy the glossy finish.
2. Nail Tek Foundation Xtra 4 - Best For Weak Nails
The problem with deep ridges is that they weaken the nails, and buffing them with a standard ridge filler can further undermine them. The Nail Tek Foundation Xtra 4 provides a solution for this problem in the form of a powerful ridge filler that strengthens and restores the nails' integrity with a pro-approved formula.
The filler camouflages even the deepest ridges and provides a more even surface for the polish to stick on. With a blend of natural microfibers, strengtheners, and conditioners, the formula works on reinforcing nail plates, granting you stronger nails after only a couple of weeks of application.
It also boasts anti-yellowing effects, so you can wear this heavy-pigmented polish and never worry about it staining your nails. Additionally, it works as a filler, base coat, and top coat at the same time, so you can use it to provide a sticky ground for your nail polish and a shiny top cover for a flawless salon-quality look.
Unfortunately, the filler contains formaldehyde, which could be bad news for people allergic to the substance. Yet, it’s DPA and toluene-free and contains zero animal-derived ingredients for our vegan friends.
3. 786 Cosmetics - Most Nourishing Formula
For those who’ve been wearing acrylic nails for so long or damaged their nails with gel polishes and want to grow their nails healthily again, 786 Cosmetics is here to give you the chief manicure job you’ve been waiting for.
With a formula boasting conditioning properties as well as Vitamin C and E, 786 Cosmetics works like a dream, boosting nail growth and providing them with a protective layer against infection.
In addition, Vitamin C helps your nails produce enough collagen to overcome the brittleness, while Vitamin E adds moisture and helps prevent yellow spots. In short, it’s only a matter of a couple of weeks until you see your nails get longer and harder.
Apart from the nourishing functions, the filler goes on the nails smoothly, filling in the ridges and providing a level surface for the perfect polish application. It also sports the same properties of a base coat, ensuring the nail polish’s longevity even if you have your hands in the water all the time.
4. IBD 5 Second - Fastest Application
Ever caught your nails in a door or split them by accident before going out with friends, hitting a wedding, or attending an important get-together? The IBD 5 Second provides you with the fastest solution for your in-a-hurry needs.
Formulated as a powdered filler instead of a liquid one, the IBD 5 Second settles quickly in your nails’ grooves and offers a smooth base for your favorite nail polish.
Just as its name indicates, it can be applied to cover your nails’ scars and enhance their texture in no more than 5 seconds. It can also cover your split or broken nails and strengthen the tips so that they don’t get damaged any further.
The powder is super-easy to use, and the results are salon-like. All you have to do is cover your nails with light glue and sprinkle the powder over them. For a longer-lasting effect, you can apply more than one coat.
5. Mavala Ridge Filler - Best 2-in1 Formula
Looking for an effective ridge filler and a buffing base coat in one product? The Mavala Ridge Filler is about to make your day.
Featuring incredible filling and coating properties, the Mavala Ridge Filler evens out the nail surface and protects it from the elements, ensuring it stays hydrated and stain-free. It also provides a flat and sticky base for the polish to stay on without peeling for a long period.
Although it doesn’t have strengthening capabilities, it protects the nails from peeling, chipping, splitting, and breaking as long as you have it on. So, you can go on with your laundry and dishes duties without worrying about your nails’ health.
It sure sports a satin appearance, which might tempt you to wear it alone and enjoy the glassy look. However, be aware that it gives a peachy shade once put, so unless you enjoy having a transparent color on your nails, don’t use it without nail polish.
Finally, if you’re concerned about the presence of any harmful chemicals, rest assured that it’s certified to be free from formaldehyde, Toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, triphenyl phosphate, and xylene.
What to Consider When Choosing a Nail Ridge Filler
Picking a nail ridge filler isn’t rocket science. Mostly, what’s written on the bottle, along with the users’ reviews, would be enough to know if it’s good enough for you. However, if it’s your first time trying one and you’re looking for some features to focus on, here’s what you should be looking for.
Appearance is especially important for ladies who wear nail ridge fillers alone for the sake of hiding the tiny nooks and improving their nail texture rather than providing their nail polish with a smoother canvas.
Nail ridge fillers in their pure form are transparent formulas that don’t do much to the nails’ appearance but rather the feel.
However, many brands make their fillers in different forms, including gels, matte solutions, dip powders, and even breathable formulas to suit different tastes. If you prefer one of those over the other, make sure to check the type of formula you’re purchasing.
Also, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find brands that sell their ridge fillers in various mute colors, such as light pink and nude. These can give your nails a natural shine without going through the whole manicure process.
It’s not only the appearance, though! To make their products sell better, some manufacturers fill their nail ridge fillers with extra features. For example, besides their filling functions, some ridge fillers work as base coats as well, which help nail polishes stick and protect them from peeling, prolonging their wear-time.
Others feature some strengthening properties thanks to their biotin and calcium-enhanced formulas. If you have brittle nails or the tips of your nails tend to break and peel easily, you can opt for a strengthening nail ridge filler.
There are even some all-in-one formulas that work as fillers, base coats, top coats, and strengtheners at the same time. Not only will these save you the cash you’d shell out on each product on its own, but they’ll also spare you the hassle of keeping track of the many manicure bottles you have.
Which Goes on First, Ridge Filler or Base Coat?
The right order would be to use a ridge filler to smooth out your nails, then proceed with the base coat, nail polish, top coat, and glitter lacquer if you use one.
How Many Coats of Ridge Filler Do I Need?
It’s recommended to put two ridge filler coats to ensure that all the grooves are evened out, especially if the product you have works as both a ridge filler and a base coat.
How Does Nail Ridge Fillers Work?
Ridge fillers contain certain formulas of protein fibers and microparticles that penetrate and settle inside the gaps in your nails, filling them and evening out the surface of your nails.
The Best Chip-Free Manicure for Your Standout Nails!
Getting a manicure is a fun and relaxing experience, and no chipped nails should stand in your way of enjoying yourself with coral red or candy pink-polished nails. Any of the products we recommended can help you achieve this groove-free result you’re shooting for.
But if you’re looking for the best ridge filler that can correct all your nails’ imperfections and heal the problem from its core, look no further than the Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler. It fills in the gaps and hardens and hydrates the nails, leaving them primed and ready to take your favorite color.
For even more reinforcing properties, we recommend the Nail Tek Foundation Xtra 4 that works magic with its strengthening, anti-yellowing formula. Finally, if nourishment is what you’re looking for, the 786 Cosmetic will fulfill all your manicure needs.