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How To Prevent Nail Stains From Red Polish

By Jennie Waeland, September 14 2020

Red has always been conveyed as such a powerful colour. It gives us connotations of lust, love, danger and power. A red manicure is an extremely popular choice, alongside nude. But the striking colour comes with a downside…

There’s nothing worse than removing your red nail polish only to find that it has stained your natural nail underneath. 

If you want to continue wearing red polish, be prepared to pull out all the stops to prepare your nails. Here’s our tips on how to prevent dark nail staining your nails. Furthermore, we also have you covered if you are still experiencing staining. 

Preparation is key

A base coat is your best friend 

The thought of applying any polish without a base coat, let alone darker colours, is daunting. We recommend applying a layer of base coat before any nail polish. Applying a darker colour increases the risk of staining. 

It forms a protective barrier between the natural nail and the polish. Base coats prevent staining and peeling, giving the manicure a smoother appearance. It helps the polish stick better to the nail.

Use a good quality nail polish 

A good quality nail polish makes all the difference. Cheaper polishes tend to be a thicker, more gloopy consistency. This can cause an uneven application and prolong the drying process. As a result, your nails may smudge or get imprints. 

A good quality red polish is less likely to stain than a cheaper polish. Nailberry is a high quality, non-toxic brand. 

Get a professional manicure

If you want to sport a darker look, but are afraid of a messy application, there is always the option of booking in a professional manicure. This will take the stress out of the situation.

At LeSalon, we offer £32 for a classic manicure, using regular polish, or £38 for a gel or shellac manicure. We also provide pedicure services. 

Avoiding staining when removing the polish

Preparation is key, so if you have followed the above steps, the ball is in your court. However, there is still a risk of staining your nail or the surrounding skin during the removal process. 

Methods include:


Toothpaste removes skin on nails and skin alike. A toothbrush and a dab of whitening toothpaste can be a quick fix to any stained pigment. 

Baking soda and water

Baking soda and water help to clear up unwanted transfer from the polish to the nail. The alkaline helps lift pigmentation. 


Acetone and a cotton pad are the most common way of removing nail polish. However, you can advance this method if you are battling dark stains. 

Soak a cotton pad in oil-based acetone/nail polish remover. Wrap a soaked pad around each nail and cover this in foil. Leave to soak for ten minutes. 

Hopefully you encounter no staining from dark polishes. If you do, try these methods next time.

Jennie Waeland

Jennie Waeland

Jennie is LeSalon’s Marketing Assistant, covering everything from beauty, lifestyle and, of course, manicures. She graduated from the University of Roehampton with a degree in film and has since used her skills to produce various content and illustrational pieces.


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