Should I Be Buffing My Nails?

If you like them to be extra shiny, sure!


If you read our (absurdly helpful) mani-pedi guide and learned to appreciate having impeccable nails, you may have heard about a thing called nail buffing. The process is quite simple: Rub your nails with a buffer block for more shine. Done! But is nail buffing an important part of regular nail care, or just something to do if you want your hands to look extra fancy? 

The latter, mostly. In the mani-pedi realm, buffed nails are considered to be lower maintenance and more natural-looking than painted nails. They look fresh. They look clean. They can make you look a little more dressed up and put together if you manage to achieve a decent shine.

Some even go as far as saying nail buffing is a great way to keep your nails clean and fresh between mani-pedis, and as such something you should be doing regularly. But there are also those who explain that too much nail buffing can result in rough, dull-looking nails. (Generally speaking, any more than once a week is probably too much.)

All of this is to say that nail buffing is something you can do if you like having shiny nails, but nothing more. If that sounds appealing, you should be glad to hear that buffed nails are incredibly easy to achieve. Here are the steps:

Step #1: Invest in a multi-sided buffer block. Each side will have different grits, which will help you achieve your desired shine — the finer the grit, the glossier the finish.

Step #2: With your hand pointing away from you, begin buffing each nail by using consistent, smooth strokes, also away from you, as if you were peeling a potato (although more gently, obviously). Make sure to buff the entire nail by shifting the buffer block from left to right.

Step #3: Once your nails are smooth, switch to a finer grit and buff in tiny circular motions to achieve extra shininess. Just be gentle.

And voilà! You now have shiny nails.

Dontcha feel fancy?