Skip The Polish

When it comes to manicures, some women love them while others don’t think twice. However, if you want your fingernails to look amazing, you don’t actually need the bells and whistles that professional manicures offer. Sometimes it’s as simple as keeping them natural with a good buffing. That’s where the buff manicure comes in. If you’re looking for something different to try on your nails, you’ll want to follow along and learn how to do a buff manicure at home.

All you’ll need to do your home buff manicure is a four-sided buffer (make sure the sides are clearly labeled so you use the right side at the right time), liquid cuticle remover, orange stick (or cuticle pusher), cotton balls, cuticle cutter (if you’ve got stubborn cuticles), cuticle oil, and cuticle cream or hand lotion.

Once you’ve got your materials gathered together, the first step is to buff your nails. Four-sided buffers are ideal for this type of manicure because it offers all the buffing options in one tool. Be sure to start with the first side, typically labeled #1, which is used for shaping the tips of your fingernails. Following the numerical order, buffer side #2 and #3 are used to smooth away ridges and uneven surfaces by lightly “dusting” the nail surface.

Be sure to focus on each fingernail individually by moving the buffer back and forth across your nail vigorously for about 10-15 seconds per nail. If the surface of your nail is particularly tough, you may have to spend a bit more time on it. Now finish off the buffing with side #4. This part of the buffer provides a high gloss shine for your nails. The great thing about side #4 is that you can achieve shiny fingernails without the aid of polish.

After your nails are properly and thoroughly buffed, you’ll want to tackle your cuticles. Take your liquid cuticle remover and apply it to your cuticle. Follow up with an orange stick (or cuticle pusher) in order to push down your cuticles. Having overgrown cuticles not only looks unattractive but can also split, creating a hangnail. As small as this issue may appear to be, maintaining healthy cuticles is essential for overall positive nail growth.

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After you’ve pushed your cuticles back gently, wipe any excess liquid off using a cotton ball. This is the time to also check if you have any hangnails that need clipping. This is where using a cuticle clipper comes in handy. Avoid biting off your hangnail, since this can cause further damage. Invest in a cuticle clipper, which can be found at any store or beauty supply. Only remove the actual hangnail and avoid damaging the rest of the cuticle.

When you’ve gotten your cuticles in tip-top shape, add cuticle oil to lightly massage the cuticle. This helps them stay properly moisturized since cuticles can also fall prey to becoming dry and cracked. Afterward, apply a generous amount of cuticle cream or regular hand cream to moisturize your fingernails and your hands.

The best hand creams are those that contain SPF in order to protect the skin of your hands from ultraviolet damage, which can lead to roughly textured skin, age spots (sun spots), and thinning of the skin. To finish off your buff manicure, go back to your four-sided buffer and go back over your fingernails again, but this time only uses side #4. Buff each fingernail until it has its own soft glow.