How Can I Polish My Nails at Home Without a Buffer?

Nail buffers are essential beauty tools for anyone doing at-home manicures. Not only does it prepare your nails for polish, but it also allows you to achieve salon-quality results without the use of harsh chemicals or artificial products.

Buffing your nails is an effective way to eliminate ridges, bumps and other surface blemishes that may appear unsightly on your nails and make them feel more brittle. Additionally, buffing helps strengthen the bond between your nail polish and basecoat for a glossy, even finish.

When buffing your nails, be gentle and don’t go overboard. Excess pressure can weaken your nails, leading to breakage or peeling.

At home, there are several ways to achieve perfect nail shine. However, the most efficient method involves using a buffing block or chamois buffer. This can be used alone or combined with an exfoliant scrub called “buffing paste.”

To maximize the effectiveness of this technique, select a buffer that has both coarse and fine grits for different polishing results. Some buffers feature coarser grains for removing ridges, while others provide finer grains for buffing and shining nails.

Another good option is Revlon’s Crazy Shine Nail Buffer, which features a coarse side for removing ridges and a finer one for polishing. The coarse side can help even out your nails while the finer grit produces that mirror-like shine on natural nails.

If you don’t own a buffer, but still want smooth and glossy nails at home, some household products and some elbow grease will do the trick. Choi suggests using 600-grit sandpaper wrapped around a triangular makeup sponge to rub back and forth across each nail for three to five seconds.

Once your nails have a nice, even surface, apply nail polish evenly throughout each one. Finally, using either a lint-free wipe or cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover to gently clean away any remaining acetone and oils from your nail plate.

You can also use a small amount of nail polish remover to gently brush your nails from side to side for added shine and texture. Repeat these steps until you achieve the desired shine.

Finally, Humphrey suggests soaking your nails in a mixture of baking soda and lemon for about 10 minutes to remove yellowing from their surface. She adds that this procedure may also encourage them to grow out faster due to improved circulation.

It is best to avoid using acetone-based polish remover, as this can dry out your cuticles and skin, leaving them more vulnerable to cracking or breaking. Furthermore, the acetone found in this formula damages nails by making them thin and weak.