How To Buff Nails To a High Shine [Step By Step Guide]

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If you want to know how to buffer your nails to a high shine, then read on.

Whether you want to buff your Natural, Gel, or Acrylic Nails, you are going to want to learn of the best way to do this.

As a Nail Technician and Manicurist, knowing how to shine nails is a must. It’s a common request from clients and they are often looking for ways to do this at home themselves.

That’s why I would like to introduce you to my most recommended and effective strategy that will leave your nails glistening.

And no, you do not need to go to a Salon to have shining and beautifully glowing nails. All it requires is the right tools and the know how.

How To Buff Nails To a High Shine

If you would like to buff your nails up to a lovely high shine, you are first going to need a 3-way buffer.

They are called 3-way buffer because they provide you with three different sides ways of buffing.

You can get a 3-way buffer in all sorts of different sizes and colors depending on your preference.

But, the best buffer for obtaining great nail shine is one with these three sides:

  • Very fine sandpaper edge (coarse),
  • A lighter less-coarse side (soft)
  • And then finally a nice and smooth side (silky).

The smooth and silky side is what is going to give you that lasting shine. (but the other sides are very important too!)

Getting a high quality 3-way buffer is very easy, you can get premium ones over at Amazon for relatively cheap.

I absolutely love and swear by the Onsen Secret 3-way Buffer and recommend it regularly to clients.

Once you have your buffer here is what you are going to need to do:

The Steps

First and foremost, you are going to need to shape your nail. Now this will depend on your preference, the strength and natural health of your nails, or the design/style you are looking to achieve.

Once your nails are shaped, you’re going to need to take your buffer and identify the most coarse side (roughest).

What you want to do is buff all the way over the top of your nails with the roughest side of the buffer.

At first this may be quite tricky, and you may find that you need to readjust or change how you hold the buffer.

This can be particularly difficult when working with your non-dominant hand and you are buffing away at your dominant hand. But trust me, in time this will become a lot easier as you practice and with more experience.

What you want to do using the coarse side of the buffer, is lightly remove any rough or loose bits of nail. If you have any ridges on yours nails, this will help to remove, even them up and smooth them over.

Be careful not to buff your cuticles! This can cause damage and prevent your nails from growing correctly and fighting off any bacteria and infection (for this is their purpose).

Instead, buff all around your cuticles and shape around the front of your nails.

Keep buffing until you are happy with the look and shape of your nails and you have removed any excess or loose nail/skin. You also want to ensure that your nail has become more smooth.

Its now time to use the next side of the buffer, and this is the next step to obtaining a high shine.

Now using this next side, you need to be a bit firmer with your buffing. As the side is less coarse, you are able to apply more pressure without causing damage. By pressing harder you are likely to obtain a better shine.

You’ll notice when using this side that the shine starts to come up and appear on your nails.

Therefore using this side, be sure to buff over all of your nails on both hands (whilst avoiding the cuticle). By the time you have finished your nails should look shiny, and feel nice and smooth.

Its time to move onto the final step, and third side of the 3-way buffer.

Now, I personally find when using this side that its a lot easier to hold the buffer in a certain way.

The best way to hold it in my experience is to put the file between your ring finger and your middle finger. Then, at the other end of the buffer you put your thumb. Your pointer finger just stays in the middle.

This helps to get a firm and strong hold and grip on the buffer, meaning that you can apply more force when you buff.

If you cannot get into this position, or are not quite sure what or how to do this, its no problem.

The best advice I can give is to buff and file in a way that feels natural and easiest for you.

So using this side, complete the steps as outlined above. Buff over your nails, covering the tips and the top of your nails. Again, stay clear from your cuticles.

As this is the least coarse side, you will notice that it is very smooth. This enables you to really shine your nails, and reduce the amount of nail that you are taking off.

You are going to need to apply more pressure as you go down the sides of the buffer, so the last side is going to require far more pressure and effort than the most coarse side you started out with.

You’ll notice after you have buffed with the final side of the 3-way buffer that your nails have a lovely and glossy shine.

And that’s it – you’re nails are done!

If you have buffed your natural nails you will notice that they look like you have applied a Nail Polish!

Final Words

Getting a lasting and gleaming shine is actually pretty simple.

Hopefully this step by step guide has explained exactly how you can get a glowing shine all from the comfort of your very own home!

If I can leave you with one final recommendation, it would be to invest in a high-quality premium 3-way buffer.

It will make the process a lot easier, quicker and your results will be far superior.

Ultimately, the key to working with a 3-way buffer is to understand the uses of each of its sides. You are going to need to be more careful the coarser the side, and as you work your way through the sides you can apply more pressure.

While all three sides are required, you will notice that the final side will give you the best shine once you are finished with it.

And as always, be careful of your cuticles, you do not want to cause any long-term damage!

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