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How To Make Nails Shiny After Nail Polish – The Greatest Way

If you have recently applied Nail Polish but want to get that shiny effect, then read on. This article today will be providing you with the exact steps you need to take.

When you have spent time and have taken the effort to do your own nails, you would like your nail polish to look great – not just right now, but for as long as possible.

Having glistering and shiny nails all starts by using the right products, but once your nails are painted there are a number of additional tips to keep and retain shine you are looking for.

If you have painted your Nails, or are looking to in the near future, this article will show you how to take your nails from having a Matte Regular Finish, to a Shiny Finish.

If you are running a little low in time, here’s the quick overview. If you want a shiny finish on your polish, you’re going to need a recommended Super Shine Clear Topcoat. It is also advisable to prepare your nails appropriately ahead of time. The best tool for this is a four-way buffer that you can use on your natural/acrylic nails first.  It is also advisable to use a resilient Base Coat so that your polish can adhere better. 

How To Make Your Painted Nails Shine

To create the shine effect, it is recommended and advisable to shine your natural nails ahead of your polish application. The best tool for this is a super fine-grit Four-Way Buffer. This works for both Natural and Acrylic Nails so is the greatest and safest way to shine as long as you do not over-buff.

I recommend and like to work with the Tropical Shine Buffer because it is really easy to work with. It has four easily distinguishable sections that enable you to do different things (file/shape/shine). You can disinfect it and you can sanitize it ( so that you can wash it and the grit will not come off or weaken). Therefore this buffer lasts a really long time.


Working with a four-way buffer is really easy, you only need to follow a couple of simple steps to get the best results. So by using the four-way buffer, the process is really simple:
  1. You need to file your nail edges. If your nails are already shaped then this step will not be required.
  2. Remove the ridges from your nails
  3. Smooth the surface of your nails
  4. Shine your nails up.

Step One: Shape Your Nails

Start off by shaping your nails. You can use the filing portion of your four-way nail buffer to do this.

You will want to do one nail at a time and move on throughout your fingers once each nail is finished.

The way you want to shape your nail is by always filing from the corner of your nail to the center. Start on side of your nail and file to the center, and then repeat this motion from the other side of your nail to the center.

You don’t want to do a sawing motion because it can actually cause your nails to split and weaken, especially when they get wet (a condition known as Onychorrhexis).

Step Two: Remove the Ridges

Next is to go ahead and remove your nail ridges. You will want to use the next section of the four way buffer “remove ridges” to do this. If you have a few nail stains, this step will also help to remove those.

Using the buffer, file over the top of your nails in an up and down motion (to and fro).

You want to get close to your Cuticles. If you find that your Cuticles are dry then at the end (once you have shined) is a good time to apply some all natural Cuticle Oil and moisturize it in.

What this is going to do is help to prevent any hangnails, and make them look a lot better.

Remember, you want to apply any Cuticle Oil at the end of the preparation phase because you don’t really need or want a ton of oil on your nails while doing shining them.

Now ironically, the key thing that you’re looking for in this step is to remove all the natural shine from the nail. Once all nails look this way, then you will know that you are ready for the next step.

Be sure not to overbuff or go too crazy, just enough to get the desired effect.

Step Three: Smooth the Surface

Now, using the third part of the four-way buffer, which has a much finer grit, you just want to gently smooth the surface.

When you start to buff using this portion, you will start to notice shine start to show up on your nails. As its fine-grit this will feel nice and gentle.

You don’t need to do too much here, just smooth the surface somewhat.

Step Four: Shine

Now, using the final portion of the buffer, its time to shine your nails.

After you do this you can get your nails wet and everything, and the shine will not go away!

If you didn’t want to go on and apply Nail Polish, or your job requires you to not wear it, you could leave your Natural Nails like this and they would look fantastic and shiny.

With the buffer, buff all the way on your nail plate and ensure you get that nice shiny look across the entire nail.

Do this for all your nails and you’re done. Your natural nails are all shiny and ready for the Nail Polish application. The foundation is set!

Applying The Right Polish

Once your natural nails have been fully prepped, buffered and shined, you can now move onto applying your Nail Polish.

Before you jump in and use your required nail polish color, it is always best and advisable to apply a Base Coat.

The Base Coat helps the polish adhere to your nails better, so that your polish will last a lot longer and will not start to flake or peel off.

Once your Base Coat has been applied and has dried, you will then apply your Nail Polish as you normally would.

When this second layer is on, but has not yet dried, apply some ultra-shine Topcoat.

This will not only protect your nails but give your polish a great effective gleam and shine, that will last for several weeks.

Best Nail Polish Shining Products

Maxus Nails Base Coat

Recommended Base Coat

Maxus Nails Topcoat
Recommended Topcoat

My recommended Base and Topcoats, that I use regularly and recommend to my clients:

Both of these Maxus products are clear so you will not see them once they have been applied and dried.

Additional Tips

  • When applying your Nail Polish always paint it in one direction and do not touch it while its drying.
  • Ensure your Nail Polish is not too thick, is old, and has lost its natural consistency
  • Prevent your nails from being in hot conditions for a minimum of 12 hours after your manicure. Do not use hot water on them, nor go in a Sauna.
  • Be sure to wear rubber gloves during any activity that could cause your nails to chip or lose their shine e.g. doing the dishes. Do not let your nails come into contact with cleansers, especially abrasives, as this will take away the shine.
  • Do not use hand lotions, creams and sanitizers. These are know to dull your polish. Instead use essential oils on your nails to look after them.

Final Words

Making your nails shine after applying Nail Polish can be done effectively using a specific type of Topcoat.

Like anything in life, proper preparation prevents poor performance so it is always advised that you take care of and shine up your natural nails ahead of any polish application.