Something Different: Buffed and Shiny Nails

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Buffed and Shiny Nails

Now that it is 2015, it's time to try something different! And also... to admit a bit of defeat. Why is that? I'm a girl with thousands of nail polishes. Yes, you read that right. I have thousands of nail polishes. They live in plastic drawers in the closet of my home office. (Yes, I have a bit of this going on. I have hundreds of dark purples and bright pinks. They're not the same!)

This is the admitting defeat part. I love my polishes. I really do. But it is very difficult to find time to change my polish with a newborn. Even with quick dry products, there isn't enough time to get them dry before the baby needs my attention. Because she knows when mommy has wet nails. Oh yes, she really does!

So, for the next few months I'll be sporting natural nails, sans pretty polish colors. This is a defeat of sorts (all of my pretty colors!) but it's also somewhat liberating! No more worrying about chipped polish! Don't worry about wearing a shade that looks a bit crazy with my outfit of the day!

But, no polish doesn't mean unkempt. Instead, it just means no polish. I've decided to really commit to no polish, which means buffing my nails to a pretty shine!

Natural Buffed Nails at home

Here's a quick peek at most of the products that I used to get this look. Yes, that is a lot of products! But, you'll really have almost no daily/weekly upkeep. This really is a polished look without much upkeep. I bought everything at my favorite store for nail supplies, Sally Beauty.

Prepping nails for an at home manicure

To start, I get my nail surface ready for everything! These are the same steps as when I do a regular manicure.

First, I remove all of my polish. I love using a polish remover pad, they're no fuss and get the job done quickly without a mess.

Next, I wash my hands, being sure to get under the ends of my nails. While my hands are still wet, I'll apply a little cuticle remover to my cuticles, rubbing it around to make sure everything is covered. I like to run the nailbrush over my cuticles, and I'll also use my thumbnail to push my cuticles off of the nail surface.

Products Used:
Beauty Secrets Nail Polish Remover Pads
YCC Clear Plastic Cuticle Pusher
YCC Handled Manicure Brush
Dr. G's 3-in-1 Antimicrobial Callus & Cuticle Remover

Once my hands are dried off, it's time to make sure my nail shape is how I want it and that any left over hang nails are taken care of. I only use the Cuticle Remover shown here on hang nails, not on the cuticle itself. You don't want to cut into the cuticle bed itself, this is setting yourself up for a nasty nail infection. So, just get rid of any hang nails and you'll be all set!

Products Used:
Colossal Collection Nail File
Beauty Secrets Cuticle Remover & Pusher

Buffing your nails to a high shine

Next it is time to remove ridges! I like to use a buffing block or file, I have both and just grab whichever I feel like that day. The first side is a nail file, it is definitely too harsh to use on your nail surface! I use sides #2 and #3 for this step. Side #4 does do a good job of shining the nail surface, but the chamois and cream do a better job, so no sense in duplicating that work!

Products Used:
Tropical Shine 4-Way Mini Nail Buffer
Tropical Shine Mini 4-Way Nail Buffer Block

Using a Chamois to Buff your nails

Using a chamois to buff your nails to a high gloss is a step above and beyond the buffing block. The shine is unreal, so much more than the block alone! Especially when you combine it with the buffing cream. This step is why I can't wear polish now (unless I go and really rough up my nail surface), it is so shiny and smooth that polish just peels right off!

When using a chamois, I put a dot of cream on each nail bed and then start buffing. Note that it does take a while the first time (about 10 minutes total), but the results are definitely worth it! You won't really see the shine until you wash any residual cream off of your hands.

Products Used:
Winning Nails 7" Chamois Buffer
Winning Nails Nail Buffing Creme

best cuticle moisturizers

Once you've washed off the rest of the cream, it's time to moisturize your cuticles! You can use a cream or an oil, it's up to you.

Products Used:
Barielle Pro Cuticle Renewal Oil
Orly Cuticle Therapy Creme

Natural Buffed Nails with a Chamois and Cream Tutorial

To keep up my buffed nails, I'll use the Chamois, without the cream, about once a week. As my nails grow out I'll need to redo the whole process just on the new areas every few weeks. In addition, I moisturize my cuticles nightly during the winter to keep them looking great! I prefer to use the oil first and then I layer on the thick cuticle cream to really lock in the moisture.

When I'm ready to go back to wearing polish I'll buff my nails with the #3 side of the buffing block. That should give my polish enough texture to hold on to the nail bed.

What are you doing this new year to change things up? Sally Beauty is holding a great sweepstakes, the New Year, New You Challenge!

Sally Beauty is challenging shoppers to try something new – daring new hair color, bright new nail shade, fresh new lip color, new hairstyle, new treatment, etc.

Share your New You look to enter to win a trip to New York for a makeover!

To enter, you'll need to share your New Year, New You look on-line.
Facebook: Visit the New Year, New You Challenge tab on the Sally Beauty Facebook page. Upload an image and complete the entry form.
Instagram and Twitter: Upload a photo with #SallyBeautyChallenge in your caption. Once you share, you will receive an auto-reply within 24 hours to visit the Facebook tab and complete the entry.

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  1. Hi Christine, congratulations on your precious daughter, who is already showing an early appreciation of your manicures and wants to be involved :) Your nails look lovely and it's good to see that all that handwashing of buffed nails isn't causing a lot of tears etc. My nails are dry and tear, only a polish manicure protects them (and a lot of oil or moisturizer used daily). I'm 36wks with #3 and have just restarted doing soak-off gel manicures again now that the smell doesn't make me green. I remove the gel with NailMates, which limits the acetone exposure, leaves me dextrous during the process, and which another beauty blogger with a newborn said she could change a diaper in while using them (alright!) FWIW I tried helping my toddler with toilet paper and a NailMates ended up in the toilet, so perhaps that is going a step too far. Have you tried soak-off gel? It takes me about 15-30 minutes to do since I am neither fast nor coordinated, but just once a week (since I don't buff my nails before, or they become too weak to withstand the removal process--if you buff prior the gel adheres better and will last longer). Am counting on naptimes to keep it up... Just a thought if you can find a longer intermittent period of time to manicure, or miss the color polish look a lot.

  2. I miss the color polish a lot! Since writing this I've done a mani or two, but it definitely won't be a regular thing for me. I've had Shellac and gel manicures before, but my nails grow pretty fast so they last about the same time as a regular manicure for me, I have too much regrowth to keep them on longer.


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