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Something Different: Buffed and Shiny Nails

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.

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!

How to get 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

Prepping nails for an at home manicure

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.

Product Sent for Review, Sponsored Post

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 7.10.18
    Cynthia said:

    How do you clean the chamois buffer please

    • 7.10.18
      15mins said:

      I don’t, I just leave it be. I replace it every now and then, maybe every 6 months?

  2. 9.29.18
    Sarah said:

    I have some questionable OPI colors that I really love, claiming to be formaldehyde free but according to the ingredients list they contain Tosylamide Formaldehyde Resin. I’m pregnant and I’d love to enjoy a DIY manicure, but I also want to make safe choices. Do you think a really good/safe base coat would protect me from absorption of chemicals or should I ditch the polish?

    • 9.29.18
      15mins said:

      You don’t need to worry about the polish at all actually, they’re not absorbed.

  3. 10.6.20
    swathi said:

    HI doc can i use peel and stick nails during pregnancy ?
    Is it safe ??
    Thanks !!!

    • 10.6.20
      Christine said:

      It’s fine

      • 10.6.20
        swathi said:

        Thanks doc !!!

        I have one more question can i use this nail polish remover during pregnancy ?
        Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

        Methyl Acetate, Isopropyl Myristate, Frangrance

        • 10.6.20
          Christine said:

          It’s ok