Nail buffers, in case you don’t know, are kind of like a nail file that you use to take off the top layer of your nails, and make them smooth and shiny. They can be especially useful if you have those little ridges in your nails, and want to get rid of them. (Those ridges, by the way, are usually caused by a a deficiency in your diet.) However, while buffers can be useful for making your nails pretty, there are some things you have to keep in mind when using them, and also, not all buffers are the same.
I have two different types of buffers. One, which I bought myself a couple years ago, has four sides, each of which is one step, and it looks like this:
The first three sides are like different grades of sandpaper, except much, much gentler, and they work to slowly and gently smooth the nails, and the final step is super smooth, and works to bring up the oils in your nails and make them super shiny!
My other buffer, which my mom bought for me (and one for my sister) last Christmas from Sephora has the same final step to make your nails all glossy, but the first side (there are only 2) is made of a much coarser, metal “honeycomb” shaped file, which almost grinds down the ridges in your nail. It looks like this:
With both buffers, but especially the coarser one, you have to be really careful not to file away too much of the thickness of your nail, because if you do, they can become very thin and will break or tear very easily. This is something that I had to learn the hard way, when I first bought my 4-step buffer, because I was really obsessive about using it.
Also, the shiner side of these buffers can make your nails look super shiny, exactly as if you had a simple coat of clear polish on, which is great if you want your nails to look pretty and clean, but you can’t wear polish. However, if you do intend to polish them after smoothing the ridges out, then shining them, in my experience actually makes it harder for your polish to stay on the nails. So, if you want to smooth out the nails and wear polish, I would suggest buffing them, but leave out the final step.