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Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars each year at the nail salon? If you’re like most of the country budgets are tighter than ever. To compensate for high gas prices and the rising cost of food, tanning and massages salons are seeing a decline in customers due to the economy. In addition, many women are forgoing their weekly trip to their professional nail technician and are doing their nails at home. However, knowing how to properly buff and prepare their nails can be a challenge. If not done correctly, you can actually damage your nails. So, take a look at these easy steps and learn the correct way to buff nails.

Use Salon Products and Tools
There are thousands of nail products on the market today and knowing which tools you need to properly buff your nails can be tricky. However, if you visit your local beauty store you will need to pick up only a few products. First, a handheld nail buffer is essential on your list of supplies. These look similar to emery boards; however they have several different colored panels and appear more like a foam block. You may also want to grab a few bottles of colored polish or OPI polish in French white if you’d like to give yourself a French manicure.

Before Filing or Buffing…
Before you start filing away at your nails, there are a few things you should do first. Be sure to remove all old polish with a gentle finger nail polish remover. Look for those without acetone for the gentlest results. After getting rid of the polish, soak your hands in warm soapy water for ten minutes. This will soften your nails and skin to allow you to not only buff your nails better but also remove the unwanted cuticle areas. You can make your own homemade hand spa by filling a large bowl with warm water and adding a small amount of scented bath oil to the water. After soaking your hands, be sure to dry them completely.

Buff Nails the Right Way
To begin, grab your nail buffer and file your nails as you normally would (rounded, square or oval). With the roughest side of the buffer, start to buff your nails. Use a gently side-to-side motion when doing this. The main purpose of this phase is to smooth out any major ridges your nails may have. Next, use the next roughest side of your buffer and repeat the process. This will further work any ridges out of your nail area. To finish the buffing phase, utilize the smoothest part of the buffer to polish your nails until they shine.

Be sure not to be too rough when you are using the first few sides of the buffer. These are meant to only be used gently on the nails. Being too aggressive can lead to a split or chip in the nail, which is almost always difficult to repair properly.

Tips for Professional Salon Results

After you’ve successfully buffed your nails, consider taking your homemade manicure to the next level. Grab your favorite lotion (with or without sun block) and a pair of clean cotton gloves (socks will work if you don’t have gloves). Lather your hands in the lotion, put them into the gloves and wait for ten minutes. When you pull your hands out, wash and dry them well. You will find they are incredibly natural and soft! Be sure to wipe your nails well, apply a top coat of polish and begin painting them in your desired color. Allow the first coat of polish to set and apply another thin coat. Finish with a top coat and allow it to dry.As you can see, getting beautiful nails doesn’t necessarily require an expensive trip to the salon. So, instead of spending money on artificial acrylic nails this season, consider taking the natural route and doing your nails and toe nails yourself at home!