I have had a couple of questions on how I got the shine on the nails in my last post, MANicure.

If you didn’t get to see it, here is the link http://seriouslynails.com/?p=1229

Well, like most things, if you have the right tools, it is easy.

I used the “Shiner” file from OPI.


This file has two sides to it and they are both very very fine grit.

“Grit” on files used to confuse the heck out of me. But Joey Brown from OPI finally got it through my head.

You have to think of the grit like grains of sand.

Once you place the abrasive “sand” on the paper, you get a file. Whether it is a nail file or a file for a piece of woodwork you are doing.71QtQGwLaeL._SL1500_

Let’s say you have a square of paper that held 100 grains of sand, then the sand would have to be very big and coarse. That would be a 100 grit file. It would be great for filing things down quickly but would leave the surface rough.

And if you have the same piece of paper and were able to put 280 pieces of sand, those grains would be smaller and leave less imperfections.

So the lower the grit, the coarser the surface. And the higher the grit the finer the surface.

Most Buffer or shiner blocks you see today have two to three sides. Lets say, like OPI’s “Shiner” it has two. One side is a 1000 grit,CIMG2213_marked

and the other is 4000.


On natural nails, once you manicure is complete and you are ready for buffing, you must first clean the natural nail of any type of oil or lotion.

Those two products will “kill” your high grit buffers.

The oil/lotion gets trapped in the spaces between the “sand” and will just rip the surface of the buffer/shiner.

This is a very important thing to remember. You want to get the best use out of all of you implements to help save you cost of service.

You also want to very lightly apply pressure when using buffer/shiners. This will help make them last as well. Plus, if you use too much pressure and speed, you can heat up your poor customers nail bed!

There are different shapes that these buffer/shiners come in as well. OPI used to call there block buffer/shiner a “Brilliance” block.

brilliance block

As you can see the “Shiner” is a much more ergonomic file to work with.

So how these work, is that the 1000 grit side is used first. It gently buffs out small imperfections on the natural nail. It will appear almost chalky when you are finished with this side.

Complete all ten fingers before flipping over your file. It will save you time because you are only changing sides once instead of ten times!

Repeat the gentle buffing on the nails with the 4000 grit side. You will hear a squeaking sound when it has reached it’s highest shine. Voila, you are done.


I like to add a small drop of cuticle oil afterwards, just as a little extra touch.

Here is a nice manicure from Polished Beauty.