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Are Naturally Buffed Nails more stylish than Nail Polish and Gel Nail?

Having Natural Nails or nails with a shiny finish by using a buffing method was the most traditional method in maintaining nail care. Just like our grandmother's recipe, these techniques were carried down to each generation.

In the late 1920s, Nail Lacquer or Nail Painting began trending in Europe & USA as women painted their nails red as fashion statements. Though, it was only in the 1980s that Gel Nails arrived in the US market and the trend expanded to all over Europe. The evolution of the ingredients, materials, thickness and design increased gradually over the years.

In the Pedi/Mani industry, I have seen the capabilities, benefits and drawbacks of all three types of nail care. Here are the comparisons between the three most popular treatments:


Nail Polish or Nail Lacquer exists in more than 300 shades for certain Nail Polish Brands and usually stay on the Nails around 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the composition and ingredients (Chemicals like Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Camphor etc).


  • Affordable and can be found in all nail salons

  • Great to wear for special events such as celebration dinners and weddings

  • Matching with current fashions such as matching with bags and shoes

  • Easy to remove with Acetone


  • Can damage Nail Plate as the chemicals in Nail Polish burns the nails, changing the pigmentation to a yellow colour

  • Takes 30 minutes to be fully dry

  • Not easy to apply ourselves

  • Frustrating as it can be scratched or chipped easily and need to repaint it repeatedly

Price: From 2 USD to 100 USD


Today, Gel Nail is the most popular out of the Manicure and Pedicure world. The different types of Gel Nail enhancements can be differentiated into 2 types of Gels: Soft Gel and Hard Gel.

The main difference is the way to remove them or the texture, which can be thicker for hard gel.


  • Long Lasting for 3 weeks

  • Nail Art makes a unique look of your hands and feet

  • Very popular amongst women between 18 to 30

  • Can add length to the Nail

  • Stronger Nail feeling


  • Long Process: 2 hours when applying by therapist

  • Have to be removed by a professional. Soft Gel are easier to remove than Hard Gel, as it can be soaked out in Acetone

  • Weaken and damage the Nail Plate by making it thinner and dryer. White spots can be found after using it for too long without resting the Nails

  • Peeling, cracking and breaking nails can also happens after years of use of Gel

  • U.V light from the machine used can also increase the risk of skin cancer and premature skin ageing around the nails

Price: From 30 USD to 200 USD


This method is very traditional and also had an evolution on use of instruments over the centuries.

Modern instruments are becoming more efficient to Buff the Nails such as Buffing Blocks, Ultra Fine Grit, or Chamois Leather Buffers are all used to make the Nails shiny in a natural way.

Buffing cream combined with Chamois Leather Buffers are well appreciated when you want to rest your nails from Nail Polish and Gel, otherwise known as Nail Rehab Period.


  • More healthy for the Nails

  • Elegant Nails in a Natural way

  • Give a pink and shiny effect on the Nail Plate similar to french Mani type

  • Whitening the tip part of the Nail

  • Allows Oxygen and nutrients to the Nail

  • Can be done at home by yourselves


  • Over Buffing with thick grain buffers can make the Nail too thin and weak

  • Not having any colours on Nails. Less Fun for younger age group.

Price: From 10 USD to 150 USD


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