Wednesday, September 23, 2015

In the Buff

In the early 90's, getting a mani-pedi with your mom was not a "thing". In my mind, you were either the equivalent of Paris Hilton or a very lucky birthday girl to be in the nail salon and indeed, my parents poo-pooed such institutions all together (my mom because of her low-maintenance mind-set and my dad due to the rampant use of chemicals). And while I sometimes bummed about my inability to get a manicure (I seemed to have more first world problems as a child), they were at least right about nail salons being generally hazardous (see Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers). Thus, the "Nails" section of Into the Gloss, rarely gained views from my laptop... until recently. It was a simple picture of nude-hued and clear polishes which directed my attention to the article, "Naked - Not Bare Nails." In the article, the author spoke about how nail care (cleaning underneath the nails, trimming your cuticles) can be a routine unto itself outside of making them look pretty with polish. In many instances, she says women who care for their nails (in terms of cleanliness) often favor a nude, buffed look over a well designed or colorful polish. Feeling I belonged (or longed to belong) to the former category of women, I was excited to try out a nude nail look upon my last visit to the nail salon (yes, I'm a bad person).

If you're new to "getting buffed" like myself, you can use this video.

While my intention was to receive a pretty, nude look at the salon, my somewhat puritanical upbringing towards manicures made me forgo polish altogether, focusing more on having my nails cleaned, cut, etc. It was here that my manicurist asked if I wanted to get my nails buffed. Happy to receive anything for free, I obliged and with a swift brush over my nails, they became shiny and looked healthy as the blood rushed to the surface, much in the way it does when Scarlet O'Hara pinches her cheeks in Gone with the Wind (which may define the pivotal moment when I started crushing on natural beauty routines). Indeed, bringing the blood to the surface of any area offers a myriad of benefits both seen and unseen.

In Go With The Flow, I referenced the fact that circulation (and the act of increasing it) can play a significant role in both our health and beauty. As blood delivers nutrients throughout the body, helping to get to places it otherwise would not (read: our extremities) can be helpful. Working to circulate blood through our bodies can boost the health of our hair (via scalp massages), possibly jump-start our lymphatic systems (via dry brushing) and, as I learned recently, can be brought to the surface of the nail through buffing or essentially running a device called a nail buff across the nails. This not only helps our nails look healthy but can also ... According to, "nails are a type of modified skin." As such, I would assume that the process of exfoliation, via buffing, works much like a dry brush in helping to stimulate our circulatory and lymphatic systems which has been suggested might rid our body of toxins. By bringing the blood to the surface of the nails, I'm also hoping, might bring some heat, which would do wonders for my dry cuticles in the winter. Not only does buffing help our nails help to bring a pleasant hue to our finger tips, it keeps us from exposure to harsh chemicals found in nail polish. So get buffed and enjoy!

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