If your clean, dry nails are nice and smooth, you can proceed to the next step. If they're rough or ridged, though, you may want to buff them first. Nail polishing creams and special polishing boards can smooth out the surface of nails that have grooves or ridges as a result of aging or injury. Nail buffing is actually a handy alternative to a manicure. It has the same appearance as applying a clear coat. Give it a try. You'll be surprised at how shiny, lustrous and healthy your nails look. If the idea of buffing your nails doesn't appeal to you, use a nail filler product that will conceal minor nail flaws like ridges and discoloration.