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Nail Trends and other random thoughts

Nail Trends and other random thoughts

Grab your coffee and let's chat ❤️

Today's email might be a little random, even more random than usual.  I am sitting here with my coffee and I literally have no idea about what I want to chat about.  This past week has been a little busy-ish, both at the shop and at home, and I didn't pick a topic, but didn't want to leave you hanging either 🙂

There is just so much going on in our industry all the time it's hard to keep up sometimes, unless you are on socials constantly (I am not).  I have people come to the shop and they fill me in on industry gossip (so much BS out there), which company is getting cancelled for what blunder, what's new and hot on TikTok and the rest of the nail trends and industry news.  It isn't that I don't keep up on trends, I do, or at least I try to.  I find that the internet has trends more often than not, that last a week or two and then they are gone.  It's hard to know which one is going to hang around.

So I guess my topic today is Trends.  How do you know which ones will stay?  Is it worth it to invest in whichever product is trending? Do your clients pay extra for nail art and length etc.?

Two trends I thought would be over by now are Chrome and Cat Eye.  Chrome has been around since the early-mid 2000's and Cat Eye for at least 10yrs. They still seem to have a strong following and people are still creating new and fun ways to use both of these products.  Another trend on it's way out - Garage Sale Nails (see ya!)  Garage Sale Nails are the ones that are covered in all the trinkets and gems, they are busy and full, look like they weigh 10lbs a piece.  Those could have left before they got here for me.

Chrome powders are beautiful! and multi purpose as well.  Did you know your chrome powder will also make a stunning top coat?  They do, just mix a little bit into some top and apply as you normally would.  The pigment particles are fine enough that they won't leave the surface of your nail feeling or looking lumpy or gritty.   Some might say that Chrome Powders are pricey. They really aren't if you use them properly.

The particle size of chrome powders is sooooo small, but they actually do go a long long way.  I have watched Youtube, TikTok and IG videos with people using chromes and they often make me cringe with amount of the product that is going to waste. Using a brush to apply the powders, is fine, if you can pick up the smallest amount.  I find that using my gloved finger or an eye shadow applicator works best for me, and doesn't waste near ss much product.

It shouldn't look like you are beating the sh!t out of Tinkerbell when you are applying your Chrome.  If you are finding your Chrome is looking more glittery than chrome, two things could be happening.  1.  You used way too much powder and it is stuck along cuticles and sidewalls. 2. Using too much pressure on your brush when you are applying your sealing layer to your chrome, you need to float it more.

So now lets talk about cost.  I am going to use some round numbers so it's easy to figure out.  The Chrome Powders we have at the shop are typically 1g containers, enough in there to do 100's of nails, but we are going to say we can get 100 out of each jar, just for easy figuring.

$20/100= $0.20/ nail 

Now this is just the powder, it doesn't include the time to prep the surface properly, the specialty products you use to secure the chrome.  Those you should factor in as well, if you are going to add chrome to your service menu as an add on.

When I was behind my desk full time and a new colour or product was trending, the way I decided if I was going to get it or not was a little bit of girl math 😉I would look at the price of the product, figure out how many of my clients would FOR SURE want it/wear it and see if I could justify it that way.  So for example:

New Trendy Coloured Gel

$15/2= $7.50   Not such a great return

$15/10= $1.50  Much better way to spend my money

I always tell my students that it is never your builders and files all of those things that cost you money, it's the fun trendy stuff that you buy because FOMO, and it sits in a drawer never to be looked at or used.

I will also say that if you are figuring out what something costs you to add to your service menu, don't forget to charge extra for length.  Using Chrome on a short set, takes way less time a product than adding the same to a XXL set. You want to be extra?  You pay EXTRA!

You can use this simple equation when buying the "Newest Collection" too.  Collections have always made me a bit crazy.  Without fail, the manufacturer will put 2-4 nice colours in a collection and then stiff you with couple of not so nice ones.  You have to take the cost of the collection, divide it by the number of colours you actually think you will use for sure, and then take that number and divide by the number of clients you know will wear them.  I found that it made more sense to me to just buy the colours that I want, and not always the collection.  This is also why our site is set up to let you build your own collections.

This is very simple math, but I find that it's easy to use and makes sense to me.  Sure we can break it down further, but sometimes if we over complicate things its gets overwhelming and I prefer to keep is simple.

Reflective Gel Polishes have also been trending for a while now, they sort of come in fits and waves, but I think it's more because they can be a bit hard to deal with.  Reflective Gel Polish from most of the companies I have tried are quite thick, and can be really hard to apply.  The glitter gets pushed inside the polish brush and it turns into this huge paddle lookin' kind of disaster, that is almost impossible to use.  The polish is thicker, so it doesn't slide down the bristles easy and the list goes on.  How many of you bought some and decided you hate it and tossed it in a corner?

If you did that, that is some of the most expensive gel polish you own (not including the ones you have only just swatched) 

A trick for these thick glitter gel polishes is to use some gel polish thinner in them.  You are thinking, you just want me to buy something else.  Not really really, I want to be able to offer you some advice, a product recommendation, and some tips to use the products that are sitting collecting dust in your desk, you put your hard earned money to work, not have it sit around.

I have always pulled the reflective gel polishes out of the bottles and used a stiffer brush to apply them.  We have had Gel Polish Thinner in the shop for a really long time and I never looked twice at it until we got these THICC AF gel polishes and they made me crazy.  I understand that it's an extra spend, BUT then at least you are using these gel polish, and you money isn't totally going to waste.  Here is how I figure it (girl math)

$20 gel polish - 20uses    $1 each use

$21 Gel Polish thinner  - 20 uses      $1.10 each use

I used 20 just because it was easy and I thought that 20 people wearing a reflective gel polish was reasonable.  The Gel Polish thinner could easily be used 100's of times, because you only need a drop or two to thin out the polish.  So lets take the thinner and say we used it 100 times over the course of a year.

$21 / 100 = $0.21/use

The thinner should last years as long as you keep it closed properly.  So the cost per service is much less than the $1.10.  And we know that we can more than 20 sets out of a bottle of reflective gel polish, so the cost per service goes down as well.  In my head, if I did this math, reached these numbers, then every time I used these products after my easy math, they were basically free 🥸

When we talk about trend in the nail industry, it happens lightning fast.  This week it's super trendy, and next week it's not.  It's hard to decide what is going to be the next nail trend that your clients go for and one that they will leave behind.  No one knows your clients like you do. If your client base is a lover of short to medium nails in understated colours, it's pretty unlikely that they are going to go for a trend that has lots of texture, crazy patterns, or dark colours.  Fuzzy Peach is the Pantone Colour of the year, I personally don't like Peach,  not as a fruit and definitely not as a colour I would put on my nails.

Just because it's trending doesn't mean it will popular with your clients.  Maybe you have a handful of clients that want to wear whatever the trend is, regardless if it suits them or not.  If they want you to hop on the Fuzzy Peach trend, ask them for images specifically showing which shade of peach they prefer.  Pick the most common colour and buy one, just one colour of peach.  Let them know that you are buying it for them, and you expect them to wear it at least one time.  I find that when you hold these Fussy Fuzzy Peach trend mongers accountable, they sometimes don't want to commit, and it saves you some money and lots of frustration, by not having 10 Fuzzy peach shades that just aren't quite the right shade.

Understanding your clients, their personal style and their spending habits will really help you to make good choices when it comes to bringing in new colours.  I know that we won't ever have the right shade of pink for every client that sits across from us, purple is also a tough one.  If green is trending and you have 10 greens on your swatches, 9 of which have never been chosen, maybe the green nail trend isn't for your client base.  If you want to give your clients nudge in that direction, put that colour on your hands, for some reason, when they sit across from you and watch your hands move wearing a colour, they usually want it for their next appointment, or they ask if it's new.  You can tell a little white lie and say it's absolutely new, they should try it.

Garage Sale Nails are leaving...slowly, but they are going away.  Along with Extendos, XXL and other extreme art techniques.  I see more and more people that used to wear longer nails, moving back to short to medium, more classic look.  Colours are simple, design is minimal and hands are looking classy again.  This is good new!  For most of us anyway. 

If you can get a short/medium set with minimal art done in 2hrs or less and your clients will pay $75+  and you see 4 people a day, that's $300/day.  less the overhead, not bad money. Plus you don't have to sit with someone for 4+ hours and have them come at 6 weeks when the nails are super trashed and expect a fill, when it's clearly a full set.  A short to medium client is coming back to see you and pay every 3-4 weeks.  The money is more consistent, they are less likely to trash their nails, because they are easier to live in.  I am even wearing little nubbins because I was simply too lazy to do a proper fill 😄

How do we know which trends will stick?  We honestly don't, but I do know that these trends will all be back. Some will be back sooner than others, but they all come back.

Hopefully, my little tips about girl math and how to decide if a new product is right for you and your clients helped out a little bit.  It's tough to pick and choose what to bring in and what to leave behind (I have to do it at the shop all the time), at the end of the day you have to do what is right for your business, and sometimes that means you skip the trend for right now, and pick up on the next one maybe.

Thanks for having coffee with me again this Sunday, I am hoping soon I will be writing my Sunday email while sitting on my deck enjoying the sunshine.

Hope you all have the very best week!  And you all know what to do if I left you hanging on something, or you want more info.

XO Kellie❤️

 Don't forget to Mark your Calendars for May8-11!  TGB is coming for 3 days of classes and a Party Day on the 11th.