In February I discussed the features of various gel polish brands, so moving on I would like to now look at the effects this hybrid polish has on the natural nail.
Overwhelmingly I have had feedback from my clients and nail technicians worldwide that their own natural nails have gone from strength to strength. Samantha Sweet and Gigi Rouse also tell me Shellac has done wonders for their natural nails. Although I have to say it is possible that because the natural nails are wrapped and protected by the durability of the product they seem to grow long and strong rather than any additional additives and straighteners being present. There are plenty of ways to make these gel polishes work for you. Gigi Rouse says “Shellac freed me from the commitment of nail enhancements and the maintenance of them. I have not worn enhancements since last February, I always needed some extra strength for my natural nails, and Shellac gives me that ‘in-between’ level of strength and flexibility. Claire Hughes a mobile nail technician and beauty therapist told me “The best feedback I have had was from one of my clients Mrs Pollock; she was having manicures for years because her nails have never been in a great condition, since she has had the Gelish she has told me she noticed that her nails look and feel better and seem to actually grow faster. For the first time ever I had to shorten her nails on the last appointment”
To conclude, I have to say they are all a similar product, some are thicker than others, some cure faster than others, some have a more polish like application and some last slightly longer. But ultimately they do their job, they all last longer than a polish on natural nails and what is unanimous throughout all my clients is their nails have never felt or looked better. Marion Newman agrees “each brand has its own character, for example Shellac is pure quality and Gelish has a vast range of colours and the added advantage of an LED lamp. Geleration has the Jessica name and the devoted followers”. It is hard to come up with a definitive winner, so I invite you to look at the information and try out the ones you like the look of for yourself.
So you have decided on your brand and now you have to ‘sell’ it. Here 10 top tips on how to launch your new ‘magic manicure’
- Visit your local offices and ask them for a small area where you can set up a desk. You could perform 2 or 3 treatments over a lunch period. Bringing this service to the client can increase the footfall in your salon, as the word spreads.
- Today I took my kit to my hairdressers, while my colour was taking we sat out the back and I did her nails. By the time I had left I could have done 3 of the other girls. These are the places who can advertise this cool new application which lasts! Take out a day and visit your local Hair salons, apply for free and leave plenty of cards. It is an investment, but word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
- Most brands offer great marketing material, CND has a video geared towards the clients which can be played on a loop in the salon. Ask your supplier to give you a support pack which could include a range of window stickers and posters.
- Another great way to create a buzz around this new line is to contact your local magazine; Jeni Smith contacted the beauty editor to come and have a treatment in return for a write up. Since this was published she tells me the phone hasn’t stopped ringing.
- Wearing the colours and inviting friends and family to try it out and shout about it. I was stopped in my town and asked about this “new permanent polish”, it had been written about in our Waitrose magazine. Of course I was quick to tell them I had a large range of colours and how fantastic the effects on the natural nails were.
- 6. Holly L. Schippers, CND Education Ambassador in the USA, did a photo comparison of a client who had polish on one hand and Shellac on the other, she says ‘this photo does all the work for me’
- Linda Butler thinks polishes like Geleration are the future of the industry, ‘once tried everyone loves it, I think these systems open up the market and offers a newer option for enhancement wearers looking for a more natural look. Perfectly pitched for busy women, look at targeting markets which haven’t visited your salon before.
- With the general feedback from clients that they love the fact that it is dry straight away, and that there is “no chipping, no smudging, no kidding” according to IBD’s Gelac. This Unique selling points (USP’s) need to be shared with your new customers, using tag lines like this will help customers remember your services.
- Special offers! To start with offer the new service to your clients for the same price as a standard polish, let them try it and see the effects for themselves and of course don’t forget word of mouth advertisements. Then offer the second or even third polish at a special rate.
- Keiko Venner noticed a drastic improvement turning her £10 file and polish appointments into £35 express semi-permanent manicures. She managed to increase her turnover in the same amount of time by £25 per appointment.
What I love about these polishes is that you can still incorporate nail art, hand painting, decals and glitters to the colour and then applying the finishing top coat to protect the work, and of course it will last just as long. Linda Butler goes one but further “I have one client who has to have a natural look for work, so I apply the softer pinks and whites and give her pretty French, once I have cured the top coat and removed the inhibition layer, I paint normal varnish in bold bright colours over this, adding nail art too. On Sunday evening before work she removes the whacky colours and has a perfect French polish underneath, a two for one treatment” Holly Schippers has a blog called Finger Nail Fixer which has a host of information and different designs using Shellac.