Just because customers are hibernating from the beach and slipping their feet back into close-toed shoes for autumn and winter doesn’t mean they won’t be making trips to the salon. In fact, these seasons call for new colors and techniques of all their own, and the nail industry leaders that we talked to know that. Here they share their expertise that has led them to the top of the professional beauty industry, so you too can reap the benefits of smart nail know-how in the coming months.
What trends seen on the runway will make their way into fall and winter collections?
“This fall the runway was all about opulence, exaggerated shapes and embellishment,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI’s executive vice president. “More is more, so to speak. We saw folkloric ponchos and capes, ornate heels, lots of accents and bling. Naturally, Venice came to mind-- elaborate architecture, the cuisine, the colorful people and the art. Both the essence of this city and fall’s runway inspiration were captured in our collection."
What touches and tweaks can a manicurist do to make a nail service extra special?
“Every client needs something, and why not offer them that extra special experience to address that need?” says Shel Pink, SpaRitual & Slow Beauty Founder. “At SpaRitual we offer four unique “States of Slow Beauty” to address a wide variety of needs. Whether it is healing and rejuvenating, settling and restoring, energizing and warming or calming and soothing, each “state” offers a unique scent and massage technique to address your client’s needs. The quality of the products are important as well. Tweak and elevate your service by offering your clients products that are healthier for them, the environment and also for the manicurist. Manicurists are the ones most exposed to the products because they work with them day in and day out. Choose products that are 5-free for nail lacquers and treatments, and for body, contain a high percentage of certified organic ingredients.”
Any ideas for making hands look more youthful with certain shades and shapes?
“Finding a youthful look for your hands is not so much about specific colors, but more about choosing the brighter shades in the spectrum of colors that work for your skintone,” says Danielle Candido, Gelish and Morgan Taylor’s northeast regional education manager. “Know your skintone’s ‘temperature’; are you a warm (summer) or a cool (winter)? Once you know that, pick the brightest shades for a more youthful appearance in your hands. Staying away from neutrals is also good advice if you are seeking youthful-looking hands. As for shape of the nails, an active length with a natural, free edge shape, more along the lines of ‘squoval’, tends to look more youthful. The more severe the shape, such as a hard square or stiletto, the more aging to the hands.”
How can a nail technician deal with nail staining and create a truly clean, natural nail?
“Essie is beyond delighted to present the brightening care professional system,” say Gino Trunzo, Essie director of education. “Inspired by professional dental whitening formulas, this 3-step system reduces the appearance of stains after just one service. Nails look radiant, renewed, refreshed and pearly white. And the dermatologically tested formulas leave nails and cuticles feeling conditioned and cared for.”
How can manicurists adapt the classic French Nail design to the many different nail shapes that are popular today?
“In the last two years, there has been a change of nails shapes, and square is no longer the most popular,” says Marilyn Garcia, International Director of Education for Cuccio. “Softer square shapes are prevalent, as are pipe, almond, stilettos, ballerina and extreme oval, to mention just a few. But these nails are considered too long to wear on a daily basis, and only used to be seen in posters and at competitions. In our new Cuccio education classes, we teach nail techs how to adapt these nail shapes so they can create wearable nails for their clients. Cuccio T3 LED Gel makes it easy to do any nail shape. Another good thing for a nail technician to learn is how to create these different nail shapes, because they have the power to change the appearance of the client’s hand. For example, you can enhance the color of the skin by doing a makeover gel in a French, or make the hand look sleeker by doing a French in oval shape instead of a traditional square.”
What can be done to help a client who complains of brittle, constantly-breaking nails?
“Clients with brittle and breaking nails need a combination of hydration, protection and strengthening,” says Joy A. Johnson, a China Glaze educator. “The hydration comes from regular use of cuticle oil such as China Glaze Orange Cuticle Oil. It helps to penetrate through the nail plate and cuticle with ingredients like vitamin B and wheat protein, which help to create flexibility within the nail so they are less likely to break. Using cuticle oil several times a day but especially in the morning and at night will help to build strength from within. The protection comes from wearing gloves when interacting with water and doing any house work involving chemicals. And lastly the strengthening comes from regularly applying a strengthening/fortifying nail treatment such as China Glaze Calcium Gel Fortifier to freshly manicured nails. When trying to build strength into the nails it’s best to stay on a weekly manicure schedule using the fortifying product. After about eight weeks, the client can then shift to a bi-weekly manicure schedule.”
What advances in technology are we seeing on the manicure table vis-à-vis products, lamps and/or tools?
“We are seeing advancement in the nail industry on several levels,” says Shelena Robinson, CND education ambassador. “Newer technology and techniques, with products like CND SHELLAC brand 14+ day nail colors, are allowing nail professionals the opportunity to provide higher quality services that last longer and, more importantly, don’t cause damage to the natural nail when used as recommended. New technology opens the door to a larger variety of clients, increasing revenue by offering a broader range of service options to fit the needs of different types of consumers. The new CND LED Lamp is a great addition to any nail table, providing optimum cure of CND coatings and saving time with a shorter cure time. This allows nail professionals to provide faster services for client on the go and ultimately allowing you the fit in more clients.”
What are some options for incorporating nail art into manicures for women who are concerned about looking unprofessional or ‘trying too hard’?
“As someone that worked in a professional office for years, I understand the struggle to balance my creative side with the desire to look professional,” says Christy Rose, owner and product designer of KBShimmer. “One way to balance those halves is to use neutral and classic colors to create your nail art. A soft greige with champagne glitter accents, a grey with plum dots or even a gradient of your favorite red tones would all be work appropriate. The key is to keep the colors and design of your nails from overshadowing the good work you do. Save the distracting designs, neon colors and large embellishments for weekends and vacations!”
In the fall and winter months, how can salons continue to promote their pedicure services?
“Today’s lifestyle has a major impact on the health of the skin and nails on our feet,” says Jessica Vartoughian, founder and CEO of Jessica Cosmetics International. “Our feet carry the weight of our bodies everyday, people are more active and this affects feet and as a culture we are experiencing more health issues from Diabetes, Rheumatiod Arthritis and most commonly--aging feet. We have a greater need for extra and specialized foot care due to unsightly calluses, thick, dry cracked skin on their heels, foot/toenail fungus or specific health issues. One of the key challenges of winter pedicures is that you cannot quickly put your boots on and go outside in the sub-zero weather. At JESSICA, we have just introduced PHENOM, an innovation in nail polish that will dry in less than the 10 minutes, you can safely put your shoes on and leave. Pedicures have become an all-year round necessity, they effectively soothe feet and help prevent more serious conditions. It is important to focus on the health aspect of a good pedicure in addition to the added beauty benefits.”
There are so many different finishes in polish and gel formulas—crème, shimmer, glitter, holographic, etc. What is the difference between them?
“The modern nail client has a wealth of shades and finishes to choose from in today’s polish marketplace,” says Rebecca Isa, ZOYA creative director. “When you are presenting polish options remember to use words that really describe the finish for example: creams: silky, buttery, classic; shimmers: eye-catching, dynamic, elegant; glitter: sequined, sparkling, flirty; and holographic: color shifting, funky, daring. We could discuss the actual properties of the pigment that gives the polish its finish however I believe the client is more drawn to the message the polish conveys about her personal style. Remember, nail polish is supposed to be fun, and that enjoyment should always be part of every salon experience."
New nail brands pop up every day but how can a company and a brand survive and thrive in the professional beauty industry?
“For 40 years, ORLY has remained the leader in natural nail care by developing and introducing innovative collections and treatments,” says Carina Breda, ORLY’s senior vice president of marketing. “Our most recent innovation is the introduction of our Flexible Color System, EPIX. ORLY EPIX is a unique two-step system that lasts for more than a week. It wears like a gel manicure, but removes like a polish, meeting the demands of today’s women who want long wear, high shine and easy removal.”
What should a salon be stocking up on to meet seasonal demands for services and for gift-giving?
“Venique’s holiday collection ‘Decked Out and Dolled Up’ features six super sexy shades (rich metallics and creams with a touch of glitter, right on trend for the holiday party season), but also some unique irresistible gift-ables,” says Heidi Knapik, Beauty Systems Group senior category manager, U.S. merchandising. “The most exciting is the ‘Holiday Mini Blockbuster’ set of 12 mini bottles. Salons can retail this adorable boxed set together, or they can break it up and sell them each individually and the salon puts even more money in their pocket.”
What’s next for nails? What is going to be the next must-have shade, system or technique?
“In the last few years we’ve witnessed nail art evolve from what might be perceived as tacky into cool,” says Dineh Mohajer, Smith & Cult co-founder and creative director. “It feels boundless at this point and there are some exciting trends I can’t wait to explore. When I need to swap my sneakers for stilettos, I plan to haphazardly, yet somehow artfully, splash Nailed Lacquer in Shattered Souls, a chunky gold glitter, suspended in a clear base, over non-painted nails. I love the idea of geometric shapes that only partially cover the nail bed to reveal a clear surface around it. There is no denying that gray continues to be a top contender when it comes to a staple nail shade. Nailed Lacquer in No Poem, an opaque deep asphalt hue, is part of Smith & Cult’s new Fall Nailed Lacquer collection and strikes that perfect balance between black and white.”