Spring is in the air and clients are getting ready to slip back into sandals. Get ready for bright polishes, seasonal motifs, wedding season and more. Nailcare experts offer tips, tricks and trends for sunny days ahead.
Why is advanced education so important for nail technicians?
“Advanced education is a critical key to continued success in offering up-to-date services,” says Elsa Barbi, OPI brand ambassador. “In order for a nail technician to continue surviving in a rapidly changing industry, he or she needs to constantly be attending classes in everything—manicures, pedicures, gel color, etc. It’s vital to stay up to date in order to provide every new client any service they want. OPI is committed to education, and we offer both DesignScape and OPI Trend Tour classes; we also offer step-by-steps for the professional on our website. Going back to class will only make you a better nail tech—you’ll be current on the latest trends and can, ultimately, charge more money!"
This is an example of what OPI academy attendees will learn this spring. This nail art design, using colors from the New Orleans spring collection, is called A Street Car Name St. Charles and is created with OPI Gel Colors in "I'm Sooo Swamped!" and "I Manicure For Beads" adorned by gold beads.
What are some ways a client in a traditional workplace can have fun with her nails and still look professional?
“Classic, bold colors are usually acceptable in reds, burgundies and rich chocolates; these colors need to be well applied to have that go-getter impact,” says Shelena Robinson, CND education ambassador. “Two-toned manicures like the French manicure can be updated with tone-on-tone nudes to add an interesting twist. Clients can be daring and switch it up with a version of the moon manicure. This look is surprisingly wearable; tone it down to more neutral tones, and it works beautifully at the office. Metallic can seem a little daunting at first, but shades of precious metals are very office-friendly and can be extremely complementary to your skin tone, making them the new neutral.
CND's Flirtation Collection's six shades: Lavender Lace, Sparks Fly, Demure, Aquaintance, Pink Pursuit, and Honey Darlin'.
What runway trends will make their way into nails this season?
"This spring and summer we’ll be seeing colorful matte as well as neutrals with a subtle, geometric touch of nail art,” says Sarah Bland, international Smith & Cult brand ambassador. "Yellow like our new spring shade, The Bee Side, as well as nails with negative space with a pop of glitter is going to be very hot this year too."
How can the classic French nail design be adapted to today’s popular nail shapes?
“There are a multitude of popular nail shapes right now and just as many ways to adapt the French manicure to each,” says Essie celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec. “Knowing that a straight-across tip is never flattering for the hand, I always recommend keeping it arched, swooped or deeply angular. For a soft, squareshaped nail, try a deep, classic French. An oval-shaped nail should have an asymmetrical swoop. For an almond or stiletto-shaped nail, go with a chevron tip to juxtapose the beveled silhouette. Finally, for a ballerina- or coffin-shaped nail, I recommend swiping on a color on just one side, from free edge to the opposite corner. Still not sure? An ombre is a perfect all-crowd pleaser for someone who wants an updated French!”
“It’s easy to re-vamp the traditional French manicure by using various colors and widths,” says Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. “Try polar-opposite shades like a coral and tan or a light blue and cherry red.”
Essie's spring collection is inspired by the sunshine state, Florida, and is available in both enamels and gels.
How are seasonal collections created?
“We start by looking at trending colors, like Pantone’s spring/summer or fall/winter palettes,” says Christy Rose, founder and owner of KBShimmer. “Drawing on colors like this year’s Serenity helps set the mood for collections. Holidays like Easter tend to lean toward pastels and soft neutrals, while fall celebrations inspire us to create deeper jewel tones and warmer hues. Nature is also a huge influence for us. Trips to the zoo and botanical gardens have helped us create vibrant shades based on feathers and flowers, and fantastic fall leaves always help inspire a shade or two.”
How can a nail technician best create a clean, natural nail?
“SpaRitual provides an easy and quick solution to stained nails by perfecting the look of natural nails,” says Catherine Baek, SpaRitual global education director. “Apply Cuti-Clean to the entire nail including the cuticle. Push the cuticle then use a cotton swab to rub the surface of the nail plate to remove stains. Cleanse nails thoroughly with water and dry. Lastly, apply SpaRitual Vegan CC Creme to help strengthen, brighten and perfect the look of natural nails.Be sure to choose the right CC Creme shade for your client’s skin tone.”
What should a nail technician consider when determining a client’s nail shape?
“Ask the client what their typical activities are, what their nail health is and has been like, and what their goal for a final look would be,” says Kelly Bannon, Orly spa manager. “There are a few different things to consider, one being the health of the client’s nails. If their nails are prone to break and split, a rounded shape would be less likely to snag on something. Another consideration is lifestyle. If they like to play volleyball in their spare time, then recommending a stiletto or other long nail length would not be the best choice. Finally, you want to consider the client’s preference. If they want something hip and trendy, then maybe a ballet-slipper shape would be a good option. Or, if they want to make their fingers look longer and more slender, then you would recommend an oval shape.”
What can a manicurist do to make a service extra special?
“Show the client you care by giving them the differences they are not getting elsewhere,” says Cuccio President Patricia Hawthorn-Freund. “One way to show you care is by helping to protect your guest. Show the guest the nail file is personally for them by using a Cuccio Naturale Stainless Steel Nail File with disposable abrasive paper. By applying the new paper on the file base, she will feel you are looking out for her safety. Other ways to make the guest feel extra special is to apply products with a hand facial brush or application brush instead of using just your hands. For example, service clients with the Cuccio Naturale Deep Dermal Wrap, which is applied with an application brush; the intense hydrating product starts off as a luscious cream and then turns transparent as it penetrates into the skin. The hands are wrapped in plastic, and warm towels are added for extra pampering. Remember sometimes the smallest extras can make a huge impact in raising the perception of your services and creating a loyal bond with your guests.”
How can nail technicians create wearable, fashionforward nail art for clients?
“Creating wearable, fashion-forward nail art starts with finding inspiration,” says Danielle Candido, northeast regional manager of education at Gelish and lead manicurist backstage at Fashion Week with Morgan Taylor lacquer. “Look at everything in your environment with a nail artist’s eye. What is visually stimulating that can fit on a nail? Inspiration can be found everywhere, clothing patterns, wall paper, art books, tattoos, sculpture and, of course, fashion magazines. It’s not about recreating an image or pattern necessarily but more about picking an element from your inspiration and translating that on to the nail.”
Morgan Taylor lead nail artist Gina Edwards created designer chic nail art at shows such as Jonathan Simkhai, Noon by Noor and Monique Lhullier during New York Fashion Week in September.
What advances in technology are you seeing on the manicure table?
“Our latest gel launch is a new gel that incorporates Bio Glass Technology within our resins. This creates a unique product for nail technicians that closely mimics the body’s own keratin to eliminate rejection or lifting while regenerating the nail plate,” says Michelle Davignon, director of education at LCN. “It creates a natural bond to the natural nail and can improve the nails’ structure.”
“Nail polish is the ultimate accessory. It can complement your mood and acts as the fi nishing touch for the outfi t you are wearing. That’s the thing about nail polish—it’s not a huge commitment. Plus, it comes off easily so you can always change your mind and experiment with different things.” —Deborah Lippmann
Which nail finishes are trending for spring?
“When pulling together a red carpet look, nail color and finish is one of the last things we discuss after choosing the dress, the hairstyle, makeup and jewelry,” says Deborah Lippmann, fashion/celebrity manicurist and creative director/founder of Deborah Lippmann. “It may seem small, but it’s a noticeable detail. Beautiful, opaque pastels are always a big trend for spring, especially for weddings or prom. The soft, light colors are very refreshing! I also think a light shimmer makes a statement. Adding shimmer to a light pink or nude manicure is a chic and sophisticated way to incorporate this playful nod to your style.”
What’s the next must-have shade, system or technique for nails?
“We’re seeing a strong infl uence of the 1970s in beauty this spring,” say Brooke Johnson, brand manager for China Glaze. “There is an exciting color infl uence from that era with muted tones being paired with random pops of color. This season, much like in the 1970s, mixing patterns, prints and textures is the latest means of expressing individuality. Nails are the perfect canvas to do just that. Layer on the season’s must-have shade, Let’s Chalk About It, a chalky creme that’s not quite white, not quite pink but a unique mix of the two—a true individual if you will.”