While some clients may choose to rely on their own personal taste and favourite shades to determine their choices in a nail salon, many are inspired by what’s trending on social media.
“I think social media has certainly boosted the interest in nail art beyond measure, and it allows the consumer to see the endless possibilities that come with it,” says Chelsea Baart, an OPI global artist based in Brentwood Bay, B.C. “It entices the client to try something new, and I think it’s such an amazing tool that’s ready to be mined anytime we need a creative boost.”
“At Fashion Week, you get to see what colours and textures are being paired together,” she says. “Those designs end up popping up on social media and you see different artists make the looks their own and, in turn, that inspires and creates even more looks for clients.”
According to Tamara Di Lullo, owner of Candy Nail Bar in Montreal, Fashion Week and social media have two very different yet powerful influences on the nail industry.
“Something important to note is that Fashion Week shows are now more accessible to everyone due to social media’s reach,” she says. “I’m thrilled that we have access to the trends more quickly.”
Keeping up with Fashion Week trends is also crucial when it comes to retaining clientele.
“It’s important to offer new products to existing clients because they’re always looking to try the newest thing—the newest colour, the newest collection and the newest trends,” says Caty Payette, a CND education ambassador based in St. Bruno, Que. “They expect to hear the latest trends from us, so it’s important that we stay current. Chances are they may already know about what’s happening because they’re seeing it on social media, but they like to hear our ideas.”
“Clients—of any industry—look to the professionals to keep them in the know on the latest trends and products,” adds Baart. “Fashion Week is a peek into the future and can be a huge source of creative inspiration, while social media can be a great education tool, as well as a trend spotter. By keeping yourself informed on what’s happening in both areas, not only will you know what styles will be popular, you can also learn techniques to achieve those designs and elevate your craft.”
PRO TIP If a client doesn’t know what they want, Baart suggests pulling up your “saved” folder on Instagram and letting them thumb through it, as well as encourage them to make their own folder they can share with you! Reminder: Inspiration doesn’t start and end with nail photos—have them look at fashion, jewelry, art, home décor and more.
Although staying current on trending styles plays a huge role in a nail tech’s desire to scroll through social media, there are other reasons to stay connected.
“I try to post unfiltered and unedited photos regularly so that clients see the work I’m capable of doing,” says Payette. “If a client shares a photo with me and asks if I can do something, it’s important to tell her if I don’t feel comfortable or that I don’t have the required products. It might mean you lose that business, as clients who want a particular look will try to seek out a technician who can create it, but it’s important to be honest and to not overpromise and underdeliver.”
“You don’t have to have influencer status but being on social media is such a great way to communicate with clients about last-minute availability, new products and even let them in on your personal life as a way to connect between appointments,” adds Baart. “It’s also such a productive tool for the nail tech to use for sharing inspiration and ideas with clients in advance of appointments.”
Di Lullo agrees that social media is a great tool for nail techs to find inspiration, learn new techniques, show off their work and attract new clients, but she cautions that it’s best to not get too caught up in it.
“It’s important to not compare your work to others,” she says. “I’ve heard so many nail techs say they don’t post their work because it’s ‘basic’ or they don’t think they’re good enough. That makes me sad! There are all different types of artists out there and everyone should be proud to share their individual work and style!”