After figuring your taxes from 1999, you’re staring at a number that very closely resembles your income from the previous year. Your prices are competitive, and your speed is average or above, so how do you make more money this year? One word, air-brush. With an initial investment of under $200, this add-on service allows a tech to generate added income, starting with as little as five extra minutes per client. That investment can buy a compressor, a hose, a good gun, and a bottle of white paint, which is more than enough to get even the least artistic person started with airbrushing. You don’t need fancy stencils or a hundred different colors. You just need to really want to pull back some of the business you’re losing to the discount salons.
I began airbrushing shortly after I became licensed, nearly seven years ago. Just like any area of this industry, it required practice to become good at holding the stencils correctly, and mastering blending and fading techniques. With a few hours time, I was on my way to that pay increase I so richly deserved. I started with plain French manicures, and soon I was doing chevron manicures, faded and multicolored designs. Drying client her very first airbrush design at no charge is a great way to ensure return requests. I offered the high school girls free designs in exchange for being my personal “billboard”. I moved on to embellishing simple designs with rhinestones, adding other colors, buying stencils, and so on. Just by offering designs as simple as color fades, a technician can add $5-$10 onto each client’s ticket. By the end of an eight-hour day, that could be as much as $80 extra. Multiply that by three days a week and it could mean $240 more per week, making back you initial investment in no time. If you’re currently offering other add-on services like paraffin, spa manicures, or other nail art, it’s time to add airbrush to your menu!
Becky Fangmann is a licensed nail technician at All About Nails in Oak Grove, Ma