Read Carefully

Uh oh. So I got a call the other day from a client who's looking for “Shellac.”


Well I'm sorry. Although I do now have a smattering of brand-specific “Shellac” colors, including the corresponding top and base coats, it is not my primary go-to brand of gel polish. In fact, I now have four different brands and am eagerly budgeting for a fifth.


I also don't offer just one brand of traditional polish, and my clients would whine if I did. I don't have time to fuss with all the various manufacturers and their delicate feelings on the subject of how “loyal” I am to their particular gel polish brand. I'm running a business here. And my business depends on catering to the demands of my clients. And my clients want MORE colors and — it turns out — they would rather get two full weeks of wear from their color than have it soak off in five minutes. If the companies seriously expect me to only use one line of this product, then they'd better step up and make a line that meets all my needs.


But back to the call I got the other day. I don't flinch when people call up asking for “Shellac” anymore. I do take time to clarify whether or not they are willing to accept another brand of gel polish, but mostly I don't say, “Oh, I'm sorry, I use Brand X for my gel polish, not Shellac” anymore than I say, “Oh, I'm sorry, I can't help you, all I have are Puffs” when someone asks me for a Kleenex. I appreciate that CND put forth the effort to do the marketing that branded the “Shellac” name ... but let's face it, if you bother to actually talk to most people about it, they don't really care if it's Shellac or Gelish or Gelac or whatever brand you happen to have on hand. What they want is a nail polish that lasts for two weeks and is dry before they have to reach for their keys.


It turned out I couldn't get this woman scheduled for an appointment of any sort for the time she needed. But I also couldn't refer her to anyone else in town that offers Shellac or any reasonable alternative. I don't know who else is doing gel polish. Well, not a salon I'd actually refer anyone to, anyway.


Which is how I ended up on CND's website this morning, looking at their salon locator. Which is when I decided — admittedly on a whim — to add myself to the system. Which is how I nodded absently as I checked off all the little “requirements” they insist on in order to register. And then, after I'd hit “submit,” that's when I got to the screen with the details.


I guess I'll have to e-mail them and ask them to just “forget” I did that. There's no way I'm going to agree to “only” use ScrubFresh to prep my nails. I think I've already addressed that issue here. That dang blue dye and I have had our go, come to blows, and agreed to stay on opposite sides of my salon door.


And while I'm at it, I'm also not going to drag my CND light out of the cabinet just for the few occasions when a client opts for one of the Shellac colors when I already have two lamps on the desk that work perfectly acceptably for every UV service I offer.


But this is why I — and all of us — should probably take the time and trouble to actually read the fine print before we agree to it. Although, I swear I never saw the part where I have to use ScrubFresh before I clicked “submit.” Whatever. Registering my salon didn't help me find someone else I'd feel comfortable referring out to anyway.


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