Well, so much for the notion of the “professional nail industry” being comprised of — and driven by — actual nail professionals. You know, those of us who sit behind manicuring tables and at pedicure stations in salons all day, covered in dust and glitter, churning out service after service for paying clients.
Every day I feel more and more that our industry is slipping into the hands of nail bloggers.
On the one — filed short and rounded, perfectly polished, adorned with a snazzy graphic achieved from a Scotch tape stencil and a stamping kit — hand, I really really really appreciate the voice of the “I love doing my own nails and I have 3,700 bottles of polish” bloggers. The voice that they have achieved in the blogosphere has put nail care and nail art right up there with shoes and purses in the “your best accessories” lists of the fashion industry.
I’m thrilled that nails are popular. I’m glad there’s such a thing as “celebrity manicurists” now — even if I’m not keen on what that term has come to mean. (I think “celebrity” should refer to the manicurist, not the manicurist’s clients.)
And I love love love that everyone is wearing nail art. Even if they are wearing it on short, rounded, natural nails.
OH WAIT! But they aren’t. That’s just the thing. That’s what we see from the “I love doing my own nails” bloggers. But I look at a lot of pictures every day from actual nail professionals and they don’t post pictures of short, rounded, polished nails all the time. That’s not to say that’s not actually popular — but it’s not ALL that’s popular. I see short, long, round, square, stiletto and duck feet nails. Acrylic, gel, and gel-polished natural nails. Pink-and-white, glitter, 3-D, spiked, jeweled, chained, decals, hand-painted, and “how the heck did they do that?!” styles from all over the world. From fancy photo shoots of extreme, just-for-the-photos nails to thousands and thousands of photos of real-life clients who really just paid real money to real nail techs who really did those nails for clients who are really going to wear them in real life.
The real industry — and culture — is still very eclectic. But everyone acts like no one does — or wears — acrylic anymore. And I can’t help but feel like that notion isn’t coming from real nail techs or real nail clients. I feel like the real industry is getting overshadowed and everyone’s telling me that no one does acrylic anymore, while I spend every day covered in acrylic dust.