Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

This issue of NAILS has dual personalities. We are celebrating our past, while promoting our future. And I have to say that while it’s fun to look back at how far we’ve come, I’m most excited about what lies ahead.

All year we’ve been celebrating the history of NAILS Magazine. We’re culminating our 30th anniversary celebration with the History of Nail Care, a 27-page timeline where we look back over the last 200-plus years to see how the industry has grown from its humble beginnings, plus notate some of the major milestones that have shaped the modern-day climate. Also included in this special section are company profiles of some of the top nail manufacturers today. These companies have written their own histories and timelines to show you just how they fit into the big picture.

I believe it’s important to look back at our industry’s history. In 1983 when NAILS Magazine launched, only a handful of the product manufacturers we know today were around. And those that were, were only in their infancy. Over the years we’ve witnessed the rise of acrylics (1978), the birth of the spa-style pedicure as a regular service (1997), and the resurgence of gels (2003). We saw the creation of the Vietnamese market in the ’80s, and with it, nail services went from an only-for-the-wealthy indulgence to an affordable service that everyone could enjoy. In our more recent history, we’ve seen nail art explode on a wider level with the introduction of social sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.

This last point ties in nicely to how we’re moving forward. We’re not content to simply revel in our fascinating past. Without constant innovation, there would be no growth. That’s why we’re excited for the other side of our personality in this month’s issue — NAILS Next Top Nail Artist. The inaugural reality show-style competition officially gets underway this month and we can’t wait to introduce you to our Top 12. Our international group of women and men (there are three guys in our top 12!) truly shows the diversity of our industry. We have nail artists who are fresh out of school or only working for a few years and ones who have been in the industry for many years.

Our goal with Next Top Nail Artist is to identify up-and-coming stars in our industry — people who are going to take the art form and the business to the next level. All of our finalists are true artists. Combined with powerful social media accounts and willing clients, they are able to create beautiful looks on the tiniest of canvases and share their art with the world. The Internet has truly opened up the nail industry to be shared and admired by people all over the globe.

So whether we’re reminiscing about our storied past or looking forward to the next generation of nail stars, one thing is for certain: We are an industry united by our desire to keep progressing through innovation and creativity. 

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