According to Women’s Wear Daily (and something you might already know in your own gut), an uptick in nail polish sales is a good indicator of the economic mood and ultimately, of consumer confidence. Women who might forego expensive clothes or lunches will indulge in affordable luxuries like nail polish and lipstick (in fact, the Nail Polish Index used to be called the Lipstick Index) as a precursor to bigger spending.

According to WWD, both colored polish and top and base coat sales were up 50%, implying that ladies have been giving themselves complete at-home manicures. It’s nice that women are feeling good and buying polish, even if they are doing it at home. So, how can YOU and your salon get in on the action?

1. Use the “nail polish index” in your promotions to hype up the fact that ladies still need to look their best even when times are tough. Stress the cost of a manicure/pedicure versus that of a full day visit to a spa or a new handbag or pair of shoes. Try something like, “Why pay $500 for those new Manolos when you can get our Diamond-Crusted Pedi for just a fraction of that price. Mention this ad for a free mani with your $75 Diamond-Crusted Pedi.”

2. Let everyone know you have the latest salon-only products available for services. How about a promo like this? “Want to know more about the two-week manicure you’ve read about in Vogue and The New York Times? Come visit us for a gel-polish [insert specific brand name] manicure. Available only at professional salons, we guarantee our service for two full weeks and every appointment comes with a free bottle of cuticle oil to help extend the length of your manicure.”

3. Appeal to their busy lives. “Don’t have the time to wait for your polish to dry while chasing after your little ones? Come in to [insert salon name here] and we’ll get you in and out with a chip-free, semi-permanent manicure in less than an hour. The best part? It will last two weeks, so you won’t have to fuss with your polish bottle at home anymore.”

4. Promote your skills. Yes, you’re a trained professional and a nail artist. You know all the latest trends, the coolest styles, and you have the ability to paint any design your clients’ hearts could desire. Show off your abilities with samples on your Facebook page or post pictures on your Twitter account. Try out a cool new design on a local newscaster or someone else who gets a lot of attention who you know will talk up your “mad skills.” Everyone wants to feel like they have the coolest new style. Be it magnetic polish designs, ombre looks, interesting glitter fades (like my cool nails at left that CND ambassador Michele Huynh did for me for the holidays) — you’re going to have more ideas and probably better artistic skills than the average home polisher.

5. If you can’t beat them, join them. Maybe you just won’t be able to sway some women to become regular salon-goers. Why not appeal to the DIY-ers by promoting how you have the latest colors and products so they can give themselves a salon-quality mani at home. “Want nails like Nicki Minaj? Buy her new OPI shades exclusively at [insert salon name here]. With the purchase of the new Nicki Minaj collection, you get a free brochure of nail art ideas to try at home. (Sure this might seem counterintuitive, but it will go a long way to creating customer loyalty when that do-it-yourselfer decides she’s tired of doing it herself. And she’ll definitely remember how helpful you were.)

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