Clients just can’t seem to get enough of the charming little bottles.

Petite or “mini” polishes are a growing trend: Mini polishes are not only convenient, they are also an economical option for clients who want to try out new shades. Some of the minis are small enough to fit in pockets, with many being a third or half the size of a regular bottle.

Placing mini displays at your station or at the cash register is a great idea for boosting sales and marketing new collections. Not all clients are willing to pay full price for a regular-sized bottle of professional nail lacquer, so selling minis in your salon might be a stepping stone for more retail purchases in the future. Suggesting mini sizes at “mini prices” might pique clients’ interest and convince them to buy a few.

Nail treatments are also available in miniature size, which are perfect for clients who are weary of trying out new products. Testing full-size formulas at a lower price is a great recommendation as they may opt to purchase the larger size in the future. If you know that clients will be taking a vacation or a break from the salon, advise them to purchase a few mini shades so they can touch up their manicure on the go.

The smaller brush applicators also make fixing polish nicks and chips a breeze for clients who have trouble manipulating the wide brushes on professional lacquers at home. The bottles also take up less room in a purse or bag, lessening worry of spills or breakage.

Here is a sampling of the many mini polishes available.

Orly’s Mani Minis launched in fall 2006 and continue to be an in-demand retail item. The smaller bottles are available in 48 shades, 24 of which are new, and come in handy as gifts or for last-minute fixes. The Mani Mini’s are a third of the size of the full-size bottles and feature Orly’s award-winning Gripper Cap for easy opening and application. Colors include Red Carpet, Shine, and Gumdrop.

Essie’s mini polishes are a third of the size of the full bottles and great for clients who like switching polish colors often. The petite bottles always make special appearances for new collections and special gift sets throughout the year. Treatment sets are also available in mini size, perfect for clients with multiple nail concerns. Colors in the fall 2010 set include Limited Addiction, Sew Psyched, Merino Cool, and Little Brown Dress.

Jessica’s popular Custom Color shades are available in convenient half-sized minis and in an array of standout finishes and textures. All of Jessica’s minis are created with the same formaldehyde-, toluene-, and DBP-free formula as the larger bottles. Colors include Casablanca, Blush, Classic Beauty, and Midnight Affair.

Color Club mini polishes are perfect as add-on sales to freshen up polish between salon visits. They are offered in four-packs and are in demand during October for the Breast Cancer Awareness packs and Halloween kits, as well as during the winter holidays. Their small size also makes them great for clients who travel. Color Club’s collection includes 36 miniatures available in full size from the regular line, 34 Eco Chic shades, and 20 specialty colors for limited edition packs. Colors include Revvvolution, Jewel Tone Blue, and Riviera Ruby.

Nubar’s mini nail polishes launched in October in response to client requests from all over the world. The minis are available in 48 favorite shades year round and weigh in at about half the size of the full-size bottles. Techs can market these as travel polish, for retouches, and for home care. Some of the shades available in Nubar’s mini collection include Geisha Blaze, Mali-Blue, and Oh Baby Pink.

Prolana’s lacquers are available in 36 mini bottles, ranging from white and light French Manicure shades, to best-selling pinks, reds, brilliant neons, cool blues, turquoises, and greens. The minis are available in open stock or on a 36-piece salon or store display, great for gift giving or marketing as touch-up polishes. The lower price point will also help encourage clients to purchase one, two, or a few.

LCN’s mini polishes have been available for more than 10 years, created to offer clients economical options for wearing (and carrying) seasonal “it” colors. The smaller bottles are also more purse-friendly and are great retail items for nail techs who use LCN’s permanent gel polish. As the nail grows out, the client can use the matching polish to mask the growth until she returns for a fill. LCN’s current colors include Fascinating Grey, Under Cover, and After Party.

OPI’s minis are available in cute packs of four, with each little bottle weighing in at about a fourth of the size of its full-sized counterpart. The sets include some of the best shades from each collection and give clients the opportunity to sample the newest colors without breaking the bank. OPI’s Burlesque Collection Little Teasers set includes Rising Star, Take the Stage, The Show Must Go On, and Ali’s Big Break.

SpaRitual’s vegan minis are available year round in 48 permanent shades, all topped with the smooth grip Plum Cap to prevent slips. Each mini is a third of the size of its full-sized counterpart and features a shorter brush for easy application. As retail items, the minis can be marketed as stocking stuffers, impulse buys at the counter, or as merchandise at the tech station or checkout. SpaRitual’s colors include Can You Dig It, Radiant, and Idyllic.

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