Back to the Nail Basics

byPatricia Oropeza | September 1, 2003

Nail enhancements aren’t the only way to make money in the salon. Now, more than ever, natural nail services are booming, and it only makes sense to include them on your service menu.

Consumer magazines have brought natural nail services to the forefront with features on trendy products and unique services that promise to rejuvenate hands and feet or treatments that incorporate all-natural ingredients.

With this focus on natural nail services, it’s important to go back to the nail basics. We’ve put together this guide to manicures and pedicures to help you out. From coming up with interesting services to figuring out what nail shape looks best on a client, we’ve done it all for you.

The Right Price

So you think you have a service you’d like to offer, but are wondering what to charge? SaVeme Smith of Nails by SaVeme in Inglewood, Calif. Currently charges $48 for The Treatment which includes a spa-style manicure and pedicure. She also offers each service separate and offers a basic manicure for $10 and pedicure for $23. Smith is planning on raising her prices next year by a few dollars. “If you’re already getting a $5-$7 tip you can charge about $2 more,” she says. Although she admits her services are bit on the low side, she says she is still considered a bit nicer than neighboring salons.

Whatever you do, always try to offer a basic manicure that’s affordable, then upgrade from there. That way, the more services you offer containing fun, unique ingredients and procedures, the more you can charge for them. If you start with a basic service and price, clients won’t bat an eye when a more expensive service is placed on your menu.

At Paint Shop in Beverly Hills, Calif., Owner Jere Serquinia charges $22 for the Aromatherapy Manicure, which includes shaping, cuticle grooming, and massage. The next manicure on the menu, the Shaken Not Stirred Manicure is $25 and includes eggnog, a cosmopolitan, or green apple scented hand bath served in an oversize martini glass. A spa-style manicure is a bit more involved and features more steps, so Serquinia charges $32 for this service.

And don’t forget about la carte items. You can upsell a basic manicure by adding on extras such as a paraffin dip, sugar scrub, aromatherapy oils, or even a hand massage. Digits etcetera in Chicago offers these add-ons and more for $5 each

What We Like

Coming up with interesting services isn’t the only thing you should be doing. The easiest way to grab a client’s attention is to come up with fun, creative names that describe your services - and also entice them into trying them out. Here are a few of our favorite services names from salons and spas throughout the country. Of course, we like the services too!

  1. Blended Beauties Manicure & Pedicure

Where: Kiva, Chicago

Why: the service blends a variety of ingredients, including papaya, pineapple, yogurt, olive oil, and honey for the manicure and cinnamon, pumpkin, and mint tea for the pedicure. The mix creates a creamy mask that conditions the skin.

A Rose by Any Other Name Pedicure

Where: Just Calm Down, New York

Why: Clients soak their feet in a mix containing rose petals and geranium bubbling salts. They’re also treated to a homemade scrub and can select their choice of scented massage lotion.

Hand Rescue

Where: la vie l’orange, Los Angeles

Why: Hands are soaked in a concoction containing cucumbers and essential oils. Afterward, a crushed almond mineral exfoliant and pumpkin enzyme mask are applied. Hands are also treated with a grape seed oil-based paraffin and massage with an orange cucumber-scented lotion.

Chocolate Fantasy Pedicure

Where: Gauthier Total image Spa, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Why: Feet are placed in a warm chocolate milkshake foot bath, then exfoliated with a nut scrub, treated to a chocolate whip cream massage, and sealed in chocolate paraffin. Clients are also treated to a cup of hot chocolate.

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