Forget looking ahead. I like to look backwards. How can I avoid that clichéd phrase “You’ve come a long way, baby” in doing this retrospective series? It’s impossible. This month, in our look back at images of ourselves and our industry, we focus on advertisements. Although many of these ads look quaint now next to the more recent ads, most of them were still high impact at the time and the best of the bunch.

Creative Nail Design broke new ground in its advertising concepts, evolving from the traditional “ink on a page” type advertising to such unique concepts as using computer chips, diecuts, radical nail styles, and even moving parts in their ads. Their material these days has a very clean look that emphasizes the word “Creative” in all images.

The evolution of this Mehaz ad is not only creative, but technological. Mehaz brought us state-of-the-art German-made implements like this tip cutter in 1990, and improved on that concept with the Triple Cut, which measures, cuts, and traps clippings.

OPI used to offer four brushes for nail technicians. Now they offer 18, including these specialized brushes designed especially for use with the fast-setting acrylic systems competitors favor.

Star Nail’s president Tony Cuccio may not have changed his look much (he says he sticks with a winner), but his ads sure have changed. This original ad from 1984 was black and white and looked more like a simple order form. Today, with new products being introduced constantly, Star has a look that’s contemporary, colorful, and current.

Alpha 9 has long since been sold by its original owners, the Sperling Family, to Styling Technology Corp., but industry veterans and newcomers alike know e product as one of the originals. This “vintage” ad is from 1985. But in 1999, everything from the bottle shape and logo to advertising design is different.


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