Does our cover this month take you by surprise? It did me when I first saw it come in from the photographer. We knew we were going “out there” with the concept when we decided on it but it was so strikingly different than covers we’ve done that, frankly, I was concerned we’d gotten too far afield. But I was reminded, with the gentle prodding of our art and editorial teams, that pushing the limits is exactly what NAILS is supposed to be doing. We’re trying to get you excited about nails — inspired by the possibilities of color and shape and texture.

Our cover concept draws its inspiration from a movie that’s out now called “Mars Attacks.” You’ll love our interpretations of other movie nails on page 56 (nail technicians all over the country will soon be saying, “Holy Top Coat, Batman!”). What about the fashion designer who was so inspired by her nail color that she painted her car the same color? Blue jeans are the source of inspiration for an entire collection. Music has inspired many a creative endeavor and this spring season there’s a color collection that pays homage to instruments. Two of the biggest polish makers dreamed of exotic locales to come up with their spring lines. And what about food? Check out the downright edible polish colors on page 149 and 151.

The whole point I’m making is that doing nails is a career AND a creative outlet. Inspira­tion can come from any place and anyone. We’re trying to help you look beyond what’s happening in your own nail station and get excited about what you do. You spend one hour with a client, and when she leaves your table, she feels beautiful, complete, and her self-esteem is boosted. Now she can conquer the world with nails that are your own work of art.

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