Salons are responding to customers' cries of "I just don't have the time" with super-quick natural nail manicures targeted to women on the go. Time-conscious consumers can get a 15-minute "express" manicure at Tips Nail & Image Center in Redwood Shoes, Calif. During the $10 service, the technician does a 60-second hand massage (which feels longer to the client, says co-owner Paula Gilmore). grooms the cuticles, shapes the free edges, and polishes nails to perfection. "There's no time for repairs or deep conditioning," says Gilmore, "but clients still have to walk out of the salon with perfect-looking nails." Gilmore suggests advertising the service with a large poster by the door and cautions salon owners to expect walk-ins. "It's not a high-profit service," says Gilmore, "but you get 15 minutes to introduce yourself, do a free commercial for your other salon services, and sell retail products."

Nail Galleria in Pittsburgh, Pa., offers a similar service it calls a "mini-mani." Says salon co-owner Michele Yaksich, "Being located in a large office building with an adjacent hotel, we have many clients zipping in and out on their way to work, on lunch hours and breaks, and on their way home." To help these appointments run smoothly, the salon offers clients the following tips on printed cards placed at each workstation:

  • Come in two minutes before your appointment to choose a polish.
  • Have money, check, or credit card ready.
  • In order to have nails dry faster, purchase a bottle of Seche Vite.
  • Leave your coat on. 

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