Reader to Reader: What's the right amount of input to give a client with regard to her nail look?

July 08, 2011

What's the right amount of input to give a client with regard to her nail look?


I like to show my clients the colors that are popular on the runways and the new products that I offer in my salon first as well as what the current trends are. I have a young clientele and staying fresh is important to them. Once I have talked up the latest styles and trends they usually will suggest something similar for themselves and that way I’ve let them make their own decisions and I get to apply a little of my own artistic flair.
Joy Kimble
Chix Nails by Joy, Dayton, Texas

The trust my clients have in my abilities is such a compliment. They usually give me carte blanche to create fun and ­exciting nails personally for them.
Cherie Plank
Simply Polished, Fort Morgan, Colo.

I ask what shape and length and what color they are thinking of. After that I take the reins.
Christie Gibson
Christie’s Nails, Ocean View, Hawaii

I give my clients what they want. If they don’t know what they want then I make suggestions.
Amy Cerioni
Aqua Essentials Day Spa & Salon, Madera, Calif.

It depends on the client. Most of my ­clients ask what’s new and what I can create for them that’s unique and fun. I do have a few clients who want full ­control of the design on their nails. Even if I suggest something, they feel the need to put their own twist on the design.
Robyn Schwartz
Polished & Pampered Hair & Esthetics, Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada

It varies depending on the client’s ­personality. If she is receptive to my ­opinion, then I give it. But I don’t want to push her into a style she doesn’t like. Thankfully there are very few nail styles that are “out of date” per se. For important events like weddings and proms, I think a professional opinion should always matter.
Bri McCloud
Cloud Nine Nails, Athens, Tenn.

For new guests, I ask them about the length and shape they prefer. I also ask about what they do with their hands. For instance, if the client works on a computer all day, I’ll suggest a square/squoval shape for strength. I’ll then shape one fingernail and ask the client if that’s what she had in mind before I proceed. Even if I don’t personally like what the client has asked for, I’ll make the best-looking “ugly” nails that she will love!
Laura Moore
Tocaloma Spa and Salon, Phoenix

As much as they can handle — they are wearing the nails, but they are also telling people you did them. I’m game for helping them pick a color, a shape, length, everything! That’s the whole point of the consultation.
Holly L. Schippers
FingerNailFixer, Bussey, Iowa

I suggest what would look good but ­clients tend to take several appointments to change what they’re used to. Often the ladies who wear long square harsh nails let me round the corners first, then reduce length, then on the third visit they fall in love with their ­natural-looking, longer-lasting nails.
Amy Taylor
Pearl and Flamingo, Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom

Illustration by Ajay Peckham

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