Venezuela: Nail Industry is Still Young

As part of the international series, we take a look at the beauty industry in Venezuela.

In Venezuela, beauty is big business. Venezuelan women take great pride in looking good. The country is reputedly the world’s biggest per-capita consumer of cosmetics and personal care products. Not only that, Venezuela is the most successful producer of international beauty queens. Over the past decade, the country has won four Miss Universe titles and holds the Guinness World Record for winning the Miss World competition the most times.

So it should come as no surprise that you’ll often find salons packed with women getting their hair and nails done. “The Venezuelan woman is accustomed to religiously getting a manicure and pedicure every 15 days,” says Mario Capone, general manager of Spa Manos, a chain of nail salons throughout the country.

A typical salon in the tropical South American country is usually full service. According to Capone, most salons offer hair services and may employ one or two nail techs, but nails are not the main focus.

Nail techs in Venezuela are not required to obtain a license to do nails, although many of them obtain certificates of class completion from manufacturers. Others may receive training from nail techs who teach out their homes.

It’s only been in the last five years or so that nails have been begun to come into their own, says Capone. Moe nails-only salons are popping up throughout the country, including salon chains such as Spa Manos, which has 20 locations and employs 85 nail techs.

“Hand and nail care Venezuela is becoming more professional. More and more clients are demanding quality services and they understand that this level of quality can only be offered by trained nail technicians who use good products,” says Capone.

Since looking good is such an important part of the Venezuelan culture, you’ll find women from all economic backgrounds in salons getting primped and beautiful. And don’t rule men out. Capone says that out of the 8,000-10,000 clients Spa Manos gets in a month, about 3% are men. The salon even offers a manicure and pedicures strictly for men.

French manicures rule and acrylics and gels are also quiet popular. Spa-style pedicures are especially popular among upper class women. And although women like their nails to look subtle, Capone says colored acrylic services are beginning to appear in some salons.

As with many other countries that do not require any licensing for nail techs, Venezuela’s nail industry faces the challenge of not having enough nail techs with the proper skills and techniques.

“The secret is training, training, and more training,” says Capone. “We need to keep working to justify to those people who are interested in furthering themselves in this career that it’s best to do through a company with experience that can offer them training.”

Acrylic nails are one of the most popular services in Venezuelan salons.

Venezuelan Nail Industry at a Glance

Population: 22 million

Area: 352,143 square miles (slightly more than twice the size of California)

Government: Federal Republic

Number of nail techs: 8,000 (est)

Number of salons 5,000 full service (est) 100 nails-only (set)

Licensing: No licensing required for nail technicians

Average Service prices:

Manicure: $3-$5 (USD)

Pedicure: $5-$8 (USD)

Full Set: $17-$20 (USD)

Fill: $12 (USD)

Popular services: Spa-style manicures and pedicures, acrylics, gels.

The word "nails" in the native language: uñas

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