Money Matters

Nail Techs Reap the Rewards of Experience

“No matter how hard you train, there’s no substitute for experience,” says Lisa Gustafson, nail manager at InStyle Salon in Green Bay, Wis. This undeniable fact is reflected in the salon’s tri-level pricing structure. Salon clients can opt to have their nails done by an associate, senior, or master nail technician, and pay for services accordingly. Fees are the same for all natural manicure services because each technician has been trained to do the exact same procedures. For nail enhancement services, however, $1 to $5 is added to the basic price depending on the technician’s designation. For example, an associate nail technician charges $25 for a fill, while a senior nail technician charges $26, and a master charges $27 for the same service.

Says Gustafson, “The pricing system was started in response to customers who didn’t understand why they should pay the same for me, who’s been doing nails for seven years, as for someone who’s only been doing them for two.” Gustafson and owner Becky Side award the designations based on a nail technician’s skill level and length of time in the profession. “It’s also a good motivational tool,” says Gustafson. “The techs who put in the work are rewarded with a boost in title and pay.” Each promotion is announced by a congratulatory notice at the technician’s workstation, and since the technicians work on commission, higher service prices mean bigger paychecks.

Basic Manicure $15 $15 $15
French Manicure: $17 $17 $17
Massage Manicure $18 $18 $18
Luxury Manicure (includes cleaning, mask, toning) $25 $25 $25
Pedicure $30 $30 $30
Full Sets      
  Light Concept $53 $55 $55
  Acrylic $53 $55 $55
  Fiberglass $53 $55 $55
  Overlay $25 $26 $27
Two-week Fills (after 2 weeks, add $3.50 per nail) $25 $26 $27
Buff and Polish $16 $17 $17
Fix (charge per nail)      
  New Clients $5 $5 $5
  Regulars $3.50 $3.50 $3.5
Polish Change $7.50 $7.50 $7.50


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