Raising the Dead

Thing is, we all love nail polish. For most of us, our introduction to the very concept of nails as part of our overall fashion image goes back to the first time our moms — or a really cool aunt or maybe even an older sister — polished our tiny, squirming nails when we were all of 2-years-old.


That early introduction to the world of nail fashion got stuck in our heads and paved the road for a natural evolution from mere polish to enhancements. And let's face it, enhancements are really just a vehicle for nail art. Most people keep their enhancements because they extend the life of their nail polish. People want to wear color on their nails.


Even the die-hard French wearers want color — they look at it, they pick up the bottles and fondle them longingly, and they always look closely at the seasonal collections. It's not for lack of desire that they stick with that tried-and-true pink-and-white.


My P+W-ers stuck with French for years because it could be built in to the enhancement. It was dry instantly and it wouldn't chip, peel, or wear off the tips. It was fool-proof “polish” and it went with everything.


But then something happened. Someone came up with the idea of pigmented products. We started mixing glitter with our products. Our clients were introduced to the concept of built-in nail art and permanent color. The world opened up for them and once again their nails represented a canvas with the potential to express their inner artist.


This season I'm seeing new lines from many polish manufacturers that lead me to think maybe they're feeling the shift too. It's been joked about for years now that "polish is for toes" but now that the trend for enhancements on toes has swept the land, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wonders why I keep buying new polishes? I mean, I use them on all of two of my clients so all they really do now is make it harder to stay on top of my dusting duties.


So about all these "new" polish ideas being introduced this season: The matte look. It's been done. It didn't get much interest back in the 1990s the first time it was rolled out, and I assure you if I can't use a top coat and you can't get any oil or lotion on it, believe me when I say any interest at the consumer level is going to wane so fast that the manufacturer who brought it to market might go down in history for discovering the secret to time travel.


People want the convenience of instant-dry, long-wear, fuss-free color. They don't want a polish that's so finicky that they have to worry about what lotion they use! This is not the way to bring back the public's love for polish.


Yeah, my clients DO love these metallics with the diamond dust in them — once. But it still requires that they sit still and wait for their polish to dry. They are so over that! Not to mention I am so not about paying $10+ for a freakin’ bottle of polish that only a few people will try!


I admit, I am loving CND's new "colour effects" concept. But first off all, where am I supposed to get it? Our local CND distributor does not carry their polish. Also, I'm going to be pretty miffed if I run out and invest in an entire new line of polish that nobody uses.


If polish manufacturers really want to stay competitive and meet the demands of today's nail client they should invent a polish that actually dries in five minutes and STAYS ON THE NAILS! Like these "gel polishes" only you'd be able to take it off with polish remover.


Give us a polish that lasts 14 days, can be retailed for at-home and on-the-go touch-ups, and can quickly and easily be removed and changed out. That's what my clients want. That's why clients are opting for gel polishes and "rock star" nails and toes; they still love their color and art, but they don't want to wait for polish to dry, and they don't want the hassle of babying their polish on their own time. And they don't want to pay $9 for a bottle of polish just to touch up the edges.

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