I’m Pretty Sure I Already Have a Red That Matches

I have one client who is very good at following fashion. She is very good at keeping up with what designers are doing each season and she puts her knowledge to good use.

Mind you, I said I have one client like this. I don’t live in a particularly cosmopolitan area.

But as each season rolls around, she fills me in on the “scoop” for what she’s read about upcoming trends in nail care.

I gave up on it long ago. For one thing, my local area isn’t traditionally concerned with what happened at Fashion Week. When the rest of the world was all pink-and-white acrylic, California’s Central Valley was still all polish with stripes and flowers. When the rest of the world was rediscovering polish, we were inventing “rockstar” nails. And when the rest of the world was all short, natural, gel manicures, we were still all rockstar. We are only now starting to really move into world of gel-polish — but we still do it over acrylic nails...and we still like nail art over it.

So my hometown’s insistence on marching to its own drummer, combined with my irritation at the fashion industry’s near perfect record at completely failing to accurately predict nail trends, has left me pretty much just waiting to see what ends up actually being “in” each season, versus what someone says will be “in.”

This week, my fashionista client asked if I’d seen the new polishes that the designers are introducing.

Seriously? Louboutin polish? The stuff is $50 a bottle.

On one hand, I’m thrilled that nails have been getting some press. It’s about time the fashion industry finally woke up and smelled the polish and started to get it into their heads that a look is not complete if your nails are a wreck. A good manicure is every bit as important to pulling an outfit together as well tweezed eyebrows.

On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that collection upon collection of designer-name nail lacquers complete with designer prices overshadow the professional nail industry. A professional manicure is all the rage, but you won’t be finding Chanel polish in the average salon.

This trend in designer polish sort of creates a new niche; the lacquer transcends the salon world. I, for example, still see makeup counter nail polishes as consumer products. Up until recently, it would no more have occurred to me to purchase my salon polish lines from Macy’s as it would for me to shop for products at Target.

Where will this trend take the professional industry? When it’s common for many people to gauge a product’s quality by its price, should I consider replacing my OPI with MAC?

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