Applying Nail Jewelry
Offering clients this simple service
makes financial good sense.
One of the nicest things about selling and working with nail jewelry is that the start
up cost is relatively low. While you may want to stock some inexpensive silver or
gold-plated nail charms for impulse buys, most nail charms are special orders for
individual clients. Wholesale prices for 14-Karat Gold charms start at $28, and most
cost under $50. With a suggested markup at 50% to 100%, it is clear nail techs can
make substantial profits from selling nail charms. Nail Art a la carte provides
beautiful catalogs you can use to entice new customers.
The only tools you will need are a combo tool, which has a manual drill on one end
and a nut tightener on the other, tweezers, jeweler's pliers, which have no teeth,
and a post cutter to cut off the excess post.
Once your client has selected and purchased her charm, it is time to sit down with
your implements and prepare the nail. Whether she wears wraps, acrylics or natural
nails, continue with your manicure as usual. Then, when you finish filing and buffing,
and before you send your client to wash her hands, figure out where to place the
There are two reasons to decide on charm placement at this point in the manicure.
First, you don't want to touch the nails after the client has washed her hands and
risk getting oils on the nails that could affect polish adherence. Second, you want to
avoid moving the charm around once you apply polish.
To determine the best position for the charm you will need to consider the post
placement on posted charms, the contour of the nail, the shape of the charm (you
want the charm to fit flush against the nail) and the finger the client prefers.
Most nail charms are pre-curved. This means you should have relatively little
bending to do to make the charm conform properly. If the client has a particularly
high arch or if the nails are more curved from side to side than usual, you may have
to use a pair of jeweler's pliers to bend the charm so that it will conform to the shape
of the nail. Don't use regular pliers - they have teeth that will mark the charm. You
will want to be especially careful if the charm has inset jewels. All types of metal
bend fairly easily, but there is a limit without risking loosening of the stones.
Now you are ready to actually apply the charm. Posted nail charms can be applied to
either wet or dry polish. Some technicians prefer to apply them while the polish is
still wet because the wet polish helps seal the charm. In either case, drill the hole for
the post before polishing the nail.
Turn the nail over and place the charm beside it to line up where the hole should go.
Place the drill tip at that point and rotate the drill until it penetrates the nail. Smooth
any roughness around the hole and polish the nail.
Put the post of the charm through the hole in the nail and apply the first nut with
your combo tool. Adding a second nut will "lock" the charm in place. After you have
applied the two nuts remove any excess post with the post cutter. Because the
charm is held on by the post, it isn't necessary to apply top coat over the charm, but
some techs do because they feel it gives assurance that the charm won't catch on
nylons, hair, etc.
Polish secure charms are even easier to apply. After figuring out where to position
the charm, apply polish, pick up the nail charm with tweezers and gently press the
charm onto the polished nail. Apply one or more coats of top coat. It is a good idea
to encourage clients to reapply top coat over the charm in between appointments.
Gold Nails. These charms are formed to cover the entire nail. It is recommended
that any nail enhancement be removed before applying a gold nail so that the
contour of the gold nail conforms to the normal nail plate.
The gold nail is attached with a contact cement-type adhesive especially formulated
for this purpose. Manufacturers recommend letting it dry 10 to 15 minutes on both
nail surfaces before applying the gold nail. If you plan wisely, this doesn't mean that
the service has to take any longer than normal. You can apply the adhesive before
you begin polishing the other nails. By the time you have applied the polish the
adhesive will be dry enough and you can apply the gold nail and send the client on
Nail Art a la carte
5267 Warner Avenue 123 - Huntington Beach - "Surf City USA" - California 92649
714 - 465 - 9292