How to charge and make a profit from your nail art services

Are you nervous when it comes to offering nail art? When a client shows you a picture of what they’d like, does the thought of fitting it into their appointment slot turn you cold? 

It’s a natural worry to have, but there are some simple solutions that can expand your nail art offering and take your skills up a level, while not compromising on time. 

Invest in simple but effective techniques 

The quickest and simplest nail art option to add to your gel-polish repertoire is a sprinkle of glitte ror a splash of metallic foil. Whether it’s a full set of rock star nails, an accent nail or the popular glitter ombré, this technique can be done without adding any additional time to your standard gel-polish appointment, all the while boosting your income. I’d advise charging £1 to £5 for this add-on. 

Stamping is another great way to add more without putting too much pressure on yourself. It is the answer for quick, consistent and intricate nail art looks, with hundreds of designs to choose from.  

It can also be mixed with other techniques such as chrome, glitter, multi-stamping and even a little hand painting, making it a versatile and fun addition to your menu. It usually takes around 10–15 minutes to do a full set of stamped nails, so charge an extra £10 for this service. 

Notably the most dreaded type of nail art for many techs is gel-polish hand painting. When teaching this technique I see the fear the skill brings, but on the flipside, I see the joy in techs’ eyes when they master it. 

So, should you be scared of it? Hell no! With the right tools and techniques, you may even surprise yourself with what you can achieve. This technique will take much longer that the other two methods mentioned, so give yourself at least 30 minutes to complete the treatment on all 10 nails and charge more for this work. I recommend on average £15 and upwards. 

How to price your nail art

You’re now a nail art queen, but how do you create a price menu so you can charge for all this fabulousness? An easy way is to price the art per nail individually, but this could prove to be a bit complicated in the long run.

As more customers find out about your nail art offering, you’ll soon find you’re not just doing the odd nail but full sets using multiple techniques, which could add a lot of time onto your standard gel-polish appointment. However, there are a couple of ways you could incorporate this extra work into your price list. 

The first option is to have a fixed-priced “add-on” to your standard treatment, giving you an extra five to 15 minutes, depending on the techniques and products, to complete the look. This should be charged at £5 to £15 (on top of the gel-polish manicure price). 

The second option would be to have set treatments for different nail art appointments. For example:

This pricing can be modified to suit your nail art options and different staff members, from trainees to pros, giving everyone a chance to improve their knowledge. 

Natasha BarkerNatasha Barker is owner of Niche Nails & Beauty in Oxfordshire, which won Nail Salon of the Year at the 2019 Professional Beauty Awards. Barker is also a CND education ambassador and Light Elegance educator.