Before becoming a nailist (aka nail tech) I worked in retail for 10 years; 8 of which were in management positions. Over time, I worked at some premier luxury stores. Although each store had its own dress code, rarely did I encounter any with strict guidelines for nails (thank the maker!). If they did have a rule about nails, they were usually overlooked and often disregarded. Even corporate management didn’t scold us. In fact, once I was complimented by a district manager on my nail game. At that time, I was studying for my first round of LSATs, and told her jokingly that if law school didn’t pan out, I was going to become a nail tech. And what do you know! Instead of turning in my law school apps, I enrolled in nail school the very next year.
But since becoming a nailist, I have encounter more and more clients who are experiencing very strict dress code at the workplace– especially in regards to their nails. Some clients who used to “get away” with breaking or bending the rules are now unable to because companies are enforcing their dress code more. Most of these clients hold positions in retail or hotel industry. Where premiere luxury stores and lower rated hotels rarely had strict nail dress code or enforcements, they do now. So, obviously, high end luxury retail and hotels are doing the same.
It used to be that only professional career fields like medical and legal, or office jobs and food industry had conservative nails. But I always thought here in America, especially in Hawaii, people were much more laid back in terms of professionalism and attire.
In Asia, most schools K-12 or jobs do NOT allow any nail polish or enhancements. But in America, French manicures, nude tones, or even classic red polishes– as long as the nails were a decent length– have often times been viewed as acceptable nail dress code.
So why, all of a sudden, has there been a shift in strictness in nail dress code and/or the enforcement of it?
Is it the increase of large corporate companies; creating a need for uniformity?
Is it because the world of nail art has been taken to a whole different level of creativity and intensity?
Is it due to the growing numbers of luxury retail stores who believe associates cannot out-shine the clients?
Could it be the rise of demanding and rigid competition between hotel appearance and service?
Whatever the reason, strict and heavily enforced nail dress codes have become a serious heartache and hindrance on all nail art lovers.
Buuuuutttttt…we often try to bend or break the rules somehow anyway. We try to add a little here, or cover our enhancements with some boring polish, or reason with our employers on why expression of nail art should be allowed (within reason).
I always thought nails done looked better than naked nails that are unkept. It looks cleaner to have polished or gel nails versus naked nails that show more dirt & imperfections. You care for your nails more when they are done, not when they are naked. And working in retail, having a unique nail set always was a great ice breaker between my client and me. And when they like your nail design, they trust your taste, and consequently, they tend to take your opinion and buy more products from you. But, what do I know…I’m biased, right?
With all that being said…I have done a natural nail overlay gel nail set for one of my good friends. She needed “nude” nails. But we discovered her new job has a fairly strict dress code. I guess we will find out soon enough how much they enforce it.
We did a pink-beige color, the ring fingers are “nude glitter”, and skinny little glitter heart outline on the thumbs. Ok, to us, the glitter we chose is totally nude. This glitter is “nude,” I swear. It’s like a champagne. Champagne is pretty much a nude…right? So, logically speaking (can you tell I have been studying for the LSAT too much), champagne gold glitter is nude.
It’s a design I really like. Simple and sweet.
Check it out, what do you guys think? Let me know. Her mother & husband disagrees with us. But, what do they know?
Natural nail overlay using CalGel (mixed #46, #19, & #01). Glitter comes in a tower of 6 from Claire’s .
Thanks for visiting and remember to keep you claws modish!