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Last updated: November 25, 2020

4 Pricing Strategies For Nail Art Services

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Tortoise Shell nails by Katie via Instagram @nailthoughts

Nail Art Pricing + Consultation Tips To Start Using ASAP

From matte french tips to hand painted portraits, nail art services can offer something for every type of client. But what about pricing? Should you charge by the product, the design or even—the minute? We asked some of the nail industry’s top artists for their pricing advice plus consultation questions to ask every client. Scroll down to learn it all!



4 Ways To Present Pricing To Clients

The way you communicate pricing should help boost ticket prices, not shrink them. Here are four simple ways to build a nail art price list that clients (and you!) can appreciate!


1. Keep It Simple

Do hidden fees and charges turn you off from buying something? The same goes for clients! For her price list, Los Angeles-based artist Katie Masters (@nailthoughts) gives clients two options: “Minimal Art” or “Full Art”—that’s it folks! “I used to charge per nail, but that made consultations awkward about deciding how much art they wanted and it would usually turn them off to doing full sets. Plus, who wants to do math?” she explained. “So, I added up my per nail charges for all 10 fingers and slapped that onto a base manicure price. It came out to be the same pricing as before, but the client gets an exact total during their consultation!”


Tortoise Shell nails by Katie via Instagram @nailthoughts


2. Create A Tiered Menu 

For Venice Beach-based nail art duo @heynicenails, clients are presented with two options of nail art—simple or detailed—and given examples of what each tier includes. “Detailed nail art appointments take more time and include more product, so they will cost more,” they explain. “But we do have a maximum price and work our way down, so the client always knows what to expect.”


Below, they shared some examples of what clients can expect for simple art:

  • Half Moons
  • French
  • Reverse French
  • Chrome Powder
  • Gradients
  • Foils


Pro Tip: When creating a price list for art, they suggest beginning with a set price for a basic manicure and build from there. “If a basic manicure takes one hour, then try charging an additional set price for every 15 minutes of art. That makes calculating a price easy for the client and the artist,” they shared. 



Matte Terracotta nails by @heynicenails via Instagram


3. Create A La Carte Options

For Chicago-based artist Nicole Rios (@nailvidaboutique), pricing is all in the details. “I give clients two nail art options when booking, plus an option to add a la carte services. These extras can be extra products, such as crystals, or extra time for more intricate designs,” she explains. “That really allows me to gauge their budget and art idea for the consultation.” 


’90s Abstract Design by Nicole via Instagram @nailvidaboutique



4. Set An Hourly Rate 

For CND® Education Ambassador Mary Chhea (@marychhea), pricing is determined by the income she wants and the income she needs. “First, I determine how much I want to make an hour. Then, I calculate my hourly expenses including rent, supplies, insurance and taxes. I add those two figures together to set my hourly price,” she explains. 


Abstract watercolors by Mary via Instagram @marychhea


Consultation Questions To Ask EVERY Client! 

Now that your price list is set, it’s time to help the client decide exactly what they want. Here are three questions to include in every consultation:


“Are You Familiar With My Work?”

Ask the client if they have checked out your work on social media, but don’t post anything and everything. “Only post art that you excel at,” Katie explains. “This way there is no hard feelings if a client requests something you can’t do. Be comfortable saying no and suggest an alternative design.” 


“Does This Design Work For Everyday?”

If a client is asking for a specific theme, make sure it can fit with their lifestyle for at least four weeks. “Depending on the client, they may want to plan ahead for any upcoming events so the design can coordinate with their style,” explains Portland-based artist Alec Cole Hinz (@yaaas_get_nailed)


Rose Petals by Alec via Instagram @yaas_get_nailed


“Did You Bring An Inspo Picture?”

Encourage clients to bring inspiration for art. “Inspo pics are great because they point me in the right direction for a design,” shares Los Angeles artist Mimi D (@nailsbymimi). “Even if they tell me to be creative, I still ask for a color palette of about three shades to work with. They will be wearing their nails for a few weeks and I want them to be happy.” 


Jungle Themed art by Michelle via Instagram @nailsbymimi