December 19, 2022



In the early stages of your nail profession, there is a multitude of tempting products and tools to stuff in your salon kit. Who hasn’t wanted to redirect funds from a boring yet wise purchase for something racier like a seasonal limited edition Swarovski crystal mix?  What is the nail techs equivalent to an essential capsule collection or a new driver’s starter car?

Good reason is often abandoned in the beauty supply aisles and online shopping carts. Your business requires a more level headed approach in order to unleash your purchase power. The best practice is to keep it simple. Here is a cheat sheet for nail product essentials. Start out as a minimalist and make sure every product in your possession is earning you dollars. This is the time to make smart product investments that will stretch with you as you build your clientele.

You want to binge-buy everything that catches your eye. You want it now. Nom nom nom, feed the ravenous glitter monster within. Red flag warning! Please slow down and be purposeful. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Square one is to create a spending plan that allows you to operate a steady nail business. Do you know for certain what services will you provide? What is your total working budget? Can you project a plan to track how many sets are possible with your current product? Can you mark your calendar to see the timing for a regular schedule replenishing product replenish?  Seek out the small patterns of your use and purchases. When you start out, draft a monthly shopping list with three columns- Need/Want/On The Fence. Track the expenses over three months and see what your average monthly expenses are.

To spend wisely, the bulk of your initial salon buy will consist of core products. Decide if you’re going to offer acrylic or gel. It’s best to call out now what you want to be known for…basically what will be your number one service? Then pick up the essentials for that system. Kits are an affordable way to do this. You will absolutely need a good UV lamp (or two).  You will also need to start with an E-file to save your wrists from the wear and tear of hand filing. Both are big ticket items but worth every penny. The basics are what you use to build a business. They are pantry staples in the kitchen. The core products for your starting line up should be a set of 12 colors that include best selling classics like nudes, reds, pinks, and a couple trendy colors. You can layer on to that another 12 Glitters. Custom glitter mixes provide endless possibilities.  Lastly you will need a couple of high-quality brushes. Don’t over extend and dig yourself into any unnecessary debt before you bring in your first customer. This profession is a marathon not a race to financial independence. Pace yourself. It’s ok to start small.

For some reason, many nail techs can’t wrap their head around “less is more” philosophy. Take baby steps. A variety of specialty products means nothing if you still haven’t found your first client. Train yourself to slay in one specific service. Let that be your thing, your expertise. You will never regret it. As you build up your cash reserves, now you can pull in something new for fun. You can even plan when you will reward yourself with a splurge purchase. YN Pro Kits in acrylic or gel offer the most bang for your buck at a $300 starting investment. Just throw in a light and you’re ready to book clients. When in doubt turn to your nail community and ask for support. You may be going solo for the first time but you never have to do anything alone!  

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube which originally aired on April 27, 2022.

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full talk here: