What equipment is needed? provided when purchasing or leasing a

beauty beauty
digital nail art
Having a company logo or the picture of a loved one reproduced on
a t-shirt or coffee cup used to be a novel idea - until digital nail art
made its debut in the UK just over a year ago. Now, clients can have
almost any image they want digitally reproduced onto their finger nails in just a few fussfree minutes. Whether this innovation is ‘here to stay’ and poses a threat to experienced nail
technicians remains to be seen, but it does seem to offer a number of unique advantages …
What equipment is needed?
Digital nail art machines are available in
various packages to suit the needs of the
operator. Some are ‘stand alone’ units that
have a built-in computer, software,
keyboard, monitor, nail printer and so on.
These are perhaps more suited to therapists and salons who have little experience
with computers or do not have their own
PC and/or monitor. Other machines come
with (or can be linked up to) a laptop that
can be detached from the digital nail art
printer and used as an ordinary PC when
not required for treatments. Most machines
come with1,000 images as standard, but
more can be added, e.g. pictures
downloaded from the internet or digital
cameras, or scanned photographs, etc.
Some machines will also allow you to store
client records.
help of a large monitor the artwork is then
positioned over the nails - a procedure that
is either carried out automatically by the
machine, or manually by the therapist.
Once the digital printing has been
completed, a special top coat is applied to
the nails to protect the artwork.
How much do the machines cost?
This varies according to the manufacturer/
model, but expect to pay £2,000-£5,000.
How long will the nail art last?
As with most nail art designs, much of this
will depend on the client’s lifestyle and level
of care. When the art work does start to
deteriorate or is no longer wanted, it can
be easily removed with a standard nail
polish remover.
What other products will I need to buy?
Two different types of nail coatings are
usually required: one that is applied pretreatment (to protect the nail and enhance
the artwork) and one post-treatment (to
protect the artwork). These nail coatings,
plus ink cartridges, generally need to be
bought from the supplier. Prices are
comparable to what you would expect to
pay for a good quality nail polish and colour
ink cartridge. On average, a single ink
cartridge will decorate 2,000 nails.
What does the procedure involve?
Having selected a favourite image, a base
coat is applied to the client’s manicured
nails. Once the coating has dried, the
fingers are strategically placed onto a hand
rest which gently slides into the digital nail
art unit when the client is ready. With the
How many nails are printed at a time?
Most machines will have a hand rest that
accommodates up to four digits. Typically,
the fingers of one hand will be done, then
the other, followed by both thumbs.
How long does a treatment take?
The actual printing process takes just a few
minutes, but obviously the therapist will
need to allow time for: the consultation;
selecting the image(s); and allowing the
different nail coatings time to dry properly.
How much can clients be charged?
In London, a client can expect to be
charged up to £30 for ten nails. In other
areas, this would drop to around £20.
Is the treatment safe?
Yes, if the machine is used as intended.
However, clients who have a pacemaker or
any metal pins/ plates in the body are
advised not to have this treatment.
Do you need to be a beauty therapist and/
or nail technician to offer digital nail art?
Relevant training and qualifications in Beauty
Therapy and nail work would obviously be
an advantage, but as full training is usually
provided when purchasing or leasing a
digital nail art machine, it is not considered
essential. Most suppliers also provide ongoing technical support.
Does the machine require maintenance?
The machine should be self-efficient and
automatically clean its own ink heads, etc,
when necessary. But check with your
supplier what action will be taken in the
event of a technical error and who will foot
the bill. Also ask if the machine will be
covered by warranty and if this can be
What are the advantages of treatment?
• Treatments are quick
• There are fewer products involved
• It is virtually fume-free
• Clients can use personalised images
(e.g. photos of family members or pets,
sports/ company logos, their own designs)
• The therapist/ operator need not be
highly skilled or artistic to produce good
What are the potential drawbacks?
As you will be relying on your supplier for
technical support, repairs and replacement
products, you will face difficulties if the
company folds (which can and does
happen). Do a little research into your
intended supplier and ask to speak to one
or two customers who are happy with the
service they are receiving.
Pics and info: with thanks to Nail Impressions.