How the nail art industry is still booming despite the cost of living crisis

  • Watch Backstage, Tuesday 25 October at 10:45pm on ITV Cymru Wales and online.

Nail art has been rapidly growing in popularity over the past few years.

On Instagram alone, the hashtag has been used more than a 100 million times. 

Although for many, having your nails done is seen as a luxury, artist Louisa Mallet from Cardiff explains how important the service can be for clients.

She told ITV Wales' arts programme, Backstage, that getting your nails done "isn't a necessity" but said it helps some people with their wellbeing.

Some clients say having their nails done improves their wellbeing. Credit: Backstage/ITV Wales

"With the cost of living crisis that's currently happening - and we saw it in the pandemic before - getting your nails done isn't a necessity but for a lot of my clients it is part of their wellbeing.

"And it's part of what they will budget into their month.

"Because it's not just getting your nails done, it's coming to have a chat with Lou, it's coming to have a relax, a bit of me time, a bit of self-care. And they will factor it into what they do."

Louisa has considered what she would do if her clients could no longer afford to have their nails done. She also does teaching, partly so that she can be adaptable.

Louisa Mallet has been a nail artist for several years. Credit: Backstage/ITV Wales

Louisa, who did a fine art degree prior to becoming a nail artist, said there can sometimes be a misconception that it is "just painting nails" but there is "a lot more to it" than that.

"Working on a really small scale on a nail is a whole other level of skill and practice."

Thousands of people are searching for nail art on Instagram each day. Credit: Backstage/ITV Wales

"If you want to own a piece of art, it's a way for you to transform and invest in art without having to pay thousands and thousands of pounds to buy a painting from a gallery.

"And that's not to say that what we do isn't worth it but because it's on a smaller scale, you can charge a fraction of the price.

"So you get your own nail art that you can switch up every month."

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