Nail industry is booming as people polish up on self care

The cost-of-living crisis has not deterred nail artists in Cardiff, as people budget accordingly for their trip to the salon

The owner of Fleur Studio, Poppy, painting the nails of the salon’s 15th excited client of the day.
Credit: Inga Marsden

Despite the cost of living crisis, self-care is of increasing importance in Cardiff, according to a nail art salon which says it is busier than ever. Poppy Fleur, the owner, says it is usually fully booked, with one or two available slots per week.  The salon is recruiting more nail artists to cope with demand.

While some view nails as a ‘little luxury’ on a special occasion, for others the service is an integral part of their routine. The owner of Fleur Studio, a popular salon situated in Cardiff city centre, said, “Over 80% of our clients have had treatments with us previously.” 

Kendra, who is a regular at the salon, opted for a euphoria-inspired nail art design.
Credit: Poppy Fleur

On most streets in Cardiff there is a salon or two you can pop into, although it can be difficult to get an appointment, with bookings scheduled weeks in advance. It seems that getting your nails done isn’t just about aesthetics; the service is a form of therapy.

In a recent interview Cardiff based nail technician, Louise Mallet, told ITV Wales that while getting your nails done “isn’t a necessity…for a lot of my clients it is part of their wellbeing.”

The funny thing is, If someone said ‘hand over £40 right now’, I’d say I can’t afford it

According to a report by the ONS, personal wellbeing has seen a steady increase this year. A trip to the salon allows you to set aside a few hours to simply relax, whilst socialising with a stranger, which is a treasured phenomenon post Covid.

Despite cutbacks, many view this service as an investment. Molly McCheyne, a student in Cardiff who regularly frequents the nail salon, said openly, “The funny thing is, if someone said ‘hand over £40 right now’, I’d say I can’t afford it.’”

Some people’s nails change with the season, from autumnal, to halloween-inspired, to festive; but it’s not simply about a cute design, it can be an affordable way to treat yourself.

According to a report by Policybee, 63% of people working in the beauty sector are self-employed. Fleur Studio says that social media has been a blessing for independent artists to showcase their artwork.
Credit: @fleur.studios

Brush up on the latest nail art trends 
  • The classics like French polish
  • The 2014 trend of glazed donut nails
  • Greens, deep reds and dark purples for winter