Looking for a viable career option in the booming Indian cosmetics industry? Go for nail art, says Elmien Scholtz, founder-director of South Africa-based nail care company, Bio Sculpture. But before taking the plunge, equip yourself with proper education in the art form, she insists.
The Indian cosmetics industry - defined as skin care, hair care, colour cosmetics, fragrances and oral care segments - will reportedly touch Rs.20,000 crore ($3.2 billion) in 2014.
"Nail extension and nail art have a marvellous future... The women of India are hungry for new, revolutionary ways to look after their nails and my short time in India has vividly shown this to me," Scholtz told IANS in an interview while here for a beauty expo.
"Based on the people I have met, the women of India are not satisfied with currently available 'temporary' products. They want to use a system on their nails that not only lasts and can keep up with their lifestyles but can simultaneously benefit their natural nail health," she added.
The South African company recently entered the India market and offers nail treatment to its customers through its stand-alone salon and training centre in Gurgaon. It has also tied up with major spas and salons in Delhi such as Oberois, Affinity Salon, Mystic Spa, and Hyatt and these places will just offer Bio Sculpture's product range.
The technique can only be applied by technicians and professionals trained at the Bio Sculpture training centre because Scholtz feels it is important to have a proper knowledge in the art form. The Bio Sculpture services start from Rs.2,800.
To train people here, she has "already launched vocational courses in nail technology".
"When you mention research and development for India, I found that people here lack education and training in nail industry," she said.
Scholtz began her career with the nail industry after completing a CIDESCO (Committee International de Esthetique et de cosmotolage) course in cosmetic science at the Stellenbosch Academy in 1980.
"Nail industry has a lot of scope and it has places to go. But without proper education, it's not worth it. The Indian market has a lot of potential and all major countries are investing in India," she said.
"The beauty industry is one of the fast growing and important industries worldwide and out of this, nails are the fastest developing. It is a multi-billion dollar industry and everyone wants to be part of it," she added.
Talking about the growing trend in nail art, Scholtz said it's all about "flat art".
"It is about expressing the skill and artistic merit of an individual technician with the product. In the olden days, you could buy pre-made accessories and simply stick it to the nail.
"Today, detail forms the core to a design, with accessories simply adding a final level. It isn't just India but the rest of the world - they want to be like the West - American and European," she said.
Give some tips on nail care?
"Whatever you use, the health of the natural nail and the cuticle is of the utmost importance. You may start off with a beautiful, healthy nail but through poor quality treatments, it may be ruined. Therefore, it is crucial that any product that is used on your natural nail protects before, during and after every visit," said Scholtz.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)