Photo Finish


Manicures are always a visual treat, so imagine the possibilities when nail art takes a digital turn. From landscapes to family photos to flawless French tips, the ImagiNail Nail Fashion Printer uses digital technology to transfer complex designs onto fingers. The system consists of a computer, which stores thousands of images, and an ink jet laser printer, which applies a spectrum of some 16 million colors to natural and artificial nails. Adjusting to the contours of each nail, the printer produces vibrant color and photographic clarity in about two minutes. The computer comes with a collection of 2,000 images, and a digital camera or scanner can be attached to create many more. "There are no boundaries to the art you can create," says Kim Volpe, ImagiNail's director of education. "The sky's the limit."

While the water-based ink differs from a polish manicure, ImagiNail includes a special topcoat to seal in color and guard against damage. Given the complexity of the images, clients should take practical measures to maintain the designs, such as wearing gloves during household chores and regularly replenishing the topcoat.


Though priced at nearly $4,000, the system easily pays for itself, says Volpe. The price of ink is only about 10 cents per nail, so charging even $10 for a full set ensures a sizeable profit. And given its innovative concept and results, the printer easily attracts clients. "For salons just starting out, it's an instant attention-grabber. You can create your whole business around this box," Volpe says. "Put it in a visible location and the machine does the talking for you."

Since introducing the printer in 2003, ImagiNail has enjoyed success in limited release, especially with buyers abroad. As the system gains exposure on the national conscience, the printer provides a revolutionary approach to the beauty of nails. "It's new and different," Volpe says. "It offers salons the opportunity to stand out from their competition." For more information, visit