FIRST came nail polish, then acrylic press-ons. Next? How about shrink-wrap color?
Though it's still largely under the radar, Minx, a 2- to 4-millimeter-thick film that's cut to fit the nail and affixed with a heat-activated adhesive, has been winning converts -- and celebrity fans -- since it was introduced two years ago. Beyoncé has worn Minx to award shows and red carpet events, and other high-profile fans include Blake Lively, Lisa Marie Presley and her daughter Riley Keough.
The film is available in more than 150 styles, which run the spectrum from solid colors to zebra prints, polka dots and plaids, and it appeals in part because it requires no drying time and doesn't smudge.
Janice Jordan, Minx chief executive, says she began looking for nail solutions when she became frustrated with the way her polish chipped after manicures. "I'm hard on my nails so I had to come up with something that would work better," she says. "I'm not an engineer, but I have an engineer's mind and I'm a problem solver," adds Jordan, who has a patent pending on her product, which she developed with business partner Dawn Lynch-Goodwin.
Jordan drew inspiration from her day job -- a vehicle graphics company she started after being exposed to racing through her husband, who is a part-time driver. What do vehicle graphics and Minx have in common? Think decals.Minx, about the thickness of a sticker (and much thinner and lighter than an acrylic nail), can customize its coatings with any photo or logo, so the possibilities are endless.
Offered at select nail salons throughout the country and through top celebrity manicurists, the product finds enthusiastic fans among those who'd prefer to have their nails done in a fume-free environment, salon operators say. The adhesive in Minx is activated by a heat lamp, and the nail color, which can last up to four weeks, can be removed at home by using a blow-dryer, which softens the adhesive, or by soaking in warm water -- no polish remover necessary.
"I think it's the most exciting thing ever in the industry," says Naja Rickette, owner of Extremedys2012 Hand & Foot Spa in West Hollywood. "I can do nail art, but with a natural kind of feel since there's no smells, toxins or heavy glues." She offers 15 different styles of Minx and personally favors wearing the metallic colors.
Rickette says that 40% of her clients now ask for Minx and that celebrities like them because they're unique and require no drying time, which is key during a photo shoot or when getting ready for an appearance. Novelty isn't cheap, though. Extremedys2012 offers a Minx-acure ($45 and up) and pedicure with Minx ($80), which is nearly twice the price of a regular manicure and pedicure, respectively, at the salon.
Jordan likes to quote Lively's description of Minx as "jewelry for her fingertips," but she seems equally pleased by the response she's gotten to her own nails. "If you go to the bank or a restaurant, you're constantly getting compliments," Jordan says. "I don't have the most beautiful hands or longest nails, so for me to get compliments is amazing."