You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

I'm going to tell you a tale, a tale of friendship that, with the help of a Chinese automatic nail printer, blossomed into a full-out, wet and sticky bromance.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

There Jason and I were, walking through the International Center at CES, our shoulders brushing casually in the intimate walkways. Then we spotted a machine unlike any we'd seen before. A wizened Chinese man beckoned us into this booth, and before we could raise any objections, he placed his finger our our lips, a tacit acknowledgment that this was our first time. Jason took a seat.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

Still confused and a bit disoriented, Jason smiled nervously as a camera photographed nothing less than the full earnestness his soul. Looking at the screen, Jason's stomach dropped at the sheer amount of honesty that could be captured on a webcam and displayed on a touchscreen LCD.

Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

I pretended to ignore Jason's powerful image as I grabbed a seat myself. The Chinese man took my hand—his touch was warm. He lightly stroked my thumb with a base coat while photographing me as well.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

How would Jason and I frame our faces? We joked that the heart cutout was the only way. And then our eyes locked and we realized that maybe, just maybe, we weren't joking at all.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

The photos processed, I tentatively placed my thumb into the machine. It clamped down on my appendage, strongly, and it wouldn't let go. At this moment, trapped and vulnerable, I could only let the machine finish. To this day, I don't know if it's the event's repression speaking, but the process was quick, professional and I don't recall the slightest bit of pain. In fact, I didn't feel a thing.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

Jason, having bravely endured the same process, reveals the worthwhile aftermath in this photo. My face has been semi-permanently painted upon his fingernail. He blows on the finish to make sure it's dry, his lips the closest they'd ever been to my face.

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Illustration for article titled You, Too, Can Launch Your Own Nail Fashion Business!

"For better or worse, we're together in this thing now," I thought to myself. But just several days following this entire affair at CES, Jason and I have parted ways. Sometimes we IM one another, and there's the occasional text. But even as the heart has chipped away from my nail, his smile remains.

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And if you'd like to duplicate the experience, the ArtPro Nail Printer runs about $1500, takes normal HP ink cartridges and breaks up to 6000 hearts between refills. The company is currently seeking US distribution.

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DISCUSSION

In my previous job in Singapore, my boss went to China to get similar machine. Only without touch screen (it was controlled by a software in a nearby usb-connected PC), and with proprietary ink. I still remember that we planned to market it (the machine, not the service) with minimum profit and instead go for ink money. It never took off because of the lousy print quality despite the machine costs just around S$ 600.00