I thought long and hard about if I was even going to blog about this... it got so much press (negative and positive) that originally, I felt my opinions would just get buried by the louder voices. However, it's been a week, and it's still eating at me...
If you missed it, a fellow nail sister, Michelle, who runs a M-F "Periscope" broadcast as well as a paid content education page, found out that CND ran a promo on Preen.me (a website with pics and video for beauty-related things). From what I've gathered, the promo was for bloggers on Preen to create beautiful sets of gel polish nails with designs, use a specific hashtag, which was, according to CND's later press release, designed to promote CND and drive consumers into the salon for a professional CND Shellac service. Yeah, all well and good, except they sent 50 kits (including CND Shellac shades, their new almost $400 LED lamp, a Shellac base & top coat, etc) to mostly NON-PROFESSIONALS.
According to CND's press release (after Michelle's Periscope broadcast went super-viral... and yes, she did her research before talking about it on air), Preen made the mistake of sending these kits out to non-pros. According to the bloggers themselves, no one asked for any proof that they were pros (I saw one comment in which a non-pro blogger posted a screen shot of the email from Preen... nowhere on it does it ask for anything about them being a pro), and a day or two later, Preen themselves admitted full responsibility. Here are my issues with this -- (1) CND did not ever take ANY blame for any of this, (2) CND not only blamed Preen, but also said in writing that the bloggers misrepresented themselves as pros to get this product kit, and (3) CND didn't even think to do something like this with their EXISTING CND Shellac Certified Pros or Grand Masters (of which, I am both... and have paid over $1000 to learn and be certified; something I *thought* was special).
(1) "Pass the buck" is not a good business model... ever.
(2) No blogger I ever came across in my research for this misrepresented anything. ALL of them were upfront on all of their social media pages; stating that they are not professional nail techs, do this for fun, etc... Every blogger that reviews for companies also always has a disclaimer somewhere about how they were sent the products for free in return for an honest review (or something to that effect).
(3) I understand the huge reach of the Preen website, so maybe the promo should have been that existing CND pros be offered the opportunity to win these kits, which then could have some caveats about how/where to post your masterpieces (even telling us we had to create a Preen account, because you wanted to work with that site, specifically). They could have run an email blast, directed to any current CND Grand Master or CND Shellac Certified Pro, with similar instructions that the bloggers at Preen got, sent out 50 kits to us pros, and the art created would definitely have done what they wanted it to; send consumers into the salons for a professional service. Heck, they could have had some "special winners" from Preen teaming up with a pro in their area to create artwork together! Instead, this huge fiasco where now the bloggers at Preen feel hurt, embarassed, etc and are angry with CND and my friend, Michelle.
My biggest problem with non-pros using professional products is not that it takes business/potential business away from me (seriously, I started as a non-pro... it was a jumping point for me to go to school. DIYers are those who take pride in doing it themselves, not because they can't afford professional services, but because THEY CAN DO IT, and sometimes, better than a pro)... no, it's because they haven't been educated on how to properly apply & remove those products (no, youtube is not the right place for that). I was having nightmares about what happens in six months... those bloggers and whomever they may also do services on (friends, family, what have you) blowing up CND's social media about how "CND Shellac ruined my nails" due to overexposure, improper application, improper curing, and improper removal techniques. THAT's why I'm pissed. You want to give away free product for a promo? Cool. But, this kind of thing can RUIN the small one-person studios like mine... and that is NOT ok.
I, for one, would love to exchange some simple Shellac manicures for the opportunity to work with some non-pros who are really good at artwork. I know that CND asked for the kits back, and (I think) paid for return as well as sent the non-pros who won these kits originally some other CND products (Vinylux, maybe some of the new Creative Play polishes? Not sure... if you're a blogger who is in the middle of this fiasco, will you let me know what you're getting from CND instead?). I can totally see that working in both of our favors... you get a good, quality, professional, and properly trained tech to do your Shellac service, I get to see you do some great artwork, we both get our names/business more exposure by linking those pages to all related posts, and CND gets even more exposure by having a wider audience loving on their products.
So, my current dilemma -- do I continue to #loveCND or do I #burnCND? I haven't decided, but for now, I will not be buying anymore CND products.