How Much Do I Tip My Nail Tech?

How much do you tip your nail tech? It’s a common question with no easy answer. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out how much to tip.

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The Standard Tip

How much should you tip your nail tech? 20% is the industry standard for tipping, but it is always appreciated when you give more. Your nail tech works hard to make sure you have the perfect nails, so it is important to show your appreciation.

The 15% Rule

In the United States, it is customary to leave a 15% gratuity for services rendered. This rule of thumb is usually Split between the nail tech and the esthetician, if you had both working on you. However, if you received exceptional service, feel free to leave a 20% gratuity or more. If you received terrible service, you may want to leave nothing at all or speak to the manager.

What if the Service is Bad?

If you received exceptional service, it is appropriate to tip on the higher end of the spectrum. If the service was just so-so, you may want to consider a lower tip, or even no tip at all. Remember that your nail technician likely depends on tips for a large portion of his or her income, so use your best judgment when deciding how much to give.

How to Tip

You just got a fresh mani/pedi and you feel fabulous. But now it’s time to pay, and you’re not sure how much to tip. A standard tip for a mani/pedi is 20%. If you’re happy with the service, you can give a little extra. If you’re unhappy with the service, you can still give the standard 20%.


If you’re paying with cash, it’s generally considered polite to tip around 15-20% of the total cost of the service. So, if your manicure cost $20, a 15-20% tip would be $3-$4.


Card services are convenient, but they come with fees that can add up. When you use a credit or debit card to pay for your service, you may be charged a processing fee by the card company. This fee is generally a percentage of the total purchase price, and it can range from 1 to 3 percent. You may also be charged a flat fee per transaction.

To avoid these fees, you can pay with cash. If you do use a card, be sure to ask the service provider if they charge any fees for card payments.

When deciding how much to tip on a card payment, remember that the service provider will likely have to pay a processing fee on the tip amount. A good rule of thumb is to add 5 to 10 percent to the total bill to account for this fee. For example, if your bill is $100 and you want to leave a 20 percent tip, you would actually need to charge $120 to your card.


If you’re paying your nail tech through Venmo or Paypal, it’s generally considered appropriate to tip 10-20%.

How Much to Tip for Upgrades

When you go in for a nail appointment, you may be tempted to get an upgrade or two. But how much should you tip for these extras? A standard tip for a manicure is 15-20%, but tips for upgrades may vary.

Nail Art

Nail art is a type of decorative cosmetic applied to finger nails and toe nails. It is a creative way to paint, decorate, enhance, or embellish the nails. It can be done either by hand-painting or by using various materials such as gems, rhinestones, stickers, or acrylic paints.3 Nail art is a growing trend in North America and Europe.4

The size of the nail art industry is unknown, but it is estimated that it generates billions of dollars in revenue each year.5 The industry has seen significant growth in recent years, with the global market for nail products expected to reach $13.1 billion by 2025.6

In the United States, the average cost of a manicure is $28.7 The cost of a pedicure is $50.8

It is customary to tip your nail technician 15-20% for a manicure or pedicure in the United States.9 If you are happy with the service you received, we recommend tipping on the higher end of that range.

Gel Nails

If you’re satisfied with the gel job your nail technician does and you want to leave a little extra, 15 to 20 percent is appropriate.


When getting a pedicure, it is customary to tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. If you received excellent service, you may want to tip more.

What if I’m on a Budget?

Tipping your nail tech is a great way to show your appreciation for a job well done. However, if you’re on a budget, you may not be able to afford to tip as much as you’d like. In this article, we’ll discuss how much you should tip your nail tech if you’re on a budget.

10% Rule

If you’re on a budget, the general rule of thumb is to tip 10%. This is a good baseline for most services, including hair, nails, facials, etc. Of course, you can always tip more if you’re happy with the service or if you have the means to do so.

5% Rule

Many people believe that a standard tip is 15% of the pre-tax bill, but that’s only true if the service was average. If the service was below average, you may want to give 10%. If the service was exceptional, you may want to give 20% or more. An easy way to decide how much to tip is to use the 5% rule. This rule simply means that you should tip 5% of the total bill, regardless of the level of service.

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