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The nailcare market may not be reporting the high growth rates that it saw just five years ago, but it is still a segment that is witnessing strong innovation. Sources say that the nail polish market has experienced a 10% decline per year since 2013. This is partly due to the cyclical nature of the category, but also because consumers have turned to longer-lasting nail products, such as nail gels.
Indeed, in terms of trends, nail gel is one of the key innovations in the category and is expected to see good growth over the next few years. Nail gels are liked by consumers for their long wear and for providing a good overall appearance without the use of UV or LED lamps. Key brands in the prestige and mass markets are digging deeper in this area. French brand Chanel for example has launched a duo product (with 15 shades and a gel coat), while Coty-owned OPI has come out with Infinite Shine 2 (with eight shades and a top coat). Both products contain an ingredient that reacts with the light and promises to last up to five or six days.
But perhaps one of the main innovations in the category is nail polish in a spray format. UK-based company Nails Inc was one of the first few brands to delve into this area with the launch of its Paint Can product. Paint Can comes in a spray can and claims to offer what it calls “the world’s quickest manicure”. Indeed, one of the main advantages of the product according to the brand, is the speed of application and the simplicity of the gesture. It works by firstly applying a base coat; the user then sprays on the nail polish, waits a few seconds and rinses her hands with soapy water – the nail polish adheres only to the base coat and not to the fingers.
While this is certainly a different way of applying nail polish, industry watchers say that the brand will need to educate consumers on this new spray gesture and that it could take some time to catch on. However, sales of the product are said to have been strong since the launch. Other companies have followed up with spray formats. French retailer Nocibé for example, just launched a nail polish in a spray as part of its private-label line-up. It may be only a matter of time before other brands do the same.
This spray trend is in part motivated by consumer demand for a less time-consuming manicure and more convenient products. Industry ingredient suppliers say that more products focused on time-saving application methods will continue to emerge.
In addition to that, more trends for retail products are expected to come from salon techniques. This will be not only in the shape of formulas and application techniques, but also in nail polish removal methods. New nail polish removal methods are becoming important due to consumer concerns over the use of acetone, which can damage the nails. More brands are now coming up with peel-off base coats or steamers that warm up acetone-based removal solutions. In addition, companies such as Nubar, and Cuccio have started offering foil wraps for the removal of soak-off gels and gel polishes.