Gel Bae

5 Min Read |

Nail care products are experiencing a spike as consumers on lockdown look to maintain their nails and boost their mood. As customers turn to DIY beauty, the nail care category is seeing a sales lift after a five-year slump. While many beauty businesses are struggling to maintain sales during the Covid-19 outbreak, the nail care sector appears to be benefitting from consumers on lockdown. A recent McKinsey survey reported Amazon sales for nail care products had increased 218% in 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Across the board, nail brands are seeing a dramatic increase that extends beyond nail polish, to include tools, kits and nail accessories. 

We speak to Serena de Comarmond, Founder and CEO at GelBae to find out how her new venture is changing the way customers buy nail care products and manage their at-home grooming routines.

Tell us about Gel Bae, and how you came to develop the product from concept to completion?

I am obsessed with my nails so when the world shut down and the salons closed, for the first time in 20 years I was walking around with hideous stumpy claws instead of flawless nails and so I knew something had to be done! Women around the world were uniting in their cry for help when it came to short nails and so I just had to answer the call!

Gel Bae empowers women (and very fancy boys) to save time and money by applying their own Gel Nails at home. I mean, why spend upwards of $60 and waste an hour in a chair when you can do your own nails at home for as little as $4.50 and in just 20 minutes! My vision has always been, to create high end quality products at affordable prices so that everyone can look and feel beautiful. No matter the size of their bank balance.

What sets Gel Bae apart from other alternatives in the market? How do you differ from your competition?

We found that a lot of companies were sourcing products from Alibaba and just ripping off the stickers and rebranding them. We ordered from several companies and the product was so bad. In particular we worried that the gels may even be toxic as the ingredients weren’t even listed on the packaging or website. So, we decided to really lift polygels game by creating a beautifully branded range that included gel’s we had innovated ourselves using non-toxic cruelty free ingredients. We visited the manufacturing plant to make sure it was meeting health and safety standards and created gorgeous colours more suited to the Australian, European and US market. Our mission is to deliver a high quality, easy to use way for women to do their nails at home and we think we have “nailed it”!

What are the challenges and opportunities you have found building an international brand and bringing the product to market?

Honestly, gel bae has been one of the easiest products to launch for Secret Stylist to date. People are staying at home more now, so they are looking for ways to maintain their beauty routines themselves. There were no brands out there really doing polygel professionally, so we filled that void. We find that sales increase and decrease depending on what’s happening in the news. When certain areas of the world go into lockdown, we tend to get a sales spike there. One challenge we have is trying to be respectful of the awful nature of Covid-19 and the pandemic whilst marketing. We don’t want to be seen as exploiting the awful things that are happening in the world for our own personal gain, so we try to leave mentioning the pandemic in our advertising.

When you are launching a product range, social media and digital channels are typically a key part of the communication strategy when you were trying to drive sales. Talk to me a little bit about that and the impact digital and social media have had helping you to drive sales within the business.

Since launching in May we have relied solely on digital marketing and using influencer marketing to promote Gel Bae. It is 100% our primary choice for marketing when it comes to online products in the beauty space. Social media is an aspirational space and people turn to influencers and celebrities for all of their style trends and to keep up with the latest product releases. We showcase a mix of client photos with them showing off their gel bae nails, and influencer photos to show people that not only do our peers love gel bae, but everyday people do too. We have found the mix to be work really well for us. We find that Facebook marketing using instructional videos has driven huge traffic for our site, whereas on Instagram it has been influencer posts that have generated the most traffic and sales.

We launch our first TV ad campaign next week so it will be interesting to see how people respond to that!

I believe beauty brands have a unique opportunity to help inspire and help with peoples self-esteem during the pandemic. These are crazy and uncertain times so giving people the ability to give themselves so self-love and self-care at home is just so important. Now is the time for beauty brands to pivot and prosper, capitalizing on the new shopping habits and life habits of men and women around the world.

Gel Bae Poly Gel Nail range is the latest product innovation by beauty industry veterans, Secret Stylist.  Secret Stylist was founded in 2008 in Port Melbourne Victoria, Australia by Serena de Comarmond who had a vision of creating high end quality products at affordable prices for the Australian and International markets.