Interest in at-home nail products is still being fueled by the vast number of DIY tips that continue to be posted on social media. Brand marketers shouldn’t underestimate the influence that bloggers, Pinners and Instagrammers continue to have on beauty consumers. One of the five “Most Tagged Items” on both Pinterest and Instagram is “Nail Art,” according to Nails magazine.
“Nails are jewelry, in a sense—and this is how we are looking at the trend. They are a type of adornment, and accessory—and consumers need the right tools to create trendy looks at home,” says Anisa Telwar Kaicker, president, Anisa International.
It’s not only teens and tweens that are tuned into nail trends. Nails magazine asked nail salon pros about recent changes in customer demographics, and the two oldest age groups showed the most growth. Women 46+ made up 35% of all nail salon consumers last year, and this group grew by 47%. Women ages 36-45, who represented 26% of nail salon patrons, grew by 48%.
These stats might reveal that in addition to new product innovations in DIY kits and care products designed for at-home use, nail technicians in professional salons need newness as well—and brands are delivering.
There are many new nail launches this spring, including bright colors with texture, like OPI’s new “Pineapples Have Peelings Too” in its Hawaii collection, which launched this spring. There are also new types of nail treatment products, and at-home devices. Not to mention new types of tools and devices for use by the pros in nail salons.
What Are the Trends?
So, what are the product trends? The demand for gel polish continues, which, in turn, drives the demand for functional packaging like bottles with protective coatings that shield UV light, along with tools and devices designed for use with gel formulations.
Dave Desai, director of sales at Piramal, says that the number of new gel formulations that require UV-curing is growing globally. “Due to this demand, we have recently switched one of our furnaces in our cosmetic glass plant from flint glass to full-time amber production,” says Desai. “This allows us to provide cosmetic quality amber in a high-speed environment, which is something very few companies can say,” he explains. Piramal also has an in-house screening and lacquering facility, and provides bottles that are ready to fill.
Bio Seaweed Gel is one brand that has a new gel formulation that doesn’t contain controversial chemical-based ingredients. It is packaged in an opaque black bottle, for UV protection, and a label printed with an oval shaped icon is color-matched to the product inside the bottle.
Virospack, a supplier with numerous customers in the nail industry, says that many brands have been launching all types of nail care and treatment products. “The demand for dropper packages, for cuticle oil and dry drops, has increased dramatically over the past couple of years,” says Pascale Laurier, Virospack. “As a packaging manufacturer, you have to be able to supply a dropper that is compatible and attractive, all economically,” she adds.
Nail wraps are another trend that’s making a comeback in nail salons, according to nail techs. One new brand that is providing a way to wrap your nails at home with a custom design is INNI. Its wraps are like stretchy stickers made from vinyl. They are sold by the sheet, and are easy to apply at home. Similar to the longevity of gel polish, wraps are designed to last approximately two weeks.
An Innovative Device for Nail Salons
In response to the nail art trend, Tat’z Nails has developed an imaging system that utilizes a new technology to print an image, design or logo on an artificial or natural nail, in seconds.
Each Tat’z Nail system comes pre-programmed with 300 designs, each in 10 color options—and the machine also has a built-in camera for creating a custom design. One finger is placed inside the machine at a time, and a full set of Tat’z Nails can be completed by a nail technician at a salon in 15 minutes.
Tat’z also sells sets of pre-printed designs, packaged in boxes, on its website. There are sizes for both fingers and toes. At home, the user applies the pre-cut nail applique, and then finishes with a topcoat.
High-Tech Nail Care Products Get Stylish
As the number of women visiting nail salons grows, brands are developing new at-home products designed to complement, or use in place of, salon treatments. These devices and tools are also being updated with new looks, sure to catch the consumer’s eye.
Ciate recently launched a new innovative product, the Geltox Kit, sold at Sephora for $99. It is designed to make any nail polish act like a gel polish, which means it will last. The kit’s star product, Ciate Geltox, is housed in a black bottle to shield its UV-sensitive formulation.
The kit also contains a cleanser in a plastic bottle and a cuticle tool. The kit’s LED light, used to cure the nail lacquer, looks more stylish than a typical nail care device. It’s black, with a graphic pattern in white, reminiscent of the bows that adorn the brand’s nail color bottles. Its design matches the black-and-white Nail Edge, which is a fun version of a nail file in a cube shape, and also included in the kit.
Bottles That Break the Mold
Nail polish bottles have never been so stylish, as brands have been pushing the envelope on design.
Nails Inc. has recruited Victoria Beckham to launch a new limited edition nail color duo this month, Judo Red and Bamboo White. Chic, square bottles were designed for the new colors by Fabien Baron and Beckham. The nail color duo is packaged inside a stylish gift box.
The bottles are made from Venetian glass, decorated with a matte black finish for the red; and matte white for the bone white lacquer. The bottles have hand-frosted sides that reveal the color inside the bottle. The oversized square caps, also in black and white, match the bottles.
The nail colors are innovative as well—the formulations were created in-line, using key pieces from Beckham’s fashion collection. The lacquer is formulated with an innovative stretch-to-fit technology, which is an elastic-like polymer for a perfectly smooth application.
Christian Louboutin worked with Groupe Pochet and its Qualipack division last year to create what many call the industry’s first truly innovative nail polish bottle design. The tapered glass bottle has an elongated cap, 8 inches high, modeled after the shoe designer’s highest stiletto heel. (More about this package is on BeautyPackaging.com, in an Online Exclusive).
Now, the fashion designer is launching a limited edition kit for Spring 2015, called the Python Vulcano Nail Colour Coffret. The kit features three new miniature limited edition colors: Salonu, an opaque cement white, like the shoe with the same name; True Blue, a flattering periwinkle blue, inspired by the Madonna song; and Hot Chick, a vivid yellow, like the shoe with the same name.
The nail polish is encased in a box decorated with the same print as the designer’s Spring 2015 shoes and bag. Louboutin says he was inspired by Jackson Pollock’s drip-technique paintings when he designed the print on the box, and envisioned a “brilliant effect of color projected onto the surface” of the fabric. The splashes of color create the scaled look of python skin.
The brand says the “marriage of fashion and beauty” will continue over the coming seasons, and each will inspire the other.
As for the innovative bottle shape, Pochet says that producing it required harmonious glass distribution and a smooth surface, which is magnified by the use of a gradient lacquering technique. The bottle’s sharp facets required perfect execution.
Duri Redesigns Its Line
As more new nail color products launch, the resulting competition means it’s more important than ever to use design to differentiate. Duri is a nail brand that has just redesigned its packaging.
Faina Ritz, Duri’s founder and chemist, is also involved in designing Duri’s packaging. “It’s important for a product to stand out, but its packaging also has to convey a sense of familiarity and serve a purpose,” she explains.
Duri’s nail colors are housed in a newly designed bottle, which is square, and has a new brush applicator attached to its cap. “Our glass bottle was redesigned to be both visually pleasing and ergonomically enhanced,” says Ritz.
Duri’s name is etched into the glass on the bottom part of the bottle. “There are two ridges, one above and one below the logo. These are indented, to provide an aesthetically pleasing bottle appearance while creating a natural indentat ion to hold the bottle when using, provide a better grip and ease of application,” Ritz says.
Duri’s 15 different treatment products are in bottles housed inside cartons. Its new Rejuvacote 2 is a strengthening formula developed to extend the life of a manicure.
“We wanted to create a product that could provide a nail treatment usable for the people with more sensitive skin and nails, but we also needed to address how our product looks on a retail shelf. We are a professional treatment line sold at nail salons and in spas worldwide. We wanted our outer appearance to reflect our top-of-the-line formulations,” says Ritz.
The bottles in Duri’s treatment collection have different types of applicators, including brushes and dropper tips. The newly designed cream-colored cartons are decorated with colorful graphics, to attract the consumer’s attention at the point of sale, according to Ritz. “Our baroque floral motif is printed on four sides, with two accent panels in a deeper teal shade,” she says. Typeface styles were chosen to accentuate the product name and identify different SKUs.
“Duri’s packaging is designed to be easily recognized by consumers, protect our bottles from damage and remain durable when they are stacked for display. We also emphasize being environmentally friendly, so our packaging is always designed to have very little manufacturing waste,” adds Ritz.
The brand’s new colors for spring/summer 2015 are all named after different places. The collection includes NYC Apple Envy, a bright neon green; The O.C. Orange; and Viva Strip Tea, a rich purple.
Designing More Effective Tools & Accessories
Anisa International is a designer and supplier that works with many nail brands, but its focus is on the tools required to apply nail products. and maintain nail care.
Recently, the company produced the Butter London Colour Hardware Nail Art Tool Kit, working in collaboration with Butter London to design it. “We specialize in providing the best professional artistry tools that consumers can use at home, to create any type of look, and maximize any type of nail color or kit,” says Telwar Kaicker, of Anisa International.
Telwar says they also created a Nail Palette, which is another useful tool. It is designed so that consumers can place their finger on top of the silicone surface to apply polish and nail looks with easy cleanup. “We try to be intuitive about what women need, and what they will buy,” says Telwar Kaicker.
She says the tools and accessories that Anisa International comes up with usually pose a few challenges to produce, but that’s what makes them more innovative. For example, their thin, circular nail buffers feature an ergonomic shape, and are designed to make buffing the nails easier and more enjoyable. “It took us more time than expected to find the right factory partners to manufacture this product,” says Telwar Kaicker.
Another challenge for Telwar Kaicker is to produce innovative nail care items and accessories in a cost-effective way. “Women don’t want to spend a lot of money in this category—they don’t look at a nail file as they do a cosmetic brush,” she explains.
In an effort to predict the nail tools women will want and need, Telwar Kaicker says they often work with professional makeup artists. “This allows us to understand the trends each season, and the tools that will be needed to create the looks.” she says.
Dropper Options for Treatment Products
To work efficiently, nail treatment products require different types of applicator caps in place of brushes, and suppliers such as Virospack are providing a number of options.
“Our clients are now asking for more distinctive decorations,” says Virospack’s Pascale. “Over the last few years we have produced classic bulb droppers and push-button caps for topcoats and cuticle oils. We cover a large market in the nail industry because we can assure product compatibility of the dropper materials with a client’s product,” Laurier explains.
The nail brand Inglot uses Virospack’s push-button dropper bottle for its Dry & Shine topcoat. “We decorate in-house, by decorating droppers and customizing a bottle using screen printing and hot stamping,” Laurier says.
The continued interest in nail products means an opportunity for more innovation, and a need for new types of products and accessories.
One new brand, Happy Hands, has created a UV nail glove, for use with UV-cured gel polish systems. The fingerless gloves, designed to be worn while getting a manicure, are infused with a 40+ UV coating that blocks 98% of UV rays.
We expect to see more innovative tools, accessories, DIY kits and treatment products in the future, as the nail category continues to expand—and brands will no doubt continue to partner with designers and suppliers to create stylish, functional packages for the nail category.