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At Your Fingertips

By: Sara Mason
Posted: March 5, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Anyone from preschoolers to teens and moms to grandmas can enjoy self-expression or a beauty boost with painted nails. Yet, even with a wide consumer base, the category is rather shallow. With a global value of $3.3 billion, according to Euromonitor International, nail products is both the smallest color cosmetics category and the least dynamic. But there is hope for the future.

The Art of Nude
The preference for healthy, bare nails contributed to declines in some of the biggest markets between 2001 and 2006, reports Euromonitor, notably the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and Italy. Marketers are addressing this trend by providing customers with products that make their natural nails appear healthier and brighter—Avon’s Nail Expert and OPI’s Nail Envy are examples. “We are seeing innovation in the nail care segment of the market—more activity in reparative, nutritive products,” said Cara Robinson, Avon’s executive marketing director of U.S. color.

Products enriched with light microsensors to produce an intense color and shine, such as Bourjois’ Affinité, also enhance the
au naturale look.

“The natural look is a continuing trend, and I am always developing new sheer and natural colors that are universally flattering on all skin tones,” added Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie nail polish.