According to the market analyst’s Nail Care and Polish Consumer Report, more than half of women, age 18 and over, have purchased nail products for at-home use or professional nail services in the past year.
"The appeal, and power of the nail category is both the permission to play, and the accessibility in price," says Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, The NPD Group.
"Even for those on a tight budget, nail products offer a relatively guilt free treat, with the power to change their options."
Color over brand
When it comes to choosing a nail product, the report suggests that color is the most important, with six out of ten people saying that as long as they got the color they wanted, they didn’t mind what brand.
With 6 in 10 women also indicating that they want to try new nail care products, at-home experimentation is being expressed through nail polishes that have special effects, such as glitter, crackle, and shimmer.
"Nail care is an important part of today's beauty ritual, but some preferences differ between the at-home crowd and the salon-goers. As women shift between these nail care options, it will be interesting to see if their preferences change as well," said Grant.
According to NPD figures, in the past year, women spent an average of $204 for salon services, which is almost six times more than what they spent on at-home products.
Salon-goers are more likely to experiment with gel polish than things like nail art, and women are three times more likely to purchase a professional gel manicure than they are to buy gel polish for use at home.
Seventy percent of women do not agree with the idea that nail care products offered in salons are better than at-home nail products.
"So, why do women continue to go to salons? They are winning on look and luxury - it's the feeling of being pampered, and the end result that attracts today's nail care consumer, feeling their nails look better, or 'more polished', and last longer," continues Grant.
"Whether the woman opts to do it herself or go the salon route, nail care has an option to appeal to every age of woman. Getting a pulse check on the nail consumer is so very important right now. At this moment in time, nail is still a blue sky white canvas opportunity. We are just scratching the surface," she ends.