Mass market nail care just got a leg up on designer brands

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Mass market nail care just got a leg up on designer brands

Related tags Cosmetics

Startup founder Lizzy Klein took color matching conversations beyond social and built an app that helps consumers hack luxury nail polish looks.

 Digital innovation isn’t the exclusive domain of corporations; it crops up at every point along the company-consumer spectrum.  The SuperDuper app is a tool for budget savvy beauty devotees that lets consumers find designer nail colors at drug store prices.

Kline bolsters the value of the app by reassuring users that product quality is the same regardless of price. She’s quoted widely as saying that all nail polish is created equal. “I’ve had execs from Estee Lauder and OPI and others and all of them say ‘of course all the products are the same’ and at the same time they can’t do that publicly,” ​she tells Sarah Buhr of TechCrunch.

This means that luxury brands may need to rely even more on outstanding product quality, impressive packaging and branded lifestyles to continue to stand apart from mass market versions.  

Appearances can be deceiving
There’s no predictive algorithm behind the color matching. Kline tests the mass market alternatives against the designer colors herself and checks them in different lighting situations. “How it looks in the bottle is not necessarily how it looks once the nail polish hits oxygen,”​ she tells Buhr.

She also claims to have the help of anonymous inside sources at top beauty brands tipping her off to matches for the latest shades. This information and the allure of behind-the-scenes beauty makes SuperDuper appealing to consumers who live on trend but would rather not spend on luxury items.

Beauty tools
There are of course other apps that suggest alternative and self-same products for cosmetics, personal care and other FMCGs. Digital technology gives these initiatives a potential to scale immensely and eases access to up-to-the-minute industry knowhow. It also puts this information in the hands of beauty consumers as they shop and makes choosing a low-cost alternative product quick and easy.

What’s next?
In keeping with Klein’s current focus on user acquisition, the lifestyle app is free on iTunes. While enthusiastic beauty shoppers are busy downloading the app, Klein is busy raising funds and building a board of industry insiders to move the business forward.

Monetizing the app will be a next step. And then, Klein has her sites on other color cosmetics categories. Indeed, nail care isn’t the only category SuperDuper is  looking to disrupt. “This is just the beginning,”​ reads the app description on iTunes. “We're on a mission to dupe the entire makeup universe!”

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