Pandemic lockdowns hit beauty and nail salons hard, with forced closure having a major impact on demand. The bottoming out of the category also meant that many suppliers to this space went out of business, making it all the more challenging for businesses to stay afloat once salons reopened.
Eunice Park, Research and Development Manager at Aprés Nail explained what these challenges meant to the business and discusses some of the strategies that were employed to return with full force. In this Q&A interview Park also underlines some of the trends that are driving this area of nail care right now, as well as highlighting future ambitions for the business.
CosmeticsDesign-USA (CDU): What are some of the biggest challenges currently facing manufacturers and suppliers of artificial nails in the US market? What solutions are being developed and implemented to address these issues?
Eunice Park (EP): Despite being three years out from the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic, the effects of recovery are still being felt, with some supplier factories still not back to full capacity, not to mention the fact that certain supplier factories actually shutdown. While many other businesses are rising up in their place and inroads are being made, the recovery is not a process that happens overnight.
CDU: What are some of the most compelling and current trends in the US artificial nail space?
EP: The trend for full coverage, soft gel extension systems has been growing in leaps and bounds recently. Since Aprés Nail created the Gel-X in 2017, many people have fallen in love with this easier yet durable extension system. As a result, Gel-X has become one of the fastest growing services within salons.
CDU: What are some of your brand’s latest innovations in the artificial nails space?
EP: Aprés Nail developed and launched Gel-X as the world's first full coverage soft gel extension system, and every year since then we have pushed the boundaries of what full coverage extensions can do. From our French Manicure Gel-X to our Neutrals Gel-X ranges, the landscape has proved to be limitless in what we can provide for our users.
CDU: Do you have any response to the recent reports that artificial nail sales are set to surpass nail polish sales for the first time ever this year?
EP: Because of the fact that Gel-X has made nail extensions so much easier, coupled with the rise of social media and nail influencers, this isn't too surprising to hear. Nail influencers make at-home nails look accessible and easy to do and the innovative Gel-X system makes that a reality by providing an easy and long-lasting extension system.
CDU: What are your brand's plans for further expansion and product innovation in the coming year?
EP: Aprés Nail has expanded its catalog by offering Gel Couleur, our 200 gel polish line, and exciting evolutions of the Gel-X Tip such as our Neutrals Gel-X, which has pigments imbued into the Gel-X Tip itself.