2012 could easily have been dubbed The Year Of The Nail. Everyone from luxury lines to drugstore brands began designing new colors, finishes, and concepts for your fingertips — and the effort paid off, literally. According to WWD, the nail polish industry racked in $768 million from the U.S. alone (a staggering 32% increase from the year before). This means, statistically speaking, 33% of women on average have 25 bottles of nail polish stashed away at home. (You know who you are.)
Add up the numbers, and it's clear that the nail art market is booming. The market statistic from 2012 doesn't suggest frivolous spending, either; it points to a burgeoning industry and a new consumer mentality. But, here's the funny thing: We have yet to see a true high-end, nail polish-only product line roll out globally. Luxury brands like Chanel, Tom Ford, and YSL have their own lines of nail lacquer each selling around $26-30 a bottle, and Essie has continued to roll out beautiful color lines for a more affordable $8 a pop, but there aren't any super-luxe companies who only make polish. Then again, perhaps that's why women feel so excited about experimenting with their nails — it's cheap.
Or, maybe it's a matter of style. Nail art, in its current iteration, is poppy, loud, and not exactly refined. So, though the report suggests that stick-on patterns like Sally Hansen's Salon Effects are still on trend, and O.P.I. continues to push glitter effects and matte finishes — perhaps luxury simply isn't interested in these louder, more populist designs. More importantly, however, is this: How long will this growth spurt last, and will the nail industry keep seeing this kind off explosive growth? Are Sally Hansen-like stickers a fad, or are they here to stay? (WWD)
Photographed by Mark Iantosca