According to The NPD Group’s ( March 2013 Nail Care and Polish Consumer Report, more than half of women aged 18+ 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,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst for 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 is the main factor influencing consumer purchases, with more than 60% of nail product/service buyers reporting that as long as they get the color they want, they do not pay attention to the brand. In general, the preference goes to brighter and neutral/natural shades, with pink/mauve, clear, and red coming out as the top color choices. With six in 10 women 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.

In the past year, women spent an average of $204 for salon services, which is almost six times more than they spent on at-home products. Women aged 55 and over spent the most on professional nail services in the past year.

Professional nail service purchasers are predominantly sticking with the basics, more likely to experiment with gel-polish than things like nail art (24% vs. 12% respectively). In fact, women are about 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,” says Grant.


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