Fashion brands drive the prestige nail market

Sales of prestige nail polish exceed £10 million

London: 5th June 2014 - The prestige nail polish market is driven by fashion brands, according to the NPD Group Inc., a global information company. Sales of prestige nail polish accounted for £10.1 million in 2013, a rise of 1.4% on the previous year.

Nail polish sales account for 1.9% of the prestige make-up market and has reported strong growth in the past three years. In 2012, prestige nail polish reported a 17.3 % growth on the same period in 2011.

Unit sales of nail polish grew by 14% in 2012 and continued to increase - but by a smaller margin - of 5.4% in 2013. The total number of prestige nail polishes sold in the UK in 2013 was 767,044.

The fashion stakes

Fashion brands are driving the market by releasing a seasonal collection of trend-setting colours that are highly sought after by consumers. “These colours dictate the colour themes for the season and influence the trends for the mass market,” according to June Jensen, Director for The NPD Group Beauty UK. The top ten selling colours in the prestige beauty market in 2013 were: reddish black, shimmering purple, reddish brown, vivid red, blood red, metallic teal, creamy taupe, fire engine red, coral, and hot pink.

The best-selling brands

Capitalising on the boom in nail polish sales, 2013 saw a strong performance from both fashion-led and specialist nail brands in the prestige beauty market. The best-selling brands (in alphabetical order) are Chanel, Christian Dior, Estee Lauder, Nails Inc, and OPI.

Nails v lips

The Lipstick Effect* is a well reported and popular theory, and recent media reports have suggested that nail polish is overtaking lipstick as the new “comfort purchase” choice for women. However, lip colour retains its strong position in the colour cosmetics market, with sales of £43.4 million in 2013, compared to nail polish which reported just £10.1 million in 2013. Sales of lip colour remain very buoyant and saw a rise of 9.6% in 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

Strong growth in 2012 – The Olympics

Strong growth in the sale of nail polish was reported in 2012, where prestige nail polish saw a 17.3 % growth on the same period in 2011. June Jensen explains this upsurge, “The reason for the growth of nail polish in 2011 to 2012 was the Olympics. It was driving this growth, with many of the female competitors wearing bright colours and using nail art.” The sale of nail polish rose dramatically during the two weeks of the 2012 Olympics, reporting a 19% increase in sales year on year.

June Jensen, Director for The NPD Group Beauty UK, says: “Prestige nail brands have raised the bar for trend-led high-fashion nail polish in the last five years. Brands consistently launch innovative colour collections that drive demand across the UK, whilst other top performing brands are renowned for high profile collaborations with celebrities and movie franchises. The continued growth of this sector demonstrates the importance of nail polish to the prestige beauty market.”

NOTES: The Lipstick Effect is the theory that when facing an economic crisis, women will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods.  Instead of buying expensive fur coats, for example, people will buy expensive lipstick.

Press Contact

Lucy Green
Greenfields Communications
07817 698366

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