UK nail colour market catches up with lips

Region's nail colour market reaches £229m in 2012, according to Mintel

Research by Mintel has revealed that in 2012, for the first time, the value of the UK nail colour market equalled that of lip colour, with both posting a market value of £229m. While in 2011, nail colour was worth £221m, compared to to £224m for lip colour, increased passion for nail colour in the region has ensured the nail market has clawed its way level. Furthermore, Mintel expects the nail colour sector to grow by a further 1.7% in 2013 to a predicted £233m, overtaking the lip colour sector, which the market research company predicts will grow to £232m.

This surge is also said to be reflected in product innovation, with a record number of new nail colour products entering the market in 2012, a 400% increase on 2008. And Mintel anticipates this trend will continue in 2013; from January-August 2013 the sector accounted for 27% of total new launches in the colour cosmetics category, outstripping lip colour (26%) and eye colour (23%), and dramatically higher than in 2008 when nails accounted for a mere 10% of new colour cosmetics launches.

Charlotte Libby, Household and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, said: “The fact that the nail colour cosmetics market has equalled that of the lip colour market for the first time highlights the growing popularity of nail polish. The growth in new product development of nail polish can be linked to self-expression and the desire to keep up to date with current trends. Nail art continues to be a driving factor in sales. An explosion of new textures and effects is emerging which allows young women in particular to easily personalise their nail look. Nail make-up is also relatively purse-friendly, offering a range of affordable options and results that do not need daily application, cementing its position as a go to sector for all consumer budgets.”

Nail polish is used by 59% of women in the UK, Mintel found, with usage peaking among 16-24 year olds (72%).

In colour cosmetics in general, the most popular product claim is currently for make-up with long lasting benefits, featured in 45% of new product launches. “As well as fitting with the time pressures of modern life, colour cosmetics with long lasting claims appeal to value seeking consumers as a product which requires less frequent application and will last longer,” commented Libby. “Growth opportunities for colour cosmetics products lie in creating products which are quicker and easier to use to appeal to modern women.”

Mintel's research also highlights that the increase in life expectancy and the rise in the UK state pension age have resulted in senior consumers becoming a key demographic and a commercial opportunity. Up to 36% of 55-64 year old women and 17% of women aged over 65 say that wearing make-up makes them feel more professional. Furthermore, 69% of 55-64 year olds and 54% of women aged over 65 agree that it makes them feel more confident.

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