With each passing season, the nail polish trend continues to press on (get it?!?), seeming less like a passing infatuation and more like an emerging industry with some longevity. The colorful, quick-change, cosmetic essential is a staple for first-class fashionistas but also provides an easy way to experiment for those who are less adventurous. It’s accessible, versatile, and inexpensive– but what do the product’s perks add up to in practical dollars and cents?
According to Refinery 29, via Women’s Wear Daily, the robust nail polish industry made a staggering $768 million in the U.S. alone, a 32% increase from prior year’s profits. “This means, statistically speaking,” R29 says, “33% of women on average have 25 bottles of nail polish stashed away at home.” Only twenty five? Someone’s slacking.
“The market statistic from 2012 doesn’t suggest frivolous spending, either; it points to a burgeoning industry and a new consumer mentality.” With that, R29 also touches on an interesting idea, that nail polish is peripheral to several chic companies but not the focus of one, leaving an opportunity for a more luxury lacquer brand to step up and earn those big bucks we’re spending. “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.”
With stats like what 2012 produced, will designer nail polish continue on as only an accessory that fashion houses, cosmetic companies, and salons roll out, or might a new competitor charm us into spending over twenty bucks a bottle? Would the easy allure of nail lacquer be lost if it comes with a lavish price tag or is there a label are you so loyal to that you’d open your wallet wider for designer digits? — Casandra Armour