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Companies & industry

Cosmetic companies invest in innovation to stand out in the competitive nail care business

A spray-on nail polish, a liquid tape that cleans up the excess nail polish on the skin, and matching nail polish and lipstick are some of the trends springing up in Brazil, the world’s second largest nail care market after the US.

The scene could have come out of a sci-fi movie: a woman whips a little can out of her purse, sprays her fingernails, washes her hands and ta-da: manicure done. Aspa Cosméticos, a Greek brand that set foot in Brazil back in the 1950s, had envisioned this scene almost 40 years ago.

Spray-on nail polish ranges by Aspa Cosméticos

Spray-on nail polish ranges by Aspa Cosméticos

A leading company in the aerosol industry, Aspa designed its first spray-on nail polish in 1977, but the product was deemed “not functional” at the time. In 1983, Aspa gave it a second try, and was again unsuccessful. “Aspas has vision, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, but sometimes creates products that are ahead of their time and unable to grasp the market’s attention,” says the company’s CEO Demetre Giokaris.

However, it looks like 2016 might be the year of the aerosol nail polish. Two recently released lines, ‘Spray-On’ and ‘Mais Cor, Meu Amor’ (More Color, My Love) offer nine different shades of the spray-on nail polish. The product is sprayed over a base coat, which is also used as a top coat. The excess spray can be easily removed with a hand wash or damp cloth. As opposed to most conventional nail polishes, with one single coat you’re good to go.

This technology has got Brazilian customers – who are used to the influx of new products in the nail care aisle – quite excited. Since 2011, nail care has been leading the makeup category in the Brazilian ranking for New Product Development, representing nearly 60% of all new makeup products released every year, according to Mintel. In 2015, the nail care market in Brazil accounted for over R$ 600 million in sales and more than five million units sold, as per data from Euromonitor. The result has positioned the country as the world’s second largest nail care market, trailing only the US.

However, attempting to innovate in this highly competitive industry means going above and beyond new colors and textures. “Nail polish makers have been working with similar color schemes for ages, making only very slight variations and creating different names for them. They are not ready to leave their comfort zone. There’s a whole new range of possibilities within this product range, but they often require racking up costs and taking up risks,” says Giokaris.

São Paulo-based company Luxor Cosmetic has a similar approach to risk and reward. The brand has recently developed a liquid tape called ‘Vapt Vupt’ that, as the name suggests, claims to remove the excess nail polish from the skin in a jiffy. The tape works as a protective layer that should be applied around the nails before polishing, much like a stencil mask. Once the manicure is done, the tape is peeled with the help of a stick of tweezers without the need of nail polish remover.

We strive to create products that improve the everyday lives of Brazilian women,” says Jan de Oliveira Marques, Luxor’s sales director. Products similar to the ‘Vapt Vupt’ tape are also offered by other domestic companies such as Hits Speciallità, SR Unhas and Pérola.

Another company that has entered the nail care market is Eudora. The brand started up as a branch of the Boticário Group in 2011, and just recently launched its first nail polish line, ‘Absoluto 10 em 1’. It claims to offer 10 benefits such as longer lasting effect, added Vitamin E and maximum color intensity, as well as perfectly matching the tones of the lipstick line Lip Deluxe. “It’s a world trend,” says Daniel Knopfholz, managing director at Eudora.

Renata Martins

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