August 29, 2012: Nail Art

Back in May I first told you how sales of nail polish and revenues at nail salons were soaring. But there’s a new aspect to the nail phenomenon-nail art, and it’s so hot that People magazine just devoted four pages to the topic.

Observant beauty hounds couldn’t help but notice how many Olympians in the recent London games adorned their nails to reflect their patriotism. But it’s not just these premier athletes who are into nail art. According to Alibaba, the online marketplace for small business, searches on the site for nail-art related products (things like polish and stickers) grew 42 percent globally from July 2011 to July 2012, led by Americans, who accounted for 29 percent of these searches.

If you own a nail or hair salon, own a spa, or sell beauty supplies, you’ll want to know that most of the searches on the site were for polish (the People article notes the popularity of “candy” colors), but fun and colorful stickers are also growing in popularity, now accounting for 12 percent of all nail product searches on Alibaba.

Now that the Olympics are over (Americans accounted for 60 percent of the searches for “nail art with a flag”), you need to think about what nail art your customers will want heading into fall. Alibaba reports that Americans “prefer more feminine designs” such as bows, flowers and Hello Kitty characters.

If you think about nail art as yet another method of self-expression, and a way for people to feel good about themselves in tough times, you’ll probably want to make sure you have lots of brightly-colored polishes, glitter and sparkles on hand.

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