COVID-19 is changing the way consumers think about nail care

April 23, 2020
3 min read

As COVID-19 keeps salons closed, consumers are rethinking nail care. The search for salon-grade solutions will allow innovative at-home nail care to prevail. As new routines arise, the remnants of the past remain. Consumers accustomed to going to salons for their nail services have been left with grown-out, damaged dip and gel manicures. Guiding consumers through easy removal processes and promoting nail wellness will help to raise brand awareness and sales.

Educate on removal techniques

As consumers begin to adjust to their temporary lives without nail salons, they will look to brands for guidance. It can be difficult to remove polish remnants of dip and gel manicures. Brands that offer simplistic and innovative removal options will profit.

However, consumers need more than the products themselves. Educational videos that show the step-by-step removal process, talk through issues they may encounter and guide them from start to finish will be imperative in the success of polish removal. As stated in Mintel Trend, ’Beauty with a Brain,’ brands that create compelling, educational content that goes far beyond just pretty pictures will secure trust and attention from consumers.

Anticipate growth beyond the end of stay-at-home orders

Static Nails Reusable Pop-on Manicures

Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, more than a quarter of US consumers stated that they were concerned about germs at nail salons, according to Mintel research on nail color and care. That number is expected to substantially grow as a result of the current health pandemic. Cleanliness standards in beauty retail will be forever changed. The same logic applies to salon experiences.

Consumers will seek alternative options that give them more personal sanitation control. At-home nail brands have the opportunity to reach a subset of consumers who may have never done their own nails outside of a salon. Promoting the cleanliness aspects of the at-home nail process will appeal to a wider group of consumers than ever before.

Make the shopping process simple

Paintbox Power Couple

In the US, two in five consumers described their financial situation at the end of March 2020 as being healthy and having money left at the end of the month to spend on some luxuries. While consumers are saving on salon services, some may have a portion of discretionary income that can be put toward treating themselves to at-home beauty products.

As unfamiliar consumers enter the at-home nail space, it is imperative that the process is seamless. Curated sets, like the ones put together by Paintbox, help to guide consumers’ shopping processes. Additionally, Paintbox adds elements of education to each of their online polish pages. Aiding consumers in the painting process and providing them with the necessary products will solidify brand success.

Teach through tutorials

MiniLuxe teaches consumers to create nail designs with a bobby pin through Instagram tutorials

Recently, embellished nails had been seen on runways throughout the world. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, many consumers brought images into nail salons and asked technicians to recreate the nail art. With stay-at-home orders in place, certain consumers have been looking for ways to pass the time. Creating their own nail art using embellishments can be one of those ways.

Brands such as MiniLuxe are encouraging consumers to take a stab at nail art. In tutorials posted on its Instagram page, the brand walks consumers through the creation of their own nail art. Brands that expand basic nail painting and engage with consumers through light-hearted, fun nail tutorials can provide relief during a heavy time.


Lauren Goodsitt
Lauren Goodsitt

Lauren is the Associate Director for Mintel’s BPC Platform, with a concentration on color cosmetics and fragrance. She was previously a Global Beauty & Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, using research to help develop innovative product concepts, understanding the beauty landscape and to apply relevant industry trends.

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