OPI Adds Carrie Underwood To Color Lineup

OPI, the nail polish company that already has devoted color collections to such celebrities as Justin Bieber and “Modern Family,” says it will introduce 14 new colors inspired by country songstress Carrie Underwood.

The Nicole by OPI collection will include glitters, dark shades and soft pastels, and in what it says is a first, a signature color formulated just for the six-time Grammy winner. (It’s a gold textured shade called Carrie’d Away.) “In working closely with Carrie, we came up with 14 nail lacquers that truly encapsulate her soulful spirit and showcase different facets of her personality,” the company says in its announcement, including one called American as Apple Pie.

OPI is a market leader in the mass-market nail category, with NPD Group ranking it No. 1 in brands applied at salons, and No. 2 (after Sally Hansen) in at-home colors.

In its most recent analysis, the Port Washington, N.Y.-based market researcher says the category is still growing fast as a favorite affordable luxury, with more than half of all women, 18 or over, purchasing nail products (either for use at home or in salons) in the past year. “The appeal, and power of the nail category is both the permission to play, and the accessibility in price,” it says in its report.

“Even for those on a tight budget, nail products offer a relatively guilt free treat, with the power to change their options.”

In the last year, NPD reports that women spent $204 for salon services, about six times more than spending on at-home products, with women 55 and over shelling out the most for professional manicures. 

And while 60% of women say color matters more than brand (pink/mauve, clear, and red are most popular), 60% also say they want to experiment more with textures, fueling the high sales of glitter, crackle, and shimmer products.

In the months ahead, NPD predicts a continued surge in both new colors and textures, especially in the prestige nail and lip segments. (Chanel is the market leader among high-end brands.) In the 12-month period ending November 2012, sales of prestige nail products jumped 49% in dollar sales (to $33 million), with sales of color enamel climbing 51%.

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