Pure Beauty

Press-on nails: the beauty industry’s unexpected new power player

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 20-Jul-2023

Press-on nails have soared in popularity as a result of changing consumer tastes, with giant and niche brands alike now getting in on the action

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Tell a stranger that you love their nails and a common response nowadays is ‘they are press-ons’, which highlights just how much the nail industry has changed post-pandemic.

For the first time ever, artificial nails (which includes press-ons, tips and wraps) are forecasted to reach $160m this year, beating traditional nail polish sales.

The forecast by market research firm NIQ is based on data from the Q4 2022, where sales of artificial nails exceeded lacquer polish revenue by a staggering US$6m.

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A quick search on TikTok is further proof of the nail medium’s popularity, with ‘press-on nails’ having accumulated 6.9 billion views so far on the video-sharing platform.

Mentions of ‘press-on nails’ on Reddit have also soared 62% year-on-year, while global Google searches have increased by just under a third (32%) from July 2022 to July 2023. 

UK high street beauty retailer Superdrug has even reported a 27% boost in sales of press-on nails over the past two years as more people turn to DIY manicures. 

But why is press-on nails popularity increasing at a rapid rate when many believed the trend would live and die during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Kiss Products imPRESS Press-On Pedicure collection

Kiss Products imPRESS Press-On Pedicure collection

Manicuring the medium 

The accessibility factor has been a crucial element in its success, says Hannah Thorn, Senior Brand Manager at false nail company Elegant Touch. 

“In recent years, false nails have revolutionised the beauty industry, offering a cost-effective, convenient and versatile alternative to traditional salon visits,” she says. 

“The affordability makes it an appealing choice to those seeking well maintained nails without the time and financial commitments of regular salon appointments.” 

This makes sense when ‘cost-effective’ is the most mentioned reason on Reddit for users starting their DIY nail journey, up 78% year-on-year.

We are really seeing a huge rise in sales for press-ons, with this being an area of huge growth for all our retail partners in the US and UK
–Thea Green, founder of Nails Inc

Then there is the

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