Blend of „nail“ and „-phile“: Lover of or enthusiast for nail painting.

Nail polish as the new recession cosmetics staple.

When a recession hits, we can usually count on two things: hemlines will hit the floor and women will stock up on lipstick. But during the recent global economic crisis, skirt lengths remained resolutely short and a new beauty product was crowned queen of the cosmetics counter.

Nail polish sales grew by a remarkable 14.3% in the U.S. in 2009, and were the only beauty category to experience double-digit growth, according to market research firm Kline and Company. Sales of lipstick and lip gloss, meanwhile, dropped by 5.3%, leading industry experts to believe that women have embraced nail polish as the new recession cosmetics staple.
So what’s made the ladies switch from lips to tips?

Women typically stick to pinks and reds for their lipsticks, whereas for nail colours, the sky’s the limit,” posits Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive VP and artistic director of OPI.

Doug Atkinson, Canadian spokesperson for mass market nail brand Sally Hansen, believes that nail polish allows for more freedom and creative expression than other cosmetics. “There’s a more casual attitude toward nails than lips,” he says. “People are more conservative with their faces than they are with their nails, and they’re looking for ways to express themselves in a manner that’s still business-appropriate. You see crazy pedicures in the office and it’s totally acceptable — no one’s going to get pulled aside for a bright pink polish.”

Read more: National Post