All eyes were on the OPI booth at the first Annual Manicure & Pedicure Summit. It was a sight I haven't seen in nearly 20 years when IBD introduced their UV gel system.
Manicurists are uniquely curious and when something hits their radar, they have to see it. So when the OPI tech was demonstrating the new colors from OPI's Axxium Soak-Off gel line, a swarm of manicurists were standing and watching all day long sort of like the next big secret was going to be unveiled and you had to be there to know it.
The ooh's and the ah's were clearly within listening range. Once the curiosity was satisfied, it was a shopping must. The kits sold out quickly. The open stock followed. All of a sudden, nails were fun again.
Soak-Off gels in case you are new to this are sort of in the middle of nail polish and gels. They aren't a nail extension product so you can't build a nail. They aren't a nail polish because you can't simply use acetone and wipe it off.
The genius behind this new category is that unlike traditional gels and acrylics that take a long time to remove and can damage the natural nail over time, soak-off gels can be removed in a little as five minutes. OPI masterfully matched up the gel colors to their nail lacquer and the category exploded.
Here's what I love best about this category besides the excitement level back in the industry: It's not a consumer product that can be sold at retail. It requires a UV light cure and unless Sally Hanson gets into the UV light business, we are clear for take-off for at least a year or two.
And after nearly 20 years, it's fun to have fun again.
P.S. More about the Summit tomorrow