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Coty marries color, nail care with launch of Sally Hansen Color Therapy

NEW YORK — With creative cocktails and free manicures, Coty executives and beauty influencers celebrated the launch of Sally Hansen Color Therapy at Manhattan’s Kimpton Eventi Hotel, Wednesday night, alongside Sally Hansen global color ambassador and nail artist Madeline Poole, who helped develop the line of 38 colors that care for the nail while being worn.

Coty SVP North America Shannon Curtin, Sally Hansen VP global marketing Jeremy Lowenstein, Sally Hansen VP U.S. marketing Chandra Coleman and Poole offered a toast to Sally Hansen Color Therapy, which blends saturated color and natural oils — acaí, argan and evening primrose oil. For the brand, the launch is a way for it to leverage innovation to return to its roots in nail care, which trace back to the 1950s with the launch of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails nail strengthener.

“Sally herself started this brand around the idea of caring for your nails and being more than just color — and that’s why Hard as Nails was born,” Lowenstein told Drug Store News in an exclusive interview at the launch event. "What we really look for is what is going on in [our shopper’s] life that we can help her with. Nail users don't want to sacrifice their color, but they need some sort of break for their nails. Sally Hansen Color Therapy goes back to our roots — it's a blend of color and care together.”

To develop Sally Hansen Color Therapy, Coty looked not just to such like-minded categories as hair care, but to its customers, going beyond focus groups to examine actual customer feedback on existing products and what people were saying on social media. This, Curtin said, enabled the company to develop a new product that delivers on customer needs without taking away the important element of color.

“It also has long fade-resistance claims,” Curtin said. “So it wasn't compromising on any of the must-haves that nail users need to have in their products.”

Coleman added, “A lot of times when you deliver care, the expectation is that you have to compromise on the opacity of the shade. We're also able to give deep, rich color at the same time we're delivering that care, which is pretty amazing. All of our shades are very pigment-rich.”

Lowenstein said that colorful lacquer is difficult to marry with oil, as they “don’t play well together,” but Coty’s research and development team tapped into a proprietary tube technology.

"The easiest way to explain it is to have you think about a sponge-like cannoli,” he said. "We infused the argan oil into the sponge, and then those tubes are infused into the lacquer. Why that's important and why you don't use a base coat for this product is because as the lacquer is sitting on top of your nail, every time the nail is being used, the nail plate is actually flexing. and every time your nail flexes, the sponge flexes, so it's actually squeezing the oil out slowly, imparting the argan oil onto the nail plate, so it's nourishing your nail while you're wearing color."

“This nail nourishment rose to the top as something nobody else in the market was addressing but we felt was our obligation, as a brand that speaks to consumer needs, to launch something,” Lowenstein said.

Beyond meeting the needs of what customers want from a nail product, Lowenstein said Sally Hansen Color Therapy also is aimed at encouraging women to, as the hashtag accompanying the launch says, #DropEverything and take time for themselves.

“Drop Everything is a play on what’s going on with the product — the pill droplet that’s on the package — but also why do women actually give themselves a manicure or a pedicure?” Lowenstein said. “It’s a moment of ‘me time,’ so we want to encourage women to take a moment, drop everything and pamper themselves. And Color Therapy is all about that both from an emotional perspective and care perspective. … It's about being part of a conversation that's already out there and contributing to it with a product that's unique in that space.”

Sally Hansen Color Therapy includes three different palettes, as well as a top coat and cuticle oil, and will be rolling out to retailers in November.

So far, response from the trade has been strong, according to Curtin. “Retailers have been very excited about us coming out with new innovation,” she said. “When we get support and they understand the story that we're sharing, it makes a launch really exciting for both parties since they know the consumer's going to get something great.”

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