Beauty is about fun and self-expression. And the best way to get a totally unique look? Do it yourself. The salon shutdowns of 2020 taught us that we’re capable of doing our own nails and dyeing our own hair, and in the years since, we’ve held onto that know-how. In 2022, we saw spa services enter the home with pricey, high-tech skin-care gadgets. But come 2023, the next wave of DIY solutions for your nails and hair will allow you to get that new-look confidence boost in the comfort of your own home.
“DIY beauty has grown exponentially since the start of COVID,” says Taryn Hoffman, beauty and wellness strategist at trend-forecasting company Fashion Snoops. “What we're seeing now is that brands are still really playing into the DIY trend and empowering consumers, making it more accessible, making it really fun, making it more personalized, and just giving it more of an elevated feel."
At-home nail care saw a significant boom during lockdown—a 2020 report from McKinsey & Company posited that the “nail-polish effect” was the modernized version of the “lipstick effect,” a phenomenon in which consumers spend money on small, treat-yourself moments during hard economic times. (Our nails were looking good as hell during lockdown.) Even after salons reopened, DIY nail care continued to outpace growth of the professional segment, and next year, we can expect to see more of the same thanks to an influx of offerings from brands that make DIY manis easier—and better for your nails— than ever.
“What we're seeing now is that brands are still really playing into the DIY trend and empowering consumers, making it more accessible, making it really fun, making it more personalized, and just giving it more of an elevated feel." Taryn Hoffman, beauty and wellness strategist at Fashion Snoops
Press-on nails have entered the chat with on-trend designs that cost way less than an in-person mani and require far less skill than hand-painting your own look. In the past couple years we’ve seen launches from salon brands like Nails of LA, Olive and June, and Paintlab. In the back half of 2022, Glamnetic became the first brand to sell press-ons in Sephora; Jennifer Lopez’s manicurist Tom Bachik collaborated with imPRESS for a collection of limited-edition holiday press-ons; and nail-care brand Pear Nova launched its first press-ons in partnership with Marvel Studio’s Black Panther. Early next year, press-on nail brand Luxxi—one of the winners of Sally Beauty’s 2022 Cultivate accelerator program—will start selling its products through the retailer; and Chillhouse, which launched its press-ons in 2020, will be expanding into a major beauty retailer.
Press-ons are just the beginning. “2023 is going to be much more tool-based,” says Wellness Trend Advisor Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder of self-care brand Chillhouse. Preemadonna’s Nailbot, which will ship in late 2022, allows you to print custom nail art (think: a picture of your dog) that can be applied in under a minute. Sales for the Aprés Nail Gel-X system (which includes soft-gel tips to give you better-for-nails extensions that aren’t as damaging to remove as acrylics) grew by over 200 percent in 2020 and the brand projects continued growth through 2023. In September 2022, Aprés launched a line of 100 gel polish colors that come equipped with a brush made from PBT fibers that’s meant to make it easy to apply your polish with precision. StimuNail is an LED tool for nail health that launched in February 2021, expanded into Brookstone and Sharper Image in November, and plans to launch a complementary nail-conditioning serum in 2023. Finally, Lele Sadoughi, a brand lauded for its embellished headbands, just launched a line of fun and chic nail decals that let you jazz up your nails in seconds.
Founder and CEO, Chillhouse
making their hands and their nails feel clean and groomed, but then also want that pop of drama from press-ons.”
At-home hair dye is also getting a revamp. According to a 2020 survey from Garnier, one-fourth of women dyed their hair at home for the first time during lockdown, and of all women who dyed their hair during this time, one-third of them planned to continue DIYing through 2021 and beyond. With that in mind, the at-home hair dye market is expected to grow at a “considerable” rate between 2022 to 2029, and brands are getting in on the boom.
Pandemic-favorite vegan and cruelty-free hair color brand Arctic Fox, which doubled its revenue from 2019 to 2020 and maintained those numbers through 2021, plans to add new colors to its hair dye category and expand its retail channels in 2023. Garnier is launching three new hair-dye kits in 2023, most notably the Olia Highlights kit, coming in February. It’s the brand’s first no-ammonia highlights kit (it’s rich in conditioning oils and clay additives, which thicken the mixture, allowing it to stay right where you apply it) and can be used to create the look of techniques that have traditionally been difficult to achieve without the help of a professional, like balayage, ombre, face-framing highlights, and painted curls.
In the next few weeks, Not Your Mother’s is launching its first dye collection, Love For Hue, a line of semi-permanent hair-coloring creams in fun colors like pink, violet, and sapphire. “We formulated Love For Hue to fill a need for our consumers to have vibrant shades in a creamy, conditioning formula without the long-term commitment,” says Sarah Kieny, the brand’s director of marketing. To make choosing a shade as easy as possible, the brand is also launching a virtual try-on tool that lets users see what their hair would look like with different dyes.
Speaking of tools, L’Oréal’s Colorsonic is a lightweight, handheld hair-coloring device that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January and is expected to hit shelves next year. This nifty gadget mixes your hair color within the device so you can avoid the bowl-and-brush method that leaves a mess on your bathroom counter. You then use the Colorsonic to apply the color to your strands with pro-level precision.
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Finally, doing your lashes and brows at home will expand beyond strip lashes and tweezing. Lashify, the DIY-lash-extension brand that uses flexible, biotin-infused adhesives that help your natural lashes grow, just launched a new Control Kit that packages your lash-application equipment in a box with a built-in mirror and LED light to help you put the extensions on with greater ease. The brand is also launching new lash styles and products in the first few months of 2023.
For brows, we’re seeing a slew of better-for-you formulas, including wax hair-removal strips designed to minimize irritation and stimulating brushes that help your brows grow. In October, Athena Club launched a Wax Strip Kit for Face, which uses glyceryl rosinate wax, a plant-based compound that adheres to even the shortest hairs, reducing tugging, pain, and trauma that can lead to scarring and inflammation. Also in October, new brand Wisnewski launched its Beauty #9 Brow Kit, complete with a patented brush that complements the shape of your brow bone, allowing you to get the perfect arch with ease while stimulating blood circulation, improving the health of your brows.
“People just love the convenience of DIY beauty and realize that self care is something that they should be practicing regularly,” says Ramirez-Fulton. Instead of keeping up with appointments and shelling out tons of cash to stay looking and feeling your best, she says, DIY beauty allows you to maintain your routines at your leisure. Plus, the focus needed to try out an intricate nail design or dye your hair pink turns the practice into a meditation of sorts. Making these DIY practices easier, more elegant, and more affordable than repeated salon visits solidifies them as a form of self care that’s not going anywhere. ✙
Photography by Tim Gibson, Art Direction by Jenna Gibson for Well+Good
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