BOLOGNA, Italy — The most hopping part of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna was the nail pavilion, where crowds thronged booths and alleyways quaking with the downbeat from cranked-up rock music.

“It’s very lively,” commented Valentina Manfredi, a marketing manager for OPI, who said the nail market has been booming in Italy — where it’s five times larger than two years ago. “This is the exhibition in Italy, so it’s the place to be if you are a brand with global standing.”

Innovation abounded at the fair.

OPI was showcasing for the first time in the country its Infinite Shine product, with 30 colors, that’s to be applied between a regular nail lacquer and gel.

“It dries in the open air but lasts 10 days with a shine that is typical of gel,” said Manfredi, who added Infinite Shine may be removed like a traditional polish.

OPI also was previewing its fall collection, with the lacquer and gel offers coming in metallic, warm colors, which launches in Europe in September.

The label’s spring line was all about neutrals, with hues worked around white, beige and rose. Yet another collection had a silver base coat on which eight different colors could be overlayed.

OPI is in about 2,000 salons in Italy, and its target is to reach 3,000 by yearend, said Manfredi.

Essie, which is also currently in approximately 2,000 Italian salons, aims to be in some 5,000 within a decade, according to Giuseppina Violante, general manager for the brand in Italy.

“One of our projects in the next years is to promote the creation of nail bars, a bit like an Essie nail-bar concept,” she added, explaining that these would be created with professionals as flagships endorsing not only image but also “perfect execution.”

Today in Italy, consumers know Essie better than professionals do. So the choice for the brand to be in Cosmoprof’s professional nail pavilion, where it had a store layout, was to help raise the awareness, said Violante.

“It’s been a good experience of business promotion,” she continued.

Meanwhile, CND was displaying its new Shellac Top Coat and LED lamp, which was to come out in Italy on April 1. The product can set in less time than a typical top coat but still gives maximum shine, according to Chiara Arseni, a marketing assistant at Ladybird House, which distributes CND in Italy. She said the shellac may be removed quickly, in five minutes.

Another new product on display was CND RescueRXX.

“It’s the first CND product in the nail-repair category,” said Arseni, who added it can even be applied over a manicure. “It restores a nail’s surface.”

Arseni noted an increase in traffic at the fair.

“I think here in the nail sector it’s a good year,” she said.

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