NEW YORK — Ulta Beauty hopes to again be ahead of consumer demand — this time with a line of antiaging nail treatments from Dermelect Cosmeceuticals. In the past two years, the beauty retailer has been one of the first to market with at-home gel nail kits, do-it-yourself hair removal tools and high-tech hair stylers. This month, Ulta is building end-of-aisle displays in 680 stores devoted to Dermelect products, which the retailer hopes can do for nail care what BB and CC creams did for the face category. Current nail trends favor sophisticated, often neutral palettes that can reveal nail imperfections. “In order to have a flawless look, your nails have to be in good health,” said Janet Taake, senior vice president of merchandising for Ulta Beauty. “Nail-care products offering good-for-you ingredients and promoting growth and strength are the trend. This is why Dermelect stands outs with their innovative antiaging formulations.” Dermelect’s founder Amos Lavian agreed the time is right for nail products offering repair. “Women, particularly Baby Boomers, are looking for ways to restore healthy natural nails, especially after the damage of gels and acrylics before that,” said Lavian.Previously Dermelect had only been sold on the brand’s Web site, and at spas and doctors offices. Ulta executives spied Dermelect at the Cosmoprof North America. “The team at Ulta was really impressed with the formulations and technology, as well as the range of beautiful colors, and felt the line would be of great interest to our customers,” said Taake.Ulta’s assortment of Dermelect items includes treatment base coats, a manicure extending topcoat, colored treatment lacquers and restorative creams all infused with Protein Keratin Peptide, a protein derived from New Zealand sheep’s wool that is said to strengthen nails and nourish skin. Prices range from $14 for the ME Anti-Aging Color Nail Treatments to $59 for the Nail Recovery System. Dermelect, a six-month exclusive for Ulta, will be highlighted on the end cap and then integrated into the professional nail assortment, said Taake.The nail-care products borrow concepts from Dermelect’s skin care, which launched in 2006. Lavian, whose aesthetician sister experimented with exfoliators on him as a teenager, connected that ingredients used in skin care could have restorative effects on nails, too. His line of antiaging nail care hit the market in 2009, followed by antiaging colored nail treatment called ME in 2012. In advance of the Ulta rollout, Dermelect overhauled its packaging to be more “user-friendly,” said Lavian. “We aren’t me-too product. We have targeted solutions,” he said. Dermelect’s celebrity nail technician Elle helped select the colors and the company’s board certificate dermatologist Chris G. Adigun aided in the development. There’s also a social media push incorporating Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter with nail tutorials, plus in-store events such as gift-with-purchase.
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