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Launch of the Year: Mass

WWD celebrates the best new launch of the year in the mass beauty category.


Red Carpet Manicure created an entirely new category when it delivered the hottest professional service—nail gels—to the mass market. Being the first to market certainly paid off, with industry sources estimating first-year sales will exceed $10 million. Barry Shields and Bruce Kowalsky, two former Coty Beauty execs, launched the company as a way for at-home gels to duplicate the success of DIY hair color. “It’s an opportunity to take a complicated and pricy professional application and bring it to consumers in three easy steps,” said Shields. The starter kit retails for less than $60, which equates to about $3 per manicure for 20 at-home applications versus an average of $40 for a salon procedure. Ulta opted in immediately, followed by chains such as Target, Meijer and Navarro. The line is now sold in 17 countries. Celebs got on board, too. (Rihanna, for one, sported Red Carpet on the red carpet.) Enthused Ulta’s Barbara Zamudio, “Customers are excited to have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a gel manicure that they can apply themselves.”


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