nail design

Article by: Perry Romanowski

Sometimes it seems innovation in cosmetic formulation is nonexistent. Most of the new products that are launched every year are simply minor adjustments on current technology. In my view there has been little real innovation in cosmetic formulation in quite some time. And the things that are innovative (e.g. powdered shampoo or beauty patch products) don’t usually becomes big market successes. Rather, the biggest successes are the brands who have the most innovative marketing stories and positioning like Urban Decay which didn’t exist until 1996 and was sold to L’Oreal for ~$150 million a couple years ago. The kicker is that there is nothing innovative about their cosmetic formulas at all. They are high quality products but not anything that a reasonably competent cosmetic chemist couldn’t make. nail design

That’s why I’m pleased to read stories about truly innovative technologies being developed in cosmetic formulas. This story about a nail polish being designed to detect a date rape drug is a good example. According to the report some undergraduate students at North Carolina State University are trying to produce a nail polish that will reveal the presence of date rape drugs in drinks. They were no doubt influenced by the Drinksafe technology which is a coaster that can detect whether your drink is spiked with a drug or not.

Nail designed innovation?

Now, I don’t know if these students will really be able to create a nail polish that replicates the effect of this color changing coaster. It’s not even clear that the coaster is effective. But the idea is interesting and if they could do it, it would definitely be an innovative new product. Depending how they do it, this could be a stand alone nail polish or a raw material that is put into all nail polishes.

I doubt this will be available any time soon and it is unlikely that these students will be the ones who bring it to market. It’s more likely they will have to partner with someone who knows something about formulating nail polish, but time will tell. It’s an excellent idea even if it is a small niche product at the moment.

Cosmetic product innovation

So there is still room for innovation in cosmetic formulating. This nail polish is designed to have a multi-purpose effect and this is one way that you can come up with new cosmetic formula innovations.

Think of your cosmetic product and add a second feature. Here are some examples off the top of my head.

Nail polish that generates electricity – paint on solar panels?
Makeup with ID tag chemical for identification
Scratch & sniff nail polish – releases a different scent for a pick-me-up when you’re tired
Nail polish water purifier – great for camping!

These may not be great ideas but they would be innovative if created. Feel free to take the ideas and do whatever you like with them.

Now, what are your cosmetic formula innovative ideas?

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