Consumers who use nail lacquer know the color won’t necessarily look the same on their nails as it does in the bottle. And that can be annoying. To overcome this personal care packaging problem, Yorba Linda, CA-based LBK Nails has designed a nail-lacquer package with a painted, nail-shaped tip attached to the closure.
The plastic nail tip is hinged so consumers can slide one of their own fingernails under the tip and see exactly how the lacquer in the glass bottle will look on their own nails.
Aurel Tony Kemeny, Jr., CEO and founder of Kemeny Designs International, doing business as LBK Nails, answers some questions from Packaging Digest about this creative and practical cosmetic packaging design.
How did you come up with the idea for this design?
Kemeny: I have been in the nail industry for more than 30 years, dealing directly with salons. While interacting with manicurists and their clients, I saw there was a problem related to color choices. I found that many colors do not look the same against one’s skin tone once the lacquer was dry as compared to choosing a color by simply looking at it through the glass on the bottle.
What are the key benefits of this packaging for consumers, retailers, and the LBK brand?
Kemeny: We believe our invention changes everything. Benefits to the customer: We have painted our tips with the actual lacquer in the bottle, so it gives a 100% depiction of what you will be purchasing and a true color representation against your personal skin tone. The patented, painted, hinged tip facilitates an interactive experience with customers, giving them confidence in their color choice.
This also provides a much more sanitary product, because consumers no longer need to open or test — when no one is looking — in a store. Eliminating consumers painting the retail shelves lowers maintenance costs for our partners.
Why paint the nail tips on the caps with the actual nail lacquer?
Kemeny: Because each batch of color is always a bit different. It is important that each tip has the exact color of what is being sold in our bottle.
How do you paint the nail tips?
Kemeny: Our painting system is completely automated. It took many years to perfect this process. Our manufacturing process is capable of painting one tip every two seconds, per machine.
Does the packaging include instructions for consumers on using the nail tip against their own fingernail, or is the design intuitive?
Kemeny: We believe it is intuitive but reinforce, through our marketing campaigns, [education of] consumers. Of course, since this has never been done before, it will take some time for people to see the ease of use tied to our offering.
What is the cap made of?
Kemeny: The cap is polypropylene with talc, and our tips are made of poly-cyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate glycol (PCTG) plastic.
How are the caps assembled with the painted nail tips?
Kemeny: We have an in-house, semi-automated assembly-line process.
Is there a cost upcharge for this product because of the packaging?
Kemeny: Any time you do something such as this, there will be a price increase in the cost of goods. However, we do not pass this on to the consumer. We believe our innovative cap design will allow for more sales, offsetting any of the additional costs.
Is the packaging exclusive to LBK’s 7 Free Gel Effect Formula? How many colors are in the product line?
Kemeny: For now, we are still exclusive to LBK, although we have been asked multiple times about licensing worldwide.
It was my goal to offer the very best in quality; therefore, our lacquers are heavily pigmented, with long-lasting wear capabilities, and we keep our lacquers safe by removing toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and xylene.
We currently have approximately 70 different shades in our line as well as a topcoat and basecoat.
Who supplies you with the bottles and caps?
Kemeny: My cap manufacturer has been with me since the beginning, partnering in both the design of the cap and the engineering behind it. The company name is VEM Group. They have tooling and manufacturing facilities worldwide and are a fantastic partner.
How have consumers reacted to the LBK nail-lacquer package design?
Kemeny: To be honest, the response has been phenomenal, with many asking why this hasn’t been done before. A game changer! It feels great to know that you can bring such happiness to consumers after dedicating five years of my life to see this come to fruition.
Your company, Kemeny Designs International, owns two patents in the United States for this package-engineering innovation. Are you the sole inventor on these patents?
Kemeny: Yes, this is correct. I am the inventor of our cap, as well as the inventor of the painting process. We have utility patents granted here in the States, as well as in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. And we have patent protection in the EU [European Union], as well as a few other countries.
Where is your nail-lacquer package sold?
Kemeny: Currently, we are being sold nationwide in Walmart, as well as Walgreens, and I believe we will be in Target at the beginning of 2021.