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painting the future of nail art

CLIENT: LITTLE ONDINE

Little Ondine was established in 2013. With its unique water-based formula, within a year. it became the top leading nail polish brand in China. 2 years later, it expanded to UK and US.

CHALLENGE

To predict the future of nail polish and continue to take the lead in the nail category.

TREND FORECAST

Nail polish had no restrictions on its wearer but historically, it had been marketed towards women.​ While famous celebrities like Kurt Kobain, Iggy Pop and David Bowie had adorned their fingertips with colors, it seemed like a symbol of a certain counterculture - grunge, punk or glam rock. As genderless fashion and beauty was becoming the norm, a "no rules, no drama" approach to fashion and style appeared to cement itself, directing us to a genderless nail art movement.

TREND RESEARCH

3 SYSTEMIC SHIFTS IN NAIL CATEGORY

More than any other fast-moving consumer groups sector, the nail category was guided by trends in the beauty and fashion industry. In this trend-driven world, changes in vogue happened so instantaneously that trend-led companies had to obsessively and constantly keep researching on emerging trends to predict the next big thing. From haute couture outfits to mass market streetwear and nail art, trend forecasting played an important role in predicting what would come. But, as trends started small and constantly evolved along with changing consumer needs, it could be quite challenging to identify the trends that stick, and not just a flash in the pan. Walking the line between fashion and beauty, 3 systemic shifts had been spotted for the nail category, presenting exciting opportunities for Little Ondine.

A look by Miss Pop. Credit: Samantha Rapp for The New York Times

NATURAL PRODUCTS

NATURAL PRODUCTS

The 1-hr long nail routine seemed pretty harmless and all glamorous, but it exposed one to 60min of toxic chemicals - dangerous UV rays, toxic trio and acetone. Increasingly, anxious consumers had been rejecting such toxic beauty routines and products. Sephora identified that more than 60% of women read beauty product labels prior to purchase and 45% claimed that it's important for their skincare products to have a point of view on clean. Following their interest in clean beauty, major brands had been making natural and organic products more affordable and accessible.

DIVERSITY

DIVERSITY

Consumers had been scrutinising brands for products aligned with their values of diversity, inclusivity and empowerment. Brands are moving towards gender-neutrality, expanding product lines and adapting their business to cater to the entire consumer demographic. For example, Target had removed all gender-based signs in its stores. Beauty brands had been going beyond skin tone with campaigns on gender equality and body positivity. In China and Korea, young men had also been defying traditional concepts of male beauty to embrace grooming and cosmetic products.

PERSONAL

PERSONAL

As consumers relooked at their beauty and fashion regimes, they began to redefine their own beauty standard, choosing product there were more natural, suitable and representative of themselves. We were also seeing narrower and more personal definitions of beauty and fashion. No one beauty and fashion standard fits all. To cater to this culturally diverse world, brands would need to become more transparent with what goes into the products they make, make authentic connections and be flexible enough to be relevant to a wider array of consumers.

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Express yourself in colours, without losing yourself

Little Ondine's unique selling proposition was developed based on 3 most common nail problems. - toxic smell, brittle nails and white spots. Composed of organic colourants, natural resin and water, Little Ondine's nail polish was free of toxins. No formaldehyde, acetates or alcohol. Its water-based formula boasted 6 key qualities, allowing for bold and colourful expressions, without causing any harm on the wearer's nails.

STRENGTHENING BRAND IDENTITY

NATURAL INGREDIENTS

NATURAL INGREDIENTS

A 5-free nail polish composed of all-natural, non-toxic ingredients - water, plant resin and colourants. No toxic trio, no dibutyl phthalate or DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

EASY

PEEL OFF

EASY PEEL OFF

Peel off your colour easily without the use of any toxic chemical remover. Whenever and wherever, you can intuitively bring inspirations to your nails and express your personality.

NO TOXIC SMELL

NO TOXIC SMELL

Unlike many other nail polishes, Little Ondine doesn't have a toxic chemical smell. So paint your nails whenever, wherever you want because no one, including you, has to put up with the harmful smell anymore!

QUICK-
DRYING

Quick Drying

Forget about using UV light or other tricks to dry your nails quicker. Little Ondine is water-based and dries quickly, After a few minutes, you can be on your way.

CRUELTY-FREE

Cruelty Free

Little Ondine nail polishes do not contain any animal-derived ingredients and its ingredients are not tested on animals. They are is child-safe, pet-friendly and even suitable for pregnant ladies.

BRILLIANT
COLORS

BRILLIANT COLOURS

Just because Little Ondine doesn't contain toxic chemicals doesn't mean you have to compromise with the colours. With over 80 peelable shades to choose from, you will the perfect colour for any occasion.

Nail designs by Madeline Poole. Credit: Samantha Rapp for The New York Times

"If you're too easily bored for gel nail polish, I evangelically endorse Little Ondine. They're chemical- and odour-free, and exceptionally easy to use. Just slap on a coat, wait 30 seconds or so and they're dry. Then, they can be simply - and satisfyingly - peeled off whole, with zero damage to the nail."

- Beauty: Exceptionally good nail polishes. Sally Hughes. The Guardian

NEW OPPORTUNITY

A GENDER-FREE, FUSS-FREE LINE OF NAIL POLISH

While Little Ondine's water-based, non-toxic formula was aligned with consumers' demand for clean beauty products, The existing packaging design looked like the regular, gendered nail polish, making it difficult to engage a diverse audience.  To build a stronger brand identity, Little Ondine needed to make a strong stand as the next generation of nail polishes. A new line of nail polishes was proposed. One that was free from toxins, smell and gender discriminations. One that encouraged women, men and non-binary individuals to wear colours on their nails proudly. 

PROPOSED PRODUCT LINE

mANNUS BY LITTLE ONDINE:
No PETTY DRAMA

The proposed product line was called Mannus (Latin word for 'hand') by Little Ondine. At its core, it focused on colours, nails and self-expressions. This new generation of nail polishes took out toxins and gender discrimination so the consumer could focus on self-expression. It stood at the perfect intersection where fashion met health standards, allowing incredible freedom at fingertips. Its tagline 'No Petty Drama' was built on 3 pillars. No toxins, no unpleasantness and no wait! B'cos life was too short for such petty drama.

CONSUMER
INSIGHT

Consumer Insight

I want to wear nail art to complete my outfit but I do not like the unpleasant smell of nail polishes. They dry slowly, causes white spots and brittles.

Unique Product Offer

An award-winning water-based formula that allows you to peel off easily. It dries quickly and contains no toxic smell and chemicals.

UNIQUE PRODUCT OFFER

TRENDS

Trends

With blurring gender roles and age groups, the world is peeling off boundaries and celebrating our differences.

GENDER-NEUTRAL PACKAGING

To avoid any gender colour stereotypes, the packaging was kept entirely black, retaining its existing single and twin packaging form for brand recognition. Only the sides of the bottle were kept transparent so consumers could see the colour of the nail polish accurately. As compared to Little Ondine's original packaging, the focus has shifted from gendered colour associations to product experience, leading to self-expressions.