Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday.

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Last year Swedes spent 4 billion kronor ($580.5 million) on makeup, analysis company Marketline revealed on Friday.

Indeed, makeup sales in the country have been increasing by about 8.5 percent annually for the past four years, while neighbouring Norway has only seen an annual increase of 4 percent during the same period. France meanwhile can only boast a 1.4 percent hike.

And while Swedish makeup-users drop the biggest chunk of cash on eye makeup, nails are becoming all the more important.

"Nail [products] have grown incredibly during the past four years," Jenni Österlund, Scandinavian director for cosmetic giant Sephora, told news agency TT. "It's only now starting to level out, it's still increasing by one or two percent each year."

Indeed, nail sales account for a whopping 10.9 percent of makeup sales in Sweden. 

Österlund said that nail care products are becoming more popular, but for the most part it's all about colour.

"Many people use nail polish to express themselves and even create small works of art on their nails," said Anja Skeppe Grahn, beauty director at Swedish magazines Veckorevyn and Syleby.

She added that one reason for the increase is simply that Sweden is behind.

"We are far from the international level," Grahn remarked. "An average woman in Japan uses 15 products in her daily routine, whereas in Sweden we only use three or four."

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.