The beauty industry is ever-evolving and thanks to a slew of industry experts and innovators, 2017 looks set to be one of the most interesting yet.
But it’s not just new products that will be big news, but the way in which we consume and use beauty products too.
Lucie Greene, Director of JWT Innovation , has shared her predictions.
There’s as many amazing male make-up artists as there are women these days, and rather than using make-up to cover their flaws (or others), Lucie predicts a rise in men breaking the social taboo and being more bold in wearing make-up.
This October saw CoverGirl mark an obvious shift by featuring a ‘CoverBoy’- James Charles – in their ads for the first time. And beauty branding and packaging is moving towards a more neutral aesthetic and unisex brands.
Why it’s interesting: Lucie comments: “While the market for men’s makeup is likely to remain small, the widespread appeal of male makeup-wearing personalities on social media suggests that all consumers, including women, are hungry for an approach to beauty that focuses on creative enhancement.
“Repositioning makeup as a creative tool rather than a “feminine” product could boost sales across the board.”
This is beauty electronics taken to a whole new Silicon Valley level.
Many brands are at the forefront of innovation and promising products that are connected to offer personalisation, so you can get a truly personal beauty experience, tailored to you and your skin’s needs, in your very own home.
Lucie explains: “In 2015, French company Feeligreen launched the i-feel Beauty, a set of face and body creams with an electronic device to apply them via micro-currents and LED light therapy. The device is steered by a smartphone or tablet app which can make personalized application recommendations.
“In 2016, Wired Beauty used Kickstarter to launch Mapo, a connected face mask that links with the user’s phone and analyses the wearer’s skin to suggest the optimal beauty routine. WAY, a compact-sized device from South Korea that began shipping in the spring, can monitor a user’s skin as well as the environment, making product recommendations based on weather and pollution levels.”
Research firm Gartner predicts almost 21 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020. Mintel suggests that future implementations could include conductive make-up with sensors or cameras, antiperspirants that report on sweat levels and composition, and hair grips that measure hair hydration.
Why it’s interesting: “Connected technologies have the potential to completely disrupt how we monitor the skin’s exposure to various external factors,” said Guive Balooch, global vice-president of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, in a press release.
Lucie adds: “Looking forward, it’s a safe bet that technology has the potential to disrupt other aspects of the beauty industry as well.”
The new nude
In 2016, mainstream brands finally began incorporating a more inclusive range of ‘nude’ into their makeup lines.
Neutrogena added Honey, Caramel, Chestnut and Cocoa shades in April, in partnership with spokeswoman Kerry Washington. The ‘new nude’ is also playing out in clothing, as designers including Christian Louboutin expand nude shoe and underwear lines to include darker skin tones.
Why it’s interesting: “Although many brands are now beginning to incorporate ethnic shades as part of their ‘nude lines, it’s not enough to pay lip service,” comments Lucie.
“Instead, look to the brands that are getting it right. L’Oréal’s Women of Colour Lab employs chemists to create shades that blend with darker skin, while Bobbi Brown, already popular among women of colour, this year added five new, deeper shades to its 24-strong Skin Foundation Stick line.
Much of the visible appearance of aging skin can be attributed to loss of elasticity. Researchers are uncovering new materials that create a “second skin” to restore natural tautness. Scientists at MIT and Harvard have created an invisible layer of polymers that produces dramatic results in initial tests.
Why it’s interesting: Lucie adds: “Anti-aging may not be the message 50+ consumers want to hear, but solutions that help support the skin and reduce the appearance of under-eye bags will remain popular. This one could be a game changer.”
Thanks to the likes of Uber, Amazon Prime and even Netflix, we’re seeking more and more on-demand services – and the beauty industry is one of them.
A swathe of app-only beauty treatment companies have launched in the last year, allowing customers the chance to book a therapist in a matter of minutes; and have them arrive at their door in hours.
Why it’s interesting: “On-demand is becoming nothing short of a consumer movement as new challenger brands offer unlimited convenience, and consumers expect lightning-fast, at-home, flexible service in all lifestyle categories,” comments Lucie.
The effects pollution has on our skin has been a buzz-worthy topic this year, with brands like Chanel testing La Solution 10 during the peak of pollution in Beijing (and finding that it reduced sensitivity in 79% of users after a month of use.)
Other brands have followed suit, creating products to defend the skin against air pollution; Ren’s Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist and Decléor’s Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Hydrating Active Lotion.
Why it’s interesting: “Pollution-fighting products ranging from air purifiers to clothing are widely available and beauty products are a logical addition, protecting the skin from an everyday problem which city dwellers are particularly prone to,” explains Lucie.