A couple of weeks ago I was asked, like I frequently do, to be on a research panel and discuss the current state of the beauty industry – and where I see it evolving in the next few years. The reason I love taking part in these kind of experiences so much is because it makes you think, reflect and question what’s going on around you every single day, when otherwise we’re so immersed in the little details or daily tasks to really take note. Over the last few years we’ve had a flurry of innovation and more launches than the industry has ever seen, as brands compete for our attention and our money. Although not mutually exclusive, the boom of beauty blogging and the sheer volume of new launches landing into store caused consumers to always be on the look out for something bigger and better than they had before. We moved away from repurchasing long-term favourties in favour of the newest innovation or groundbreaking ingredient, which lead to a huge growth in value of the beauty market; however with a boom comes the inevitable dip – it’s simple economics. If the last two or three years have seen an injection of interest and spending power, the next two or three will be increasingly hard for brands to maintain our attention.
Put simply, the majority of us have hit beauty lethargy. For a long time we’ve been spoiled for choice and have rushed out to buy the latest eyeshadow palette, simply because of our desire for something new; it was easy to feel like we had to have everything, rather than carefully making our purchasing decisions with context – and understanding that a seventh mascara in as many weeks probably isn’t necessary. As bloggers we have to take some responsibility for feeding this frenzy (after all, it’s our job to bring news and let you in on our thoughts so you can make decisions that are right for you,) but the constant churn from brands in such a short period of time has felt like a shot in the foot for them too.
Consumers have never been more cynical about claims, an additional step in a skincare regime and whether or not that mascara will *really* increase the volume of lashes by 1000%. We’ve bathroom cabinets, dressing tables and drawers overflowing with lotions, potions and creams; we’ve accrued a million points on our Advantage Card and we’ve finally reached a point where we just don’t need any more. Any new purchase needs to come from a deep desire that’s only created by real innovation, or something uniquely different.
So how are brands starting to tap into this idea that a lipstick needs to be more than just another lipstick, or a face cream needs to be more than just another face cream? They’re adding in super ingredients, innovative textures or fun elements that are completely unnecessary but at least help them stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. And a perfect example of this is Lipstick Queen’s ‘Black Lace Rabbit’ blusher, that changes from a golden black to a deep flush of berry pink when applied to the skin. The technology itself is nothing new and has actually been around for over a decade, but we’re used to seeing this pH changing formula in a lipstick or gloss; this is the first blusher to use that same idea, providing a ‘mysterious black candlelit glow’ that changes to complement your unique skin tone.
The silky formula is rich in natural oils, anti-oxidant Vitamin E and Shea Butter – making it hydrating and actually better as a lip product than a blush, but worn on naked skin it certainly does add something subtly pretty. You can see in the picture below how it starts to change colour upon contact with the skin, but when it comes to blush this is a gamble many of us wouldn’t like to take; picking your perfect shade that brightens and refreshes your complexions whilst bringing out the natural tone of your lips isn’t as simple as a formula that works with your natural pH. The wrong blush colour can make all the difference to your overall look, so this is undoubtedly a product you need to be confident will work for you (or test it on your skin to see the colour for yourself!)
In my opinion this is an innovation that, although fun, is completely unnecessary. It’s from a brand that knows their consumers want something new and a little bit different, but they’ve delivered a product that will end up an impulse purchase probably resigned to the drawer forever more. We can have fun and push boundaries with our lipglosses, balms and sticks because they’re easy to change – but blusher, in my opinion, is a different kettle of fish altogether. When I first opened this I was intrigued and excited, but that feeling was quickly left with me questioning whether I would actually ever use this in practical terms (especially as I wouldn’t be able to remember the colour result it would provide!) I may be wrong and this may turn out to be a cult classic or the biggest seller of the year, but my gut is telling me it’ll be on offer before the year is out.
Consumers want to make wise investments in products that will keep delivering superior results or experiences, time after time. From my point of view, this misses the mark and is just another faddy product that we could probably all skip in favour of something we’ll use every day (especially when money is tight and we need to make considered decisions.) So to all those science peeps in white coats working on 2018’s hottest launches: must try harder. I’m here with baited breath waiting to see what you come up with… Don’t disappoint me!
What do you think about innovations such as this Black Lace Rabbit blush? Are you bored of faddy launches or so many products, or do you still live for every new launch that lands into stores?
The Lipstick Queen ‘Black Lace Rabbit‘ Blush is priced £22.00 and available online, via Space NK or John Lewis stores.
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