What I love most about the beauty industry is that it’s ever changing; from one year to the next it’s unrecognisable, with new trends emerging and old formats being filed away in the ‘why did we ever think this was a good idea’ box. What’s a ‘must have’ or buzz word one year is completely forgotten the next, leaving us open to new ideas and innovations. Whether it’s feather hair extensions, cracked nail polish, intense contouring or glitter pits, there’s always something new to talk about (and instagram!) But what’s around the corner as we step into a new year and what new launches are awaiting to tickle our fancies? What changes will we see across the industry and what impact will past years have on the way we consume beauty in the future? Here are seven predictions from me that I can’t wait to see come to fruition in the next twelve months and beyond…
BEAUTY AS AGELESS
The biggest change for me, that I’ve already actually started to notice, is the idea that beauty is ageless. Rather than focusing on a certain demographic or skincare need, brands are starting to understand that we all want the same thing: glowing, radiant, supple and healthy looking complexions. Anti-ageing as a term is already starting to be phased out in favour of more positive language, and whole brands are being launched without any mention of age. You don’t need to tick a certain box to have a passion for lipstick or nail polish, and you don’t necessarily need a different thing from your cleanser or moisturiser whether you’re 18 or 80. I predict that many more brands will start using age-inclusive language and focusing on the end result rather than the age its suited for – and it can’t come soon enough.
BIG NAMES FACING BIG PROBLEMS
Brands including Chanel, Dior and Estee Lauder have historically wielded huge influence within the beauty space, but with the growth of digital media the barriers of launching a beauty brand have been practically altogether removed; this means they’re facing serious competition from indie names and labels that are actually doing things altogether more interestingly. They can no longer afford to rely on their name and spending big bucks on glossy ads, but instead need to evolve and respond to the market’s needs. Failing to adopt digital media and the power of influencers effectively will also see huge impact in the coming years; the brands that have continued to place all their eggs in a rapidly failing magazine market will be facing a huge shock when there are hardly any left to wine and dine. The names we’re seeing buzz around include Glossier, The Ordinary and Being by Sanctuary – because they understand the importance of creating a strong online presence and working with those that can quickly and effectively get their message out there.
A HUGELY SKEPTICAL CONSUMER
In a nutshell, we’ve seen it all before. We’ve heard all the claims, seen all the photoshopped images and been disappointed by all the pots of cream that don’t make us look ten years younger. For too long brands have over-promised and under-delivered, the result of which is an incredibly skeptical consumer that believes very little of what they’re told. As a result we’re much harder to sell to, much less open to ideas and much less loyal, but the interesting thing is going to be how brands respond to this. They’re undoubtedly going to have to reign in their marketing efforts and focus on building trust with their customers, providing evidence to back up claims and working with well placed influencers who are well respected within their own communities.
WELLNESS, INSIDE & OUT
It’s long been a topic of conversation, but I’ve no doubt ingestibles are about to become big news. We’ve been aware of ‘wellness’ for a long time, and the benefits living an overall healthy life can bring, but only recently have we started to become a touch more open to supplements as a way of enhancing our body’s performance. Skin, hair and nail supplements have been available for decades, but as technology and scientific understanding evolves so does our ability to use this format to deliver intense hits of goodness direct into our bloodstream. Our gut has been recently heralded as the key to overall wellbeing, so it makes sense that this will be a focus of the beauty industry in 2018 and beyond. Whether that’s ingesting your skincare or fake tan, who knows – but it’s exciting!
We want to look better, quicker. We want multi-functional and multitasking products that have an impact in five or ten minutes; we no longer have the time to take an hour long bath or apply twenty different products before bed. Fast beauty is going to be big news in 2018, as our lives get even more hectic and our beauty bags ever more bulging – why should we wait for an hour for a face mask to get to work or a moisturiser to hydrate our skin, when we can pop a hardworking formula on and let it get to work by the time we’ve finished brushing our teeth. There are already products that deliver in record time (REN’s Flash Rinse Facial I’m looking at you!) but I’m certain we’ll see many more launches in a similar vain in the next couple of years.
THE ENTERTAINMENT FACTOR
So much of what lands on my desk is just a re-hash of what’s already been done a hundred times before, so when something new and exciting launches it really does garner my attention. Collectively we all want to see things that are refreshingly different and provide an unexpected experience, which is why Korean inspirations continue to play such a huge part in our beauty regimes. Our passion for pink, cute and novelty things doesn’t necessarily wane as we age, which is why panda hand creams, bubble masks and sweetie-inspired eyeshadow palettes are so incredibly popular across the board. While many brands can’t afford to focus on the ingredients within and adding extra value that way, they can afford to inject a touch of entertainment into the scent or packaging to give their consumers something new and novel. I predict we’ll see much more of this and a re-focus on the way products are displayed and positioned, appealing to our inner child and sense of fun. The key is to keep beauty experimental, while remaining effective too; because nobody wants to waste time if it’s not actually bringing any benefit.
COMMUNITY CREATED BRANDS
The customer no longer wants to just be told what she needs, she wants to be involved in the whole process – including developing the products that will really make a difference to her routine. YourGoodSkin are the first big name brand in the UK to undertake this philosophy (read my full feature here), although Glossier, Go-To Skincare and Pat McGrath have apparently all utilised their passionate online consumer base to create products that actually sell. The idea of involving your consumers in the development process doesn’t seem revolutionary, but until recently most products have been developed in silo by dudes in white coats – with the consumer need and marketing campaign (telling them why they need it) coming much later. Flipping this on its head and establishing products that actually do what men and women want them to is surely the best way forward! I predict we’ll see many more of these community centred brands launching and community sourced products being developed across the board. Give the women what they want; it’s not rocket science.
What do you think 2018 will bring to the beauty industry?
What are your thoughts about any of my insights or predictions?
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