Expert's Opinion

Trends & Innovations

By Cheryl Swanson, Toniq | November 4, 2011

Do innovations drive beauty trends? Or vice versa? asks Cheryl Swanson of Toniq.

We all strive for flawless skin, a toned body, a glossy smile with strong white teeth and beautiful flowing hair. These are beauty qualities that do not really change from generation to generation. They are the underlying characteristics that define beauty worldwide. What has changed is how we achieve these attributes, the products we use, the services we buy, and the routines we follow.

We buy products that plump our lips, take pills to grow and lengthen our eyelashes, put goop in our mouths to whiten our teeth in two hours, lather our skin with self tanners, and on the other hand, buy masks and lotions to lighten and whiten our skin, commit ourselves to endless hours of physical stretching, posing, lifting and sweating, we file and paint, cut and color, some even get zapped by lasers, or cut, nipped, and tucked all in the name of beauty.

Why do we constantly spend so much time and money on beauty? Trends are constantly changing and evolving and companies have to keep up through new product innovations. Or, are these product innovations influencing beauty trends that we as consumers have to keep up by buying in? Actually, it’s both. Trends and innovations go hand-in-hand, propelling one another.
Remember Sun-In, the lemony pre-sun hair spray to naturally lighten hair with the sun’s rays?Was it Farrah Fawcett and her golden locks that inspired the creation of Sun-In or was it Sun-In that drove the masses to want golden blonde hair?
Here’s a look at some examples.

Current trends that are driving innovations:

Nail Art:

In the past few years we have seen nails as the new canvas. These used to be works of art that could only be done by a polished professional who could work an airbrush or gels. In 2010, nail art was the fourth most popular service at nail salons following closely behind the traditional manicure, pedicure and polish change, based on Nails Magazine Industry Statistics 2010-2011. As the trend picked up, so did innovations in the category. You can now go to any drugstore and pick up nail stencils, polish strips, decorated polish strips, mini-paint pens, gels, fingernail tattoos, 3-D nail kits, and even magnetic nail polish to do-it-yourself at home. The applications are easier than before and the results are better and longer lasting. Check out: Sally Hansen Nail Effects, Kiss Nail Artist kits


In Asia, women have always aimed for supple, milky-white skin. The ways to achieve this have gone from the traditional beauty creams to sake-soaked masks, to more recently the craze for collagen. Collagen is known to rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles and dark spots as well as prevent skin from losing its elasticity. When something is this good for you, you know Asian women are on it. Aside from all the collagen focused beauty products, there are restaurants in Japan devoted to collagen rich dishes. This has even driven the market for powdered collagen that you can add to just about anything you consume. This trend is spreading across product categories and borders. Check out: Meiji Lychee Gummy Candy with 2700mg of Collagen, L’Oreal Collagen Filler line, and in New York City: Hakata Tonton (restaurant)

Current innovations that are driving trends:


Science and technology are creating new delivery techniques that are changing the game in how we stay younger longer. Oral cosmeceuticals, also known as nutricosmeceuticals, takes the old saying “beauty comes from within” literally to the next level. There is a pill, a drink or enhanced food to target any beauty concern these days. This is a market that is reported to reach $4.24 billion globally by 2017, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Check out: Beauty Scoop and Borba


In recent years, there has been an obsession with probiotics. Since probiotics became the poster ingredient for less bloat and regularity, clear and glow skin, companies, mass to luxe, are finding ways to incorporate probiotics into everything they make. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, yogurt drinks, smoothies, pills, and even in topical skin care. Check out: Nude Skincare and Mojo Milk by Abunda

The evidence that innovations and trends are intertwined is endless. It takes one to drive the other. In the end this is how the world moves forward; and along the way, we benefit to stay younger and more beautiful…for the time being.

About the Author
Cheryl Swanson is president of Toniq LLC. Toniq is a brand strategy firm dedicated to creating "brand effervescence." Ms. Swanson and her staff bring life, energy and dimension to brands by blending traditional marketing with anthropology, sociology, the psychology of symbolism and innovative consumer research techniques. Email:, Tel: 212-755-2929 x218 Website:

For more information, please, visit the website at or tweet @brandeffervesce.