Online Exclusives

Tumultuous Events Shape Beauty Fashion

By Nancy Jeffries, Correspondent | February 10, 2011

Trend Union presents Earth Matters.

Earth Matters, the title of the newest Spring/Summer 2012 Trend Seminar presented by Emmanuelle Linard, director of Edelkoort, Inc., expressed the fragility of our beleaguered planet in the context of art and transformation. Held on February 3, 2011, at The Firehouse in New York City’s East Village, the theme, inspired by our planet’s natural resources, was initially explored in an audiovisual homage to the earth.
From the volcanic eruptions in Iceland, to the oil spill in the Gulf, the earthquake in Haiti, and record breaking flooding, Linard noted that 401 natural disasters took place around the globe in 2010. Indeed, the earth has been beset by both natural and man-made phenomena, and their impact has resonated around the world. In the context of design, Linard took attendees on a journey from the roots of the earth, exploring rock, crystal, natural pigments, water, fossils, oil and gemstones, to a new blending and juxtaposition of fashion, beauty, and social consciousness inspired by the earth. Having previously explored the impact of water and birds in the realms of design, fashion, and beauty, the newest exploration emphasized the vast storehouse of nature and the ways in which it inspires material expression.
Homage to the Earth

Chalk, sand, rocks, meteorites and roots all came into play as aspects of design and elements of beauty. In the world of fashion, chalk, said Linard, will dominate as a texture in fabrics, offering a porous surface as a canvas. Sand and desert colors will reflect solar energy, and plant fibers, hemp, roots and fossils, will convey a sense of organic matter. Evidence of the planet’s history will become tangible in textile design, jewelry, rock-transformed agates, and the natural pigments of the earth, which will increasingly be seen in naturally dyed fabrics, hair color and makeup.

Chalk, in particular will have a powerful effect on beauty and fashion, said Linard. It will appear in combinations of white, gray, natural, non-dyed aspects of pigments, and its porosity will impact fabrics, and face makeup. Sand will be a source of inspiration for beauty and fashion as well, impacting the use of rustic, slub yarns, chambray, scarves and shawls, while it also finds expression in desert-toned cosmetics and body scrubs. Rocks will be influential as well, sharing their hues of purple and gray in fashion, and their shapes in spa design and treatments. Earthy textures and shapes will emphasize traditional weaves, like ikat, the trend to mountain gear and trekking, and aspects of the soil, which will continue to impact fragrance development.

Henna colors for hair will also come into use and roots of the earth will be seen compounded for use in lip colors, featuring deep burgundy and rusts. The root trend will lead the way for us to become more local, in sourcing and utilizing materials. Plant-based colors, natural dyes, dark mineral colors, and faceted chain mail coatings drawn from the composition, feel, and energy of meteorites, will also impact beauty and fashion, with subtle silvers, grays, and iridescence impacting cosmetics, while natural earth hues and plant dyes will find new expression in clothing, linens, and makeup reminiscent of tribal, indigenous rituals.
Photo: Thomas Straub
Beauty and Well Being

Chalk, which is used to absorb moisture and in Thailand has come to represent a highly desirable beauty ideal, is also being used as a white base for skin protection. In makeup, white eyelashes and white mascara, making the eyebrows disappear and the face to appear whitewashed, is also becoming popular. Pale white, whether in the form of a powdery, talc aspect, or a super white moisturizing cream, mark a clear cosmetic direction, and provide a contrast to citric yellows and pale blues, used in defining a beauty and fashion look.

Sand, used to naturally scrub the feet and body, or golden sand, to impart a healthy glow for skin products and eyeshadows, will leverage the natural properties of the element. In addition, scented powders, sandy textures for the exterior of candles in home fragrance, muddy textures and hot stone massages, will continue to echo the association with earth’s benefits, in the area of bath and body.

Benefits that come from the earth are making inroads in all categories. Linard said, “It’s now noble to have dirty nails, because it means you are working with your hands, gardening, cooking, creating. Earthen and terracotta substances for the hair, smearing our skin with pigments, dyeing the hair with natural hair colors, are part of a growing trend in Paris, where the look is very artisanal,” added Linard.

She also noted the trend to ingestible beauty, citing ginger and garlic for their healthy properties, and the rediscovery of the forest as a source of vegetal beauty. Water and marine life are being translated into hydro-treatments and earth-based spa regimens, and the blues of the ocean are translated in eye shadows and liners, while marine sources yield clay applications for the skin, bubbles and steam, vapor treatments, and salt scrubs, all contributing to a natural gestalt for health and beauty.
Natural Elements of Beauty

Reflective metals and gold, seen on eyelashes and lids, plus liquid gold eyebrows, tears of gold, and shiny lips are new looks for the face. Crystal colors for eyes, like smoky quartz and amethyst, as well as golden tones for the skin, part of a new trend to place makeup on other parts of the body, have also come into play. Not to be ignored is the use of rich, volcanic substances for beauty treatments, including the waters found in the spas of Iceland or Costa Rica, where natural hot springs bring bathing to a different level.

Charcoal is also making inroads in the world of beauty, with anthracite grays and purples on hair and skin, charcoal tones on eyelids, and the compounding of ashes and natural powders to create prismatic color. These convey aspects of the petrified forests, with dusty charcoal in smudgy eye makeup, leveraging the trend to natural formulations and compounding with materials from the earth.

A special presentation from the Danish company, Sort of Coal, based on the purifying element white charcoal, followed Linard’s discussion of natural beauty. Sort of Coal, which explored the benefits of active white charcoal, noted that this form of active charcoal is made from carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous, and that its countless micro-cavities attract substances to it. While it appears to be black, it is its unique processing that gives it its name. White charcoal is made by charring wood at a relatively low temperature for several days then, raising the temperature to a scorching 1000°C. The charcoal is then pulled out of the kiln while it is red hot, and covered with a powder to cool it. The powder is a moist mixture of earth, sand, and ash, which gives it a temporary whitish hue.

It is said to not only give off negative ions when worn close to the body to improve circulation, but is also beneficial when formulated for topical use in soaps and shampoos. Originating in Japan, white charcoal is said to be the highest grade of charcoal, and is made with artisanal methods from Holm Oak, in Japan, where it also used for water purification. All of the body products made by Sort of Coal are natural and organic, free of parabens and DEA, and suitable for sensitive skin. Among the products offered by Sort of Coal are Kuro Soap, a deep cleansing black soap, which removes skin impurities; Shiro Soap, for soothing and balancing, while cleansing and disinfecting the skin; Char Body Soap, to invigorate the skin and leave a smoky, earthy scent; Kuro Shampoo with White Charcoal to absorb excess oil, and Shiro Shampoo, to cleanse and invigorate the hair and leave an earthy scent.

Additional information about both Edelkoort’s Trend Union and Sort of Coal are available at: and

Related End-User Markets:

Related Raw Materials:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • I Want It All

    I Want It All

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    Skin care moves beyond the basics with pampering formulations with unique components and novel functions.

  • Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Wacker Builds on Its Success

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director ||May 2, 2016
    The silicone maker had a good 2015 and expects the gains to continue in 2016, driven, in part, by success in the Americas and

  • That’s Awesome!

    That’s Awesome!

    May 2, 2016
    Extracts & Ingredients highlights the newest ideas in efficacious oils for the personal care market.

  • Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Kitchen Counter Cosmetics

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||May 2, 2016
    LOLI box marks the convergence of natural and organic ingredients, subscription service and DIY cosmetic chemistry.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Why Look Good, When You Can Look Perfect?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 4, 2016
    A new way to try-before-you buy is capturing the attention of consumers and the beauty industry.

  • From Greenville to Guangzhou

    From Greenville to Guangzhou

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    South Carolina start-up BabyBlossom has big plans for its nontoxic baby products China.

  • NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    NYSCC Explores Product Innovation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 14, 2016
    New product development, formulation expertise and proper preservation are topics of discussion at February monthly meeting.

  • Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Battling Pollution via Skin Care

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 7, 2016
    Canadian start-up turns to crowdfunding to help launch a new anti-pollution moisturizer.

  • Texture on the Runway

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 22, 2016
    Au Naturale by Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Creme of Nature, Design Essentials and Garnier create head-turning hairstyles.

  • Arm

    Arm's Reach: skin care line with unique packaging

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 15, 2016
    Chemist brothers create a skin care line with packaging that helps consumers cover hard to reach spots.

  • Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Buy the Sea, Buy the Sea, Buy the Beautiful Sea

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 9, 2016
    Nova Scotia Fisherman makes a boatload of products that contain sea kelp and a raft of natural ingredients.

  • What

    What's on Tap for 2016?

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||February 8, 2016
    CEW and NPD present their beauty industry review and preview.

  • Witch

    Witch's Brew: Dickinson's celebrates milestone in 2016

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||February 1, 2016
    Dickinson’s celebrates 150 years of witch hazel skin care with the biggest line expansion in the company’s history.

  • From Research to Retail

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||February 1, 2016
    What began as research on skin disorders led a dermatologist and his father to create their own skin care formulas.

  • 5 Things I Learned

    5 Things I Learned

    January 15, 2016
    The Avon & Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship Program. Dr. Sabrina Fabi (left) and Dr. Kimberly Jerdan.

  • Perfect Timing

    Perfect Timing

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 11, 2016
    New ways of collecting data can help cosmetics companies understand what women really want—and when they want it.

  • When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    When a Cosmetic Becomes a Drug

    Jacqueline Sheridan, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP||January 11, 2016
    The unintentional conversion of personal care products through marketing.

  • Africa, Rising

    Africa, Rising

    December 14, 2015
    Savvy marketers should expand their operations on the continent, according to speakers at a WFFC seminar.

  • Color, Your World

    Color, Your World

    December 7, 2015
    A kaleidoscope of concepts was the conversation at a recent NYSCC symposium.

  • A Home of One’s Own

    A Home of One’s Own

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 23, 2015
    NeoStrata’s Exuviance has opened its first freestanding retail space, complete with on-site skin analysis and express treatment rooms.

  • Hitting a Wall(mart)

    Hitting a Wall(mart)

    November 9, 2015
    Walmart imposes slotting fees and that hurts a lot of Tier 2 and 3 FMCG companies.

  • That’s Quite an Achievement!

    That’s Quite an Achievement!

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||November 2, 2015
    The CEW honors seven beauty industry leaders.

  • What

    What's Not to Love?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 26, 2015
    The sun care category is rife with issues, but there’s a lot to like about it.

  • Sharp Competition

    Sharp Competition

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 26, 2015 signs a high-profile athlete to promote its growing direct-to-consumer razor and personal care business.

  • About a Boy

    About a Boy

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 19, 2015
    As a mom, Jenny Cupido wanted to solve her son’s skin issues. Now she’s raising an indie beauty brand too.

  • A Suite Deal

    A Suite Deal

    October 12, 2015
    Image Studios provides an innovative venue for beauty professionals seeking a new way to do business.

  • For Their Own Good

    For Their Own Good

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 29, 2015
    With a rich heritage and recognized formulation expertise, FC Sturtevant Company is moving into the consumer marketplace.