Barrett, a seasoned beauty industry senior executive, has led brand development at Clarins and Baron + Baron, a leading advertising and creative niche agency for luxury beauty and fashion. Black founded Beauty Is Boring in 2012 as a personal artistic outlet, and it has since gained a devoted following among editors, curators, collectors and hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe.
Together, they are on the pulse of everything current in color cosmetics, skin care, fragrance and other style essentials. In fact, Estee Lauder tapped the company for a lipstick video this spring; the duo also worked with Urban Decay on this recent look.
Black and Barrett took time to chat with Happi.com about the leading looks for Summer 2017.
Happi: What are the hottest trends you are seeing right now in beauty?
Black: Color is the trend! Strong, statement-making, edgy makeup colors are becoming less “editorial only” and more mainstream. For example, I did the makeup and photography for the social media promote of Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Fashion Collection by Tabboo! Capsule kit at Sephora. The concept was to translate their runway look into a wearable everyday look. On the runway, Francois Nars did gothic makeup featuring the lipstick and eyeliner from the collection—blacked out eyes dripping with liner, black lips, very pale skin and no blush. For our shoot, I simplified the runway style and broke the products apart to create more daytime friendly looks—black liner with a nude lip and flushed cheeks, a black lip with natural eyes. The black lipstick look, paired with nude eyes, glowing skin and a touch of cheek color, trended really well on social media.
During New York Fashion Week last fall, Elle magazine asked me to do makeup and photograph seven new runway models. I wanted the images to represent the model’s individuality so I asked them to chose what makeup colors / textures they each wanted to wear. Almost all of them picked striking shades including a dark blue lipstick and red eyeshadow.
I’m also seeing a few brands launch wider ranges of foundation and concealer colors—finally! Serving the diverse beauty market shouldn’t be considered a color trend but sadly, many brands have lagged behind when it comes to addressing the needs of women of color. It’s great to see major brands like Estée Lauder rolling out 42 total shades of their classic Double Wear Foundation!
Happi: Are there any ingredients that are big right now in beauty and why?
Black:I’m seeing a lot of interest in natural and organic ingredients, sustainable packaging and non-animal-tested formulas. Another growing trend is the addition of active skin care to color cosmetics such as a liquid eyeliner that promotes lash growth (Sisley Paris).
Happi: What qualities are shoppers looking for in their beauty products and where do they go to find the latest products?
Barrett:I think it depends on the consumer. If you’re talking about a typical millennial shopper, and there are 80 million of them in the US, she spends approximately 8% of her disposable income on beauty products, which is huge. Seventeen percent of them buy strictly online, but the typical Millennial will visit 127 retailers during the course of a year. She’s interested in personalization and expressing her individuality through makeup trends. She gets all of her beauty trend inspiration and product information online, Instagram and websites like ours (BeautyIsBoring.com and @BeautyIsBoring, Refinery29, PopSugar and Allure.com. She shops primarily on mobile, and we see in the industry a millennial over-index specifically at Sephora and Nordstrom e-commerce for beauty. The millennial will devour other consumer reviews on these sites before making a buying decision. Reviews are super important to her, which is why we are adding a review section to BeautyIsBoring.com.
The millennial also loves experimenting with different makeup looks and products on herself with technology before she makes the purchase; for example, using augmented-reality such as YouCam Makeup App. She’ll share these selfie images with her friends and ask their opinion. Trust in her social group peers helps her with buying decisions. If she goes to a brick-and-mortar store, she will want the best shopping UX (user experience), which means interacting with product samples and iPads at point-of-sale, rather than an actual salesperson. The millennial shopper is interested in deals and the mass price, less than $10 is the fastest growing beauty category of 2016. As far as actual product categories, the millennial shopper is most interested in the eyebrow category, which soared 29% last year in the US market, then lip kits (+27%), mascara (+14%) and eyeshadows (+32%). For lips, we are seeing a huge trend in nude shades overtaking pinks/reds.
If you’re talking about a GenX or older consumer, we see a trend with women wanting to buy color cosmetics that make them look “pure,” with amazing, radiant skin. Looking younger is all about attaining glowing skin, such as with the new ultra-hydrating foundations (like La Mer’s new line) and cheek formulas (Marc Jacobs AirBlush, with Japanese powder technology). The 35+ consumer is interested in products that have both makeup and skincare active properties, such as color correctors, primers and illuminating concealers (+31% in the market last year) with “good for you” anti-aging properties (such as CoverFX). She will spend on prestige cosmetics (+26% last year) because she has more disposable income and she recognizes quality over trends. With mature skin and lips, this consumer knows the products must be high quality formulas to look natural, stay on, and not settle in fine lines, and lip products in particular must hydrate and have long-lasting power. This older consumer is pressed for time juggling family/work/elder parents; therefore she is increasingly shopping at boutiques such as Blue Mercury and Ulta, instead of traditional department stores, and she will buy direct from brand or retailer e-commerce.
Happi: What are the future trends we need to look out for later in the year?
Black: Everyone talks about Korean beauty as the big trend, and I do think those brands and labs get it right. However, I’m also really interested in what’s coming out of Japan—their meticulous, high-tech formulas and skin care actives blended with color cosmetics.