Products are arriving on the market that combine categories not normally seen in one product: Sknhead Game Changer is a men’s moisturizer that can also control and style hair, condition beards and be used on tattoos to help retain their color. Another is Hair Print Black Castor Oil Miracle Caribbean Oil designed to moisturize the hair, thicken hair, lashes and eyebrows and can be used on dark circles and aging skin. “Don’t add a benefit if the product won’t perform,” warned Bassmann.
Another key development within this “simplification” trend has been for “motion activated beauty” that works with sweat and exercise. For example, Face Gym Training Sticks are a hybrid fitness/beauty concept that, when applied before exercise, promise better results the harder one works out. Yuni Hot Head Microveil hair treatment makes similar claims for the hair, promising to repair the hair while sweating.
Since the beginning of the year, CBD is starting to appear in more beauty launches, including ones that promise a health and beauty benefit. Saint Jane Microdose Lipgloss contains 50mg of rich CBD in a colored formulation, while Shade & Seeker spray tan prep contains CBD to reduce redness and inflammation as well as calm the nerves and re-energize mind and skin.
Made for Me
Far from being a 21st century trend, customization has been around for as long as people have used beauty products. According to Emmanuelle Moeglin, founder and “nose” at Experimental Perfume Club Lab, to have a customized fragrance 100 years ago was considered the epitome of luxury.
“Today’s approach is a modern interpretation of having something made just for you,” she said, stating that “bespoke” was the number one trend of 2018. “It’s not a fad and is becoming a must in marketing; it is here to stay.”
Definitions of customization vary from inviting the consumer to have a hand in choosing a special label, color or engraving, to formulations that are fine-tuned to an individual’s specific needs. In her presentation, Karen Young, CEO, The Young Group, cited a 2017 study in which only 22% of shoppers were satisfied with the current level of personalization from brands. “They expect more,” maintained Young, adding that 51% of consumers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they even make contact with them.
Many beauty brands are addressing the customization trend with products that can be adapted to their needs, such as Cover FX Booster Drops and Clinique ID, that the consumer can mix themselves to supercharge their skin care or makeup.
“Elaborate formulations are not the point. The goal is to provide easy options for the consumer,” stated Young.
Hair care is a category where customization is fast becoming the norm as a means of helping guide consumers toward the right products for their type. According to Andrew McDougall, associate director, beauty & personal care, Mintel, demand for customization by hair type is growing as brands involve consumers in the development process of products by incentivizing and asking their opinions. For example, custom hair brand Prose asks both lifestyle and hair related questions; e.g., touchable waves, vegan, rock climber, etc.
Moeglin and Young’s presentations reviewed examples of customization outside the beauty industry. In fashion, ZoZoSuit is wearable skin with 150 sensors that take body measurements for customized clothes; Nike Adapt BB is a performance basketball shoe that combines a self-lacing system and app to create a custom fit that changes with the athlete’s movement. Young predicted that by 2024, personalization in retail, health care and financial services will fuel a revenue shift to the 15% of companies that get it right.
Beauty in China
There is no such thing as a China trend, remarked Nicole Fall, founder, Asian Consumer Intelligence, who is wary of anyone who believes C-Beauty to be the next big thing. Describing China as the equivalent of thirty countries in one, Fall considers micro-targeted research to be the best way of understanding the beauty consumer. After scanning 10,000 sources, she found the key words associated with China beauty in European and US press are ancient, secret, new K-Beauty and traditional. A similar analysis using sources from Asia and outside of China throws up the phrases hacks, unique, strange and work hard.
So China is not seen as super innovative when it comes to product formulations, but Fall has discovered that marketing and packaging can be unique.
"Heart of a young girl", translated from "shao nu xin" is a sentiment that runs deep in China culture and there are many products designed to appeal to the teenager in every woman.
Fantasy and reality also come into play with “second skin” products that mimic the look, feel and texture of skin.
“Chinese women will achieve a look by any means, whether digitally or by using injectable BB creams that last three months,” affirmed Fall, who observed that such behavior can be addictive: images of Chinese consumers using homemade prosthetics for the nose, chin and eyelids and face lifting tape are considered acceptable ways for people to change the way they look. •