According to Neophytou, there are opportunities for brands to align themselves with changing perceptions of beauty.
“There is a need for inclusivity when it comes to gender and age,” she maintained, pointing out that 44% of global Millennials do not want to conform to traditional gender stereotypes, especially those living in North America and Asia Pacific.
Brands such as Fenty Beauty, Fluide Beauty and Boy de Chanel show how gender inclusivity can be expressed through inclusive promotional material online. Consumers over 55 continue to battle against ageist stereotypes and are more likely to buy products aligned to their lifestyle than age, according to GlobalData research. Neophytou mentioned Revolution Beauty London, which recently ran an un-retouched beauty campaign featuring 24 people aged 20-90 years old. Meanwhile, Boots has recruited 49-year old surf champion, Lisa Anderson, as an “age-defying” role model to front a campaign for its No.7 skin and makeup brand.
When “angry dad” Sam Farmer was unable to find ungendered toiletries for his teenage children, he set about launching his own eponymous line. He was appalled at the sexual stereotypes used by brands such as Axe, Pat the Puss and Glow Job, when talking to this young age group.
“Sex sells but there’s an opportunity to change how it’s done,” maintained Farmer, pointing out that 49% of 18-24 year olds do not define themselves as entirely heterosexual (source: YouGov).
“They see gender as old-fashioned and passé and marketing needs to understand the emotional changes and ‘teen brain’ that teenagers experience,” Farmer explained. Teenagers look to us for products that address their physical changes. Let’s not get left behind and be chained to outdated messages.”
What Is Natural Beauty?
Social media is a breeding ground for debate on whether “natural” is good or bad for the beauty industry. According to Lorraine Dallmeier, director, Formula Botanica, there are the “toxin fighters”, whose mantra is “natural is better” and want synthetics banned, versus the chemistry police, who tend to be cosmetic scientists who feel under threat that everything they work on is being vilified.
Dallmeier spelled out a number of common assumptions about naturals in order to dispel them, such as “naturals don’t work,” a view often held by journalists, chemists and brands.
“These days, natural is regarded as sustainable and is backed up by science. We work with indie formulators who know naturals work,” she stated.
Another, “all cosmetics absorb into the body” is often seen in media articles and online, often backed up by shocking statistics such as “it takes 26 seconds to reach the bloodstream.”
When Dallmeier investigated this claim, she was unable to find any scientific reference, until she came across a small mention in a consumer skin care bible.
“That’s how easily misinformation can spread,” she warned, pointing out that EU brands cannot launch unless they are safe. “We need to educate the consumer and we need to encourage the beauty industry to go green and move beyond this debate.”
Opportunities in Color
In his presentation on the future of color cosmetics, Michael Nolte, creative director, BeautyStreams, identified two macro trends which he believes will take center stage over the next five years. Happy Eco, he described as “a joyful approach to sustainability,” which he regards not as a choice, but a duty.
“While sustainability is a given for young consumers, they are moving away from the view that it is a serious necessary to save the planet to a happy exploration of the richness of nature.”
Using the term “eco’vore,” Nolte presented colors and concepts for AW2019/20 aimed at GenZ and younger Millennials, who approach sustainability with humor, fun and a positive outlook. Color Infusion Kit, for example, is a customizable mixology kit consisting of 100% natural liquid color pigments made from vegetables and fruits that are added to a base for cheeks, eyes, lips, nails or hair. Another concept is for an alternative nail color product, mixed in the same way to create a matte stain that has a deliberate clumpy appearance for visual impact.
“Our eco’vore beauty lineup harnesses next-level innovation in ‘clean,’ green, cosmetic technology, boasting ingredients that combine an eco-conscious outlook with high-impact performance,” he affirmed.
According to the Pantone Color Institute Research, 95% of our decisions related to color are made by our intuition and emotional factors and only 5% is rational. It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that color accounts for 65% of purchasing decisions. Each year, Pantone produces a Fashion Color Trend Report which is used extensively by cosmetics brands for future color predictions. Living Coral is Pantone’s color of the year for 2019, and the company worked with BASF to bring the trend to life in the Living Coral Shimmering Sunset Palette that uses an array of textures enhanced with special effects to create hues that are said to reflect an ocean sunset.
“Living Coral is symbolic of the age we live in,” explained Abigail Bruce, marketing director, EMEA, Pantone. “It is a color from nature that is energizing, but has a softer edge and has a lively presence on social media.”