Beauty Trends 2019

5 Min Read |

Recent years have seen the emergence of a number of key trends shaping the beauty industry. Concerns around sustainability, inclusivity, diversity, environmental concerns and the rise of influencers means that brands have a plethora of issues to consider when developing and introducing products to the market. We’ve taken a look at some of the issues that brands will have to navigate for the coming year.

The beauty industry now seems, at last, to be coming together to address environmental and sustainability issues in a number of ways. With more than 120 billion units of packaging produced each year many brands are working to reduce their carbon footprint.

Pressure from consumers, who now expect products to be eco-friendly, are forcing companies to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. Which, in turn, is driving innovation in the packaging sector. Packaging innovation is playing a key role in engaging the consumer while changing lifestyles is giving rise to the need for more portable products and smaller formats, such as the travel size container of 0- 100ml container that complies with airport security regulations.

“Now everything is automated – robots, super high technology and it’s the same for the logistics.” – Antoine De Reidmatten, Global Sales Director at Eurofragrance

Product Innovation & Consideration For The Greater Good

Innovations in formulations will see companies using more green or new ingredients marketed as clean/pure/ethical/natural or free-from. Much of the innovation and adoption seen in the West is influenced by Asia where Korea is a leading innovator. Expect to see a wider range of green ingredients used as preservatives, surfactants and emulsifiers. Novel ingredients, such as African oils, Ayurvedic herbs, mountain flowers and Amazonian plants will also be increasingly used in formulations. A few years ago the British company, M&S, began using waste grape skins from wine production for their Pure Super Grape skincare range.

The ubiquitous use of mobile devices means consumers are better informed and are increasingly asking questions about the ingredients and raw materials used in the products they buy. Consumers are looking for greater traceability and transparency, putting brands under pressure to provide disclosure ensuring that their raw materials are ethically-sourced.

We are seeing the number of standards throughout the industry expanding along with charters for sustainability and eco-labels. Further reduction in the use of plastics; the micro-bead ban was a big step forward in the reduction of the use of plastics in formulations and, although they are still in use, further production is now forbidden by law. Increasingly, packaging manufacturers are using PCR (post-consumer plastics) in new packaging launches. Soaper Duper, the naturally-derived bath and body products brand, sources much of its packaging from recycled plastic and the remainder is recyclable.

In the search for sustainability more brands, as in other sectors, are looking to renewable energy sources like wind power and solar energy for production. As awareness of the earth’s resources increasingly becomes a headline issue we can expect to see a greater emphasis on waterless products; both in the manufacturing process and products. Pinch of Colour, launched in 2016, is an entirely waterless makeup brand while Glosslab, the New York-based nail salon offers entirely dry manicures.

Online & Offline Culture Shifts

Global spend on influencer marketing is expected to reach between $5 to $10 billion by 2020 as more brands recognise the effectiveness of the channel within their overall marketing strategy as a way to reach their target audience. 2019 should see smart brands engaging and collaborating with influencers that have a strong relationship with their audiences. Authenticity and trust will continue to be at the core of those relationships, and further regulation will place greater emphasis on disclosure of the brand/influencer partnership. Brands will be looking for validation and confirmation of an influencers reach and authenticity of interaction.

A variety of new facial tools are coming on to the market as consumers perfect their at-home routines. Smart tools capable of tracking the efficacy of beauty routines and products are being developed along with smartphone connectivity to provide personalized solutions.

The last couple of years has seen the industry, at last, move towards catering for diversity and inclusion. With so many indie brands providing a vast array of choices, expect to see lines aimed at skin tones that have been neglected up to now. The bigger brands have acknowledged the shift; earlier this year Dior officially launched its Backstage makeup line with forty different shades of foundation. Since Rihanna launched her Fenty Beauty brand in September 2017 many other brands have followed her lead. Industry stalwarts like Cover girl and Revlon along with Smashbox, Tarte, and Colourpop have all added to their lines to include forty foundation shades or more. Brands who choose to ignore the full range of skin tones in their makeup offerings do so at their peril.

The link between health and wellness and beauty was one of the biggest trends of 2018. Consumers today are much more aware of the link between health and external beauty, and the positive effects of a balanced lifestyle. Beauty brands are taking note and tapping into the trend. We’re used to seeing wellness associated with beauty, but usually aimed at women. Watch out as wellness-for-men becomes a big trend in 2019 as brands such as Hims launch special formulations for men.

There is still discussion around synthetic vs natural ingredients in the perfume industry. While some argue that natural is better for the individual there are others who point to the impact of all-natural products on the environment. Some botanically derived ingredients have a large environmental footprint.

Advances in automation for the perfume industry means that smaller scale perfume manufacturers can now respond more quickly to client demand and compete with the bigger players. Antoine De Reidmatten, Global Sales Director at Eurofragrance says “Now everything is automated – robots, super high technology and it’s the same for the logistics. This is very good for improving efficiency, and speed – which is key – because everyone wants the product right now. And also for reliability and quality.”