I recently was out with a couple of girl friends and they were curious to know what “beauty trends” I saw on the horizon. Having been in this industry for the better part of 18 years, I had just a few ideas to share with them. They then inspired me to write and share more broadly through this blog. So here are my personal insights (not current or past employer), gathered from just being a beauty fly on the mirrors of this industry.
Do Good for Me
This trend is about beauty and personal care products that not only provide a benefit, but do something else that I can benefit from long term. Not only are we multi tasking, we expect our beauty products to do the same. It’s a bit like managing your cholesterol. Let me bring my LDL blood levels down while decreasing my long term risk of heart disease. The first benefit can be measured in a relatively shorter period of time, while the long term benefit is just that, long term. Science tells you it will be helpful and you just need to “trust” the data. So for skin care, give me a product that will give me even textured, colored skin, reduce fine lines while building cells deep in my intracellular layer. If I am going to wear lipstick or foundation, it must bring moisture along with the other color benefits. At the heart of all aging and decreased cell function, throughout our body, is inflammation. Inflammation is the root of all evil and managing that process is the key to longer health and well being. Products with active levels of antioxidant should do both. Be wary and on the lookout for products that only have “emotive” levels of these antioxidants. Emotive only makes you feel good, not necessarily providing benefits. Quality antioxidant cost money so you may be getting what you pay for. Eye serums and creams are playing a key role in providing moisture and nutrients to the one area on your face where aging is noticed first. More and more, treating the eyes will become a part of many beauty rituals.
From Reversing Aging to “Stop that Freakin Clock”
With the baby boomer generation at an all time high, we have gotten to a point where we are Ok with who we are, we accept the fact that AARP (American Association of Retired People, I’m sure Canada has its version) is actively recruiting us and for the most part we are comfortable in our skin, albeit, supple skin is more comfortable! Many of us are not trying to reverse the clock, we are simply saying, I like me here therefore make me stay here. Inner (and I don’t mean confidence, I mean your GI tract and well functioning organs) and outer beauty starts to matter. Diet, exercise, sleep, managing stress and use of cosmeceuticals, ingestibles and topical products become the new rituals for this crowd. If you haven’t thrown in the towel once you hit 50, you are paying attention and taking better care of yourself.
22 is the new Anti-Aging Market
Generations of new consumers are entering the anti-aging segment sooner than we did. This is primarily lead by the Asian markets, who have always been obsessed with great skin, and this trend is now reaching the Americas. Why wait until it may be too late, start now.
Not Just for Metro Sexuals
Not only are women continuing to look for help, men have elbowed their way to the department store counter and the drugstore shelf. Gone are the days of men shopping late a night, running and grabbing products their wives use. They now have products made just for them and they are taking their time to make the right purchase. Young men are doing it because they get it, while older guys may be doing to stay in the game.
Procedures are Oui (We)
You no longer have to wait to get the big procedure (i.e. facelift), you can start early. Injections, fillers and removals for just about any body part you can think of. It’s not just the face anymore, it’s your neck, buttocks, ankles (cankles in some cases), pecs (for men only), flabby under arm and back fat. All for the low price of break the bank.
Did you say Natural, Organic?
If it’s natural and organic, it must mean its better. No, not necessarily. If it were organic, it might only last a few days and the shelf life of most products last longer than those tomatoes you have on your window sill. Products may have organic and natural ingredients, but most products have preservatives at low levels to protect you from bacteria that can do more harm than good. Organic plays a critical role in what you eat, not necessarily in your personal care products unless you like to smell like an eggplant. Companies are pushing their R&D to give you more “natural” choices, but choices that will give you the benefit you are not willing to compromise today.
We Are Who We Are
For too long, the industry has portrayed images of “Saturday Night Beauty” to help sell their products. Perfect, flawless images of women (celebrities included) ready for a night on the town. It was considered the norm and everyone played the game. It provided aspiration for women. There has always been a segment of the population that didn’t like those images. Today, the voice of the nay sayer is getting louder, and with it, demanding more honest and real looking portrayal of the models and benefit of the product. Pre and post production of photos (air brushing, body contouring) and advertising claims are coming into question. I believe the industry has to be responsible and I also believe women don’t know what they want. They say one thing (they should be more real looking, like me) yet their pocket book suggests they go with the more aspirational looking direction. The industry is paying attention and in time will evolve and follow the marketplace.