07 May 2012
Beauty trends are affected by regulation and fuel costs jsut as much as what the public wants.
Here are some beauty trends you're going to see in the coming year.
By trends, I don't mean new collections - that's a given, from those firms that produce two a year, to the firms that produce something every month, such as Yves Rocher. What I mean by trends are the real changes that are taking place behind the scenes in beauty, at the manufacturing and distribution end of things, which ultimately will affect everything you see on the shelves.
* First up, is own-brands. This is a strong French trend and has been caused by this seemingly never-ending recession we're all in - manufacturers and retailers need to find a product base that is competitively priced in order to keep people buying. The major supermarkets and perfumeries in France are now releasing seriously well-thought out own-brand ranges, some of them offering 300-400 products. One notable one is Carrefour, which this month is launching own-brand skincare, suncare and makeup ranges, all very modestly priced. It's important because it means your favourite brands may start to disappear from the shelves, so I would say, buy now while stocks last. The perfume chain Nocibé is also releasing its first own-brand range of makeup, which will be lower priced than many of the other brands on its shelves.
* Acrylic packaging will start to replace glass in high-end products. The new generation of acrylics look exactly like glass, being hard and transparent, and they reduce weight for manufacturers and transporters by as much as 30 per cent, which is crucial in such an age of fuel costs. This drive to acrylic is for their benefit, not yours - it won't reduce costs to the consumer.
* Coloured mascara brushes. Why? Because they can.... There are only so many ways to skin a cat, and there's a limit to what the public will believe when it comes to the actual ingredients of a mascara, but having a lovely yellow brush might just make your day when you're using it. You'll also see more brushes made from natural fibres, due to advances in manufacturing, particularly from the Scandanavian countries, which have formulated eco-friendly methods of manufacturing fibre brushes from waste.
* Natural replacements for chemical preservatives and emulsifiers. This is partly due to new EU regulations, but also because the buying public is gradually becoming more aware of certain issues, such as the suspected link between parabens and cancer. Parabens and a host of other compounds are due to be removed from cosmetic and medical products by 2013 and manufacturers are gearing up to find replacements - parabens are very useful preservatives and the original ingredient laboratories are working hard to find naturally derived preservatives that do the same job. The same applies to ingredients such as shark-derived squalene (due to be completely trumped by a new compound made from sugar cane); palm oil and silicone, all of which are falling out of favour with the public for ecological or health reasons.
* Airless packaging. This is one trend being driven by the need to find ways to preserve the contents of cosmetics products once the paraben ban comes into place. Expect more and more of your products to come in airless packaging - good news for the consumer because it means things last longer.
* Polysensorial products. This is a just a way of saying products that change their feel when you apply them: wet to dry eyeshadows, mousse to cream skincare, etc. It is a way of increasing the value of the product to the customer, often without changing the actual ingredients.
* More gender differentiation: ie: men's brands launching women's ranges and vice-versa. This was most recently seen in Lynx (Axe), long-known as a men's brand, which is now lauching into the women's market. The truth is there's no real difference between men's and women's products - it's all a question of packaging and which smells you prefer.
* Fruity everything. This is a worldwide trend but driven by Brazil, which is THE growing market for body products (soap, shower gel, deodorant, etc). The Brazilians sure do love fruit, so you'll see it in everything from soap to perfume - mango, mandarin, grapefruit, pineapple...
* Recyclable and recycled packaging, even on high-end products. Again, mainly driven by the need to cut costs, but also by advances by the Scandinavian packaging specialists. The little carboard nest that used to sit inside high-end packaging, to keep the product from breaking if it was dropped, is also disappearing - it costs a lot to produce and makes little difference to the strength of the package, especially if the interior bottle's no longer made of glass.