Research Outline

Beauty Industry Trends & Topics


To determine how the beauty industry is 1. Dealing with the #metoo movement, 2. How they are redefining sexy, 3. The latest beauty trends for Millennials and GenZ, 4. How important anti-aging is to Millennials and GenZ, 5. What are the latest products innovations in skin care and cosmetics are, and 6. The process beauty companies are using to allow customers to trial online for team decision-making.

Early Findings

Millennial & GenZ Beauty Trends

No More Single Use Plastic

  • Millennials and GenZ alike are leading the shift away from single-use plastic. This shift is accelerating as government regulation in the EU and select US states pushes CPG companies towards adopting more sustainable alternatives.
  • For example, Unilever has pledged to cut down its plastic usage and specifically halve its use of “virgin plastic” by 2025. Earlier this year, L’Oreal invested in biotech startup Carbios, which is developing plastic recycling technologies, and also stated it will move to paper-based cosmetic tubes in 2020.
  • Meanwhile, beauty retailers like Sephora are testing pilot recycling programs, according to Glossy.

Fashion Retailers Will Continue to Capitalize on Beauty

  • Fashion retailers are capitalizing on beauty to complement their existing offerings and directly compete with beauty retailers like Sephora.
  • Companies such as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Madewell, and others have forayed into beauty offerings to enhance their stores. By catering to millennial and Gen Z beauty shoppers, these retailers could begin chipping away at traditional beauty retailers’ market share.

Partnerships with Influencers & Celebrities Will Continue

  • Influencer-launched beauty brands can offer retailers a competitive advantage. For instance, new brands like Haus Labs by Lady Gaga and Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross have launched exclusively with retailers Amazon and Ulta respectively.
  • Meanwhile, beauty brands from Too Faced to Eos have partnered with Gen-Z-popular platform TikTok, as platform stars increase their following and influence over younger consumers.

Beauty & Mental Health Will Converge

  • Mental health will become a bigger focus for beauty brands, especially directed towards millennials (dubbed ‘the anxious generation’) and Gen Zers (who are "more likely to report mental health concerns"). Fashionista details that according to a 2019 report on Gen Z's beauty shopping habits compiled by WGSN, "
  • Gen Z prizes brands that offer moments of calm, sensorial experiences and products that support their physical, mental and emotional well-being". Think Revlon’s recent collaboration with model and activist Adwoa Aboah's mental health organization Gurls Talk. It’s also likely as to why the ‘Mindful Mani’–the idea of plugging into music/a podcast while you have your nails transformed - launched by the UK’s leading beauty bookings service Treatwell — was such a success during 2019’s Mental Health Awareness Month: the platform reached over 20 million people across eight countries in a bid to make salon time specifically ‘me-time’.

The "Skinminimalist" Approach Will Be Adopted

  • In August statistics from Mintel showed that 28% of UK women have reduced the number of products in their skincare routine, with millennials aged 20 to 29 being most likely to have simplified their routines, with 54% confirming so.
  • For some it was about the aforementioned slow beauty - the counter trend to excessive consumption of products born out of respect for our sustainability crisis (naturally, this is not restricted to skincare, but beauty buys in general). For others, it was more wellness-related like an intermittent fasting diet, it’s thought to help the skin ‘detox’.

GenZ & Prejuvination

  • Gen Zers will also be increasingly skincare savvy, adopting serious routines earlier. Skincare has evolved past rejuvenation and ‘fixing’ to prevention and prejuvenation.
  • Gen Z the youngest and soon the largest, consumer population understand this very well. Learning to cleanse, moisturize and protect your skin at an early age can improve self-esteem, relationships and professional development, reduce suffering and help us feel good about our skin for as long as possible.

Social Media & GenZ

  • Teenagers will be less influenced by celebrities, and more influenced by their social media. 56% rely on their social media for beauty decisions.
  • Valuing diversity in all forms, with social media providing wider exposure to evolving global conversations, Gen Z is rejecting gender-conforming identities and rooting for diverse representation.

Additional Reading

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Prepared By
Lisa M.
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