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If you follow me on social media you can’t have missed that last week I hopped on a plane and popped over to Amsterdam to attend In Cosmetics Global.

I went for 2 main reasons. Firstly, it was a great place to meet up with loads of you and if you check my Instagram grid you’ll be able to see my ‘rouges gallery’ of who I met. I also went to find out what the future of beauty looks like and report all the details back to you.

I did 2 live broadcasts from the event on my Facebook Page. If you didn’t see them here are the links you need to catch up.

How to be social media savvy in the beauty business

Natural Cosmetics Market: Trends update and future projections.

And in today’s blog I want to summarise all the main headlines. I want you to feel like you actually went to the event and sat in the seminars with me.

New beauty behaviours! 

Mariel Brown, the Director of Futures at a Seymour Powell shone a bright light on the both disturbing and empowering future of beauty. Using insights she had gathered from interviewing early beauty adopters worldwide she presented the changes we should expect to see in consumer aspirations and behaviours.

Mariel explained that beauty consumers expect a complete re think of beauty norms. They no longer accept the old school approach legacy and heritage brands take of talking AT customers and presenting images of HOW THEY WANT US TO THINK AND LOOK.

Instead consumers want beauty brands to embrace them as they are and where they are.

They expect brands to be more accepting and less critical.

And she predicts that the future of beauty will be categorised in 2 ways.

OWN IT – consumers will use beauty products to elevate their own unique and personal identity

CREATE IT – consumers will use beauty to channel their creativity creating styles and looks that stand out in this social media world

Let’s get into the detail.

Beauty consumers are really excited about the future of beauty and the possibilities it presents for them.

They want future beauty to help them unlock their individuality, allow them to develop a signature look, improve their confidence and make them stand out and get noticed.

They see their beauty regime as a way of gaining control over their livesand they are looking for products that add value and simplify.

Beauty will become less about just the face and more about the whole body.

Uniqueness will become an asset and novelty will trump normality. Just check out @Sophiahadjipanteli on Instagram as she rocks and embraces the mono brow as an example of what’s to come.

The widespread connectivity of social media is diversifying beauty norms and you will need to adapt to this change if you want to survive.

Consumers are looking for brands that help them reclaim ownership of their identity and break free from past conformities.

In this new beauty reality brands should support and enhance personality and individuality.

Consumers are focusing in on the artistry of beauty. They want to use beauty to explore their alter egos. They want to be novel, original and authentic.

Consumers are hugely confident creatives. YouTube videos have taught them all they need to know to become home experts, explore and play.

Brands are going to have to work hard to create stand out content that matches the quality of influencers and educators who are already out there on YouTube and Instagram. Check out The Beauty Boy for an insight on just what you have to compete with content wise.

We will see a move to more and more extreme beauty routines. Social media is making consumers much more relaxed and casual about harsh rituals and services like injectables. As a result consumers will also be looking for more and more restorative and protective formulations to balance things up.

DIY will continue to be big with an emphasis on fresh, reactive and responsive recipes.

Men are looking for so much more than black products with bold writing. They want to move beyond the barber shop image of the last 10 years and go far deeper into the world of beauty.

There is plenty of space for brands who are prepared to help their consumers navigate their ranges.

This was a really challenging presentation and at times it made me feel uncomfortable. Images of Korean girls adding over 20 colours to their hair in order to stand out, young people happy to inject themselves with chemicals to enhance themselves. But on the flip side I was motivated and excited about the originality, empowerment and acceptance beauty is destined to encourage.

The main messages you should take away are

  • be authentic
  • be and encourage individuality
  • be brave
  • listen to your consumers
  • engage in conversation
  • ensure your customers and their lifestyle are absolutely central to everything you do
  • work hard to create quality social media content
  • involve your consumers in your content as much as possible

The future of beauty is changing fast and the growth of individuality, authenticity and novelty puts indie brands at the centre of it all. I have long been saying that this really is the moment for indie beauty and all I saw at In Cosmetics Global affirmed and backed this up.

So, be brave, be bold, be original and get cracking!

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In this first blog reporting back from In Cosmetics Global 2018 I go deep on the new beauty behaviours and what beauty will look like as we move towards 2020. I highlight the main changes in consumer aspirations and behaviours and identify the opportunities and pitfalls this will create for beauty brands in the future.