British department store chain Debenhams has launched a beauty initiative designed to improve its appeal among Gen Z and millennial consumers. Taking an omnichannel approach, it fuses online and offline channels via a loyalty-based digital social platform and two new discovery-led store concepts.
The new store departments, called Beauty Halls of the Future, are designed to provide consumers with an interactive, Instagrammable space. Located within the newly renovated Meadowhall store in Sheffield and Debenhams’ flagship store in Watford (just outside London), they take over a large proportion of the stores’ overall footprint (15% at Watford).
Tapping into consumers’ appetites for softer retail (for more, see Soft Sell: The New Retail), the new departments feature a Beauty Club House, which hosts demonstrations, workshops and events. Situated around the Beauty Club House are themed zones, such as the Skincare and Colour Lab, where new innovations in skincare, hair and make-up are presented.
An area called the Mini Bar takes advantage of the still-booming customisation trend, allowing shoppers to mix and match travel-sized products across all categories. A host of beauty services are available at the Beauty Bar, which is powered by London blow dry brand Blow Ltd and offers manicures and blow dries. The concept spaces were designed by British creative studio Checkland Kindleysides. For more on Instagram-led beauty stores, see our blog post on New York brand Winky Lux’s experiential retail space.
Debenhams has also unveiled its new loyalty programme Beauty Club Community. This digital social platform enables users to give and receive real-time peer-to-peer beauty advice and discuss beauty trends with Debenhams’ 6,000-strong beauty adviser network. Users can earn loyalty points and badges in return for their engagement with and contribution to the forum. For more on this topic, see Supercharged Loyalty Schemes.
To learn more about millennials’ beauty spending habits, see Millennials Beauty Buying: In Numbers.
As beauty tech continues to be a lucrative opportunity for brands (the global beauty devices market is projected to be worth over $94bn by 2023 – P&S Market Research, 2017), products that hack everyday routines are resonating with consumers. A new British beauty device aims to tackle the time-consuming process of applying a flawless full face of make-up.
Two UK-based entrepreneurs, Catherine Gardner and Orson Mack, are launching Contour 8000 – a precision-engineered printer device that can apply a base of make-up in 30 seconds.
The pair have developed an artificial intelligence-powered smartphone app that pairs with the device. Once users have selected their desired look on the app, it analyses the their features and cleverly aligns the biometric data so that the products can be applied accurately. This personalised technology ensures different make-up looks fit the user’s unique features.
Each make-up look is pre-packaged into a cartridge that contains powder-based products – including foundation, contour, highlighter, eyeshadow and brow powder. For the make-up to be applied, the user connects the smartphone app to the printer via wi-fi and then positions their face over the device, which sits on a surface and sprays upwards.
In Rethinking Beauty: Digital Worlds, we highlighted Mink, an at-home 3D make-up printer concept that never came to fruition. This was followed by Swedish beauty device brand Foreo’s Moda digital make-up artist, which also never materialised. Is Contour 8000 the closest the beauty industry has got to delivering workable digital make-up application?
The idea of ‘ageing well’ is starting to shape marketing messages within the beauty industry, following US publication Allure Magazine’s ban on the term ‘anti-ageing’ in August 2017. The negative connotations of this natural process are being rejected by consumers, and smart brands – like Neal’s Yard Remedies – are championing this movement with inclusive campaigns.
Neal’s Yard Remedies has launched a new campaign – Age Well Revolution – in a bid to change the way ageing is portrayed in society. The ethical British beauty brand collaborated with six British women over the age of 40, who embody the core value of self-love. The brand hopes to spark a conversation between older and younger consumers about ageing gracefully through the messages shared by the campaign stars.
The beauty industry and the wider media often misrepresent 40+ women, which can lead to untrue and disheartening expectations among younger consumers. Fifty eight per cent of British consumers aged 18-35 believe that they will become less attractive as they get older (Royal Society for Public Health, 2018) – offering brands an opportunity to change the conversation with campaigns such as this.
Other beauty brands have also adopted this engagement strategy. In September 2018, cult UK colour cosmetics company Revolution promoted its new Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation launch with untouched images of people aged 20 to 90.
About 70% of women in their 40s and 50s in the UK feel they are largely ignored by mainstream media (Neal’s Yard Remedies, 2018). We predict more brands will move away from the outdated stigma of old age, as consumers are becoming uninspired by brands that poorly represent them.
September is a pivotal month for consumers seeking rejuvenation and a fresh start post-summer, offering beauty and wellbeing brands a ‘New Year, New Me’ marketing opportunity mid-year.
Online social scrapbooking and discovery platform Pinterest has unveiled its Back to Life report, which rebrands September as a time for new beginnings.
The August 2018 survey analysed British consumer behaviours and found that 38% of respondents believe the end of summer provides a fresh start – a time to make small changes to their routines.
We spotlight two key opportunities for brands in the health and beauty industries.
Kaja Beauty is set to debut in cult American beauty retailer Sephora’s stores from September 2018. The brand’s aim is to introduce Korean make-up offerings to people of colour via a total of 47 shade-inclusive products, including brow gels, blushers and highlighters.
“This is an innovative initiative – it takes learnings from Korean beauty while disregarding elements such as ‘whitening’ effects that have made much of this beauty market inaccessible to consumers of colour, until now,” said Stylus’ senior Beauty editor Lisa Payne.
The launch also feeds into millennials and Gen Zers’ enthusiasm for time-saving solutions: 18% of US personal care users wish their routine was less time consuming (Mintel, 2016). For example, Kaja’s Bento product offers a simple approach to eye make-up for users on the go. The curated eyeshadow trio is housed in a compact container and can be applied with fingers to create an array of daytime and evening looks in a few swipes.
In addition, the formulas’ textures deliver a unique sensorial experience for Western consumers – a key learning from Asian beauty. Mochi Pop, for instance, is a buildable cream-to-powder blush. When applied to the desired area, the smooth, velvety consistency of the product dries instantly.
For deeper cross-category insights into Asian beauty, see our Spotlight Trend Asian Beauty Now. To read more about sensorial beauty innovations, see Selling Sensorial Beauty and Revamped & Reclassified: Shiseido’s Bold New Make-Up Range.
The launch also taps into the beauty industry’s need for more diverse and inclusive offerings. For more on this, see Revlon’s Inclusive Beauty Brand Targets Millennials and Women of Colour: Breaking Beauty Barriers.
Consumers can't smell perfumes online. But an AI-powered fragrance finder, created by beauty giant Coty for UK retailer Boots, is finding a way around the problem – and reporting very promising results.
Multinational Coty has unveiled initial feedback on its artificially intelligent Fragrance Finder, launched on Boots.com in early 2018. Coty's e-commerce director Jamie Parker recently spoke at Tech., the new retail technology show staged in London (September 12-13).
Coty began with a question, said Parker: "How do we connect people with the fragrances they love?" Interviews with 5,000 people provided the core data for the tool, improved through machine learning.
By asking a series of questions of the online shopper, the company has created an effective solution. Intriguingly, as Parker highlights, the most predictive questions are not about preferred olfactive families (consumers often don't know what they want) – but about colour, architecture or lifestyle.
The Fragrance Finder represents a new take on the Scent Finder pioneered by San Francisco start-up Pinrose in 2014. This was based on a special algorithm developed as a result of a collaboration between Christine Luby, who studied the psychology of scent at college, and US olfactory expert Alan Hirsch from the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
Since a low-key launch with no media support, the Boots.com finder has logged 200,000 sessions, with consumers guided through a seven-stage process. Seventy-five per cent of all sessions have been completed, with 94% undertaken for self-purchase. Details of the uptick in sales were not revealed, but Coty believes it has developed a tool that has potential right across the fragrance category.
Also developed by Coty is an AI CoverGirl 'shop the look' feature for Walmart in the US which, unlike most other similar tools, does not require the consumer to download an app – it's offered in-browser. Coty says traffic has doubled, with sales enjoying a very significant spike. Next up for early 2019: a virtual make-up artist.
For more on personalised beauty, see our report Future Beauty: Perfecting Bespoke.
With the rise of artificial intelligence, connected devices, smart assistants and algorithms, is this the beauty industry’s moment to fully embrace the power of personalisation?
London’s annual two-day In-Cosmetics Formulation Summit invites brands, cosmetic scientists and formulators to explore issues and opportunities surrounding one particular trending theme. Last year’s was Bio-Transforming Beauty, while this year (October 24-25), the spotlight will shine on personalisation and bespoke beauty with the theme Up Close & Personalised.
“The digital revolution has really made personalisation possible,” said summit programme director Dr Barbara Brockway, director of personal care at US counterfeit prevention firm Applied DNA Sciences. “It’s a big trend that affects everybody, and not just one aspect. It’s going to be hair, skin colour – every aspect of the beauty industry is going to be affected by this digital revolution.”
By talking to key figures in beauty development in the months leading up to the event, the summit team identify the area in most need of exploration. “With more apps on our phones, and Alexa, we can ask algorithms what we should be using for this particular hair problem or skin type or colour of make-up,” said Brockway. “We know people would like to know more. Can we find them the expert who can answer the questions?”
Day one will focus on understanding the consumer, with talks centring on biology and genomics, the algorithm-beauty-interface (ABI), and the cognitive behaviour that drives our desires and aspirations. Day two – dedicated to formulating for the consumer – will explore bespoke and mass customisation, personalised fragrances, and challenges in personalisation for haircare.
Full event coverage is set to drop on Stylus on November 2 2018. The early booking rate for the in-cosmetics Formulation Summit will end on 16 September 2018. To book your place, visit summit.in-cosmetics.com/book-your-place.
Brands are finding innovative ways to offer consumers realistic temporary tattoo products with long-lasting results, as the art of inking continues to grow in popularity among young people. Tapping into Gen Z’s fluid, short-term mindsets, Canadian start-up Inkbox has created realistic stick-on offerings in over 50 distinctive patterns.
The brand’s temporary tattoos, made with natural ink from Genipa americana (a plant sourced in South America), naturally fade between 12 and 15 days. Each design is applied to the desired area by soaking the application sticker with a damp cloth for 10 minutes – it then fully develops into a deep navy-blue hue the next day.
Users are also given the option to either upload their own designs via the brand’s online ‘Create Your Own’ function or draw directly onto the skin with a freehand bottle. These DIY options allow this pivotal generation to express their creativity and individuality, with approximately 87% of US-based Gen Zers considering themselves artistic (JWT, 2017).
With a tagline of ‘ink with confidence’, the painless application method offers a new mode of experimentation without feelings of regret – an appealing prospect for the 23% of Americans who are not content with their permanent ink (Harris Poll, 2016). To read more about the tattoo market, see New Ink: Millennials & Tattoos and The Future of Temporary Tattoos.
For deeper insights into short-term offerings for non-committal consumers, see Get Real: Beta Brandscapes. To read more about targeting Gen Z, see Teen Beauty 2018, 10 Youth Trends to Watch and Destination Teen: Targeting Youth.
As mystical practices become mainstream, beauty brands are capitalising on this opportunity by creating products with a spiritual narrative. New launches in this category cite lunar inspirations as key.
Modern consumers are seeking total wellbeing with moon-motivated rituals, and the latest company tapping into this mindset is US subscription service MoonBox. Each monthly box contains crystals, tarot cards and four ethically sourced products – including essential oils, body scrubs and soaps. Together, these curated blends aim to detoxify body and spirit in alignment with the 28-day lunar cycle.
Launched in 2018, MoonBox’s subscription model and step-by-step guide inject mindfulness into users’ daily routines and create a more accessible route for them to practice new customs. It feeds into demand from millennials and Gen Zers – 69% of pivotals (aged 13 to 34) believe in a non-physical realm (BeautyCon Media, 2017). We explore how this cohort navigates today’s turbulent times with magic in our report Modern Mysticism.
In addition, the brand’s online platform offers information on meditation techniques and rituals for different periods of the lunar cycle. It also sends Google calendar reminders to subscribers, so they can incorporate these new practices at the start of the new moon phase.
Beauty brands are starting to acknowledge the importance of cyclical patterns when developing personal care products, as skincare and bodycare transform into self-care. A good example is Parisian brand Shigeta’s Luna Bath Salts, which harness the power of aromatherapy at each phase of the moon.
We predict an uptick in ranges that support consumers’ emotional needs – regardless of the scientific accuracy of these claims. To read more about this burgeoning trend, see Selling Cyclical Beauty and Serving the Self-Care Generation.
New York-based start-up SPKTRM is showing the beauty industry how to promote inclusivity with its refreshing Instagram-led campaign.
Launched in August 2018, the colour cosmetics company has pledged to never retouch the appearance of its models. In the brand’s inaugural Instagram-based campaign, ‘flaws’ such as fine lines and freckles were left clearly visible on multiracial models’ faces.
SPKTRM’s efforts on Instagram attempt to challenge millennials’ focus on the perfect selfie, with the brand seeking to counteract the negative effects resulting from consumers’ constant exposure to unrealistic and distorted photos. Filters and body-altering apps are arguably contributing to a rise in body dysmorphia, with more than half (55%) of American surgeons reporting a surge in patients wanting to alter their features to look better on camera (AAFRPS, 2018).
Further tapping into inclusive beauty ideals, SPKTRM’s first product launch is You+ – a sheer foundation available in over 50 hues with warm, cool and neutral undertones. The vast number of shades satisfies consumers’ growing enthusiasm for broader representation within the beauty industry.
While SPKTRM’s offering is the most inclusive yet (other similar ranges come in at around 40 shades), brands should consider how else they can promote openness. “Inclusivity doesn’t just mean adding more shades to your foundation offering,” says Stylus’ senior Beauty editor Lisa Payne. “Skin is so much more than the colour alone.”
SPKTRM’s inclusive ethos extends to its social media engagement strategy, which starts with the hashtag #MeInMind. It encourages consumers to celebrate their authentic selves and post make-up-free selfies, while nominating others to do the same. For deeper insights into promoting values of self-love, see Millennial Beauty: Advocating Realness and Reality Check.
For more on inclusive beauty, see Inclusive Beauty: 5 Key Lessons.
A new hair and beauty show hailed as the UK’s first ‘black Beautycon’ has celebrated the diversity of women of colour, and challenged their lack of representation in beauty.
Shades of Beauty Live, held in London on August 24-25, was a discovery platform for brands and consumers. It featured talks from influential figures in the industry, including British beauty entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid.
Here are some of the highlights from the two-day expo.
For more on diversity and inclusivity in beauty, see Inclusive Beauty: 5 Key Lessons.
As novices and self-proclaimed ‘skintellectuals’ alike face an oversaturated beauty market, they increasingly struggle to pinpoint the right products for their needs. Agile new brands are addressing this with simpler, but nonetheless effective offerings.
The InKey List, a new start-up from British group BeForBeauty, is one such brand. It aims to arm consumers with industry knowledge by dissecting key ingredients, offering single-ingredient products, and introducing a ‘Beauty Translator’ service to cut through confusing jargon.
Set to launch in August 2018, the brand’s core value is delivering results-driven products without overcharging for active ingredients – similar to the strategy successfully deployed by Deciem-owned The Ordinary. The 15-piece hero-ingredient-led line includes a kaolin clay mask, a glycolic acid toner and a hemp oil moisturiser.
As explored in our Industry Trend the Austerity Opportunity, younger millennials and Gen Zers are actively searching for inexpensive goods. Catering to this demand, The Inkey List offers a non-gendered approach to skincare at a low price point – everything costs less than £10 ($13). For example, its Vitamin C Serum, which contains the high-performance ingredient vitamin C to brighten dull skin, retails for £7.99 ($10).
The InKey List’s labelling strategy also appeals to consumers, who are seeking more honesty from brands – 76% of the UK public felt misled by claims on packaging (Soil Association, 2017). Each product is named after its core ingredient, simplifying the confusing beauty jargon.
To further demystify the process, the brand will also work with influencers and editors (or ‘Beauty Translators’), who will offer advice in a bid to better interpret the function of each ingredient in relation to customers’ needs. Consumers will be able to ask questions by logging on to the brand’s website, and all answers will be posted in the Beauty Translated section.
As ‘hygge’ gives way to other wellness lifestyle stories such as ‘lagom’ (a term of balance which translates as not too little, not too much), we look to the next concept pushing new beauty lifestyle ideals: ‘fjaka’.
Newly launched Saint Iris Adriatica builds its beauty story around the Adriatic coast, with its abundant plant life, natural remedies, sea spas and ‘fjaka’ – a lifestyle term that describes a blissful state of feeling relaxed, yet energised and powerfully alive.
Sitting in the luxury space between apothecary and provenance and wellbeing and indulgence, the UK-based brand’s primary focus is the body, with five unique products and an accompanying brush to cleanse, moisturise and recharge the skin.
The 100% natural and Cruelty Free International-approved line includes an Every Body Energy Cleanse – a luxury version of a body wash with pomegranate enzymes to gently exfoliate, and 20 plant oils to moisturise. There’s also a Serenity Salve, a Vitality Spritz, Wake-Up Droplets, and a Purity Paste. Like the Energy Cleanse, the Purity Paste also borrows from skincare, acting as a three-minute mask to brighten and retexturise dull skin.
The brand will also develop a 30-minute treatment for spas and in-store treatment rooms to help customers “connect with their fjaka” by targeting the back, neck and décolletage with its product range.
As we explore in The Bodycare Boom, consumers living a wellbeing-driven lifestyle are seeking beauty solutions that help them take care of their bodies as expertly as they do their faces. Saint Iris Adriatica shrewdly taps into a number of trends that are progressing wider wellbeing beauty by celebrating bodycare rituals, introducing a new lifestyle ideal, and prioritising natural, cruelty-free formulas.
As bespoke beauty ventures continue to create buzz within the industry, brands are exploring new ways to make these products accessible for all consumers. British naturals brand Emulsion is capitalising on the personalised beauty trend by allowing consumers to address their varying skincare needs on a day-by-day basis.
The 43-piece genderless product line encourages users to create everyday personal care products – such as cleansers, serums and moisturisers – from scratch. Each one of these ‘base products’ is unscented and free from actives – serving as a blank canvas.
All of the formulas can be enhanced with ‘add ons’, including essential oil mixtures, exfoliants and fragrances – all of which create the ideal blend for an array of skin types and environments. For example, the Green Goddess Add On contains concentrated green tea extract – an antioxidant that provides protection from pollution and UV rays.
Emulsion has developed an online questionnaire designed to help consumers find a suitable product and blend – using details such as skin type and fragrance preferences. The mix-and-match format of these products encourages users to supplement each base with a new active every day.
An extension of this personalised strategy could be an analysis tool that visually assesses and tracks the skin’s health. We predict this will be a bankable opportunity for brands like Emulsion – the global beauty devices market is expected to reach $94.3bn by 2023 (P&S Market Research, 2017).
In addition, gender-neutral beauty is a fast-developing category, with 27% of British men saying they would buy cosmetics if they were branded as gender-neutral (Future Thinking, 2018). For more examples of genderless branding, see The Gender Agenda, The Phluid Project: Gender-Neutral Shopping and Instagangs: Asia’s Genderless Beauty Idols.
Chanel is entering the male beauty category with a make-up range for men, breaking down gendered beauty barriers.
Set to launch in South Korea, premium cosmetics brand Chanel Beauty is tapping into the growing male beauty market with a line solely dedicated to men. Boy de Chanel includes a matte moisturising lip balm, as well as sheer foundations and eyebrow pencils – available in four shades.
The inaugural collection capitalises on the era of male beauty. This market is expected to grow and potentially overtake the male grooming industry, which is forecast to be worth $60bn by 2020 (Euromonitor, 2017).
The limited number of products in the collection take inspiration from staple products in its women’s colour cosmetics range, which create a natural look. Boy de Chanel’s core values are based on the subtle enhancement of facial features – demonstrating a more approachable take on male beauty than the #BeautyBoys of Instagram, who celebrate a heavier style of application.
Although the concept of male make-up is not new, debuting in the lucrative Asian beauty market will allow the brand to trial these products among clued-up consumers before tackling the West.
Asia accounts for 60% of the global market for men’s beauty and grooming products (Martin Roll, 2017). To read more about this segment, see Asian Beauty Now: New Markets, New Ideas and Instagangs: Asia's Genderless Beauty Idols.