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Published: 14 Dec 2017

Scent Republik: Perfumes for Positivity

Scent Republik

New British fragrance start-up Scent Republik promotes empowerment for pre-teen and tween girls through the power of scent. The essential oil combinations of its natural and cruelty-free fragrances are said to inspire confidence and positivity.

The three perfumes aim to trigger positive emotions and stimulate the senses. Chill is formulated with citrus, apple blossom and marine aqua notes to create a relaxed mood. Woosh is made from citrus, apple blossom and marine aqua for a self-esteem boost. Finally, Fab! inspires the wearer to “work your girl power” with sweet vanilla, mandarin and rich praline.

Scent Republik is not the first fragrance brand to tout feminist ideals. Reek from the UK is founded on feminist equality. This emerging trend showcases the need for beauty brands to embed their values with feminist philosophies – globally, 70% of women and girls say they are proud to be female and embrace it (Dove, 2016). For more on beauty’s feminist values, see Empowering Beauty.

The perfumes are also innovatively packaged like marker pens in brightly coloured Scent Stiks. Consumers can apply their chosen fragrance with a drawing-like motion on the neck or wrists. According to the co-founders, this creates a fun and interactive experience for pre-teens, as the marker-pen format (also used by cult US make-up brand Milk on its line of lip pens) makes it easier for them to play with the fragrances. See Brush-On Scents for more dynamic fragrance packaging.

Published: 12 Dec 2017

Parfums Jazmin Saraï: Turning Music into Scent

Parfums Jazmin Saraï

Canada-based perfumer Dana El Masri merges music and fragrance – encouraging consumers to engage with fine perfumery in more sensorially evocative and dynamic ways.

El Masri’s niche fragrance brand Parfums Jazmin Saraï features six signature scents known collectively as The Playlist – inspired by musical rhythm, beats, harmony, lyrics and tempo. Each perfume reimagines a certain song and artist as a scent – with influences coming from a wide-ranging spectrum of musical genres.

The fragrance Neon Graffiti, for example, is sold as “neon on wet concrete” and references electronic, alternative dance, hip-hop, world, grime and R&B – in particular, British rapper M.I.A’s 2004 track Sunshowers. The scent profile is comprised of bergamot, grapefruit, cardamom absolute, cool mint, wet ivy accord, jasmine absolute india, mimosa absolute, sunflower accord, cedarwood, incense and ambrox. 

Illuminating the power of music as well as the effect of scent on our subconscious, El Masri highlights how these mediums can evoke synaesthesia – where two or more sensory pathways are experienced together and influenced by one another in emotive ways. As explored in Elevating Beauty and Selling Sensorial Beauty, experiencing products in more evocative ways is a growing trend and will be a key driver for developers and fragrance houses in the coming year.

For more inspiration, see Lickable Perfume and Somerset House’s Sensory Exhibit

For more on the niche fragrance category and olfactory experiences, see Rewriting the Rules of Luxury Fragrance, Esxence 2017, AIX Scent Fair, 2016 and Selling Scent.  

Published: 8 Dec 2017

Make-Up for the Trans Community

Jecca Make-Up

Over 45% of millennials are more likely to do repeat business with an LGBTQ-friendly company (Google, 2015). As gender fluidity continues to shape the beauty industry’s output in product and marketing messages, we spotlight two emerging brands catering to this group. 

  • Jecca Makeup: Inspired by her work with LGBTQ communities, in November 2017 Welsh make-up artist Jessica Blacker launched the first colour cosmetics range specifically geared towards transgender people. Jecca’s Correct & Conceal Palette, for example, offers full coverage to conceal facial hair shadows and scars.

    Taking cues from clever beauty brands offering gender non-binary make-up, such as Milk Makeup and Sara Hill, the brand highlights the importance and growth of the trans colour cosmetics category.
  • Kohl Kreatives: This British non-profit dedicated to beauty empowerment was inspired by its global charitable initiatives to create The Shapes Collection in August 2017 – a seven-piece vegan and cruelty-free make-up brush range. The multipurpose standalone line is the first of its kind to be catered towards the trans community, with its variously shaped brushes enabling users to create precise detailed and 3D masculine or feminine looks.

    The brand’s #MyArmour campaign uses real people from its free transgender make-up workshops, aiming to spread positivity and diminish the idea of standard beauty ideals.

For more on the beauty industry’s changing attitudes, see Gender-Fluid Generation and Next-Gen Beauty Marketing. For more on LGBTQ developments in other categories, see Packaging Futures: Diversity and The New Fashion Landscape: Diversity Rules.   

Kohl Kreatives
Kohl Kreatives
Published: 7 Dec 2017

Olfactory Adventures: Archive of Curious Scents

Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

Ahead of our Future of Flavour Industry Trend, publishing in January 2018, Stylus visited the olfactory archive museum of California-based all-natural perfumer, archivist and author Mandy Aftel.

Located at the rear of Aftel’s Berkeley home and blending studio, the one-room museum offers a voyage through the natural origins of aromatics, bringing them to life via a vast collection of cultural and historical artefacts.

Some 300 botanical essences and raw ingredients are available to experience first-hand. These are derived from flowers, barks, grasses, resins, fruits and other natural sources – some very rare. Central to the experience is Aftel’s ‘Scent Organ’ – a vast wooden testing bench of aromatics, where visitors are encouraged to select and sample various base, middle and top notes.

Further highlights include a display on the now-often-synthetic scent musk, and its origin as the glandular secretion of the musk deer. It also explores how ambergris, which is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, is still highly prized – although largely replaced by the synthetic alternative Ambroxan. 

Aftel’s latest book is The Art of Flavor, which she co-authored with San Francisco-based two-Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson. The book dives into how food gets its flavour and how natural alchemy can help to enhance it – more of which will be explored in our New Fragrance Worlds report, part of our Future of Flavour Industry Trend. 

For more on natural scents and ingredients see, Pitti Fragranze 2017, Hyper Natural Beauty: NYSCC 2017, Future Beauty: New Era Naturals

Published: 4 Dec 2017

The Ageless Café: Where Food Meets Beauty

The Ageless Café

American skincare brand Ceramiracle has just opened the world’s first beauty-inspired café in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Ageless Café advocates the gut/skin connection by using a range of ingredients chosen for their beauty-enhancing properties.

Eugene He, founder of Ceramiracle, has shrewdly developed more than 30 custom-blended organic teas, snacks and pastries to combat specific skincare concerns. For example, the Truly Asia tea contains papaya, pineapple, mango and butterfly pea, which is rich in enzymes and anthocyanins – ideal for consumers with oily skin.

In an interview with US beauty magazine Allure, He said: “As a clinical naturopath, I can tell you that great skin is made in the kitchen, and it's always been my dream to bridge the gap between beauty and nutrition.”

 Launched on November 28 2017, the café caters to all skin types and ages. It’s located in Ceramiracle’s first flagship store, which also features a medi-spa with three treatment rooms to unwind. For more on the increasing consumer demand for unconventional spa services and spaces, see Future Beauty: Evolution of the Spa.

The global wellbeing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% between 2016 and 2020 (Business Wire, 2016), confirming consumer demand for more healthy, natural and holistic approaches to beauty. For more, see The Business of Wellbeing

Published: 1 Dec 2017

Estée Lauder x Google: Voice-Activated Beauty

Esteé Lauder

This month, Estée Lauder is launching a new venture that will feed personalised beauty advice to consumers via Google Assistant on the voice-activated Google Home device, showcasing an interesting new retail and consumer engagement model. 

The Estée Lauder Nighttime Expert app will offer a chat-based experience to establish a bespoke evening skincare routine through a series of questions and answers. It ends by encouraging users to try the Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum for free at an Estée Lauder counter.

Offering 24/7 tailored assistance at home while simultaneously driving consumers in-store, the platform could be adopted successfully by wider beauty retailers, such as Sephora. Bespoke beauty concepts are known to work best when online and offline experiences are combined – see Decoded Beauty: Engaging Beauty Consumers and Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategies for more. 

In a similar move, Amazon is partnering with mass-market derma brand Eucerin, helping consumers find the right product for problematic skin using its voice-activated Alexa home assistant.

Beauty brands that capitalised on personalisation in 2015 alone saw double to triple-digit growth, contributing to a 3.8% increase in sales of cosmetics and toiletries (Kline, 2016). For more on the importance of personalisation, customisation and diagnostic offerings in this industry, see Future Beauty: Perfecting Bespoke.

Published: 27 Nov 2017

Kozhya Air: Reinventing Active Skincare

Kozhya Air

German start-up Kozhya has created a new portable skincare atomiser that uses pressure-based technology to break active ingredients into micro-particles for better skin absorption.

Designed by Russian entrepreneur Yoanna Gouchtchina and manufactured by laboratories in Germany and Switzerland, Kozhya Air is filled with the brand's own serum, with a small nozzle spraying a fine mist onto the skin for two to three minutes. The hands-free application is not only advantageous for users with sensitive skin, but also combats product waste since excess serum is not left on the fingers.

Gouchtchina created a serum in the form of a capsule for use in the atomiser, developing a formulation that contains high-quality EU-regulated natural active ingredients. These include marine algae, which enables skin to retain its moisture content, and antioxidant reishi mushrooms that boost cell turnover and reduce inflammation. According to the brand, benefits include unclogged pores, firmer skin and smoother lines.

Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful of ingredients being absorbed into their skin, and the global organic beauty market is set to be worth just under $22bn by 2024 (Persistence Market Research, 2016). For more on this and how brands must strive for total honesty with consumers, see Transparent Beauty: Valuing Best Practice.

Currently pending a US patent, Kozhya Air hopes to cater to a new era of consumers who are seeking high-tech, time-saving solutions with powerful results – as explored in Battling Busyness. For more on time-saving beauty and portable packaging solutions, see Agile Beauty and Packaging Futures: Fast Consumption.

Published: 24 Nov 2017

Cannabis Moves into Beauty


As cannabis enters America’s mainstream consumer marketplace and occupies an increasingly stylish and luxe space, US beauty start-ups are embracing the beneficial ingredient. 

Some products use cannabis seed oil, while others deploy CBD – the cannabis-derived compound cannabidiol. The latter is not psychoactive, unlike the compound THC, but currently occupies a legal grey area in states where recreational cannabis is banned. As a skincare ingredient, CBD boasts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties, and is said to benefit acne, under-eye bags and skin irritation, among other things. It can also be used as a topical remedy to soothe anxiety or ease aches and pains, akin to Tiger Balm or Bengay.

California-based Vertly, launched in August by W Magazine’s former accessories and jewellery director and her husband, makes three varieties of lip balm. One contains moisturising sativa seed oil (claimed to be especially easy for the skin to absorb), another features CBD (for a “subtle state of tranquility”), and one includes THC – sold only in Californian marijuana dispensaries.

Meanwhile, using contemporary unisex black and white packaging, New York-based Herb Essentials offers a moisturiser, body lotion and lip balm infused with cannabis sativa seed oil. Another cannabis-focused brand, Ohio-based Cannuka, couples CBD with manuka honey (known for its healing properties) in skin, eye and lip balms and a body cream. New Jersey-based CBD for Life offers a shampoo and conditioner in addition to moisturisers.

For more on cannabis in cosmetics, see Budding Beauty and New-Era Naturals. See also Women Embrace Weed, and for more on cannabis’ role in the luxury wellness sphere, see Retail’s New Prestige Players and New Food Covetables

Published: 20 Nov 2017

Saskia Diez x Uslu Airlines: Crystal-Inspired Nail Paints

Precious Nails

Jewellery design and cosmetics collide in German designer Saskia Diez’s collaboration with Berlin-based luxury make-up brand Uslu Airlines. Inspired by colourful jewels, the limited-edition Precious Nails collection delivers a translucent finish – signalling an exciting new nail colour trend.

The three paints are based on rubies from Mozambique, emeralds mined in the Muzo region of Columbia, and sapphires found in Kashmir, India. Each polish is also named after the regions’ local airport codes: the red is called BEW (Beira Airport), while the green is BGO (Bogota Airport) and the blue is IXJ (Jammu Airport).

Diez’s thin formulation creates a sheer finish similar to that of the gems themselves – an emerging trend that bucks the market’s current obsession with bold, opaque and matte colour (see S/S 18 Women’s: Nails). The launch also reflects the increasing consumer interest in gemstones – 10.3mn carats of ruby were produced in 2016, compared to 8.4mn carats the year before (GIA, 2016).

Only 100 units of this collection have been made available – playing on the messages of rarity and luxury conveyed by the jewel-inspired theme. In addition, the polishes also come with a selection of stick-on nail sequins made of 19ct rose gold – helping to redefine consumer expectations of luxury materials and mass-market beauty product. See The New Rules of Luxury for further cross-category developments.

For more on emerging nail trends, see Instagangs: Anarchic Nail Artists and Nail Art: Colourful Currency

Published: 16 Nov 2017

Hims: Reframing Male Hair Loss


Boldly reframing the traditional approach to male hair loss, American men’s grooming and wellness start-up Hims offers hair-loss products aimed at millennials.

Founded by entrepreneur Andrew Dudum, the range presents a complete hair kit of effective ingredients. Finasteride pills treat male-pattern baldness at the crown and in the middle of the scalp, while a DHT-blocking shampoo reduces the hormone that causes hair loss, and minoxidil drops claim to aid new growth.

Engaging with The Male Groom Boom in the US, the packaging boasts millennial pink tones and a minimal, contemporary feel compared to the medicinal, aggressively masculine styles typically adopted by the male grooming sector. The beauty industry is evolving and embracing new notions of masculinity by rejecting these traditional aesthetics – see Instagangs: Femboys. A similar trend is also occurring in the fashion industry – see Fashioning a New Masculinity and Soft Vs. Hard Masculinity.

While hair loss is a common problem for older men, Dudum’s recognition of hair loss as a burgeoning concern among millennials is plugging a lucrative gap in the market – which is worth $4bn in the US alone (Ibis World, 2016). In an interview with online fashion and beauty news source Glossy, Dudum said: “We were all suffering in silence, because none of us had the courage to recognise that we were in it together and could help each other.”

For more on masculinity and male grooming, see The Barbershop Boom.

Published: 14 Nov 2017

Inc.redible: Insta Beauty

Campaign by Inc.redible

Thea Green, British entrepreneur and founder of cult nail empire Nails Inc. has launched a colour cosmetics line that takes inspiration from Instagram – banking on the social-media platform’s catalytic turnover of beauty and product trends.

Using Instagram as a primary resource for Inc.redible’s vision, Green understands the importance of social media’s influence on millennials and Gen Z: 80% of Gen Z and 74% of millennials’ purchases are influenced by social media (Retail Dive, 2017). In an interview with British Vogue, Green said: “The idea is for the brand to tap into those social-media trends like foil lips, strobe lips, things like that, but to offer wearability as well as creating great swatchability.”

The line encompasses 54 lip products, from matte liquid lipsticks to lip primers. Altogether, the range offers high-gloss textures, pigmented metallic finishes and vibrant colours, as seen on Instagram – a platform that’s emerging as key for a new era of make-up artists (see Instagangs: Make-Up Experimentalists). 

This fast-acting brand follows in the footsteps of London-based 3INA, which releases new products every month based on catwalk beauty trends.

For its campaign, Inc.redible enlisted four ethnically diverse international YouTube beauty bloggers including Nyané Lebajoa from Germany and US-based Vivian Vo-Farmer. It shrewdly uses the hashtag #BeYourIncredibleSelf to promote messages of self-love and empowerment – an incredibly important strategy for connecting with young consumers (see Empowering Beauty).

For more on youth-targeting beauty brands and strategies, see Teen-Targeted Beauty: Product, The Rise of Teen Make-Up and Next-Gen Beauty Marketing.

Published: 13 Nov 2017

Salon64: Luxury Design Meets Social


A new salon concept and luxury destination in London, Salon64 marries bold, contemporary design with social cues that encourage patrons to “meet, work, greet and retreat” while receiving hair styling and treatments. The launch confirms a growing trend for multisensory and multidisciplinary hubs catering to the creative middle class.

Salon64 joins the likes of Les Dada East in Paris and Hues Hair in Melbourne in boasting an unprecedented aesthetic. Designed by award-winning London-based architect Jak Studio and creative branding agency Brash Brands, the space is styled in concrete, opulent marble, golden details and printed tapestries – a nod to the entertainment and fashion history of Soho, where the salon is based. A fire pit is flanked by styling chairs with workstations that open up like a jewellery box, revealing a mirror and space for clients to place drinks or work equipment such as a laptop or tablet. 

Set up by top London hair stylist Ricky Walters, the salon encourages socialising and aims to highlight the conversational exchange between client and hairdresser. This is further pushed by the in-salon Style Bar, serving coffee, alcoholic drinks and bar snacks. This element borrows from barbershop culture (see The Barbershop Boom), where the growing synergy between service, retail and social is being harnessed in more dynamic and profitable destinations for consumers (especially men).

For more on new, progressive hair salons and beauty concept stores that are led by design as much as expert service, see Instagangs: Design Salons.

Published: 10 Nov 2017

My iDDNA: Personalised Anti-Ageing Skincare


Challenging consumer expectations of personalised beauty offerings, new app and DNA test duo My iDDNA takes anti-ageing lifestyle and beauty data to the next level – by creating a smart, ultra-bespoke, ever-changing beauty regime.

Developed by Swiss wellness company Suisse Life Science Group, users’ skin is assessed via an online questionnaire, photo analysis and a DNA swab test. The data is then combined with lifestyle markers (such as sleep, diet and exercise) to develop a bespoke anti-ageing skincare offering.

The line includes a day and night cream, eye gel, and an SPF product that will feature a different level of protection depending on the user’s sensitivity to UV rays. Each month, iDDNA’s artificially intelligent mobile concierge service updates the formula of each product in line with ongoing data from the consumer and the app’s analysis of the skin. 

A nifty calendar feature allows users to input future holiday plans, which the app translates into skincare that will best suit their skin in that climate and temperature. The app is currently being trialled in a soft launch in the UK.

 With the global anti-ageing market set to reach $216.52bn by 2021 (Zion Market Research, 2017) and the personalised medical market projected to grow 12% by 2020 (Grand View Research, 2016), pushing age-defying personalised products is a shrewd move.

For more DNA-led skincare and digital technology for beauty, see Perfecting Bespoke and Connected Cosmetics

Published: 8 Nov 2017

Col-Lab: Influencer-Developed Beauty


Recently introduced to the US beauty market, Col-Lab is a new colour cosmetics venture based on community, collaboration and social media influence. Created by eight trending beauty bloggers, the brand leverages influencer cool and make-up artistry.

In collaboration with global professional US retailer Sally Beauty, the eight influencers (also known as The Collective) have created this custom-built line of 203 make-up-artist-worthy products. Diverse in both culture and gender, the American YouTube beauty bloggers include LA-based Wesley Benjamin Carter and Lizzy Gutierrez, and Dallas-based Dani Meza.

As well as looking to offer high-quality formulas and pigmented colours, Col-Lab’s aim was to target the influencers’ sizeable collective audience, expanding their mutual reach in order to unlock a wide market. This ‘community’ aspect is a strong strategy for new brands (see BeautyStack: Instagram’s New Beauty Network and Blusho: Shoppable Beauty Community). Catering to both genders further pushes the brand’s potential. For more on #BeautyBoys, see Next-Gen Beauty Marketing and Gender-Fluid Generation: Beauty Attitudes.

The growth of social media and influencer-led strategies should not be ignored, with marketing spend on Instagram influencers set to reach $1bn in 2017 and predicted to double by 2019 (Media Kix, 2017). “This is a modern approach to developing a make-up brand, by working with a new generation of experts in the category,” David Hutchinson, senior vice-president of New York-based company Maesa Group told WWD (see also Monetising Social Media, 2016 and YouTube’s Beauty Advocates).

For more on social media-led strategies, see Decoded Beauty: Engaging Beauty Consumers, Beauty Content in a Digital Age: Business/Retail.

Published: 6 Nov 2017

Trinny London: Personalised Stackable Beauty

Trinny London

British stylist and TV personality Trinny Woodall has created a bespoke colour cosmetics range for consumers on the go – decluttering make-up bags with travel-sized stackable jars.

Trinny London encompasses 59 products from blush to pigmented lip gloss, presented in 4g pots that satisfyingly snap together. Users are encouraged to forgo bulky applicator tools and use their fingers instead – a strategy successfully employed by edgy New York brand Milk Makeup.

“I used to cart around a huge make-up bag and had had enough,” Woodall told British lifestyle magazine InStyle. “That's where the idea for Trinny London came from.” For more on this key selling point for the modern workforce, see The Work/Life Revolution: Agile Beauty.

Personalisation is another key aspect of the brand. The Match2Me system asks consumers to build a personal colour profile via an online questionnaire based on their skin, hair and eyes to find the colour scheme most suited to them.

Woodall’s launch caters to an emerging trend for streamlined beauty products, suggesting the need for brands to provide a range of products without creating clutter on consumers’ bathroom shelves. See Streamlining Product: All-Encompassing Beauty Ranges  for more.

Woodall’s strong social media presence of more than 320,000 followers on Instagram allows her to share the brand’s story and build a conversation around the range – a vital element in establishing cult product. For more on this, see The Economy of Cult Beauty.