Beauty Packaging's Editor, Jamie Matusow, speaks to Sophie Maxwell, Global Futures Director, Pearlfisher, about the business of Color Cosmetics -- and upcoming trends.
Beauty Packaging: What trends do you see? Is the market evolving?
Sophie Maxwell: The exciting shift is that above all, we are truly realizing the holistic and transformative power of beauty -- as it infiltrates and influences so many more aspects of our lives.
After the cultural change that has happened in the last couple of decades, to a more democratic, individual and less ‘perfect’ aspiration, there is also noticeable blurring of categories.
The emphasis on cleaner beauty products and rich visual content is naturally dictating a new vibrancy and celebration of color in the brands we gravitate towards and buy. In addition, there is a shift to get even closer to nature through formulations, packaging, and color as we look to the beauty industry to give us access to ‘nature and nurture’ in more innovative ways.
BEYOND CLEAN – The clean trend has almost become a given. We are looking for closer to nature products and obviously think of skincare, and changing processes including reducing water content in formulations.
But the onus is also on color to find new ways to get back to nature and more natural formats. Even traditionally toxic sectors such as nail polish have revised formulations and are becoming more natural like the vegan nail polish brand, Soignè and its hugely popular ‘Eau’ shade, reminiscent of the sky on a summer’s day.
NUTURING NATURE – The increasingly preferred active and new natural ingredients we are seeking in our chosen formulations will also inform different color palettes.
We won’t just be seeking nudes and earthy tones, we will be looking for more blues, and greens, as we feel inspired by the oceans and landscape as we try to better re-connect with the world around us and make a better planet.
It’s definitely a marked shift to think of brands as being the medium through which we experience nature, but in a world where we now spend 90% of our lives indoors, there is a huge move to bring the outside in and this is a huge opportunity for beauty.
CAPTURING IMAGINATION -- Beyond a product trend, we are seeing brands either becoming more purposeful or more considered, as they help us find ways to tap into higher ideals or a more spiritual state or feeling.
Swedish brand, Manasi 7 defines itself as the seven mantra beauty brand – slow, select, pure, natural, simple, symbiotic and contemporary – with muted, natural, clean white packaging reflecting its natural and wild harvested ingredients, but allowing a host of intense shades to break through. One example is ‘All Over Color’ in Heliotrope, which is “a blueish purple for the daring yet sophisticated look”. Each color and product online has its own application tips and summons a mood around the color but is very much open to personal interpretation and interaction.
BP: What are consumers most looking for in this category?
SM: Clean, conscientious, customized and convenient will still continue to stay right at the top of customers’ lists but, as we enter a new decade. The potential of new possibility is absolutely front of mind and should once again propel us into an exciting unknown in terms of what we are looking to experience through color choices and experiences.
Those launches, new formulations, services and packaging that can now take beauty and color to a new level -- to capture an idea, feeling, emotion, -- and find a way to exploit all the senses. Or, create a new sense of connection – in a simple, easy and straight-forward way. These will be right out in front as 2020 takes us forward.
BP: What do brands need to keep in mind when developing products/packaging?
SM: Drawing on the power of possibility, brands should look for new ways to give their customers a new experience or interaction that takes them beyond just product. A refresh of ‘color me happy’ for a new decade and generation.
It’s not just about how we create new visual color connections, but a new multi-sensorial approach to beauty, the evolving texture of products, and the delivery of formulations will be paramount.
It’s all about how we create new effects and shades with inks, dews, glazes and finishes and further dial up tactility and sensorial elements through the packaging.
According to Heyone Yun, vice president of innovation at CTK Cosmetics, “By emphasizing gestures such as clicking, squeezing, twisting, sliding, watching a precise action, using an addictive mechanism—a #satisfying package is created. The #satisfying package trend relieves stress through touch and visual senses, and playfulness.” (Source: CTK Cosmetics press release).
‘K-color’ innovation continues to lead global trends and influence. Etude House’s Mini Two Match Set allows users to combine two colors (from a choice of 20 shades) and effects (from glitter, gloss, lip balm, lip concealer or CMYK colors to adjust the shades) in an all-in-one stick. The mini-sized lip colors and effectors have a magnet at the bottom of the pack that allows the two products to be assembled in the docking holder in the middle.
BP: Anything in particular related to online purchasing, social?
SM: Beauty brands will need to continue to push the boundaries to become our go-to beauty facilitators and the direct-to-consumer marketplace is currently the most competitive with favorites such as Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay trawling the globe to curate the best of all beauty. We are already seeing new concepts like MyBeautyBrand, the newly launched digital platform.
Its accompanying product range is called ‘By.Me’ (shown above) where customers, not influencers sell via peer-to-peer recommendation. Its revolutionary in that it allows it users to open personalized e-stores on the platform, where they share their looks as photos, so they can be shopped on your own page and you then earn a commission of up to 20% through sales on the brands you showcase.
However, the high street is fighting back by offering the exclusivity and experience that online still can’t compete with. Put simply, engaging the consumer is about generating the kudos and guiding them to the experiences that really connect to their lifestyles and define the emergent beauty scene in new ways. While we still look online at tutorials and influencers for recommendations, we still prefer to buy IRL.
A U.S. study, by investment bank Piper Jaffray, found that 90% of female teens prefer to do their beauty shopping in-store (Source: The Guardian). This is, of course, particularly significant when it comes to color trial and the increasing desire for customization. Not all product can be easily returned, so retail still has an important part to play.
At the same time that MAC held a self-publicized closing of key locations in key US markets, Walmart has just extended its grocery pick-up program to include beauty to cater to its time poor consumers so there are still easy points of connection that can be created.
One brand that has harnessed the IRL social aspect of shopping particularly successfully is unsurprisingly Glossier -- a digital-first brand with a direct-to-consumer model that ingeniously generated a new level of dialogue with consumers. it is now is beginning a much-anticipated roll-out of pop-up stores.
Glossier only has two permanent locations with 500,000 people visiting the Glossier New York flagship in its first year of operation. Each pop-up is created as a desirable location by offering exclusive products and advice. And each is designed to play to its locality, with its detail and decoration, to foster a much more intimate relationship with its local customers. The Miami store features Art Deco details, and a Glossier “canyon” in Los Angeles -- so we can’t wait to see how those land.