Plenty of exciting trends were emerging in 2017 in the beauty world and I cannot wait to see what else they are coming up with this year. There are certain trends that are gaining momentum and I expect them to strengthen well into the year. Some are great, some are downright silly (nostril hair extensions anyone?), here are the top 5 that I love at the moment.
Cruelty-free and vegan beauty
I am really happy to see this first trend entering the mainstream. While natural and organic products are still highly sought after, the demand for cruelty-free and vegan labels have been and are rising. More and more people are aware of the fact that exploitation of animals is absolutely not necessary to create cosmetic products in this day and age and a growing number of people are voicing their opinion about it. Do you find the ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ labels confusing? Here is the difference: cruelty-free means that a product has been developed without animal testing, vegan means that the product does not contain any animal ingredients. With veganism on the rise, it is great to see that so many brands are catering to this movement with so many products readily available on the British high-street. If you are a new vegan I would suggest to go for products that have both labels (preferably accredited by organizations such as Choose Cruelty Free, The Vegan Society, PETA, or Leaping Bunny to be on the safe side.) because not all cruelty-free products are vegan, and surprisingly some animal tested products can claim to be vegan too.
(Please note that vegan and cruelty-free doesn’t necessarily equal organic, natural or safe so it is a good idea to do a little research on the ingredients before you invest in a product.)
Masking is still big! Wet sheet masks, dry sheet masks, eye masks, hand masks, foot masks, glitter masks, glycolic, hyaluronic, gel, it seems we just can’t get enough of them but I’m all up for it. It has become a habit of mine to try as many new masks as possible just to see if they work. I am one of those people who can’t wait for Sundays because I have more time to spend on my skin and I can indulge in taking a long bath while popping on a mask and do my facial massage. Peeking into other people’s Sunday facial routine has become a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine so I spend a lot of time scrolling through the massive amount of pictures on Instagram in the SundayFacial hashtag. In 2018 we will see masks getting more sophisticated and more specific, just look at the Foreo UFO Smart Mask Treatment, it is so unique. Apart from ageing, they will address a whole lot of other issues not just on the face, but on hands, neck, decolletage and even the breasts. New technology will also break into the masking world with 3-D printed eye masks to self-dissolving micro-needle masks. I guess I just have to keep trying them all.
A huge shift in the beauty conversation happened last year when Rihanna came out with her Fenty Beauty line and created a foundation range with a very impressive range of shades. Inclusive beauty is on the rise and it seems consumers are hungry for it. Inclusivity doesn’t stop with skin colour, it tries to break down age, body type and gender barriers too which I am very happy to see. When archaic giant cosmetic companies still advertise anti-ageing skincare with thin, white women in their early twenties, even younger, no wonder that a large section of financially affluent consumers say they had enough and they want to be represented too. There are a few positive examples, just recently the ad campaign for Isle of Paradise was a joy to watch.
The rise of the disruptors
Corporate giants are facing more competition than ever from smaller brands that have compelling business ideas and their ethos is more in tune with our times. Either they use a crowd-led feedback system like Glossier, are transparent about their ingredients, prices offering high-end skincare technology for the fraction of the luxury price like the highly affordable The Ordinary from Deciem, or offering unbranded luxury beauty care for factory prices like Beauty Pie, Brandless and Public Goods without the markup. Smart beauty brands like these will keep popping up in 2018 further democratizing the beauty landscape by putting the consumer at the centre of their innovation.
I find beauty gadgets always exciting. Once only found in salons, gadgets are now getting a portable makeover so we can experiment with the latest technology in the convenience of our home. Making it accessible to the general public has opened up a new chapter in the beauty world. Last year it was all about microneedling and light therapies such as the GloPRO Microneedling Regeneration Tool, Neutrogena’s Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment, SpectraLite EyeCare, a light therapy mask from Dr Dennis Gross Skincare to smooth lines and I am going to include Foreo’s UFO Smart Mask Treatment too. The possibilities are endless and I expect other brands follow suit this year.
Other trends worth checking out this year:
–J beauty (while K-beauty is still very popular, J beauty, inspired by Japanese beauty practices is emerging that embraces beauty, health, wellness rituals, simple regimes with multi-purpose products, and skin-supporting foods such as seaweed, green tea, rice, and more.)
-Physical/mental wellness, self-care as part of a beauty regime (beauty no longer only applies to makeup and skin care, taking care of your mental as well as your physical health is just as important and it’s beginning to be an integral part of beauty routines of many.)
–Importance of body care (active ingredients, like retinol, AHAs, we use on the face in body care like Paula’s Choice Resist Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA.)
–Active beauty, gym bag essentials (products specifically designed for women who exercise a lot e.g. the latest launch of CliniqueFit or the new Active range from e.l.f Cosmetics.)
–Environmentally-friendly packaging (a shift towards plant-based plastics, glass and using less water in cosmetic products and raise awareness about the destructive effect of plastic on the environment)