According to the beauty trends agency, consumers are discovering strengths that they never knew they had. They are more resilient, more adaptable and more connected than they ever realised. And if recent global events have proven anything, it is that health, freedom, and the future of the planet are all deeply interwoven. The success of one relies on the success of another.

Our future is symbiotic. And yet, the desire for individual recognition and expression remains a prescient driver. As we move forward, consumers will continue to explore the special tension that exists between collective responsibility and personal growth, and between the quest for the optimised self and for globalised empathy,” explains Leila Rochet, Chief Innovation Officer, Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation.

Eco-collectivism: from sustainability to augmented empathy

Armed with increased knowledge, consumers will drive brands even harder to alter their behaviours in order to support rigorous ethical practices. In 2023 brands must become empathetic ambassadors, and respond to a new generation of eco-socio intellectuals.

Results from the 2022 UEBT Biodiversity Barometer demonstrate there is now a global consensus that while planetary health is a clear priority in the minds of consumers, so are issues surrounding workers’ rights and equality. Sustainability issues are now rightly being understood in the context of wider geo-political events.

French brand Eclo, for instance, only works with ingredients that are local to its Brittany HQ and which also help regenerate the soil and the seabed.

Taking a collective responsibility approach, Indigenous-owned brands often balance respect for nature with individual growth. Operating within this type of intrinsically holistic value system The Yukon Soaps Company thus uses native, wild botanicals hand-picked by elders and local young people. The brand teaches harvesting practices that foster an emotional connection to the land.

Artphoria: from colour-dosing to creative-finessing

Gen Z’s takeover of social media has created a space where niche is the norm, and micro-expressions are the new mainstream. This mindset shapes a new generation of beauty connoisseurs, who bring a fine art approach and an exacting attitude to the beauty sphere. As consumer confidence grows and their skills continue to develop thanks to the TikTok explosion, we see a growing desire to express individuality through exquisite artistry.

Brands that speak to individuality and trigger creativity through wild innovation will gain traction. Harry Styles’s Pleasing inspires consumers to master micro-artistry, coupled with an approach that is embracive of every identity. Its ultra-inclusive storytelling paves the way for a “Flat Age Society” where traditional age segmentation has diminishing influence. Pleasing also encapsulates another key element - escapism.

Future ArchiTech: from innovation hunters to progress pioneers

Younger generations are facing global challenges with a practical mindset, leaning into science and technology to forge world-changing solutions. STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and maths) are now the #1 attraction for Gen Z, according to a recent study, with particular popularity among females and people of colour.

Brands must embrace this appetite for innovation. Combining their experiences at Tesla and the École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL), Aeir founders have created a new generation fragrance.

More brands invest in bio-sciences to deliver smart, and green, solutions. In 2022 we saw Ulé (France) and Monday Musem (South Korea) lead the way with the adoption of vertical farming techniques.

The Optimised Self: Exploring the personal ecosystem

We are entering an era of intimately adaptive beauty that responds to the individual or is tailored specifically for individual needs.

The continued fetishization of health and immunity will drive the creation of unexpected territories, ushering in new opportunities for beauty supplements, skin-optimising trackers, AI-aided personalization, and at-home beauty devices that deliver ultra-bespoke and professional results. In fact, consumer interest in beauty tech is set to continue to increase continuously over the next five years, reaching $8.93 billion by 2026.

The Emotional Biome: From Self-Care to Mind-Care

Beauty that delivers emotional benefits on top of functional benefits will gain traction, as consumers look to balance feelings of vulnerability with products and experiences that simultaneously provide care and protection.

The role of functional fragrances will become heightened, as consumers and brands explore the idea that perfume can deliver benefits that go way beyond scent. This is an idea explored by American light artist James Turrell who has developed a collection of crystal light panels and perfumes for Lalique, which play on the abstract concept of the light we see in our dreams.

Beauty imbued with cerebral and cognitive influence will play to the growing brain care category. Brain health supplements are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% from 2022 to 2030, as consumers explore new routes to optimise mind-care.

Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation will explore these key trends in details at their Inspiration Bar and the Beauty Talks hosted by Leila Rochet during the next edition of MakeUp in Los Angeles, on February 16 & 17 2023.

Book a meeting with the team here and your entry to the show here.