OK, HERE WE GO! (Here are last year’s Beauty Predictions 2012)

1. STRESS-BUSTING BEAUTY and wellbeing solutions will dominate a hefty chunk of the marketplace as we seek more effective ways to ease all the mad life-work-home juggling we’re doing. We want better sleep, a safe harbour, more breathing space, a clearer mind, freedom from constantly feeling tired and schedules that don’t suffocate us…etc.

Natural (and natural-ish) bath/body/beauty brands like these are well poised for 2013 with their aromatherapy/plant/spa/wellbeing-based formulas and philosophies:

Dr. Hauschka, Neals Yard, The Organic Pharmacy, ILA, Weleda, Neom Organics, Balance Me, Bamford, Beatitude Oils, Bodhi, Aromatherapy Associates, Barefoot Botanicals, Ancienne Ambiance, Eve Taylor, Green & Spring, Essential Care, Decleor, Kneipp, Jane Scrivner, Lubatti, Live Native, Melvita, Micheline Arcier, Spiezia, Inlight, Spa Fabulous Organic, Pai Skincare, Palm & Sole, Pure Lochside, REN, Skinesis by Sarah Chapman, Emma Hardie, ESPA, Elemis, Liz Earle, Organic Surge, Abahna, Tisserand, Lavera, Wildwood Groves, Vaishaly, Voya, Oskia, De Mamiel and the latest newcomer, Therapie by top aromatherapist Michelle Roques O’Neil. Cue bigger sales for candles, too. 

2. GREENWASHING WILL GET WORSE. More big household names and pretending-to-be-natural brands will splash new fresh and clean-sounding names on their products when really their labels read like a natural beauty nightmare. Because they know very well that consumers have a soft spot for organic products – particularly mums! (So please read those labels!)

But the upside is, consumers will start to recognise the old greenwashing tricks. Brands that do it will set themselves up for a backlash from consumers who won’t put up with being conned. Once a consumer loses trust in a brand the whole thing’s over. If it’s green, it’s green. If it’s not, it’s not. I wish there was some sort of colour-coded “dot” or labelling for beauty products, like a traffic light system but I can’t see that happening for lots of reasons any time soon.

NOW is the time for green brands that really ARE green/organic to shout about it – why let the greenwashers steal the sales and get their products into the hands of unsuspecting consumers, the mums who’ve been buying a big baby shampoo for years not realising it contains carcinogens (one example of many). Not easy, when it’s your Cornwall-based budget v. a multinational giant’s millions, which is why certifications/logos such as the Leaping Bunny (cruelty-free), Natrue and the Soil Association are important. So keep reading those labels! It’s the only way of knowing what you’re really putting on you (and eating, for that matter).

Last point on this note – on spreading green brand awareness: brands that offer affordable natural ranges will do particularly well, especially those that make it into Waitrose, John Lewis, Tesco, Boots, Superdrug, etc. – and they’ll be paving the way for more green brands on bigger shelves to come. Also, there is no need for animal testing (see Big Brands Losing Cruelty-Free Logos) and the idea that natural/organic products are more expensive than their counterparts is not as true as it once was (new post on that coming soon!) I’ve also seen a noticeable shift in the media – particularly women’s mags like RED, Glamour, Easy Living and Vogue. Despite the fact that they still heavily rely on the Nivea, Clinique, Estee Lauder ads (which is why you get the “This month I’m loving XXXX” and three pages later there’s a full page ad for the very same product or brand the editor’s raving about). At least editors are giving green brands a lot more mentions.

3. NAIL AND LIP COLOURS WILL CONTINUE TO FLY OFF SHELVES (no crystal ball needed) – we can’t beat them for a feelgood hit during an economic downturn. Pop art colours and jewel toned eyeliner/shadows will brighten up spring and summer. So will all those gorgeous feline flicks, graphic eyeliner, too. And the polar opposite, a dewy fresh, un-made-up look will also headline. And nails will be having their best summer in years, from graphic designs and new textured effects, to nail art bling and get-me-a-milky-coffee-please nudes.

4. SS13 WILL BE A FAN-TAN-STIC ONE for self-tanners as our love/hate relationship with the sun continues. Natural self-tanners will keep getting better. We’ll see a new breed of tanning products that will raise the bar in this growing field – Irish brands will be among those to watch. And any product with a remotely biscuity smell is as passe as a tangerine tan.

5. GOODBYE SPF10! You seemed OK before we got savvy. Skin cancer cases are escalating at an alarming rate. Remember UVA = ageing rays and UVB = burning. Choose your double digit sunscreen carefully this summer (I use SPF30-40 but use whatever works – safely – for your type of skin). And you can’t call it sunblock anymore (at least not in the US!) SPF awareness will be big news, which leads us to…

6. MORE AND MORE DAILY MOISTURISERS AND TINTED FOUNDATIONS WITH INBUILT SPFs will launch. And they’ll do more things and have stronger anti-ageing/pro-radiance properties. (Remember, though, for really effective protection you need a proper SPF rather than relying on the SPF in your foundation).

7. PLANT-BASED FORMULAS WERE BIG IN 2012.  IN 2013 THEY’LL BE ENORMOUS. We’ll all be Googling the long Latin names before we can say hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn, that omega-7 rich orange berry which grows along the British coastline.) Both the natural brands and the global sophisticated “laboratoire” companies will be using plant extracts this year that we haven’t heard of – lots to learn about, exciting. Cue a new wave of “power plant extracts” appearing most frequently in advanced cleansers, anti-ageing serums and elixirs, the day/overnight and firming products.

8. Generally speaking (with exceptions), natural/organic makeup in particular lipstick still isn’t “there” yet. I think it’s one of the main weaknesses of the green beauty marketplace which is a shame as I’m not keen on led and the other stuff in lipsticks. Limited colour palettes, less than glamorous packaging, unimpressive staying power, and slightly odd taste and texture are no match for Chanel, Dior or L’Oreal yet so I hope this is an area that sees improvement. On the upside I think there will could be some nice surprises this year on this front.

9. Can someone explain to us why it took half a million years for beauty brands to launch foundations in shades suitable for the rest of the world’s women who aren’t from Northern Europe? Finally, brands such as Lancome, Estee Lauder, Iman, MAC, Nars, Chanel and Bobbi Brown and most recently Liz Earle, have expanded their palettes (Bare Minerals has a good shade range, too). Could we see more brands catering for everyone please? We’re not all “porcelain” or “sandy beige”. And while I’m on the subject, hurrah for the magazines and advertisers (including Estee Lauder) that don’t just feature Caucasian models. Let’s get a grip. It’s nice to see Fei Fei Sun on the cover of Italian Vogue this month. More ethnic beauty diversity, please. Beautiful comes in many shapes and sizes – and many shades.

10. FACIAL OILS.  BIG. BUT COMPETITIVE. I had a hunch facial oils might be big in 2012 but I never expected quite so many rosehip, rose, frankincense and argan facial oils to launch in 12 months. Like the argan oil market, the facial oil/serum market is fiercely competitive.

I saw a lot of almost duplicate formulas last year, not in itself a bad thing as the ingredients were super-effective and there are lot of intelligent labels about, but brands will have to really get their USPs across to consumers in this crowded space this year. Texture’s important, too. Delicate and easily absorbed. (Same goes for hand creams and balms. I remember one intensive “hand balm” I tried last autumn that left my laptop keys like mini skating-rinks (oil rigs!) Horrendous. Not to mention what those too-greasy products do to white cotton pillow cases or clothes or your iPad screen. Sorry. Fail. Who uses them?

11. HELLO HYALURONIC ACID! – yes hello our new best friend. HA’s ability to retain moisture puts it in a class of its own and if you’re not keen on facial oils, try an HA-based facial serum. F-HA-bulous. HA Body Serums are the next new thing.

12. O IS FOR OXYGEN – add it to your 2013 skincare shortlist. Oxygen’s still not high on the radar but our skin is our largest, living/breathing organ and as we know it needs oxygen and water. (And hates sugar, smoking, sun, stress and lack of sleep).

Bliss, Orico, Nubo, Nivea’s Oxygen Power range and a few other brands do “oxygen” skincare. Oxygen is highly volatile and tricky to stabilise but Swiss skincare brand Karin Herzog has done it. The brand’s founder, Nobel honoree Dr. Paul Herzog, patented his unique “oxygen technology” sealing the oxygen in the products until they’re applied to skin, a process which remains a secret. (Quick side note here: I tried KH’s Vita-Kombi-1, the day/night cream with 1% oxygen before Christmas and all I can say is I’m convinced this brand is light years ahead. I’ve never had so many “oh-you-look-wells!” in the same month – apparently Kate Middleton is a KH fan, too).

13. This year will be the year beauty and health (that includes emotional health) become inextricably linked (see point no. 3). Inside-out beauty solutions will grow within the anti-ageing market. Supplements, beauty drinks, nutrition boosters as well as de-stressing, energy-boosting, (re)balancing lifestyle choices like yoga, meditation and aromatherapy will become as much a part of our beauty world as our weekly face masque and the perfect red lipstick.

14. Last one! Brands that forge an emotional bond with consumers will thrive. Those that get their formulas, packaging, marketing, website, customer service, USP messaging and social media campaigns right will be the winners in 2013. It doesn’t matter if the brand is small, British, green and organic or big, French and seriously high end with a high price tag to match. Once we’re emotionally attached to something, we’re attached.

The mere fact that there is such an extraordinarily huge range of brands and products in the global beauty marketplace is testament to the fact that we’re all the same – but different. Different incomes, jobs, values, geographical location, skin, hair, fragrance preferences, body chemistry, strengths, weaknesses, personalities, lifestyles. And we want to be happy, healthy, loved, have enough food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over our head, feel as though we’re thriving. The bath, body and beauty brands that make us feel safe, happy, well, relaxed/less stressed, attractive – even “successful” – will do really well.

So, we got through 2012 more or less in one piece (good) but the world – even the weather – still feels a bit shaky and unpredictable. From a brand perspective, there’s little room for mistakes this year. Consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. There’s less money and we want more for our money. Our products have to be better than good. But we’ll pay, if we can, if we see results and/or the emotional feelgood factor is there. We like new things, the possiblity of something “better”. Solutions. An end to our worries.

Thankfully, beauty consumers are a loyal bunch overall (although there’s nothing we love more than a fab new discovery is there?) If a product makes us feel better, less stressed, look thinner/younger, more relaxed, attractive, confident, comforted, pampered – more of whatever we want it to make us feel, then it’s coming home with us, to its new home in our crowded bathroom cabinet.

What do you think will be new, big, in, out, groundbreaking or well and truly over in 2013? Tweet me @BeautyShortlist or share your thoughts here…

6 responses to “2013 BEAUTY PREDICTIONS”

  1. Wendy says:

    Congratulations Fiona on creating such an informative website and resource. I’ve read with great interest your Beauty Predictions, and fully endorse the item on ‘Green washing’. You are absolutely right. Now is the time for authentic, ethical brands that are truly ‘natural and ‘organic’ to shout about it!

  2. admin says:

    Hi Annie,
    You just need to read the label, that at the end of the day is the only way to say what a product contains, and I don’t believe the reference is out of date. I did see the Ecosalon review and it linked to Safe Cosmetics which had something to say, too! But that’s it for now thanks for your comments, over and out. I love Aveda but labels are there for the reading 🙂 x

  3. Annie says:

    Your reference is a little out of date now. The Ecosalon also did a review in 2012 and actually highlighted the Eco philosophy of the company.
    Some hair products just won’ t survive without a little boost to the ingredients and there is no evidence to support the naturally derived chemicals are harmful. All in all with a soil to bottle philosophy, investing in third world countries, energy through wind farms, helping Nepalese women to earn money for their families by making paper pacaging, growing their own crops, recycling their products and more, adds up to a very admirable Eco friendly company in my book. x

  4. Beauty Shortlist says:

    Hi Annie, thanks! This is by no means a comprehensive list of brands – just examples of some of the brands we think will do really well this year. Have a look at: http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2012/04/8-beauty-brands-you-would-think-are-natural-but-arent/?doing_wp_cron=1358616886.8067510128021240234375

  5. Annie says:

    Great post. Very informative but I wonder why Aveda was not mentioned in the brand listings. All products are derived from natural plant and flower ingredients and the companies philosophy is to care for the planet we live on. Can you let me know why such a green company has been overlooked?

  6. Sophie says:

    Love this post! Found it really interesting to read, particularly the part about ‘greenwashing’.