2016 Beauty Predictions

Welcome to the Arrivals (& Departures) Lounge, it’s time for the annual predictions along with the beauty products that will be leading the way.

But first…some thoughts about one of the most important trends – ever – which is the rise and rise of the older woman. That “invisible” feeling a lot of women feel when they hit 50 is going to become a thing of the past – this is one of the biggest, deepest, most hopeful sociological turnarounds in the history of beauty and cosmetics. There is a tremendous freedom in embracing ageing instead of being averse or afraid of it. Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone, Linda Gray (“Dallas”) – who at 75 looks fabulous and she’s got a new book out, too – are breaking new ground for future generations.

Audrey Hepburn knew all about how ageless beauty feels and looks – she was one.

The more we see the beauty in older women, and the more we see women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond in the media, the better. So it becomes “the norm”. L’Oreal is a great pioneer on this front (older women tend to have more money to spend on cosmetics and skincare) and because of its massive advertising reach, I almost want to kiss the page every time I see a L’Oreal ad featuring a woman who has lived life to the full for five decades or more.  Fittingly, the divine Susan Sarandon at 69 is the new face of L’Oreal Paris this year, the best possible ambassador as we watch 2016 become THE YEAR OF AGELESS BEAUTY.

Stylist Magazine spotlighted this in their feature “From Helen Mirren to Susan Sarandon, the campaign stars who have broken the stigma of ageing in advertising” – read it HERE

(Side note: Ageism, like racism, needs to disappear – ASAP).

So this March, for the first time ever, we have two new categories in the awards:



Ark Skincare is one of my absolute favourite age-targeted brands because they have such a pioneering approach and really understand what older skin needs. Their Age Defy Moisturiser £30 is excellent and affordable (it’s full of skin-plumping peptides, hyaluronic acid, blackcurrant, borage and phytohormone-rich red clover) so if you’re about to hit 50 and looking to up your moisturising game, that’s a product to have a good look at. Stratum-C’s “menopause targeted” range for women 50+, meanwhile, is another good one.

Here’s what I think will take off this year.

What do you think will be big, in/out? Share your predictions @beautyshortlist.

  1. NEW YEAR, NEW NATURAL. It’s all about natural this year (not just skincare ingredients, but how your skin looks). Dewy complexions, barely-there tinted serums, Vaseline-highlighted cheekbones (or better still, delete that and replace with “natural balm-highlighted”). Even “strobing” which replaced “contouring” will be on its way out soon, as we strip everything down to ultra-simple and less contrived.  Natural skincare and cosmetics are in for what could be one really stellar year for the organic beauty world. Meanwhile, a 2016 tan = a healthy golden glow (IN) – not a sprayed to the hilt body builder deep caramel (OUT). Tip:  Two of the best facial self-tanners I’ve come across are Omorovicza’s Glam Glow at Cult Beauty with skin-replenishing oils (it doesn’t feel in the least bit oily) and Santa Monica/LA celeb favourite Chocolate Sun (all natural) is fantastic –  it’s landed in the UK at A Beautiful World.



  1. ONE PRODUCT DOING MANY (NEW) THINGS. We’ll be a seeing a lot more of less is more and less DOES more. Multitasking balms that hydrate, cleanse and swipe off everything including eye makeup which also triple-up as overnight masks, as well. (Jane Scrivner’s Nourishing Cleanser is a classic example of a really good do-everything balm). Also big will be mascaras that moisturise as well as plump and lengthen. And body lotions that gently “exfoliate while you wear”, without actually being pitched outright as  exfoliators. Lip balms that do way more than add a flush of colour – see No. 3. The success of these multi-taskers is down to various factors: 1) More space in your bathroom – one product “does almost all”; 2) Cheaper than having to buy 3 different products; 3) Travel-friendly and 4) There’s just something refreshingly “eco/zen about having one glorious pot of great stuff that works hard in two or more areas. Pommade Divine is another balm I really like, this time it’s good for lips, dry patches, mosquito bites…you name it!

Jane Scrivner’s Nourishing Cleanser (one of the best do-everything balms around)

  1. 2016 is THE YEAR OF THE HIGH TECH LIP BALM. “Lip balm” …are you still visualising a transparent, honey-flavoured beeswax balm? Much as we love those, we’re going to see a new generation of lip balms which plump up, deliver enhanced depth of colour, and smooth lips as well as tackling the lines around them. (We’re seeing quite a few advanced eye treatments that work on the lip area, too, among this year’s Beauty Shortlist Awards entries – look out for them on 15 March). From a “science” standpoint, the big brands like Dior, Fillerina and medispa/Harley Street-style products will lead the way on this (some being lip treatments alone, others being tinted lip colours that aspire to acting like a treatment).


  1. ORGANIC IS NOW OFFICIALLY MAINSTREAM.  This is a recent development, the pivotal turning point was about two years ago-ish – and fast-forwarding, we can expect organic products not just to give the traditional formulas a run for their money, but to start leading the way. This is already happening, but more so in places like Sydney and LA and to a slightly lesser extent, the UK.  For me, some of the most interesting organic brands are coming out of Australia at the moment while California has an organic heritage that dates back decades already.  The UK is catching up fast, though! This is absolutely massive and very good news for all the organic brands who’ll have an even bigger fanbase soon. The downside of it is that big non-organic brands will continue to want to join the party but won’t go all the way – e.g. launching heavily-marketed “pretend organics” as I call them because they know consumers have a soft spot for organic food and beauty.  Looking back at when organic reviews were just delivered by the green bloggers (who were so ahead of their time 5-10 years ago) it’s amazing how the landscape has changed.  Bloggers, vloggers and beauty editors who’d never ventured near a “pure green” brand are now raving about their “new” finds – or in the green bloggers’ case, “old favourites”!  Glad to see the mainstream beauty world catching up with organic – at long last 😉 But “green” is going to be a poisoned chalice this year because alongside the organic movement comes…

  1. GREENWASHING. This is a BIG PROBLEM AND IT NEEDS TO GO AWAY. Nivea touted its Pure & Natural range as very green when it launched and yet the only two or three natural ingredients in some of the formulas came last on their product labels. (The largest ingredient comes first, the less of an ingredient there is, the further down the ingredients list you’ll find it). I’m writing a post about The Soil Association’s #campaign4clarity (new post coming on this soon!) because this is vitally important for a myriad of reasons. Johnson & Johnson finally gave in to (legal and public) pressure to remove carcinogens from their No More Tears Baby Shampoo and has been phasing out the controversial ingredients country-by-country over the past few years. How can you tell if something’s really natural or organic or just “pretend organic”? READ THE LABEL (our mantra since 2009) because it’s the only way to know (but you’ll need the help of the ingredients “directories” on the internet – I’ll mention these in a post coming up about Greenwashing).  Occasionally an ingredient like Hyaluronic Acid, which is brilliant and natural, sounds like a chemical so it’s a bit of a minefield if you’re new to this but you’ll quickly start recognising the long names of the bad stuff.  To stick to the right road look for the logos – such as Soil Association, Leaping Bunny, Natrue, ECO certified products. Why do non-natural brands tout themselves as “natural”? Because they know damn well it’s a consumer win and they’ll win over more consumers.  Naughty tactic.  I’m not critiquing a product that isn’t natural here, but I am completely against “greenwashing” – if a moisturiser is NOT natural and it’s pitched as being natural or organic by the marketing dept, then I just don’t want to know (that brand).  It’s a cheap and unethical tactic to generate more sales by saying a product is organic when it’s not – it’s misleading and disappointingly stealthy.


  1. NATURAL LIPSTICKS. This is a sticky one for me 😉 I don’t think natural lipsticks are on a par quality-wise, with a few exceptions, as, say, the Diors, Chanels and Guerlains (ILIA is currently one of the natural leaders with a pretty big choice of shades and textures). I find it quite frustrating to be honest looking for natural lipsticks.  I want gorgeous shades, lots of them, great texture and taste and staying power – and a million options from super-glossy to slightly shimmery to ultra-matte. But one of the stalling points, apart from the headache of perfecting the ultimate natural formula, is that organic lip brands don’t have the size of audience that, say, a Dior, a Chanel or a MAC does – if you’re going to create a whole range of textures you’ve got to have enough people ready to buy.  It’s a bit chicken and egg but I think this will change over time as the organic consumer market gets even bigger. So this isn’t a trend or prediction, it’s really more of a question – why do we have to put lead-based colour on our lips? I will kiss the person who invents the perfect natural lipstick! #waitingfortheday
  1. HIGH TECH, HARLEY STREET-STYLE BEAUTY AND ORGANIC BEAUTY WILL POLARISE. The DNA beauty/botox/filler fans v. the slow beauty/clean beauty/green beauty fans.  But that’s not to say there isn’t crossover potential – a little of what does you good…? This is the beauty fork in the road…Left or Right? I saw a medical clinic on Instagram this week offering “six packs” for men – using a shadow effect on the skin. I tell you, if having a man with a six pack was important to me, I’d run a mile from a man with a fake cosmetic surgery-designed one. I’d much rather have the real thing. On the same note, it’s good to see things have advanced and/or become a bit more regulated on the filler front, there seem to be fewer trout pouts about.
  1. BRANDS WITH DISTINCTIVE USP’s WILL STAND OUT: Acupuncturist to the stars (and beauty insiders) John Tasagaris’s SkinPointEight (now at Harrods) is a perfect example of this. He’s harnessed his Traditional Chinese Medicine expertise and created a brand that thrives by its east-meets-west approach, where the products are cutting edge cocktails using a group of botanicals known as adaptogens – ingredients goji berries, licorice and ginseng which are used in Chinese medicine. Just as AURELIA Skincare made its mark with its probiotic-fuelled brand (and it really took off in a short time!), Danish brand NUORI Skincare lands in London at Content Beauty, a range based on its “fresh factor” (products are made with natural ingredients and there’s a start using by/stop using by date stamped on the packaging). Meanwhile, Dr. Philip Levy, Switzerland’s No. 1 Botox specialist and creator of the Dr Levy Intense Stem Cell range believes ageing is reversible and having tested some of his range, we’re almost on the verge of agreement. His stem cell-boosting formulas are a glimpse into the future. Dermal stem cells are the mother cells of fibroblasts, the skin’s natural “factory” as Dr Levy puts it, of two absolutely essential anti-wrinkle fighters, elastin and collagen (without which skin starts to look old quickly). When you see a very tanned older woman who’s overdone the sun during her lifetime– the rays “destroy” collagen making skin look leathery – what’s happened to her skin is “collagen breakdown”.
  1. BLUE IS THE NEW BLUE! BLUE EYELINER – LIKE EYELINER ITSELF – IS HERE TO STAY (hurrah!) – at least for another few seasons! Cobalt and peacock blues are everywhere…from liquid eyeliners to crayons to eyeshadow.
  1. PANTONE’S (TWO, THIS TIME) COLOURS OF THE YEAR 2016 REFLECT THE MOOD OF THE WORLD – they’ve hit it spot on. We can’t get enough Rose Quartz (love) and Serenity (peace), and the more we have and can share and create of both, the better the world will be (obviously) in these uncertain, unsettling times.  Spring nails are very much a play on Pantone’s 2016 Colours of the Year – expect a lot of pantone variations on sugar pinks, nearly nudes, the palest of lilacs, buttercup yellows and powder blues.


  1. Speaking of which, CRYSTAL BEAUTY is a “thing” of beauty, now. Crystals are making their way into beauty, bath and aromatherapy brands – like Michelle Roques-O’Neal’s exquisite THERAPIE range, while PRISMOLOGIE’s colour, mood and energy-inspired range is different, too.


  1. REUSABLE BEAUTY. Reusable beauty (a close relative of Zero Waste) could/should be news, this year. I’d like to see more multifunctional beauty packaging around, and/or packaging ditched altogether.  You should see the thousands of boxes we have to recycle when our Awards entries flood in every autumn/winter – it’s unbelievable! You could build a carton house out of them.  Brands could be putting balms into pots that can double up as tea light holders when the balm’s finished (Spiezia Organics do gorgeous coloured glass pots – see Instagram.com/beautyshortlist!) or…add more lids to glass candle jars so we can keep jewellery or little bits and pieces in them? New CID have a lipgloss that lights up when you unscrew the wand…it’s useful for dark nightclubs but it’s the next best thing to a torch when your house keys drop down the side of the car seat along a country road at midnight!


 cultbeauty logo

CULT BEAUTY – One of my favourite places to seek out new beauty

  1. WHO DO YOU TRUST? There’s a post coming up about this in February (about brands paying bloggers for reviews). I read a lot of beauty blogs by the bloggers whose opinions I value and I also really trust the RETAILERS – like Cult Beauty, A Beautiful World, Fortnum & Mason, Liberty, Fenwick, Content, Naturisimo, LoveLula…etc. Why? Because good products will sell well and they’re not going to bother with ones that don’t. The proof of the beauty pudding is in the using, which is why certain brands and products have such a – massively – loyal following. No retailer wants to stock stuff that won’t leave the warehouse quickly. MyShowcase is an example of a superb beauty edit who brand picks I trust implicitly. MyShowcase was co-founded by beauty editor Kate Shapland, and it’s like having your own insider’s guide to the best beauty around, selectively and stylishly curated by Kate herself.

MyShowcase – home to a lot of Beauty Shortlist heroes, including Aurelia, Jane Scrivner, New CID Cosmetics (that’s the light-up lip gloss I was talking about earlier, at the top!),  5-free nail brand Kure Bazaar

…and T.LeClerc’s incredible mascaras


  1. TRY-ME SIZES AND SAMPLES…will get bigger (ha!) Hello minis, we love you.  Mini trial sizes are wondrous things and fit nicely into handbags – even if they are a pain for the brands to produce. How else are we supposed to try a tinted foundation or a new shampoo before we fork out for the full size? A Beautiful World do quite a few smaller sizes you can trial first before you buy bigger. (This is where the beauty boxes play a leading role in try-me beauty, I discovered a brilliant primer by Danish brand Emite thanks to a recent GlossyBox). More lipstick samples would be fantastic if someone can think up a clever way of delivering them. Not cheap for the brands to do, but so useful for consumers who prefer to buy their beauty and fragrances online – otherwise to an extent you’re just second-guessing unless you’ve popped into the store to take a look at the products first.  How often do you buy a product “blind”, based on reviews, from an online site? Escentual are a great place to buy mini fragrance gift sets, I just saw they have a sale on some of them at the moment. Most women, I think, are prepared to pay for their favourite products if they can afford them, but we’re not prepared to waste money on false starts – it’s one reason I founded The Beauty Shortlist, to spotlight the real hero products you find that you want your friends to know about. (Best part of my job is recommending products to people and then getting emails saying they were a “perfect discover” for them!) I think we’ll be seeing more minis this year. #vroom

daniel galvin

Daniel Galvin’s “Air Dry”  – the city version of beach hair comes to town


  1. GOODBYE SPF20, HELLO SPF50 – AND NOW, MORE THAN JUST SUNSCREEN. SPFs are upping their game – SPF20 may feel right for a semi-sunny day in Brighton, but most of the high-tech, high end brands have turned up the volume, launching SPF30 and 50 tinted moisturisers as well as sunscreens. (You can’t call it sunblock, by the way – the US has officially “outlawed” that term! Why? Because you can never truly “block” the sun’s rays). SPF creams will be doing more double duty in 2016, such as Dr Murad’s Age-Balancing SPF30 is perfection for me (it’s my summer investment product and so worth it!) – I’ve tested it in strong sun by the Atlantic Coast as well as 3 hrs from the Sahara in deepest Morocco. So much more than a stand-alone SPF30, plant proteins, shea butter and natural fruit oils deliver protection, plumping and anti-ageing factors. It’s so light, it’s like wearing a moisturiser and a shield against strong sun at the same time.


  1. HAIR IS MAKING WAVES IN TIME FOR SUMMER. Beachy, messy and wavy but naturally voluminous. There’s a flurry of new products around to achieve this look but the big, faultless, blow-dried-to-perfection-just-out-of-the-salon look is official over. Ponytails are long and big. Twisted, rolled ponytails and creative imperfectly-perfect braids, with lots of boho wispy-ness and much more coming our way this summer. For city days, Daniel Galvin’s Air Dry “city beach hair” is the best of both worlds.


  1. IT’S LESS ABOUT FAT, MORE ABOUT FITNESS. We’ve seen this already, but I think we’ll see much more “holistic” fitness around. Thin is no longer the ultimate goal, health IS. I think the craze for juicing will die off slightly, replaced with a focus on “real food” which couples well with the real beauty trend. Those king size fruit juices are are just way too high in sugar! A lot of beauty editors jumped on the fruit juice bandwagon last January and it was such a mistake! I saw this fruit juice trend happen about 15 years ago in LA and it divebombed after it screwed up people’s blood sugar. Green is better.


  1. COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS WILL BE VERY MUCH IN THE MIX THIS YEAR. We’re still sifting through the entries for our 5th awards on Tuesday 15 March (always an exciting day and this year is going to be the Year of Surprises by the looks of it). Especially with some really refreshing new brands with new USPs poised to give current beauty heroes a run for their money. The beauty arena has reached an almost insanely competitive high. One trend is a flurry of “longer ingredients labels” brimming nicely with health store ingredients becuase each ingredient performs a different skin-enhancing function. Bamboo (a source of silica) and bamboo powder (a natural exfoliant)…goji berries (nutrient-packed little things full of antioxidants, amino acids and carotenoids)…licorice (a calming anti-inflammatory)…rosehip (helps heal scars)…Hyaluronic Acid (a superhero when it comes to retaining moisture so skin doesn’t dry out as fast)… argan (like rosehip this does lots of things!) and so on…


  1. REAL BEAUTY MAKES A COME-BACK. Echoing No. 1 on this year’s predictions list, real beauty has never been more “in” since the sixties – it’s totally 2016!  And of course the best way to great skin is via an inside-out job – i.e. optimal health meets optimal-performance beauty products. Interestingly, while on the one hand new cosmetic breakthroughs (the new generation of tinted serums and foundations, for example) help give the illusion of a “barely there” look, on the other hand it’s all about your REAL beauty shining through – thanks to healthy habits. Naturally, with a little bit of help from clever products.


  1. Last but not least, NAIL ART IS STILL STRONG but…last year’s more in-your-face extreme nails have made way for a cleverer,more innovative, lower key look which is much less bling-centric or 3-D. It’s very different. A coat of cool gun metal polish with bare half moons…one shade nails but with some fingers left completely bare…ultra-sheer nudes lit up with a dusting of delicate glitter…glossy-ish polish crossed horizontally with superfine silver lines). Basically, Essex is OUT and London/Paris/New York/boho chic is IN.


…and finally, number 21!  “DON’T LET ANYONE DULL YOUR SPARKLE”  – that’s an easy one this year. Glitter dusting is everywhere…on nails, eyes, hair, side partings, cheekbones and eyebrows (and navels for bikini season?) David Bowie was already wearing it brilliantly long before most of the rest of us and it’s going to be everywhere this year – from London cocktail parties to South of France beaches. The subtlest sparkle on eyelids instead of eyeshadow for bare-faced weekend chic (in fact the only place glitter might not work, depending on where you do, is at work). Less is more or more is more…whatever floats your boat.

On a more industry-wide note, it would be a very good thing if plastic microbeads are BANNED worldwide this year. President Obama just passed a bill outlawing them in the US, great news because they are COMPLETELY unnecessary in beauty products like exfoliants, shower gels and toothpastes. These plastic beads are environmental hazards. There are billions of them poisoning, clogging up and damaging  our wildlife and our planet (they’re a human health risk, too). Finely ground natural substances – e.g. bamboo as one example – are much better! Microbeads pass through our sewer systems into natural bodies of water like oceans and lakes. Here’s why they’re so bad – and a health danger: the beads leach harmful chemicals into the water, while they also absorb toxic pollutants like PCBs, heavy metals and oil.  So these contaminated beads are then swallowed by fish and other marine creatures and then get re-introduced into our food supply so we end up eating these toxic little pests. One report I read stated that Johnson & Johnson’s Clean and Clear Facial Scrub can contain up to 330,000 plastic microbeads. That’s not a typo! BAN THE MICROBEAD. More info: www.beatthemicrobead.org/en/

So that’s it.

What do you see being big in beauty this year? Tag us @BeautyShortlist

2 responses to “2016 BEAUTY PREDICTIONS”

  1. Beauty Shortlist says:

    Thanks Alex!
    You’ve got massage masks, hair and “anti-inflammaging” covered so between us I think we’ve got 2016 sorted!
    Fiona x

  2. alex says:

    A great list and lots I’d wish I’d thought of for my trends/predications post.
    I’ve a few points that are similar to yours but with a slightly different angle but that’s what makes the beauty world so interesting:

    Alex x