NEXT YEAR LOOKS LIKE…WHAT? TIME FOR OUR 2017 BEAUTY PREDICTIONS
It’s that time again! With January just days away now, what’ll be big in 2017? We already know matte lips and graphic eyeliner have legs for another 12 months, but what about “deeper” trends. Is the Beauty Box reinventing itself…or three steps away from dead? And will this be the year everyone join’s the Green Party? Pantone thinks it will.
Here’s what I think could be among the main trends…what do you think will be big in 2017?
- NEW is the newest NEW…or to put it another way, new has never been more sought after. Consumers are so much savvier (and dare I say braver?) than five years ago, and beauty’s never been more exciting or eclectic, so it’s all about discovering new hero products and mixing and matching (hello 4-brand beauty routine, goodbye single brand beauty routine). The problem for smaller brands is getting their products into bricks and mortar locations so consumers can try the products – I predict some innovative ideas on this front, but at a more basic level more/different pop-up shops to things like “new beauty Saturdays” in dept stores and more “meet the founder” events where consumers can really get a taste for niche brands, away from the sometimes more bland one-moisturiser-fits-all high street ones.
- “NICHE” HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER. You need a strong USP, you need great packaging and you need to know how to market your brand for the best return on your investment, but one thing the 2017 Awards have revealed already is that niche/boutique has never been stronger. Niche brands are shining so brightly right now and they have huge appeal. It’s about Niche, Natural and Not On The High Street. Anyone still buying the big supermarket/high street global powerhouse brands is missing out on a whole lot of fun – and a much better product/formula offering from the niche brands. Beauty is so much more bespoke now – it’s not “I’m over 40 with dry skin”, it’s “I’m over 40 but feel 35, have dry skin, work long hours and find aromatherapy-centric skincare very healing…and my ultimate sanctuary would be a spa”. Beauty buyers are doing “pick and mix” – cleanser and moisturiser by one brand, but perhaps a toner by someone else and a serum by another brand. Bathroom cabinets are filled with one-product heroes across 4-5 brands (and up!) It’s like furnishing your home with different pieces from different stores v. your whole flat is IKEA’d. But the big question is…out of these emerging, ultra-popular niche brands, how do you know which ones you should be playing with?
- …here’s one possible answer. A is for AUTHENTICITY. “Miracle this, overnight that”…are OUT. Intelli-speak towards consumers, from the heart, with transparency and ethics is IN. You don’t have to be a medium to suss out the authentic brands in the marketplace (we feature them!) and authenticity is going to be the make-or-break factor for bloggers in 2017. More than a few brands chucking thousands of pounds at a big blogger for one Instagram post, or one Tweet are starting to see little or practically no return in sales and are going to have to look to the micro-influencers with fewer but more “real” followers and more credibility – and more genuine desire to support the brands they work with. I watched with interest earlier this year when one of the biggest beauty bloggers was involved in a cancer charity weekend as their official ambassador. Not only did she not even Tweet on the day of the walk/event, there was no mention on any of her social channels about the charity, she was busy Tweeting about other things. I couldn’t believe it. I just kept thinking a “smaller” blogger perhaps someone who’s been affected by cancer, would have been more supportive and a better campaigner. Big brands and big bloggers watch out – 2017 could well turn out to be THE year for micro-influencers and smaller, artisan brands. And all the so-called “influencers” who either aren’t but are pretending to, and/or have bought most of their followers? Watch out. (You’ve been warned, it won’t end well). The truth will out in 2017, it’s going to be all about being real, authentic, grounded, heart-centered, ethical and truthful, in the midst of a troubled, off-kilter, oft-times weird, unjust, unpredictable, unsettled world.
- EVERYONE’S JOINING THE GREEN PARTY – AND SUPPORTING CRUELTY-FREE (Things are looking up!) It feels like two decades ago when I started The Beauty Shortlist in 2009…back then green beauty was incredibly niche in the UK (a bit less so in California and Australia). But almost overnight it seems strawberry sink-made scrubs and avocado face masks died a rather quick death as a new breed of more sophisticated, modern-look, effective, plant-powered skincare was on the rise. Now virtually everyone’s on the green bandwagon. If you run a brand and put a”Paraben” on your moisturiser label you’ve shot yourself in the foot. Consumers know much more about the good guys v bad guys (ingredients) in skincare and cosmetics and there’s so much more info out there about brands that are exciting, different, pioneering and yes natural. Having said that, the frustrating lack of an all-encompassing, centrally-regulated organic labelling/logo system still seems to linger. Soil Association, NaTrue, Ecocert, etc. are all great but they’re all different. Cruelty-free beauty is fast becoming not a choice but rather a prerequisite. There is no reason why ANY brands should be testing on animals, anywhere in the world. We’ll be watching the developments closely as things are gradually improving on this front.
- THE PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR 2017 IS “GREENERY”. A slightly dull, pale-ish but very natural looking leaf green is 2017’s new Pantone star – the colour of the year. Rose Quartz and Serenity were 2016’s Pantone colours but despite the fact that they were decidedly prettier and more spiritually evocative than 2017’s, Pantone’s unassuming “Greenery” feels rather refreshing. Apparently it’s about inspiration, new beginnings, a pick-me-up. Bring on the greenery, we can’t wait to dive into it! And cue more green eyeliners, nail shades and eyeshadows while we’re at it. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in fashion on green front, too.
- LIVE OR DIE BY YOUR PACKAGING Another massively obvious observation as we continue judging the Awards until 1 February…is: never underestimate the power of packaging and branding. Shower gels in tall bottles with difficult to press down “beaks” are a no-no, as are great formulas and skincare in crap packaging. Brands…what are you thinking??!! I’m one of the few judges that actually marks down on packaging. I’m a stickler for clear ingredients labels, sustainability, intelligent, practical delivery (better pumps for skincare, clever dual mascara designs, that sort of thing) and design. I’ve seen one too many good skincare brands fall by the wayside because of weak packaging. It’s a crowded beauty house, you have to stand out (beautifully!) Brands like Ortigia Sicilia, Crabtree & Evelyn, L’Occitane and Miller Harris do packaging so well. As do the “cleanline” brands like Bamford, Dr. Levy, Verso Skincare and most of the Scandinavian brands who always manage to make minimalist look so tempting. (Why is water still sold in plastic bottles when paper cartons would work instead? I remember seeing BOXED WATER or BOX WATER?…in the States. Great idea that never caught on in the UK)
- 2017 WILL BE A JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY, SELF-HEALING, SELF-CARE, SELF-ESTEEM and SPA TIME…So let’s hear it for the real women. Individuality v. Sheep. Strength and Flaws v. Perfection. No more running to your local GP every time for antibiotics…instead, learning how to deal with most things naturally. Flower Essences, Herbal Teas, Mineral Salts…all these are becoming much more mainstream, they’re out of the woo-woo closet. Another big trend in this year’s Awards entries has been the increase in aromatherapy-based products, from stronger smelling plant-inspired scented skincare (if I had a brand, I’d offer unscented product lines, too, though) to the most divine candles and reed diffusers – all inspired very directly from nature but with sophisticated mixes like Cochine Saigon’s Wild Tuberose and Fig candle which is literally mouthwatering (gorgeous) and Summerdown Mint’s signature Black Mitchum mint and Lemongrass blend (one of my favourite reed diffusers – ever). The Spa ethic has featured strongly this year in the Awards entries – you can see much more “me time”, more healing/calming/energising targeted products about compared to last year. Ditto liquid supplements. Collagen drinks will be mainstream in 2017 while beauty supplements become much more sophisticated. Lumity Life and Correxiko (Correxiko covers every possible base practically from probiotics to vitamins and minerals and herbs in one daily sachet of 5 capsules) are two of the most interesting I’ve come across. Basically…heal yourself, don’t let anyone dull your sparkle and stay strong. There’s always someone prettier, richer or less pretty and poorer, the best thing about you is…you’re YOU. Limited edition. One!
- SEPHORA LANDS IN THE UK. Sephora could shake things up in the UK soon, as confirmed reports say they’re on their way. Sephora and “new” are interchangeable, and as we said earlier, new is the newest new. In London we’ve got Liberty’s – always a good place to hunt down something new, Content Beauty (ditto – for green beauty lovers) and Space.NK. While for one of London’s most eclectic fragrances houses, head to Fortnum & Mason, whose beauty edit is looking interesting these days, too. I think there’s space for some kind of pop-up shops or permanent venues for “pure NEW beauty” – a destination for beauty hounds to hunt down what nobody else has, yet. Cult Beauty do this beautifully online – kudos to them for sticking their necks out and bringing US brands across the pond to rainy Britain. Their beauty edit is just superb, Cult Beauty treads bravely where other retailers won’t even tiptoe.
- 2017: WELCOME TO THE YEAR OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Individual Beauty will be big. Same with health. No, detoxing doesn’t suit all of us, same for raw food, different diets, and so on. We’re the same…but different. One woman’s steak and salad is another’s green smoothie, I really believe where we live, our ethinic heritage, our blood type…all these differentiating factors make it impossible to live by a one-diet-fits-all. And maybe we should just ditch the word diet once and for all (yawn!). I adore blue eyeliner but it looks hideous on me! Watch for a real pick-and-mix, the mix-and-match vibe in 2017. I hope it will be goodbye Kim Kardashian and Arabic/block eyebrows, hello your real ones (more interesting and not the same as every one else’s) but we’ll see…
- GIVE BACK BEAUTY. More a wish than a trend, I’d love to see more brands give back. While we’re swatching lipstick shades, other women are living through hell #Aleppo #refugees …all the hashtags you like. We are very, very lucky to be able to pop out on a Saturday to the shops, to sleep on a proper bed, to be able to say “What do you feel like for dinner tonight?” If £1 from every single lipstick sold in the UK, USA and Asia went to people in distress and who really need help, the joy of beauty would shine so much brighter…
So there we have it. Let’s see what 2017 has in store, more temperance, tolerance – fewer tyrants and superficiality. I’m going to sound very Scrooge I know, but some of this year’s Christmas ads have been absolutely sickening, fake and a lot of money spent on a crap ad. We’re too “buy, buy, buy” when we should be “give, give, give”. On that note, I’ve been donating £10 to £25 to the wonderful, grass roots Breakfast In A Bag – they’re @Breakfastinabag #BIAB on Twitter. They go and say hello, and give breakfast in a paper bag to those living on the streets in London. £1 buys a pot of porridge, £3 buys a whole breakfast for one person. (Thank you Mallow + White and Mono Naturoils who joined in and also donated!)
We’re wrapping things up in a few days for the holidays, and will be back in early January (don’t miss the Shortlisted Brands Listings which will be out in early Feb – the winners of the 2017 Awards will be revealed a few weeks later on Thursday 2nd March). Thanks to all the brands who entered. They were the biggest and most diverse – and best, all round – Awards we’ve ever run! 38 countries entered and we could hardly keep up with it all. I think there will be some absolutely sparkling discoveries (we’ve already made some…shhhh) and we can’t wait to share the fruits of all the testing we’ve been up to! THANK YOU for making them so trusted, successful and…different!
Over the holidays, whether you’re spending them with family or in a different way, alone, perhaps, for the first time, pour yourself a glass of something good or make a tea and light a candle and sit quietly and make a mental laundry list, or better still write it all down…all the reasons and people and things you have, and are grateful for. Gratitude has a way of letting sunlight into a dark room. I read a great wellness tip today on Mind Body Green about Beating the Winter Blahs….No. 1 Maximise All The Light You Have (keep all the curtains open, sit in the room with a skylight, make sure you get outside and get any sunlight before it snows for three days straight or stays grey). You could say we’d do well to maximise all the light we have (inside of us)…bringing us back full circle to gratitude.
Can we squeeze in one more? 2017 will be the year for us women to ROCK OUR AGE, so please join us in January for our #RockYourAge campaign…it could turn out to be a thrilling green-grey year!