While the recent State of the Industry presented by CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) was a virtual event, it was clear that our future – and the future of beauty – will be a combination of digital and physical experiences where authenticity matters and brand values are increasingly important.

  1. Beauty is back – and it’s for everyone. As we emerge from several years of being home-bound, masked up and minimalist, the beauty category is poised for strong growth. Some categories, like skincare, fragrance and especially home fragrance, saw massive growth during the pandemic. Today, makeup is back and men, long overlooked in beauty and skincare, are having a moment. Coresight Research shared data from China confirming that the men’s beauty sector is on the rise; the US is experiencing similar growth with data from GWI revealing that since 2018, beauty has been the fastest growing category among men. There’s strong evidence of this on TikTok, where 5 of the Top 10 beauty creators identify as male.

  2. Values-based shopping is here to stay. According to a study commissioned by TikTok, 71% of consumers expect brands to stand for more than their goods and services with 58% saying that whether a beauty brand’s values align with theirs strongly impacts purchase. Credo shared several ways they remain to true to their brand promise of clean beauty from setting packaging standards for the brands they sell (no more single-use packaging for masks, wipes, etc.) to a big push to reduce plastics and also offering consumers points for bringing empty packages to stores for recycling.

  3. The Power of Gen Z. Gen Z has massive purchasing power (over $360B) and represents 25% of the total US population. They are active consumers of beauty with over two thirds using skincare daily and 25% using makeup daily. They are challenging perceptions of beauty and embracing imperfect as the new perfect. Gen Z celebrates individuality, recognizing that everyone is unique and should be reflected in what brands create – from products to social posts. They also consume consciously and navigate seamlessly from digital engagements to physical experiences.

  4. IRL + URL: For today’s beauty consumers, it’s not either/or, it’s both. 77% of Gen Z consumers discover beauty products on social media but 80% prefer to shop for beauty in stores – and 45% shop at stores like Sephora and Ulta according to GenZ 360 + GenZ Planet Research. A seamless omnichannel experience is essential for beauty brands to authentically connect with their target customers, inspire discovery and deliver on personalization.

  5. Lines are blurring between Beauty and Wellness. Consumers are increasingly embracing – and striving for - physical and mental health and brands are rising to the occasion with an explosion of new self-care products in the beauty aisle. From department stores like Nordstrom to specialty stores like Ulta and slew of new DTC brands, you can now find edibles, supplements, elixers and serums to soothe your soul, boost your mood, replenish your collagen and increase your focus. From energy boosts to sleep aids, this growing category is anchored on the goal of bringing balance to your life and your beauty routine.

The net takeaway for all brands, beauty or otherwise, is to be authentic, know your audience and be where they are. Meet them in the Metaverse with a unique experience that reinforces your brand values. Connect on TikTok – but be authentic and entertaining. And be sure both instore and online, you are inspiring discovery and providing frictionless checkout. Last but not least, as GenZ puts it so well, #BeYourself.

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