Extravagance in The Beauty World Is Over For Now.
As I continue to field questions about the post-pandemic future of the world, one thing seems clear – extravagance is over in the beauty world, at least for now.
You only had to look at tik tok or instagram right before the pandemic to see extravagance and flashing your proverbial brand names anywhere and everywhere was right out of control on a global scale in the western world.
We were as far from simplicity as you could get, with elite brand names spattered over caps, cars, shoes, and even tattoos. Looking back, it was pretty crazy. Conspicuous consumption was the order of the day.
The lockdowns, lack of travel, and slower pace the world has adopted have forced us all to reflect on what matters and what is really important. The post pandemic world is going to look a lot different to the diamond studded, colour filled, butt injected tik toks and instagrams that jammed our feeds just two years ago.
Sustainability, simplicity and even conservation are words I am hearing from many luxury lifestyle brands as well as industries right now.
So what does that mean for beauty?
The beauty industry is innovating and it’s not only about sustainability, conservation and refillable packaging. The next beauty phase is about simplicity, low key promises, and being real. Heck if you can give back, even better.
The beauty industry had also become super extravagant – there was a product for every moment of life from morning creams to afternoon touch up foundations to night masks, sheet masks, clay masks, gold infused masks, silver masks, diamond masks, blue masks, black masks, bubble masks, cream masks, gel masks and everything in-between.
The indications from Europe where lockdowns eased months ago are that women no longer want to invest the time, money and effort they did before the pandemic on extravagant beauty routines. Now they want simplicity.
Women want one product for the face, under eye, neck, skin, cheek, eyebrow and forehead cream, not seven, just one they can use for every part of their face or body.
Women’s taste in beauty is reflecting the social, political and global climate – there is a questioning of the basic values we never questioned before, a mistrust of barrages of promises and a movement away from flashy, over bearing packaging.
It’s also a continuation of our lockdown life and lifestyles where sneakers, t-shirts and jeans have become the daily staples, even at work as most of us here in Australia still WFH.
Women want three products now where before they may have bought ten. Think travel beauty, in terms of minimal products and simpler packaging, but this is what we want every day now.
Women’s beauty habits reflecting politics and the political environment is not new. During World War 2, Adolf Hitler reportedly hated red lipstick, so wearing it quickly became a sign of patriotism, and a statement against racism in the allied countries.
And overseas, women are again shopping at beauty counters rather than online. The big drawcard here seems to be being able to try before they buy.
Women want to road test products more than ever, but they also want the customer experience. Whilst transparency and so-called “honest beauty” have been buzz words for the last few years, the new angle is that women are now looking for privacy, and to try before they buy, but behind closed doors.
What this translates to is changing rooms within beauty departments. So you can try a whole face of make-up before deciding what to buy. Again, there is a shift away from extravagant spending habits and really drilling down on what we want, like, need and will actually use.
There were always going to be significant shifts after such a huge global event like this, and I am sure there will be many more. Stay tuned.