By Orven Mallari | July 31, 2020
Photo credit to cottonboy (Pexels)
Last year, we saw the continued dominance of the “Glossier look,” as dewy, “makeup-free” looks received all the rage. As 2020 progresses, however, we see an extension of these themes on “natural beauty” as consumers continue to ask ecological and ethical questions about the skincare and cosmetics that they use and purchase every day. In this blog, I’ll discuss some ways that this new ethos is manifesting in the cosmetics industry.
Along with the discussions taking place about the environmental damage caused by the fast fashion industry, fast beauty also threatens to drive the overconsumption of low-quality cosmetics that overfill our landfills. In response to this, some eco-friendly companies have strived to make cosmetics that are both socially and environmentally responsible. While 7-step, 10-step, and 12-step skincare routines are still going strong, there are also companies that build their ethos on fighting consumerism and on actually convincing their customers to buy less. With thoroughly-researched formulations and sustainable packaging, expect an influx of popularity among brands that have a “less is more” philosophy.
Increased consumer access to ingredients lists and adverse side effects have led to an emergence of hyper-personalized cosmetics. There are already haircare and skincare brands that have been successful in presenting products that are customizable both aesthetically and chemically. Such customizable cosmetics products help ensure the representation of different skin types and hues in beauty -- so keep your eyes out for companies that are introducing new levels of personalization in their products.
Onto the more purely aesthetic trends, we have the comeback of glitter as a serious statement look. With the ebb of the au naturale look comes the flow of bright, sparkly accouterments on either the cheeks, eyebrow, or even nose bridge areas. Of course, glitter sources that are biodegradable and plastic-free are much preferred.
Following the loud and proud ethos, the uses for eyeliner have continued to be stretched into new territories over the last couple of months. Particularly as face masks have become the norm, more focus has been given to the eyes, leading to a diverse set of eye-catching looks from the floating eyeliner seen on Yara Shahidi to graphic pencils that pop attention into the eyes.
Photo credit to Daria Shevtsova (Pexels)
Fad or not, the rise of cannabidiol (CBD) has been meteoric, to say the least. From CBD-infused energy drinks, to CBD-infused lip balm, to CBD-infused hand sanitizers, it was only a matter of time until CBD-infused cosmetics would be introduced into the mix. However, many CBD-infused products have been criticized for inaccurate health claims, and in terms of sustainability, CBD brands have faced criticism over their less than optimal farming practices and packaging. Luckily, sustainable cosmetics companies have paid attention to this, introducing their own lines of ethically-sourced products. If CBD is right for you, it might be worth it to give them a shot!
Photo credit to: Retha Ferguson
Makeup for Men
Finally, we see an extension for the calls for diversity through the mainstream introduction of men’s cosmetics. While we’ve previously seen gender-neutral makeup and even skincare for men, products such as bronzer, eyebrow pencils, and concealer for men are also now starting to trickle down into the market. Time will tell if these trends and campaigns will withstand time and genuinely resonate with today’s consumers or if they will end up being a bizarre episode of reverse pink tax, but they are certainly up-and-coming trends to be on the lookout for.
About the Author: Orven Mallari is currently a senior at Yale University. As an Environmental Engineering major, they are passionate about pursuing sustainable solutions to tackle global issues. When not reading up on environmental justice, they spend their time watching Premier League soccer, dreaming about visiting every National Park across the U.S., and cooking pasta.