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The Future Of Beauty: Redefining the Conversation

By: Marta Cammarano, Mariangela Gisonda, Jennifer King, Nichole Kirtley, Beatriz Loizillon
Posted: August 11, 2010
MPS degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at FIT

Future of Beauty: (from left) Mariangela Gisonda (The NPD Group, Inc.), Marta Cammarano (Intercos USA), Lezlee Westine (Personal Care Products Council), Nichole Kirtley (L’Oréal USA), Jennifer King (Firmenich, Inc.) , Beatriz Loizillon (Estée Lauder Companies).

Group Mentor: Lezlee Westine, Personal Care Products Council

What will beauty look like in 2020?

There are the obvious trends such as an increasingly aging population, globalization, technology innovation and environmental concerns. These are already here, and will definitely continue to impact beauty. However, the biggest change in 2020 will be redefining the communication with consumers. In 2020, women will no longer want to be told what to look like. The narrow Western beauty ideal of “young, thin and blond” will no longer hold true. Instead, women will want and will require being part of the conversation, rather than just the recipient of the message.

Beauty Will Be Real

Today, women constitute almost half of the U.S. workforce and control 73% of household spending.1 At the same time, women handle the majority of household chores and childcare responsibilities. Between building careers, managing a home and parenting, women's to-do lists are growing increasingly longer. Women are finding that increased opportunities often come at a cost: their personal happiness.2 While the difficult task of balancing work and parenting is here to stay, by 2020 women will have made one great discovery: they are no longer beholden to perfection.3 Surveys show that women 18–30, who grew up seeing their mothers exhaust themselves trying to have it all, are realizing that having it all does not necessarily mean doing it all.

In 2020, increased complexities and pressures of life will call for pragmatism rather than perfection. This new woman will no longer obsess over little things. She will be more likable, more reliable, and more real than previous generations. She will embrace her perfectly imperfect self, realizing that it's really all about how she defines herself at any given moment in time. She will see herself as an individual and will strive for a sense of personal identity outside her multiple roles. She won't look for a “one size fits all,” but rather for something unique that reflects her distinctive reality. Her greatest luxury will be time for herself; organization and functionality in her life will be key. She will look for solutions that will help her manage the complexity of her life, reduce her workload, and give her more time to focus on what‟s really important. Brands must therefore shift from telling to assisting her, focusing on helping her make the most of her life and supporting her in her search for comfort and problem solving.

Beauty Will Be Reciprocal

In 2020, the shift from telling the consumer what she needs to servicing her will have occurred. Brands will communicate authentically as the 2020 consumer is looking for real beauty aspirations. This reciprocal relationship and new form of interaction will enhance her shopping experience and abide to her practical and sensible rules.