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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).

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Technology will unquestionably play a great role in the conversation with the consumer. It is expected that, in 2020, we will have 32 times the technological capabilities that we have today.4 Consumers are increasingly researching information and conversing on the Internet, and most do so before making purchases. In a world where applications exist to help you with anything, the beauty industry will have created one exclusively for the woman of 2020—the iBeautyFINDER. The iBeautyFINDER will make her beauty discoveries interactive and personal. She will input her unique details and preferences, including ingredient allergies and favorite colors, and create several profiles based on her different “beauty personalities”—from diva to CEO.

The iBeautyFINDER will be able to advise her on the best products for her based on factors such as the water content of her skin, the weather forecast, or her current moods. This will ensure that her new red lipstick or therapeutic night cream is just right for her. Her iBeautyFINDER can even make every day a “good hair day” by recommending the right product based on her environment. In addition, beauty retailers will match her desires against their product database to offer her the best solutions and bid for her business. To further enhance her shopping experience, she will be able to snap a picture of a product and instantly receive information on its ingredients, ratings, and carbon footprint. Moreover, she can pick up her product within a two-hour time slot at the location that is most convenient for her. However, we cannot forget the human element, and if she prefers, she will find her personal beauty concierge waiting at the store for her to experience the product.

Brands will communicate back to the consumer and address her unique beauty needs by utilizing her detailed information on the iBeautyFINDER. This will be an opportunity for brands to interact with her on a more personal level. There will be constant communication, a real conversation, between brands and the woman of 2020. By reaching far beyond the utilitarian function, this new type of service will build a different relationship between brands and consumers, one that is more down to earth and less reverential.

Beauty Will Be Responsible

Dove's Real Beauty campaign, launched in 2004, started the conversation around "real beauty‟ by challenging the definition of beauty through its use of non-models in their advertisements. The campaign continues to educate young girls to counteract the limiting and unattainable beauty set forth by advertising and the media.5 The 2009 Newsweek article, “Generation Diva,” highlighted the beauty media's influential strength, pointing out that girls 11– 14 are subjected to some 500 advertisements a day, most of them featuring flawless beauty.6 According to a University of Minnesota study, staring at those airbrushed images from just one to three minutes a day can have a negative impact on girls' selfesteem.

In 2005, according to The NPD Group Inc., the average age a woman began using beauty products was 17; today it is 13.7 Experian Market Research shows that 43% of six- to nine-year-olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss, 38% use hairstyling products and 12% use other cosmetics.8 In addition, new statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reveal that cosmetic surgery procedures performed on those 18 and younger have nearly doubled in the past decade, and an article published by the YWCA states that 69% of people 18 and older are in favor of cosmetic surgery.