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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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The Millennial generation is one “that primps, dyes, pulls and shapes, younger and with more vigor than ever before. Girls are salon vets before they enter elementary school.”9 The disturbing fact is that girls need to be concerned with education and personal development, not beauty, at this early age in life. By the time tweens reach their later years, they‟ll think unattainable perfection can be purchased, rather than appreciating their natural self. Pop star, Heidi Montag, had ten elective surgeries in one day at the young age of 23.10 If today's role models are mostly airbrushed and surgically altered women, isn't it time that we make beauty more responsible?

“Beauty Cares” Campaign: The future will not just be about responsible self-image but also about responsible social image. It is time for the beauty industry to communicate its position and commitment towards a safer, more socially responsible and sustainable tomorrow. As individual brands, we are all linked to the reputation of our industry, and our collective image must resonate with the images our companies and brands are trying to build.

It is easy to understand the social implications surrounding beauty, as we are constantly surrounded and influenced by it. How we look is indisputably linked to how we feel. Since the beginning of time, women have been striving to beautify themselves. Beauty is social, fun and indulgent. Most importantly, beauty is about power and aspiration. We believe that if we look better, our lives will be transformed. This is not just perception; there is concrete evidence that attractive people receive many advantages in our society. At its core, beauty is elevating, empowering, and caring. Our industry helps women feel smarter, more confident, and more human. To communicate this, the “Beauty Cares” initiative will be launched to highlight the beauty industry‟s efforts around the three core topics most relevant to the consumer of 2020—safety, sustainability and philanthropy. This will be achieved by expanding the current “Beauty Cares” campaign.

Safety is an important topic for the next decade. Consumers' interest in cosmetics that are good for them will continue to increase as beauty and health are increasingly linked. According to Datamonitor, 28% of consumers currently deliberately avoid certain cosmetics or toiletries because of fears over certain ingredients, and 39% are somewhat or extremely concerned about parabens or petrochemicals used in beauty product formulations. Furthermore, Grail Research states that 80% of consumers cite “natural” as the most important green attribute for cosmetic/toiletry products.

Consumers are also increasingly concerned with how companies and products impact the environment. According to Grail Research, 93% of consumers feel that a company being green is important to their purchase decision. However, most are either not aware or cannot recollect companies' green initiatives. Consumers also value brands that support causes—85% of Americans have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a good cause.11 Consumers are looking for information and need to be educated on our industry‟s safety, sustainability and philanthropy efforts.