Trend Watch: The New Luxury in Beauty - Key Insights from INNOCOS Summit 2017


Luxury beauty is no longer defined by high priced products limited in distribution and sold in the rarified cosmetic halls of the most prestigious department stores.It’s about so much more, as discussed at last week’s INNOCOS conference in Lisbon.

Chairing the INNOCOS conference, I introduced the theme of “the new luxury in beauty”.This new brand of luxury goes far beyond high-end luxury. Modern enlightened consumers are demanding significantly more from beauty products and experiences wherever the touchpoints - in-store, online or brought to them wherever they are in the world.

Beauty brands need to move beyond the physical attributes of products to satisfy this growing consumer demand for authenticity and experiences.Here are two interpretations of the new luxury in beauty:

Euromonitor: “Premium is not about Price but New Attributes.”

Beauty brands are exploiting links between healthy eating and beauty, such as probiotic foods for the gut and probiotic formulations for the skin.

This emerging category of skincare includes Yun Probiotherapy and Gallinée (presented at INNOCOS by founder Marie Drago). These brands are based around formulations that restore and maintain the skin’s natural microbiome.

Irina Barbalova, head of the global research programme for Beauty & Personal Care at Euromonitor International, also highlighted:

  • Clean labeling, which is big in North America, e.g. Drunk Elephant skincare only uses clean ingredients based on their safety and bio-compatibility, whether synthetic or natural.

  • Kitchen beauty alternatives e.g. Beauty Chef, a “Living” organic skincare range based on recipes developed with chemists, naturapaths and nutritionists.

  • Vegan beauty: Kat von D cruelty-free make-up combines high fashion with ethical values.

Cargill Beauty: The ethigreen (green & ethical) consumer moves from niche to mainstream

A year ago, Tony Jaillot left BASF to create a new company to supply natural and sustainable ingredients to personal care companies. He intends to shake things up with a new marketing approach aimed at simplifying labeling for consumers.

“The Ethigreen consumer buys on lifestyle, and wants to be told about the naturality and sustainability of the product,” he said.

Most beauty brands include a long list of ingredients that mean nothing to the consumer. A new value proposition for products would minimise the words used on packaging by including a short INCI list and a QR code linked to more detailed product information.

“On pack, you can encapsulate your brand values in a few words, such as ‘100% natural. Positive Impact on Planet and People,’” contended Cargill.