Major beauty trends for 2021: waste-free, self-care and brazen brows

Waste-free beauty, healthcare as self-care and brazen brows are just some of the trends that are set to shake-up the beauty and spa industries this year, and incorporating them into your business could help boost your revenue post-coronavirus lockdown.

According to analyst Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s “The Future 100: 2021 Report”, which delivers a snapshot into the new movements that small businesses and brands need to pay attention to, there’s going to be quite a bit of change in the beauty sector, with the conversation on sustainability once again coming to the fore as the single-use plastic problem continues to be addressed. 

With face coverings set to be a core part of our everyday lives this year too, brows are taking centre stage in the make-up world, and the bolder the brow the better – which isn’t surprising with news recently revealing that brow lamination is the biggest beauty trend on TikTok


9 beauty trends set to be big in 2021:

1. Unbound beauty

People will dust off cosmetics to reinvent themselves this year, and they plan to go all out. A a year of make-up restraint will unleash a burst of imaginative creativity “as experimental beauty takes over social media, inspiring beauty brands to add versatility to their offerings”, says the analyst. 

2. Foraged ingredients

An appetite for foraged ingredients is expanding beyond the culinary industry, with beauty brands now bottling hardy and powerful plants to deliver potent results for skincare enthusiasts, “while reminding consumers that nature knows best”, explains the analyst. 

3. Science-backed brands

Demand for science-backed beauty will be on the rise this year as a heightened focus on health changes consumers’ priorities, with many looking for scientific credentials when buying products. 

4. Hot new ingredients

Three ingredients will take centre stage in beauty this year – grapes contain some of the most powerful antioxidants in the world; bakuchiol is a vegan alternative to retinol and is an increasingly popular choice for those with sensitive skin; and wildflower anchusa azurea is loaded with antioxidants.

5. Intersectional beauty

“Politicised consumers and the intersectional feminism movement are highlighting underrepresentation and calling beauty brands, retailers and publishers out publicly, urging them to address intersectionality to remain relevant,” says the analyst. 

6. Healthcare as selfcare

Self-care is being redefined this year, so expect to see more crossover between the beauty, wellness and medical categories “as sanitisation and protection from Covid-19 are increasingly considered key aspects of self-care practices”, the analyst reports. 

7. Skinfluencers

Interest in skincare products is soaring, partially driven by the recommendations and tutorials of fresh-faced skinfluencers on social media platforms TikTok and YouTube, states the report. Cosmetics brands are tasked with wooing savvier and more discerning shoppers.

8. Brazen brows

With face coverings compulsory in parts of modern life due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, make-up artists and beauty influencers are focusing on the eyes, with brows becoming the new lips. Statement brows are being championed this year by make-up artists and influencers.

9. Waste-free beauty

The waste-free movement is extending beyond packaging into product formulations as sustainability remains an important issue for beauty consumers, says the analyst, with waste such as coffee grounds being incorporated into skincare products.

“Few of us will have experienced quite as much drama on a societal and global level as we did in 2020 and the fallout from that is more new trends than we’ve seen since we started publishing The Future 100, and behaviours which had been evolving slowly thrust into the mainstream,” said Emma Chiu, global director at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

“Knowing which of these trends matter and why has never been so important for marketers at a time when the very survival of many brands depends on adapting at pace.”

 Read Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s “The Future 100: 2021” full report here

What do you make of these beauty trends? Comment below. 

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