Spot 2014's biggest trends at Professional Beauty

Professional Beauty is celebrating its 25th year of bringing salon, spa and clinic owners, therapists, nail techs and make-up artists together with more than 600 of the biggest brands in the beauty industry. We’ve broken down some of the biggest trends to check out at the show, and explore how they’re going to shape the professional market in 2014. 

Trend watch: 50-somethings 
Anti-ageing is set to take a step further next year with the launch of some advanced skincare aimed at the 50-plus bracket, and particularly at countering the effects of menopause. “We’re launching a range in 2014 that targets menopausal skin,” says Noella Gabriel, director of product and treatment development at Elemis. “Women have a lack of calcium as they age. It’s not just about wrinkles anymore.” 
Iiaa is working on supplements for this market. “They are the first generation that’s not going to grow old quietly because they’ve grown up with access to advanced anti-ageing and been the masters of their destiny due to their huge buying power,” says managing director David Alpert. 
Clarins is also making strides in this area. “There have been some major scientific breakthroughs regarding skin weakened by hormonal changes,” says UK managing director Debbie Lewis. 

Trend watch: Biomimetics
New ingredients that more closely mimic the structure and function of the skin will be hot this year. “We are looking more closely at cell communication, and ingredients that are designed to mimic the skin function. Anti-ageing is going up another level focusing on peptides, lipids and cell communication,” says Gabriel, while Alpert adds that iiaa is focusing on growth factors, which he calls the “third piece of the puzzle” alongside vitamins and peptides, in skincare. 
Lewis says that it’s through this biomimetic approach that Clarins has developed some of its most innovative products to date and it’s an area that is constantly evolving. “We are now able to incorporate this new technology into re-working classic products and we will see more of this in the premium skincare industry in 2014,” she adds. 
Phytomer has also made inroads into this arena through its approach of biotechnology, which isolates the sugars in algae that most closely mimic the skin’s actions, and can be seen in its latest XMF products. 

Trend watch: Inside out
This is the year that nutrition will finally make its mark on the salon industry, according to experts. Beauty supplements may have been available for decades but therapists haven’t felt confident in recommending them. “The UK and US are quite far behind the Far East where a lot of food stuffs have been designed to be beauty products,” says Alpert. “A dual approach to skincare is a trend that’s overdue but I think it will finally come through strongly in 2014. Nutrition is significantly the fastest growing area of our business now.”
Thalgo UK is also investing heavily in nutrition next year. “Spas want more information on nutrition now. They want to know what is safe and what can be taken alongside skincare. It definitely completes the whole 360-degree beauty cycle that is on trend at the moment,” says managing director Marian Green.

Trend watch: Art evolution
With nail art appealing to a wider variety of demographics, more clients are after a subtle, elegant look that fits with their style, whether that’s a working professional or glamorous evening. “The last year has opened the door for people who aren’t arty to be experimental with their nails, with jewels or additives. I don’t think nail art is going anywhere fast,” says Samantha Sweet, communications director at Sweet Squared.
This year will see contrast in textures becoming the key to creating a subtle yet inventive look, with matte shades or glitters taking centre stage. “Foils are set to make a massive comeback, applied over the gel paint or polish,” says nail technician and competition judge Sam Biddle.
Recent launches include Gelish’s Trends collection, Foil FX from Orly and textured glitters from the likes of Essie and Jessica. “We’re expanding in this sector,” reveals Lisa Gerrard, managing director of Gerrard International, UK distributor of Jessica. “Especially on how you can personalise your nails not just with colour but glitter and effects too.” 

Trend watch: Carnival fever
This year, all eyes will be on Brazil as it prepares to host the FIFA World Cup Finals in the summer. Synonymous with carnival, tropical rainforests and the skimpy bikini, Brazil lends itself to hot, vibrant colours to decorate talons for the summer collections, and such shades feature heavily in launches from the likes of OPI, CND and Bio Sculpture. “We are going to see those animated pop culture colours really strongly next year – brights like turquoise, yellow and in-you-face orange,” says Sweet.
Sam Biddle says that these bright, bold colours will be paired with innovative textures such as suede to create the most on-trend looks this summer, while Jon Hardwick, managing director at Grafton International, which distributes brands including Orly and ibd, adds: “There’s a much stronger trend now for consumers asking for polish to match their clothes, particularly seasonal looks.” 

Trend watch: Machines get smarter
There was once a time when our holiday bags would contain a phone, camera, walkman, and a book or two. Today, we have one pocket-sized device that can manage it all, and that’s the way salon machinery is heading too. While we may not yet be able to fit them into our pockets, machines are able to do more now than ever before, with brands such as Syneron Candela and The Carlton Group, and skincare houses like Carita and Thalgo, packing a host of technologies into one device.
“Machines are becoming more compact, lightweight and portable,” says Marian Green, managing director of Thalgo UK. “The technology is continuing to advance and it’s making machines easier to use. Treatments that once took two hours can now be done in 40 minutes.” Aesthetic treatment consultant and ambassador for Syneron Candela Wendy Lewis agrees, adding “In 2008 a device didn’t have to do much to be cost effective but that’s not true now. People want results and value for money.” 

Trend watch: Brow down
It’s clear that the nation’s brow obsession is no passing phase and is continuing to grow and develop to encompass more client types, including older clients wanting a more subtle look. Both Brow Perfect and new exhibitor Face Frame use individual hairs to enhance the brows, while Perron Rigot’s Brow System, created in collaboration with Kim Lawless, uses a brow palette after a wax treatment. “
The harsh look is already on the way out and the lighter, more subtle brow is in,” says Lawless. As well as waxing brands getting in on the act, brows have an obvious synergy for make-up brands. David Alpert, managing director of Jane Iredale distributor iiaa has noticed this development. “Brows have been a huge growth area for make-up brands recently,” he says. 

Trend watch: Spa pit stops
Finishing-touch treatments such as lashes, brows, tanning, nail effects and make-up have become the mainstay of many salons as clients cut back on longer luxe treatments. These quick fixes are now set to make their mark in more spas, too. The Elemis Day Spa is making way for express treatments. The ground floor will be completely renovated next year to replace the floatation tank treatment rooms with a space for lash extensions, nails and make-up. The brands are also seeing increased demand from independent spas.
LDN:Skins account manager Niki Byrne says: “We’ve seen growth in the spa market, and the market for older clients, particularly our spa tan treatment, which involves a full-body exfoliation and massage, then the tan.” Samantha Sweet, communications director of CND distributor Sweet Squared, echoes this, “We’ve seen a massive rise in spas taking on Vinylux and Shellac. More are getting serious about nails and trends now because I think they need to.” 

Professional Beauty show takes place this weekend from February 23 to 24. Register in advance for your free ticket to avoid the £20 charge on the door.