Robomanicures and avant-garde acrylic toenails – is this the future of beauty?

Robomanicures and Meta beauty are some of the futuristic beauty trends set to define 2022, according to predictions in the eighth edition of The Future 100 by Wunderman Thompson.

Nine trends set to take the beauty world by storm this year are:

  1. Robomanicures

The express manicure option will soon be diverted to robots as tech start-ups identify a growing appetite for salon and at-home convenience. As for the business rationale, the global nail care market is expected to reach a value of $11.6 billion by 2027 (£8.51 billion), according to figures published by Reportlinker in April 2021.


  1. Meta Beauty

Gaming systems are introducing virtual beauty and real-world cosmetics to their realms, creating a world of new opportunities for beauty brands and creatives. Beauty brands including Nars Cosmetics and Gucci are creating virtual make-up for players to use, with Nars adding 30 virtual products to the Drest app in October 2021, displayed using virtual model avatars; and Gucci Beauty adding 29 virtual make-up products to Drest’s Beauty Mode feature, with more than 40 potential combinations and links for users to purchase the physical products in the app.


  1. Mineral Skincare

Consumers are looking for extra indulgence in their self-care rituals and turning to mineral skincare for an extra dose of luxury. Skincare is incorporating elemental ingredients as brands take inspiration from ancient Indo-Asian beauty rituals by adding precious metals to their formulas.


  1. The demise of ‘normal’ beauty

Consumers are leaning towards more inclusive brands as values change, reflected in changes such as Unilever removing the word “normal” from packaging and advertising across its beauty and personal care brands, and Neutrogena’s “For People With Skin” campaign in April 2021. The concept of a one-size-fits-all beauty ideal has been left behind thanks to new brands such as singer Harry Styles “Pleasing”, which Styles says celebrates “the multitude of unique identities in our community”, and is working to “dispel the myth of a binary existence”. Here’s how to ensure your consultation forms are inclusive to non-binary clients.


  1. Absurdist makeovers

Beauty consumers are seeking out opportunities to play and experiment, with beauty publication Circus celebrating avant-garde looks like extra-long acrylic toenails and bedazzled teeth. Consumers are approaching beauty from a fully creative angle, using make-up, prosthetics and more to experiment while pushing creative boundaries.


  1. New beauty labels

An increasing number of beauty brands are using packaging to clearly display the sustainability of their production methods, to better align with consumer expectations of environmental impact transparency.The Sustainable Beauty Coalition recently launched a guide to help consumers better understand “greenwashed” products and what packaging symbols really mean. 

  1. Acidic care

Acidic skincare is taking over with tranexamic acid, which prevents excess pigmentation spots; azelaic acid, which improves firmness and reduces dark circles; and polyhydroxy acid, which exfoliates and hydrates, all set to take centre stage in 2022.


  1. Adaptive packaging

The beauty and wellness industries are rebranding to better accommodate users with disabilities or limited mobility, making their product packing more accessible through easy to open lids, braille text and high contrast text colours for ease of reading.


  1. Microdosing skin regime

Microdosing has made its way into skincare as beauty lovers are gravitating towards this popular new approach, applying smaller amounts or concentrations of ingredients to the skin for long-term results without harsh side effects.


The Future 100 offers 100 original trend predictions across 10 sectors, spanning beauty, culture, tech, travel and hospitality, brands and marketing, food and drink, retail and commerce, luxury, health, and work.


Which trend will you be trying in 2022? Let us know in the comments.


Want to stay on top of the biggest beauty trends for this year? Click here to check out the top 7 wellness trends, or discover which make-up trends you’ll be seeing more of in 2022.