Big ideas from WGSN 2024 will shape beauty with key trends in personal care, inclusivity and phygital


The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly transformed and accelerated beauty and personal care trends over the past two years. And as the world now moved deeper away from the pandemic and into a future shaped by an ongoing climate emergency, Ukraine-Russia conflict and financial crisis, it was now essential that the beauty industry understand broader ideas meant to shape future consumer sentiment.

Today at WGSN’s online Beauty Live event, Clare Varga, Director of Beauty at WGSN, shared six ideas that would define the industry over the next two years: support; fluid states; cause protopias; changes in people power; democratic size; and decryption.

“Big ideas, to me, are the bridge between future consumer drivers and product creation. It really brings everything to life and helps people start figuring out what products should look like,”Varga informed participants of the event online.

Above all, she said the six ideas were underpinned by a heightened sense of connectedness, a deeper desire for community, and a general rejection of “normalcy.”

1. Care – taking better care of myself and others

Big idea 1: take care of yourself [Getty Images]

The first big idea set to shape the beauty over the next two years, she said, was to focus more on care, as consumers favored well-being at work. “A heightened awareness of our interdependence will lead to the emergence of a stronger culture of care in 2024. People will seek out products, services and environments that help to better care for themselves and others. “

For the industry, this meant opportunities in creating more wearable products that could be integrated into balanced daily routines geared towards rest and wellness – two “top purchase drivers” beautiful today,she says.

US indie brand Yubi Beauty, for example, offered daily wellness tips and US colleague Kate McLeod responded to the desire for convenient, quick routines with her Face Stone – a solid face moisturizer that melts in time. skin contact.

Psychotherapy was also an area brimming with potential in this space, particularly through products that addressed stress, insomnia and low mood, Varga said. “The core of care is really about self-care and maintaining your health and well-being.”

2. Fluid states – from direct-to-consumer to “direct-to-avatar”

Big Idea 2 - Fluid States [Getty Images]
Big Idea 2 – Fluid States [Getty Images]

The second big idea meant to influence the beauty world, she said, was the seamless use of online and offline platforms and spaces. “By 2024, consumers and brands will inhabit increasingly fluid realities, moving seamlessly between digital and physical. The metaverse will evolve into a thriving meta-economy, offering awesome opportunities to work, play, and discover, and synthetic media will reimagine what consumers consider real.

For the industry, this truly meant adapting to a new mindset that treated digital and physical spaces as equals. “Direct-to-avatar will be the new direct-to-consumer,”she says.

NARS and Dior Beauty, for example, had both teamed up with APAC avatar specialist Zepeto to work on showcasing phygital products in a virtual setting. Dyson, headquartered in Singapore, has also created a metaverse experience for its beauty range of hair dryers and straighteners, allowing consumers to “test drive” devices online.

Innovation in this phygital space, Varga said, has not only created entertainment and product trial opportunity, but also “new points of interaction with consumers”.

3. Provoke protopias – active change, indigenous inspiration

Big Idea 3 - Provoke Protopias [Getty Images]
Big Idea 3 – Provoke Protopias [Getty Images]

The third big idea important to beauty in 2024, she said, would be the consumer movement toward protopias — a progressive state that has worked to make today better than yesterday. “The climate emergency is pushing consumers to ask businesses and governments to actively promote change. The beauty industry will be expected to take a strong image and action to address these issues.

For brands and distributors, this meant assuming a “regenerative state of mind”with nature-centered designs and new systems that have repaired historical damage, she said, focusing on the entire supply chain, from packaging, ingredients and use by consumers. And turning to indigenous communities – now recognized as “pioneers of circular systems”— would be important in this setting, she said.

Indigenous Canadian skincare brand Skwalwen Botanicals is a good example, honoring the cultural knowledge of plants to develop its products. Similarly, Germany-based haircare brand Salwa Petersen has developed products based on Chadian beauty rituals passed down from generation to generation to its founder and worked only with green electricity, among other circular actions.

“As consumers continue to grapple with the impact of the climate crisis, the beauty industry will follow,”Varga said.

4. Changes between people and power – finding “unity in diversity”

Big Idea 4 - Power Shifts Between People [Getty Images]
Big Idea 4 – Power Shifts Between People [Getty Images]

The fourth big beauty idea set to influence the next two years was a shift in human power, she said. “In 2024, people will find unity in diversity. They will be looking for products, systems and spaces designed to be shared by all. Inclusiveness will be non-negotiable, underrepresented voices will rise to positions of power, and co-creation will be expected.

For the industry, this meant working harder to create “aggregate markets”who celebrated “heritage communities”,she says.

London UK-based All My Beauty pop-up is a good example, offering a multi-brand space showcasing a range of ethical brands suitable for all ages and genders, as is Olapex with its product redesign Number O in spray format following consumer feedback. .

“As consumers seek community, beauty brands must take the lead in supporting diverse perspectives and dismantling beauty biases,”Varga said.

5. Democratically sized – serving a “fuller range” of consumers

Big Idea Five - The size of a democracy [Getty Images]
Big Idea Five – The size of a democracy [Getty Images]

The fifth big idea that would shape the future of beauty was the rejection of the “normal” in favor of personalized and inclusive designs that catered to everyone. “Consumers will say no to normality as they reject beauty stories that promote ideals,” she said, and those consumers would also appreciate “the essential rather than the excess” taking a “just enough” approach.

For the industry to succeed in this space, brands and retailers have had to do personalization “accessible and affordable for all” ​and prioritize multifunctional products to help “declutter”consumer lifestyles.

Unilever’s decision to remove the term ‘normal’ from its products and marketing was a strong move that fit well with this big idea and many other brands were also promoting untouched marketing photos and developing multi-functional product offerings .

“Now is the time to start developing products and services that meet a wider range of perspectives, sizes, needs and cultures”Varga said.

6. Code-Breaking – “intentional positivity” in beauty

Big Idea Six - Breaking the Code [Getty Images]
Big Idea Six – Breaking the Code [Getty Images]

The sixth and final big idea destined to shape the beauty industry by 2024, she said, was creations that upended traditional codes of beauty. “The design economy will be boosted by a post-pandemic surge of creativity. Existing codes of aesthetics and behavior will be swapped for a do-it-yourself mindset. »

For the industry, this movement meant a renewed interest in “optimistic”and “fun”designs, made in a meaningful way, likely through collaboration with other industry players, she said. It was about “bringing intentional positivity to everyday experiences”,she says.

YSL Beauty was a good example of a prestige brand leveraging this with its recent marketing efforts that embodied a “new generation”.

“Young consumers will be looking for brands that match their expressive, authentic and unapologetic beauty values,”Varga said.

The WGSN’s latest ‘Big Ideas’ report draws on its 2023 report which cited progress, frugality and well-being among important movements to watch next year.

Reversing the trend observation to the current year, take a look at our CosmeticsDesign 15 global beauty trends to watch on videooutlining what our editors believe will be key for the industry in 2022.


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