Prepare for the Roaring ’20s 2.0 Beauty Boom

Marvin Meyer / Unsplash

History has taught us that after the last pandemic, people were keen to be out together, partying and celebrating. It was a brilliant time for fashion and beauty, and we’ve seen this after economic crises, downturns and difficult periods in history. We expect to see the same again.

After an unprecedented period of upheaval and change – and indeed turmoil – consumers will want to party, to escape into fantasy and look their best. We are already seeing this in the rise of experimental and extreme expressions in the form of cyborg aesthetics and surrealist styling, influenced by the likes of make-up artist Isamaya French. Coloured and patterned contact lenses, artistic and elaborate nails, extreme hairstyles and fantasy hair colours will dominate, especially for Gen Z, many of who will be experiencing their first economic crisis of their adult lives and who have arguably been financially impacted the most.

In terms of colours, we are seeing rich, gemstone hues, such as Lazuli Blue, Dark Oak, Galactic Teal and Orchid Flower – that speak to optimism and opulence – reassuring in their luxury and comfort.

The original Roaring ’20s

Make-up of the 1920s was very much dominated by the flapper, and colour cosmetics from Max Factor and Maybelline helped create that look as much as the skirts and headwear did. The pale and flawless complexions, the shaped perfect red lip and heavy mascara ruled.

Benigno Hoyuela / Unsplash

At WGSN we are always looking ahead. The key trends that we are seeing coming to the forefront of the beauty industry over the next decade are:

  • Technology: the smart age of beauty will be in hyperdrive. Personalised skin-tech devices will enhance consumer experience. Metaversal beauty will see hyper-expressive colour cosmetics blend digital and real aesthetics, championing self-expression over conformity
  • Cellular beauty: science will become the cornerstone of beauty. The next generation of skin-tech will unlock beauty at a cellular level
  • Sustainability: this will underpin everything, inspiring new formats and services and hyphenated products. People will be on the lookout for products that enable them to practise self-care without waste
  • Clean beauty: we will see clean beauty evolving. The pandemic has created a sharp focus on hygiene, which has filtered into the beauty landscape, as safety concerns drive demand for clinically led, consciously formulated products
  • Nature: formulators will reach into nature’s apothecary to create beauty products that are plant-based and part of a trusted tradition of healing, such as Ayurvedic or traditional Chinese medicine

Expect more expression

In terms of make-up, we expect to see more experimental and extreme expressions of personal identity in the coming years in the form of cyborg aesthetics and surrealist styling. Bold colours, opulent materials and fluid, silky surfaces and shapes will be key across all product categories, and luxe metallics and opulent embellishments will feed into a renewed desire to dress up.

Jonelle Yankovich / Unsplash

Colour, texture and application predictions

The colour palette for H2 2021 and 2022 draws from visions of the future that are enhanced by tech, but also grounded in emotions. Colours and metallics have a rich and opulent feel, and we are also seeing lots of calming, clinically clean and reassuring colours that signal safety, such as Soap Suds and Arctic Blue. Key colour Lazuli Blue, along with Mermaid Blue, has a mineral and hyper-digital quality, highlighting the meeting of real and virtual that underpins this trend. Wellness is represented by Jade, while tinted darks Galactic Teal and Dark Cherry feel expressive and make a statement, especially on the lips and eyes.

This ties in beautifully with fashion, where we’re seeing an renewed exuberance and decadence which we’re tracking via a theme that we call Let’s Party – it’s about full-on occasions and focused on when and how full on dressing up could get once restrictions loosen. So, be prepared to sparkle…

To read more about beauty and fashion trends, WGSN subscribers can log in here to access reports. If you’re not a subscriber, request a site demo here

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