This post is a little
lot later than planned but better late than never eh! Below are my thoughts on what 2017 will hold for the mostly green beauty world. BTW until less than 300 years ago, in many parts of the world the New Year didn’t start until March so I say calendar schmalendar. Before I get in to 2017, a few thoughts on 2016….
We all know 2016 was a tumultuous year in every way including the blogosphere. There was much talk about the rise of influencers, microbloggers and paying for fake followers raising its ugly head. For me it began to feel like Attack of The Clones and some fatique set in. There were so many brands and bloggers that all seemed to look the same……same packaging, fonts, aesthetic, Instagram themes, inspirational quotes, yaaaaaaaawn.
Many Instagram feeds started to seem more like QVC and I began to feel like I was being sold to ALL the time. I appreciate getting your hustle on but it’s hard for me to take a review seriously by someone who is switching products every single day and finds every single thing AMAZING. Maybe my heart is all shrivelled and I’m dead inside that’s why I can’t love every product like that. Oh well.
The good news though was that it made authenticity, integrity and creativity stand out and sparkle like diamonds. It really makes me appreciate the wonderful companies, bloggers and content creators out there. Keep doing what you do please!
Right enough ranting on to the trends…..
2017 GREEN BEAUTY TRENDS (in no particular order)
#1 All About Ayurveda
I’ve mentioned Ayurvedic inspired ingredients and brands on the blog numerous times. Ayurveda, meaning science of life in Sanksrit, is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Originating in India thousands of years ago, the fundamental principle is that the mind, body and spirit are connected and should be in balance. I’m a firm believer in a holistic approach to beauty which scientific research is backing up.
There are of course countless Indian Ayurvedic brands though harder to find outside the country. Aveda has long been the most widely available Western brand inspired by Ayurveda but more authentic brands are appearing in the beauty pages and on shelves. I’ve seen a brand called Samaya reviewed quite a lot recently and a couple of Australian brands I have my eye on include Rasasara Skinfood and coming soon to the UK is Subtle Energies which combines ayurveda with aromatherapy. I predict quite a few people will be checking labels for their doshas instead of skin types.
#2 African Beauty
Africa boasts a bounty of natural ingredients and grows many of the raw materials used in an array of beauty products. Especially natural and organic ones. Take a look at the label of your favourite products and I’ll eat my hat if it doesn’t contain shea butter or argan oil. The wonderful skin nourishing properties of marula, baobab, Kalahari melon and moringa to name a few, are also increasingly been used.
And yet there are hardly any African/Africa-inspired beauty brands available in the UK. However I think that is going to begin to change in 2017 which is something, as an African, I’m particularly excited about. New ecoluxe, natural and organic ranges to look out for that are now available include: South Africa-based Africology from my 2015 Skincare Lust List which has just recently launched in the UK; UK-based Tsaka (meaning happiness in the Ronga dialect of Mozambique) mask inspired by time honoured Mozambiquan beauty rituals; and Ziyanda natural hair and skincare using Southern African inspired ingredients such as rooibos, Kalahari desert salt and marula with 5% profits going to orphans in Swaziland. There’ll be a closer look at these brands coming soon.
#3 All About The (Transparent) Price Tag?
Two gamechangers in terms of how beauty products are priced have popped up. Skincare company Deciem has recently launched The Ordinary range offering high-tech serums and organic oils at pocket money prices – think retinol for under £6. The company talks about honesty, integrity and “honourable prices” on its website. I haven’t tried the products myself but I’ve seen many raves so perhaps you don’t always get what you pay for?
On the makeup front, from the founder of Bliss, Soap & Glory and Fit Flops, Beautypie has just launched promising luxury makeup without the markup. All products are shown with a “cost transparency” giving a breakdown of the factory cost. It’s a genius move. Imagine if ALL brands did this. There is a subscription required to take advantage of the prices which does bump things up and non-members pay the “full” price. Luxury is more than the sum of its parts so whether people care about the markup is yet to be seen.
Green beauty is more than ever in the luxury space with big price tags and price increases being seen. Knowledge is power so will consumers start to question the prices they pay for other brands and will any green beauty companies follow suit by showing cost breakdowns?
#4 War Of Green Beauty Independence
Green beauty is now big business with many luxury retailers stocking ecoluxe brands and reaping the profits kerching! At the High Street end of the market, H&M has unveiled a limited skincare offering within its #conscious range and makeup products are on the horizon. I envisage that a significant number of artisan brands will be bought up by multinationals, much as has happened in the niche perfume world. Whether this will be beneficial to consumers is yet to be seen. Green beauty easily available in the mass market or will all the passion, quality and ethics be lost pleasing shareholders? Answers on a postcard please.
#5 DNA Tests In The Beauty Hall. Who Do You Skin You Are?
We are all different. 10 people can be the exact same age, use the exact same products yet their skins look entirely different. Everything from your genes, to your gut flora, birth control and what you eat can have an impact on your skin. A new company Geneu, cofounded by a Duran Duran band member and the chief scientist of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, has become the first to analyse your DNA relating to skin ageing. Geneu then tailor-makes skincare containing the exact amounts of certain ingredients deemed most suitable for your particular genes and lifestyle.
The service was previously only available at their Mayfair lab, however a pop-up has opened in Selfridges. It’s the ultimate in personalisation which is an ongoing trend so I predict it won’t be too long before we’re swabbing for DNA alongside buying our mascara. There’s a perception that green beauty is anti-science which I thoroughly refute (nature IS science) and can see the more innovative companies embracing scientific advances.
#6 Anti Pollution Skincare
Only a few weeks in to 2017 and London has set a new record for air pollution even surpassing Beijing on several occasions. Such filth is not really something for my home city to be proud of! Scientific studies have shown the damaging impact that pollution has on health and skin. And ignoring science, just think of the difference in how the skin of those living in the countryside look compared to us city folk. In the Far East, anti-pollution products are big business and this is another trend like BB creams, snail serums and masking that I believe will become big in the West. Now many ‘anti-pollution’ claims on products are more about marketing but there is a real need to protect the skin against pollution and particles.
Especially on days when I’m in Central London, I’m always sure to incorporate particularly antioxidant rich serums in to my skincare routine. Twelve Beauty has recently launched the London Mask specifically for combatting London air pollution. Two natural brands with anti-pollution products that I’ve got my eye on in 2017 are FOM and Ytsara.
#7 On Bookshelves Move Over Clean Eating, Clean Beauty Is Here
Food, health and beauty are increasingly intertwined in book stores. “Clean” eating cookbooks have been the biggest bread winners for the publishing industry, selling millions of copies of books over the last few years. Which of course means a media backlash is now underway!
So next up hitting bookstores is ‘clean beauty’. Founder of green beauty heaven Content Beauty, Imelda Burke’s ‘The Nature of Beauty’ was published in December, Gwyneth Paltrow’s tome ‘Goop Clean Beauty’ was released last month and the Clean Beauty Co duo have recently released ‘Clean Beauty’ full of DIY recipes. Clean and green beauty is making cash registers rings so there will be more books on the shelves.
#8 Male Beauty Bloggers
Men wearing makeup is nothing new. Throughout history and in different cultures around the globe, men have adorned themselves with cosmetics. Big business is now cottoning on to that. L’Oreal made the headlines for featuring the first male (beauty blogger The Plastic Boy) in its True Match advert and now in the USA, CoverGirl and Maybelline have signed up male beauty bloggers too. Whether the multinationals are supporting male creative expression or delighted to find a new market to exploit (cynical moi), either way male beauty bloggers will be getting a lot of airtime in 2017. In the green beauty world, there is a growing band of male skincare bloggers but I can’t think of any that cover makeup so I’ll be watching this space.
#9 Cray for Cacay
We all know that oils have existed for an eternity. Every single new wonder oil has been used somewhere else in the world for thousands of years. Each year something is touted. We’ve all gone coconut oil crazy, argan, prickly pear and marula have all had their big moment. This year I’m calling cacay.
Wild harvested from the cacay nut that grows in the Colombian Amazon (the Amazon just keeps on giving). It has triple the retinol of rosehip and 50% more Vitamin E than argan oil. My oil junkie self is looking forward to seeing how it compares to those two skin loving oils which I adore.
#10 Minimalism, KonMari, Zero Wasting Beauty Stuff
One of the best-selling books in recent years is ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo which focusses on having less things and loving those things you have. There is also the growing Zero Waste lifestyle movement with the aim of re-using all products thereby generating no waste. Like many trends, in many ways it’s actually a return to the past and how we used to live. In beauty, I think that this will manifest as more considered purchases with less rampant hauling.
The majority of green beauty products used to be rather basic, DIY, “worthy” looking and somewhat counter culture. Now it has got all fun and sexy and is slap bang in the middle of consumer culture. So many gorgeous new products begging to be bought. Which is awesome. But….yes there’s always a but….it seems to have led to OTT purchase bingeing.
Because let’s face it many of us are beauty junkies looking for a new fix and huge hauls are intoxicating. The fact that it’s natural, organic doesn’t make the waste any better. I know that in the past I’ve bought countless products that I’m not going to be able to use before they expire. Seeing as I only have one face. This past Black Friday and Christmas, for the first time in my adult life I resisted buying anything in the sales. The lure of a great deal is immense but I had taken stock of my stash and really didn’t need anything. There’s satisfication in using things up and also feeling ‘hungry’.
#11 Green Beauty Gets More Inclusive
This is a bonus trend that is really more a hope/wish I suppose! There has been some improvement since I first wrote about the lack of inclusivity in green beauty makeup products a few years ago. Brands like Kjaer Weis, ILIA and Zao have expanded their complexion shades and a few new ranges are available offering options for the broad and beautiful spectrum of complexion colours that us humans come in. However there is still a long way to go.
As most natural and organic makeup is only available online it would be great if retailers/brands showed swatches on more than one skin tone as colours can look dramatically different. As it was proving challenging to find swatches on darker skin I started this Instagram GreenBrownBeaute to help). And in 2017 leading green beauty brands still launch products without any dark options. Many UK online retailers don’t stock the darker shades that are available and in London, the most diverse city in Europe, there is ONE shop I can walk in to and find options for darker skin. Not really good enough. I’m really hopeful that this is going to change.
So what do you think will be big in 2017?