Andie Porter-Keel, Head of Health and Beauty, shares her 5 beauty trends for 2022

From 90s nostalgia to ‘skinimilism’, 2021 brought us lots of great beauty trends. So who better to give us the lowdown on what to expect from 2022 than Delta’s very own newly appointed health and beauty director, Andie Porter-Keel? Over to you Andie.

I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for a beauty trends prediction list. Since the end of last year, I’ve been devouring as many industry trend reports, forecasts and insights as I can get my hands on. Including the most recent Pinterest Predicts trend report. In this report, we learn that our beauty regimes are expected to take a distinctly creative edge this year, with more innovation, transparency, and imagination than we saw in 2021.

Here’s my pick of the five big trends you can expect to see in 2022.

1. Subscription boxes become less transactional, more rewarding loyalty

Subscription boxes have been around for more than a decade, but it was during the pandemic that they really took off. According to the Royal Mail’s UK Subscription Box Market report, the health and beauty box market value will increase from £78.9 million in 2020 to £92.3 million in 2025.

With consumers unable to purchase products in-store during a string of lockdowns, they turned their attention towards the beauty box market. What started with the pioneering Birchbox has expanded to include ethically-sourced boxes, beauty editor-approved boxes and luxury product boxes.

A recent addition to the scene – and something that caught my eye – is The Beauty Drop from Liberty. This is a subscription box with a twist. Unlike the traditional model of consumers paying for a box to be delivered to their door each month, Liberty’s subscribers pay £20 a month (which they use as credit to spend in store and online) and receive four boxes a year (worth more than £300).

When it launched in September, The Beauty Drop sold out in 12 hours (I certainly wasn’t quick enough to nab one). But its popularity suggests it’s only a matter of time before other retailers follow suit, making boxes more of a reward for customers’ loyalty than an item to be purchased. Retailers looking to build stronger, long-term relationships with customers, take note.

2. The continuing rise of skincare

The health and beauty market is growing globally, but one area is leading the charge: skincare. Last year’s focus on ‘skinimilism’ saw consumers put aside complex beauty routines in favour of a more intuitive, tailored approach to looking after their skin. 2022 is all about skin health – quality, cruelty-free, hybrid products and (my personal favourite) clutter-free cupboards.

This shift towards a skin-first approach has been gathering pace for a number of years, but it was the pandemic that saw interest really spike. As we continue on our quest for a fresh, dewy look, skincare has become more simplistic and eco-conscious, too.

More consumers are looking to invest in hybrid products – cosmetics that offer skin benefits. With short, readable ingredient lists and multi-functional value, these products blur the lines between skincare and makeup. Think part lip balm, part gloss. Or a foundation with added skincare benefits and a high SPF. I’m all for effortless beauty…

3. A transparent approach to sustainability

Over the years, the beauty industry has made some progress towards greater sustainability – more innovative packaging, refillable lipsticks, and reusable makeup pads and masks. But there is still some way to go. Consumers are driving the change, demanding greater clarity over the sustainability claims made by beauty brands.

One way brands are giving consumers what they want is through ‘waterless’ products. ‘Aqua’ is traditionally at the top of the ingredient list, diluting active ingredients and making products less effective. By removing water from formulas, fewer products are consumed, less packaging is used, and CO2 emissions are reduced.

As we move into 2022 and the war on greenwashing continues, the mark of true luxury is going to be about having authentic eco-credentials.

4. Making a statement… with pared-back beauty

The pandemic has taken its toll on the beauty industry with cosmetics sales (lipsticks in particular) slumping since March 2020. The lifting of restrictions has meant the industry is showing signs of recovery. However, after months of working from home and sporting a more bare-faced look in front of Zoom, I’ve felt reluctant to return to those full makeup-wearing days. And I know I’m not alone.

Why spend 20 minutes applying cleanser, serum, moisturiser, foundation, concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and highlighter when just cleanser, serum, moisturiser and a slick of lip balm will do?

2022 could be the year when pared-back, natural beauty moves from the (home office) bedroom to the boardroom.

5. Optimistic beauty

A final trend emerging this year is that of positivity in beauty products. Even though we’re not yet out of the woods with Covid, we can expect a (cautiously) more celebratory feel to beauty. As we all regain some of that lost self-esteem, we’ll see a shift towards brighter, more colourful cosmetics, plenty of gloss and shine, and a good dose of creative freedom in how we express ourselves.

Back to Pinterest’s predictions, and we’re greeted with galaxy nail art, wow-factor hairstyles (mullets and mohawks), sparkly accessories for eyes, skin, ears, and teeth, plus a celebration of people’s natural hair with puff hairstyles and space buns.

As part of the continued rejection of the white-washed beauty industry, there is a move towards more inclusivity in the beauty industry’s narrative, a cultural shift in beauty and aesthetic training, and a significant jump in beauty brands launched by people of colour.

At the Delta Group, we help beauty brands and retailers stay ahead of the trends and give consumers what they want. Get in touch with me or the team to find out how we can help your business offer value while showcasing your sustainability.

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