Writing about trends is a fantastic thing. In my case, I have been writing about trends for more than 10 years for different portals and magazines, which is something that I quite enjoy, because it allows me to delve into different cultures, customs, insights, concepts, launches and geographies and also allows me be in contact with people from all over the world. Market trend analysis is the process of evaluating changes in consumption patterns in the industry. A trend is a supposed future development that potentially has a long-term effect on a selected industry or the market. Market trends depend largely on consumer preferences, needs and technological advances.


In my column this month, I want to discuss a topic that is very interesting in marketing and that is not commonly addressed in the trends and innovation portals of the cosmetic and beauty industry: the anti-trends.


According to ChatGPT, “anti-trends” or “counter trends” refer to movements or behaviors that go against the dominant or popular trends at a given time. These can manifest themselves in different areas, such as fashion, technology, beauty, culture, politics or any other area of ​​society. Anti-trends often emerge as a reaction to what is perceived as a norm or mainstream and seek to challenge or subvert those norms. Anti-trends often emerge as a form of individual expression, rebellion, or a desire to stand out from the crowd. They can be a way of challenging the status quo and promoting diversity of thought and action in society. However, it is also important to note that anti-trends can vary widely in their nature and motivations, and not all of them necessarily have a lasting or significant impact on culture or society at large. Anti-trends are an opposition to current trends. According to an article by, the anti-trend is “the popularly declared trend of the previous year that collapsed and, furthermore, may have gone in a completely opposite direction”. In short, while a trend is a general direction in which something is developing, an anti-trend is an opposition to current trends. Next, let’s look at some of the most interesting anti-trends in our industry.


Extravaganza: While fresh-looking, natural-looking makeup has been a major trend (no-makeup makeup), some people choose to buck this trend and wear more eye-catching and creative makeup, such as bright eye shadows, extravagant eyeliners and striking lips.


Natural aging: Instead of turning to anti-wrinkle treatments or cosmetic procedures, some people embrace natural aging and are comfortable with the wrinkles and fine lines that come with age.


Natural, unplucked eyebrows: Contrary to the trend of perfectly defined and sculpted eyebrows, some people let their eyebrows grow naturally and without plucking them too much. Frida Kahlo would be a great promoter of this anti-trend in 2023.


Normcore: This trend is characterized by a minimalist and simple style, which is based on basic and timeless garments.


Anti-fast fashion: This trend focuses on responsible consumption and opposes the mass production of low-quality clothing.


Second-hand shopping: It is a form of responsible consumption that helps reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.


Fake freckles: Instead of hiding freckles with makeup, some people use makeup to create fake freckles on their face.


Gorpcore: This trend is one that tries to bring the most technical garments, sportingly speaking, closer to everyday style. From windbreakers, hiking shoes, mountain boots… Or inspiration from them. The portal has published an interesting definition of this topic: Gorpcore is freedom, essentiality and comfort in terms of beauty. For example, a natural and sober makeup that simulates the effect of just getting out of bed. A light application of blush on the cheeks and nose to imitate the sun-kissed effect, bushy and soft eyebrows, outlined with a swipe of transparent gel, a natural-looking mascara and hydrated and soft lips. Essential, a sunscreen to face life outdoors.


The world of anti-trends is fascinating and we have a lot to understand, discover and apply. When asked if an anti-trend can become a trend, that is possible. The best example is inclusive beauty, since this trend promotes the beauty of all people, regardless of their race, gender, age or size. In cosmetics we began to see genderless product launches around 2016, first in fragrances and then in skincare. We can say that the first launches were an anti-trend because these products went against what society defined, that is, segmentation by gender and, in a certain way, exclusion. We witnessed the evolution from unisex to gender-free concepts. The first products under this concept marked a before and after. Now we are facing a great trend because we have understood that diverse beauty promotes the beauty of all people, regardless of their race, gender, age or size, being today one of the great drivers of innovation in concepts, marketing, positioning and biochemical mechanisms.


The portal published recently an interesting note about this topic in which the author indicates: “¿Aren’t anti-trends or what they are called now, nothingcore, a trend in itself?”. The author also mentions that there are two ways in which a trend stops being a trend. The first has to do with unpopularity and the second with saturation: the pitcher goes to the fountain so much that in the end, it ends up breaking. There are trends that died of success!


Adriana Castañeda, in Bogotá, tells us that like everything in the universe has its opposite, a trend will always have an anti-trend so that there is a balance. The consumer is exposed to a lot of information and today chooses according to their customs, aspirations and environment, which leads us to think that an anti-trend can easily change quickly and become a reality for the market and the consumer. We must always be prepared to offer innovative alternatives at both extremes, always bringing inclusion and differentiation as a competitive advantage in such a changing environment.


Karen Young, in New York, comments: For every trend, however strong and influential, there’s definitely a counter trend. For every beauty brand with a 17-product regimen, there’s a brand touting simple basics. For every trend (in beauty or otherwise) incorporating technology, AI and AR, there’s a Luddite counterpart. For every head of dramatically colored hair (I’m looking at blue and yellow as I type), there’s someone abandoning color and celebrating the grey. This paradox feels even stronger today with no rules and no playbook for fashion, beauty or anything else.  Self-expression is the mantra of the day. Anything goes!  It’s liberating….most of the time!


Finally, I consider that some of the anti-trends in cosmetics will definitely be a trend because they reflect a change in the way people perceive beauty, which represents invaluable input to discover insights and develop products that have positive impacts on life. of consumers. Being inspired by anti-trends is also a good strategy to innovate.

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John Jiménez is a pharmacist from National University of Colombia with a master's in sustainable development and specialization studies in marketing, cosmetic science and neuromarketing. He has 30 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation. He has been the recipient of the Maison G. de Navarre Prize (IFSCC USA 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC USA 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He also has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America. Since 2019, he has written a trends column for In-Cosmetics connect, Since 2013 a trends column for Cosmetics & Toiletries Brazil and since 2020, a column on neuromarketing for Eurocosmetics. He also has authored and co-authored articles and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine. Jiménez additionally served as president of Accytec Bogotá (2017-2019). He joined Belcorp in 2005 and currently is Senior Researcher for skin care, suncare and personal care categories. Before joining Belcorp, he worked in Laboratorios Esko, Whitehall AH Robins and Fresenius Medical Care in Colombia.

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