Consumers worldwide are facing economic uncertainty and the numbers show it: a Mintel indicates that in England 79% of people think that the pandemic will have a negative effect on employment and inflation and in Germany 42% think that household income will be affected. A BBC report reveals that Latin America will lose years of progress. The website El Economista indicates that the recovery in the United States will be slow, as will the recovery in employment. CNN published on June 9 a report on how feelings of anguish, stress and loneliness caused by the pandemic, social isolation and fear of contagion are growing. The cosmetic industry has a huge opportunity for offering small indulgences. How is the new luxury? Below are trends and definitions in various places.
The bathroom is the new temple. The new luxury is tranquillity and it gives us calm that adds value in each creation. (Andrea Villamizar, Chemical Engineer, Rennes, France). “For me, the moment of the shower is ideal to disconnect and pamper myself”. In a May report, Mintel says the bathroom is becoming an oasis, as 43% of American consumers and 65% of Brazilians are prioritizing mental health activities, in which aromatherapy and aromacology undoubtedly have a great opportunity and a projection of USD 2.73 billion for 2025 and a 2018-2025 CAGR of 9.36%.
Pandemic chic. For Paola Pérez, Marketing and Innovation Expert, in Barcelona, the new luxury is related to comfortable and aesthetic protection, feeling protected at all levels, not only from the sun, blue light, pollution but also from bacteria and viruses. We are seeing how the designer houses are launching new styles of masks that are the new fashion trend. In the market, we will see soon the application of cosmeto-textiles technology to expand the functionality of these accessories.
Aggression care. Paola Ramos, Chemist, in Ontario comments that before luxury could be designer clothes or jewellery, instead today, we realize that the luxury is related to satisfy basic needs. I have used masks all the time and my skin is easily irritated and that is why I think that the new luxury is also associated with products that protect us from the aggressions we are experiencing due to the pandemic. In social networks, it is common to see videos and photos of people with irritation on their faces from the excessive use of masks and facial devices. The cosmetic brands are innovating in claims for protection and correction against these damages.
Hyperconnectivity. Tony O’Lenick, Chemist MS, (Lawrenceville, Georgia) comments: I believe access to professional associates and timely education programs in our industry is the new luxury. It is now incumbent upon us to keep this luxury available in the future. Euromonitor published in May 2020 an interesting report on the implications of the coronavirus in the megatrends in which we can cite the hyperconnection of consumers and the avid desire to have more experiences.
6R (Reduce, Reuse, Refill, Repair, Remanufacture, Recycle). Alberto Keidi, Pharmacist, in Sao Paulo comments: Today, the new concept of luxury is being transformed and living in a new normal world. Luxury packaging, high price, famous brands, all this is not enough to attract the new consumer. In a new world of luxury, the new consumer is looking for companies and products that can offer environmental and social responsibility, that foment new social relationships and stimulate self-knowledge through cosmetic use (mental, body and spiritual experience). Mintel indicates that the 6Rs are key concepts in trend for companies.
Back to classics. For Johanna Williams, Senior Manager at Sofw in Washington, the new luxury is related to more time to enjoy, for example, with more homemade face and hair masks. The internet and social media are a great inspiration for homemade formulas with natural ingredients. We are seeing the return of classics such as fruits, avocado, panthenol, chamomile…
Beautitation. For Jenny Narváez, Chemical Engineer in Melbourne: The new luxury is related to recovering a social life and meeting friends. In my personal care, to be able to continue buying the products that I used to use. It is a luxury to sit in front of the sea, meditate and be able to listen to music that relaxes me. In the market, we are seeing a boom in new applications that help to meditate and that facilitate skin care treatments.
Wild luxury. Gabrielle Moro, Biochemist in Saint-Malo, France, comments: I would say that the new luxury is wild space… breath, to enjoy the outdoor life, smell the odour of the grass, listen to birds, harvest their own vegetables and fruits; in other words to recover and rediscover the meaning and the source of each essential thing… We are seeing an increase in consumer desire for local products and brands, also with locally produced ingredients. Mintel recently indicated that 76% of respondents in China want to buy national and local products.
Minimalism. For Vânia Leite, Professor at Unifesp in Sao Paulo, the new luxury can be defined as “less is more”. The new luxury is now minimalist and with minimal impact on the environment. The new luxury is framed in safety for the environment, the consumer and the planet. In various surveys, people indicate that they will consume less cosmetic products in the coming months, however, in some countries the consumption of some categories (apart from cleaning) is recovering and growing, particularly skincare, face masks and hair masks.
From Lipstick Effect to Eyeliner Effect. Gloria Castillo, Lawyer in Dubai comments that priorities have changed. Before coronavirus, it was a luxury for me to buy a good perfume and now I think I don’t need it because we are always smelling of alcohol and antibacterial. Currently, I am not doing so much makeup, but I do invest more in skincare. When I go out, I try to at least make up my eyes since the mask covers the lips. Mintel indicates that the use of masks is affecting the makeup market and that therefore the trend is that brands are creating new concepts that include claims such as long-lasting and no transfer for colour cosmetics. The eyes are the new protagonists of small indulgences. The Korea Herald newspaper indicated in April that “the eyeliner is the new normal”.
Self-care & experiences. Adriana Castañeda, Pharmacist in Bogota comments: In this moment of reinvention, resilience and adaptation, luxury for me has become to enjoy and appreciate the simple, while generating experiences from confinement that allow me to take care of myself and feel unique. For example, for me, the new luxury is a hair treatment that includes the direct accompaniment of my stylist, through video calls, where he guides me with all the steps to achieve the perfect look. The Global Cosmetics News portal just published in June a consolidation of some Post-COVID trends and self-care is emerging as one of the great opportunities for innovation in cosmetics.
Reinvention. For Maité San Miguel, Pharmacist, in New York, the new luxury will be related to manufacturing and market products with purpose and that protect the personal well-being of employees and customers. The new luxury is technology-oriented, highly digital, on-line and will achieve a total reinvention of the supply chain. Euromonitor International published a report in May on the effects of the pandemic on the luxury market. Globally, it is projected that in 2020 it will have a contraction of approximately 20%. The report indicates that the key points that will help the category to recover are innovations in the digital theme, well-being, experience and sustainability. The market will begin to be positive in 2021.
Luxury wellness redefined. Stefania Motta, Biologist in Milan comments: My feeling is that the new luxury is now the “wellbeing”. Consumers are not yet ready to spend for discretionary; they would rather spend for products they know the efficacy or that will satisfy for sure their needs; they have a lower budget and want to spend consciously. Products and services will gain that offer real wellness benefits. The Euromonitor report indicates that 42% of high-income consumers follow fitness programs at home, 40% take procedures to manage stress, anxiety and mental health. The Health and Wellness market was worth $ 473 billion in 2019. Mental and emotional well-being presents itself as a great opportunity and cosmetic brands are striving to innovate aromatherapy, aromacology and new textures concepts.
From sustainability to a purpose. For Barbara Brockway, Biologist Ph. D. in London, luxury has had a great evolution. So no longer the ethnobotanist scouring the rain forest in search of the elixir of life. Now New Luxury looks more like the “superbly dressed, race & gender-neutral, knowledgeable, technically savvy entrepreneur who knows their actions are good”. New Luxury is not a cause of environmental/social damage and so divorced from human suffering/climate change and it celebrates gender/diversity. Euromonitor indicates that 33% of high-income consumers want to buy products from brands that share their social values and 30% from brands with purpose.
At a Home Luxury. Rachel Grabenhofer, Managing Editor at C&T in Chicago comments: I can say for sure that living in a home with a yard, where we have space with a swing set to “play” (for my son), set up a tent, take walks in our neighborhood, head to the nearby river valley to hike… it is all the more precious to me now, and a luxury. I guess all the simple things seem a luxury, now. Euromonitor indicates that the rituals of well-being and luxury at home are in full growth. Home is the new spa.
Freedom. This is the definition for Karen Young, Professor at FIT in New York. New luxury for me will probably look something like this: Freedom to return to travel, freedom to see friends and family and hug them, without masks. Freedom to sit in a café with a coffee or a glass of wine and just watch people pass by. Freedom to walk, hike and wander in the city or in the country, without worrying about anything!!! This year we saw a very interesting launch, Futuremood, these are sunglasses that change the mood, they were launched this quarter in California. They have four lens colors, each of which evokes a different sensation: blue, intended to recharge; green, to relax; yellow, to focus; and red, to energize.
New luxury architecture. Patrice Bellon, Ph. D. in Pharmacy, in Paris presents us with a very interesting definition. Luxury brands will have to give back to their customers the desire to consume, but differently. It will be important for consumers, many of whom are vulnerable, to be understood, with reassuring and positive messages and signals. Céline Choain, specialist in the “fashion and distribution” sector of the strategy consulting firm Kea Partners suggests that the brands that positioned themselves on “creating emotion and meaning” will do better than the others. According to an IFOP study of April 2020, the majority of French people say they want to consume more locally and sustainably, at a price, and not to return to the so-called “hyper-consumerist” and “globalized” world of the pre-pandemic. If luxury brands need to continue to bring their values to life in stores, this crisis reminds them that they have more than ever the duty to offer a seamless omnichannel experience to their customers.
From “luxury to show” to “luxury to be”. Daniel Gonzaga, Food Engineer MBA in Colombia comments: In my opinion, “traditional luxury” is something that was already old fashioned long before the pandemic. Excess, ostentation, the use of unnecessary materials, accelerated depreciation are concepts that lose space in the face of the growth of “conscious” consumers, minimalism and socio-environmentally responsible products. The brands that connect with great causes, have more capacity to generate connection with their customers and command a premium price.
Finally, the calm… Coco Chanel said that “luxury is a need that begins when the need ends.” I feel that now in the midst of a pandemic, luxury has become satisfying the need and enjoying tranquility. The needs are different, the consumer has new priorities and luxury reinvents itself in those little details, leaving its mark through new experiences where the cosmetic industry has great opportunities for innovation. For me, the new luxury is the tranquillity that I can achieve with cosmetic products that lead me to relaxation, well-being and calm… and of course, with a glass of uruguayan tannat.
To find out more about the live experience where you can learn further about the topic with experts in the field, visit the in-cosmetics Latin America website!
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