Beauty Industry & Consumer Sentiment

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The Beauty Industry - #Metoo and Redefining What is Sexy

Companies in the beauty industry are not only struggling with their sales because of the #MeToo movement but have been forced to change how they define beauty and sexy. They are now being forced to find creative ideas to advertise and sell their products without objectifying women.


  • About 71% of Americans are aware of the #MeToo movement.
  • The #MeToo movement has forced companies in the beauty industry to create a new vision of defining sexy.
  • Companies are already having a hard time making sales because of the movement. Some companies have been forced to cancel adds and apologize for objectifying women.
  • Some beauty companies, such as Dove have already adjusted their products and how they package them due to the movement. Such companies are also better for it.
  • On the other hand, other companies such as Victoria Secrets are having problems with their sales as a result of the #MeToo movement.
  • A lot of women have been empowered by the #MeToo movement and are now changing how they view brands and choose their beauty products.
  • Other than changing how they look at beauty brands, women have also been empowered to fight against sexist ideas in adverts, among others.
  • Brands that fail to redefine how they portray beauty or sexy will have problems staying in business now and in the future.


We began by searching for existing case studies on how the #MeToo movement has affected the beauty industry, but most sources only offered some companies that have been affected and no other information. Moreover, there were no available sources that provided data and statistics on how the beauty industry has been affected by the movement. Due to the unavailability of materials with data statistics, we could not produce hard facts but had to improvise.
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Insights and Trends - Beauty: Millennials and Generation Z

Current beauty trends that revolve around Millennials and Generation Z with respect to anti-aging are; focus on beauty products with natural ingredients, anti-pollution products, masks and facial exfoliators, and preventive Botox. The general beauty trend that revolves around Millennials and Generation Z is the influence of social media before purchasing beauty products.


  • Face masks are applied all over the face, which evens the skin tone and gives it a radiant-look after removing.
  • Millennials shifted from anti-wrinkle/anti-aging products to masks and facial exfoliators because of immediate results. This reduced the sales of anti-wrinkle/anti-aging products whereas the revenue of masks and facial exfoliators increased by 44% in 2017.
  • Botox is an injection given on the face to remove fine lines and wrinkles as an anti-aging remedy.
  • Most of the Millennials are opting for preventive Botox for an instant anti-aging effect. Millennials aged 20-29 years are highly inclined to Botox treatment. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there is a 28% increase of Botox treatment in Millennials compared to the overall increase of 31% in all age groups from 2010 to till date.


  • Millennials and Gen Z highly rely on social media before choosing any beauty products and get influenced by influencers.
  • Sixty-two percent of Gen Z rely on social media before purchasing a beauty product.
  • Seventy-five percent of Millennials purchase beauty products based on Instagram posts.
  • Thirty-two percent of Gen Z teens and Millennials rely on YouTube tutorials for using beauty products and makeup.


Initially, we started looking for the current beauty trends that revolve around Millennials and Generation Z, with respect to anti-aging. We could locate that most of the information is either specific to anti-aging trends in general or anti-aging trends related to baby boomers and Millennials and very limited information on Gen Z across various beauty market reports and articles such as Beauty Packaging, Viacom, Reports and Data, Forbes, Eco18, WSJ, among others.

Later, we deep-dived into each anti-aging trend listed in and tried locating those that relate to Millennials and Gen Z. We could locate only one trend that anti-pollution products are popular among both generations and companies are promoting their products, focusing on these age groups. As there are no common anti-aging trends, which cover both age groups, we tried looking for anti-aging trends specific to Millennials and anti-aging trends specific to Gen Z across various beauty journals, beauty products websites and press releases such as Garnier USA, Longevity Live, Vox, Business of Fashion, Fashionista, among others, and could locate three trends. Millennials focus on Natural products while purchasing anti-aging products and are more inclined towards face mask and Botox injections for preserving their beauty as part of anti-aging remedies. However, we could not locate anything specific to Gen Z and anti-aging trends.

So, we expanded the scope of the research to trends related to beauty products in general, focusing both on Millennials and Gen Z. We could locate that both age groups highly rely on social media for choosing beauty products after searching across various Millennials and Gen Z surveys such as Forbes, Pew Research, Neilson, among others. Based on the above strategies, we could derive five current beauty trends with respect to Millennials and Gen Z, out of which, four are related to anti-aging.

We have derived the above findings such as focus on beauty products with natural ingredients, anti-pollution products, masks and facial exfoliators, preventive Botox, and influence of social media as trends as they are quoted as trends on multiple credible sites and also have statistical data from recent sources supporting them as current beauty trends that revolve around Millennials and Generation Z

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Skin Care Within Cosmetics - Product Innovations

Foreo UFO smart mask treatment, Opte Beauty Wand, IONIQ One Sprayer, Neutrogena MaskiD, and Starskin Pro Micro-Filler Pack are the latest product innovations in the skincare cosmetics space.


1. Foreo UFO smart mask treatment

This product, showcased at In-Cosmetics North America in New York, was one of the featured Digital Innovations in Cosmetics. It also holds a claim as the world's most advanced face mask.
The device syncs with an app from Foreo and it heats, cools and vibrates the skin while sealing the active ingredients on it. It uses exclusive Korean mask formulas.

2. Opte Beauty Wand

  • This product from Opte (a startup backed by Proctor and Gamble), was featured at CES 2019. It scans, detects, and corrects hyperpigmentation with precision application. It uses proprietary technology to treat only the areas affected.
  • The system works by utilizing a blue LED scan and an integrated digital camera that captures 200 skin images per second. It then compares the data using a precise color algorithm that has 70,000 lines of code to determine the size, shape, and intensity of the hyperpigmented area.
  • Then, a patented blend of mineral pigments and ingredients is injected using thermal inkjet nozzles finer than human hair. The serum will help blemishes disappear and make them fade over time.

3. IONIQ One Sprayer

  • This sprayer was a featured product at CES 2019 which uses a patented magnetic skin technology, thus allowing self-application of skincare products.

  • The result would be an even spread of skin products into the skin without the need to rub it in.
  • IONIQ provides 100% vegan skincare products and are the only products compatible with the device.

4. Neutrogena MaskiD

  • This mask was one of the featured products at CES 2019 and the first-ever customized, 3D printed face mask that can be shipped directly to the consumer's doorstep.

  • The company has a Skin 360 app that assesses skin data. The result will be a mask with the exact measurements and nose shape, space between eyes and lips, and other unique characterizations.

5. Pro Micro-Filler Pack

This product was featured in Reader's Digest's Best Skin Care Product Innovations last 2018. It is the first product that mimics the rejuvenating effects of professional micro-needling.

  • Instead of tiny needles, the product relies on sharp, hyaluronic acid micro-pyramids and serum-soaked sheet masks to replicate the results of micro-needling.


We searched for the latest product innovations in the skincare cosmetics space on tech exhibits such as Consumer Electronic Conferences (CES) 2019 and Digital Innovation in Cosmetics and magazines such as Reader's Digest. We used sources within the past year to make sure that they are the latest products. Three of the listed products were featured in CES 2019, one at In-Cosmetics North America, and the other on Reader's Digest. In-cosmetics North America is a leading regional platform where cosmetic and contract manufacturers, Indie brands, and private labels can connect with global personal care suppliers to develop innovative products. CES, on the other hand, is the global stage for innovation, while Reader's Digest is a reputable magazine. We included these products on our list because they featured among large and well-known exhibits and sites. Also, we made sure that these skincare products had innovative ingredients and were not purely tech devices or apps. The products solely measure, monitor, and diagnose skin conditions.
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Beauty Companies - Trialing Online

Beauty companies allow customers to try out products online with the help of digital apps and purchasable sampling activities. Additionally, the trial samples act as an effective brand influencer for companies to increase product sales. The primary goal for offering a beauty product trial samples is to convince the customer and turn the product trial into a sell.


Trying products before buying

  • Companies generally offer trial size samples of small size and low price for online trials of beauty products. Beauty product samples help to increase brand loyalty among consumers and especially among millennials, for whom the cost factor plays a vital role in purchasing decisions.
  • Smaller-sized and limited-use packaging formats are often utilized by brands to appeal to travelers, owing to their convenience and costs.

Trial sized packs

  • According to a recent article by Beauty Packaging, sample-sized packs for beauty products hold a significant share for brands success. This is further emphasized by the fact that an increasing number of consumers want to test the product first to be sure about the product's functionality.
  • The trial sized packs also help the company introduce new products to new consumers and boost brand visibility. Additionally, a bond is forged with the customers if they get acquainted with the product through samples; further, it can lead to future purchases of full-sized packs.
  • According to Beauty Packaging, the trend driving trial-sized sampling packs is to establish a good user experience with the brand from the beginning. Alternatively, about 72% of consumers consider a free sample as a gift.



1) Ulta

  • Ulta partnered with a beauty tech company Perfect Corp to develop new artificial and augmented reality tools to aid customers with product trials. The Beauty 3.0 will operate as an in-store suite that will enable shoppers to try on hair colors virtually, apply makeup shades, try-on skin mapping, and receive product recommendations.
  • The retailer will use mixed-reality capabilities to personalize shopping experiences for customers and allow them to test multiple products at a time.
  • Alternatively, Cosmopolitan’s partnership with the YouCam Makeup app developer will enable the publication to let their readers scan Ulta campaigns from smartphones to activate 3D experience.

2) Sephora

  • Stores in North America have started offering Sephora's Fragrance IQ experience with its new sensory technology called InstaScent. The system enables consumers to test up to 18 scents using a dry air delivery system. The system is developed by tech partner Inhalió for Sephora.
  • Typically, fragrance stores feature an overwhelmingly high concentration of fragrance smell that can cause headaches for some consumers. The new technology at Sephora will enable consumers to experience multiple fragrances with no side effects subtly.

3) Arcade Beauty

  • According to Arcade Beauty, millennials want to experience multiple brands and products before making a commitment for a larger pack size.
  • The company recently developed a seven-day, seven-product sample kit for Lancôme utilizing its BeautiPod mailer. The innovative sampling format enables the consumers to experience a full week’s worth of product along with an additional 15% discount on the purchase of a full-sized product.
  • 4) Elizabeth Arden, American Cosmetic company

    • The company recently partnered with YouCam Makeup app for users to try the products first and then buy from the company’s site directly.

    5) Estée Lauder

    • Estée Lauder makes use of an online tutorial to launch a new range of eye and face cream.
    • The tutorial can help consumers to understand how to apply eye creams, use a massaging applicator, among others. Additionally, the company has developed a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help customers choose products or chat with skin experts.

    6) Shiro Cosmetics

    • According to Caitlin Johnstone, founder of the Shiro Cosmetics, it is important for online-only brands to offer physical samples to consumers because the online presence impedes a consumer's experience with the real look and feel of a physical product.
    • Shiro Cosmetics offers most of its products in three sizes; this enables users to try the product first without hesitation and at a lower price.

    7) L’Oréal

    • The company bought Modiface, an artificial-reality beauty company that maps an individual’s face digitally then virtually applies the product. This innovative application help customers to try the products effectively without hassles.
    • The company also launched an app, Makeup Genius; it makes use of facial mapping to turn mobile devices into a ‘mirror’ allowing users to try makeup virtually but in real-time.


  • Based on our research, the trial sample acts as an ambassador for the brand that can increase their product sales later. The primary goal for trial size samples is to convince the consumer and eventually turn into a sale. Additionally, trialing online is important because many independent beauty companies do not offer returns.
  • Cosmetic companies offering shoppable samples at lower price enables the customers to make online purchases at considerably less price.
  • According to Caitlin Johnstone, new customers often buy more than 20 samples at once.


    To understand how beauty companies are allowing consumers to trial online, we searched through various credible media articles, company sites, industry publications. Some notable sources of information include Vox, Campaign, Mumbrella, Beauty Packaging, Tech Republic, among others.

    We were able to gather details related to how and why beauty companies are allowing consumers to trial online. For this, we studied various cosmetic and beauty brands about how and why they offer trial online. Based on all the available details, we have compiled the analysis at the end of our research under additional insights.


    From Part 01
    • "Marzilli concedes that Victoria’s Secret’s sales troubles predate #MeToo and #Time’sUp, these movements, he told me, “have likely made some consumers think twice about what they value in a wardrobe and in a brand.""
    • "Scores of people took to social media to call out the spot for being “regressive” and “tone-deaf,” ultimately prompting the brand to pull the ad. "
    • "Negative connotations like "anti-ageing" are on the way out, and brands are more about encouraging consumers to have fun and experiment with beauty."
    • "In a post #MeToo world, where women are loudly demanding a world in which our bodies are treated with dignity and respect, the beauty industry can no longer be assured of our silence. "
    • "Under the microscope of the #MeToo movement, brands are being forced to rethink how they sell to women."
    • "Brands that have ditched the classic swimsuit model and recognize the beauty of real women are today's key players. In fact, brands like Dove have been doing well with that for a while."
    From Part 02
    • "Millennials buy more natural beauty products that are efficacious versus traditional chemically heavy products that previous generations have demanded for anti-aging."
    • "Millennials want dermatological, solution-focused lifestyle habits. Fillers and injections are becoming obsolete as they embrace natural techniques that make you healthy from the inside out. They want to look good as they age, rather than trying to stop aging after the fact."
    • "According to Skin Incorporated, an online survey conducted in 2016 discovered that 59% of adult women read beauty product ingredient labels before purchasing. Click here to find out how to decode a label. Furthermore, almost 40% will pay extra for all-natural beauty products."
    • "Millennials are choosing natural solutions recommended by experts. The next celebrity endorsement is not the place to look. And they want small batches of freshly formulated cosmetics that make your skin glow. These products are hand-crafted and contain probiotics and superfoods such as chia and kale, as well as vegan and gluten-free ingredients."
    • "A 31 percent share of the survey respondents in total and a 43 percent share of the Millennial survey respondents stated that they look for natural ingredients when purchasing skin care products."
    • "Cleansers and moisturizers are now being specifically formulated to fight back against pollution and to help rid skin of dirt, dust or soot particles. Many of them contain supercharged antioxidant levels which help to fight off free radicals. Everyone who lives in a metropolis should ensure they cleanse thoroughly and use products with antioxidants to help prevent premature aging due to pollution and environmental damage."
    • "3. At Home Peels As we mentioned with overnight masks, the nighttime is super important when it comes to anti-aging skin care. Supercharge your skin care efforts with an overnight peel."
    • "Indeed, for beauty marketers, “anti-pollution” is the new “anti-ageing”, with many predicting that the former term will be as popular with Millennials and Generation Z as the latter was with Baby Boomers and Generation X. "
    • "A search for the word “pollution” on generates almost 200 results, from cult favourites including REN’s Pollution-Proof Kit ($24) to Murad’s City Overnight Detox Moisturizer ($70). Ulta Beauty, which sells products distributed to the mass market, carries at least 65, from Leaders’ 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution Mask ($6) to Shiseido’s Urban Environment UV Broad Spectrum Protection SPF 30 ($33)."
    • "To be sure, “anti-pollution” has a long way to go before it could dare usurp the market share owned by “anti-ageing”. While consumers in the US spent $1.4 billion on prestige skincare in the second quarter of 2017, up 6 percent from the year prior, according to NPD research"
    • "In early 2016, the beauty industry did a bit of hand-wringing after recent data suggested that millennials were not buying traditional anti-wrinkle/anti-aging products, according to the trade publication WWD. Growth for that category was slow. Two years later, skin care in general is in an explosive growth phase. Sales of masks and facial exfoliators, products meant to provide quick, glowy results, were up a combined 44 percent in 2017, according to the NPD Group."
    • "Anti-aging is out, masks are in. "
    • " the biggest categories seeing growth, according to marketing research firm the NPD Group, are the products that get your face ready for makeup, such as social-media-friendly masks, lip treatments and exfoliators. Kind of what you'd expect from the selfie generation."
    • " In fact, ASPS stats reveal the demand for cosmetic procedures by 20-29 year-olds has skyrocketed, with surgeons seeing a 28% increase in Botox and 32% increase in dermal filler treatments from 2010-17. "
    • " American Society of Plastic Surgeons confirm this trend, as reported Botox procedures increased 28 percent since 2010 among 20 to 29-year-olds."
    • "Preventative Botox, the concept of treating the facial muscles that you use more frequently in order to avoid wrinkles from forming, has become an increasingly popular procedure for young people. "
    • " Many young consumers turn to social media, and especially video content, for information when deciding what beauty items to buy. "
    • "62% digitally research beauty and personal care products before purchasing 56% follow cosmetics brands on social media 48% get makeup information and advice online"
    • "32% of Gen Z teens and millennials say that without YouTube tutorials, their look wouldn’t be nearly as good."
    From Part 03
    • "FOREO UFO smart mask treatment device is claimed to be the world's most advanced smart face mask"
    • " Device turns a 20-minute sheet mask treatment into a 90-second experience."
    • "Synching with the FOREO app, the device heats, cools, and vibrates the skin to seal active ingredients and firm the skin."
    • "Device uses exclusive Korean mask formulas that are paired with preprogrammed FOREO appcontrolled treatment routine to boost results."
    • "Okay, it’s makeup, but on a microscopic scale. Finally, a micro printer with 120 thermal inkjet nozzles thinner than a human hair deposits 1,000 Optimizing Serum picoliter droplets — that’s one billionth of a liter for those of you who aren’t chemists or into micro cuisine or anything — to achieve ultra-precise coverage of the spot with 99 percent less product applied to the skin."
    • "Opté says the serum utilizes a patented blend of mineral pigments and skin care ingredients, which not only disappear blemishes but also make them fade over time."
    • "In-cosmetics North America is a leading regional platform that connects cosmetic and contract manufacturers, Indie brands and private labels with global personal care suppliers to inspire the next wave of new products on the market."