Do you feel it, that change in the air? In the beauty space specifically, something is brewing. Beauty buying habits are beginning to shift in a very real way, as there are increasing sentiments around ‘low buying’, ‘no buying‘ and sustainability.
I’m seeing those sentiments in relation to other things as well and maybe you have too. Things such as :
- Buying less ‘fast fashion’ or buying no ‘fast fashion’.
- Making coffee at home rather than buying it.
- Tossing things that don’t ‘spark joy’.
- Meal-prepping at home and packing lunches.
- Going green, zero waste.
- Reducing carbon footprints.
- Reducing plastic use.
At the end of 2019, market reports saw declining makeup sales while skincare sales are on the uptick. There’s also a category called skincare adjacent items consisting of products like setting sprays and lip balms and sales of those have been increasing as well.
At this moment in time, beauty consumers are more likely to expect cleaner formulations, reusable packaging and brands that are accessible and responsive.
I can get on board with much of this emerging value system especially if it means I lessen the pressure on myself to buy into every new launch. Plus, with the increase in new beauty brands, supporting them may translate into helping a solo entrepreneur with a tiny team to carve out space in the vastness of the beauty industry……so they can then sell it to insert big company name here for hundreds of millions of dollars in a few years.
But even in the jungle, there are laws and as with all things, there comes a tipping point. In my first newsletter, I alluded to having some ‘launch fatigue’ in response to all the new brand and product launches. Never, ever have I seen such an onslaught of eyeshadow palettes specifically. Will we wake up one day with extra eyelids so that we’re able to wear all these new eyeshadows?
Happily, there are bright spots and where there are bright spots, there’s hope. Alongside all of these new launches are movements such as #projectpan, which means using things up until you literally hit the pan and there’s nothing left. Also known as #panning or #hittingpan it’s something that I hope will be brought into the wider consumer consciousness in a much larger way, despite the implication being that if people focus on using up what they already have, it means that new purchases would likely decrease or just maybe, we’ll simply buy only what we need.
So how will I be changing my buying behaviour? This isn’t the first time I’ve shared my desire to be a more mindful beauty consumer. In fact, the compulsion to truly incorporate it as a way of life is becoming more urgent.
Also, I’ve either bypassed many new makeup launches, especially from my favourite brands or chosen instead to cherry-pick one or two pieces.
Skincare is different because our skin’s needs change over time; ”hello hormones, who dis!?” So part of my #skincaregoals is to maintain a tightly edited rotation of skincare products and to use up the stuff I already have and share the process with you along the way.
While I’m not a climate expert, nor a market analyst, I am trying to pay more attention to what’s happening to the environment and to the changing ways that cosmetics are bought. Plus I also need to figure out the right way to dispose of empty or dried-out nail polish bottles and containers with a bit of product left in the bottom.
I love seeing an increasing number of women start skincare and makeup brands, I love seeing more women dermatologists and aestheticians who are helping us to understand our skin in a more holistic way while being unafraid to tell us to cut back or simplify.
We now have an unprecedented number of resources available to help us make better decisions about how we use products and how much we use. So in many ways it’s an exciting time in the industry and I’m looking forward to seeing what else they’ll cook up, especially in the ways we look after our skin at home with all the new gadgets.
Seeing more accessibly priced brands, plus the openness to K-beauty (Korean beauty), J-beauty (Japanese beauty) and the growing interest in Scandi beauty (Scandinavian beauty) all make for quite the playing field.
Not to mention brands from non-western countries that will begin to pop up and quickly become Insta-famous, hello Sunnies Face.
With this remarkable moment comes a greater responsibility to pay more attention to how we buy, to ask more questions of companies and to expect the answers as well, and they better be straight answers too. If companies can rapidly churn out products, they should also be forthcoming about what went into them, where the ingredients were sourced from and if fair wages were paid along the way.
So, you’ll still see new things showing up here but there’ll also be re-plays as well. I’ve been a cosmetics fan since I was little and that’s unlikely to change because there’s a lot of gorgeous stuff floating around that I’d love to try but in a more considered way.
And whether you’re on a low-buy, no-buy, trying to #hitpan/use up your current stash or you just want to buy all the tings, do share below or feel free to @ me on Twitter or point me to your #projectpan on Instagram and I hope this helps.