5 Top CPG Beauty Trends for 2020

Like practically every other CPG product category, the pandemic has disrupted the beauty industry in important and unexpected ways. As consumers spend their days at home, they have entirely new needs for maintaining their appearances. Meanwhile, other areas that were previously thriving are no longer as relevant. The field is changing on a nearly daily basis now, and here are five top beauty trends that brand executives should focus on when looking at the landscape ahead.


Self-Care Takes on New Importance

For many consumers, the past few months have produced new anxiety and trauma. A common technique for managing this has been to focus on “self-care” – small moments of indulgence, pampering, and nurturing that can help relieve stress. Normal make-up routines have taken a backseat, while products that promote health and wellbeing are more important than ever as shoppers need to feel a sense of peace and control.

Beauty manufacturer Geka has just released a new line of products that “combine make-up and self-care,” addressing these new consumer needs. According to the company, “in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are spending more time at home and changing their behaviours: focusing on wellbeing, body and soul harmony.”


Hair Care Focuses on Color Preservation

Despite the fact that some hair salons have begun reopening, many consumers are still wary about the idea of keeping up regular appointments. Products that enhance and preserve hair color, such as purple shampoo/conditioner for bleached blonde hair, are one of the biggest current beauty trends and are seeing explosive sales. According to the consumer data scientists at Spate, searches for these products have grown 40% this year, and searches for purple hair masks specifically have jumped by 82.1%.

These types of products allow consumers to take longer gaps between appointments, which helps protect them from potential exposure to the virus and saves them money in a time when they might be extra careful about finances.


Perfume Stumbles, but Candles See Growth

According to Women’s Wear Daily, Estee Lauder’s perfume sales have dropped 13% so far this year. With consumers spending so much more time alone, perfume brands are struggling to prove their relevance. Meanwhile, demand for scented candles has sharply risen from homebound consumers looking to improve their living spaces. From Spate’s beauty tracker report:

“The only category with higher search volume compared to 2019, fragrance is seeing increased interest in at-home products. Air freshener products are on the decline as consumers are turning towards a more homeopathic approach to a well-scented home.”


Virtual Try-Ons Evolve from Novelty to Necessity

While virtual features for testing out beauty products have been available for a few years, they’re now becoming a vital part of the shopping experience. Even cosmetic stores that are currently open require customers to wear masks, making live product sampling impossible.

Nail polish brand Sally Hansen® has just debuted an AR color try-on Snapchat lens, the first campaign of its kind from a U.S. brand. In a statement, Snap Inc.’s head of fashion and beauty Selby Drummond expressed that “the launch of Snap’s nail polish try-on technology builds on the demand for and success of our existing augmented reality product try-on features with something extremely special and close to Snapchatters’ hearts. We know that Sally Hansen® shares our hope of bringing joy and creativity to people at home, and nail art offers a way to embrace beauty and personal expression while staying safe in this challenging time.”


Beauty Brands Beat Amazon at Their Own Game

Cautious shoppers and convenience seekers alike have been avoiding beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora in favor of Amazon private label products. In order to compete with Amazon’s rapid delivery service, brands owned by Coty (including Covergirl®, Rimmel®, and Sally Hansen®) will be delivered to many digital shoppers within just thirty minutes. This jaw-dropping capability is available via a new partnership with GoPuff, starting with around twenty-five of Coty’s bestselling products.

The products in this collection were carefully chosen in order to meet the company’s new e-commerce strategy, which is to prioritize delivering reliable products that consumers are already familiar with and consider essential. Coty’s senior vice president of U.S. marketing and consumer beauty, Kevin Shapiro, explained that “something like foundation with 30 or 40 shades is more difficult to buy when you have never tried it on before, but LashBlast has been our best-selling mascara for over decade. Customers already know they love it and feel comfortable buying it.”

COVID-19 has turned the beauty industry upside-down, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Consumers are still engaging with their favorite brands, and companies that are poised to respond quickly and effectively to shoppers’ new needs will have the best chance at surviving this turbulent time. Some of these beauty trends could become permanent elements in shopper behavior, so brands that have a solid understanding of the new landscape will also be better prepared for long-term growth. 

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