Humans are visual and social creatures. It makes sense thus that, historically, we have been collectively preoccupied with beauty. Someone’s appearance is the first thing we notice about them upon meeting them. The nature of beauty itself has been the focus of Aesthetics. People have been using makeup, skincare and cosmetics since ancient times: the Egyptians use of dark eyeliner is present in everyone’s mind through their paintings and deities, while most know that Victorian women often fainted not because of their demureness, but because of the wide-spread use of lead based creams to “improve complexion” together with constricting girdles. For the most part, these rituals were conducted by women, and were relatively secret: one had to uphold the idea that beauty was natural and effortless, not an artifice.
Growth in the beauty industry, however, has boomed in recent years, in a trend that many link to a broader generational trend of attention to physical wellbeing. Millennials are often quoted as being the main drivers behind the growth of the beauty segment. There have been many articles written on this trend, citing everything from the ageing of the millennial demographic to a focus on “self-care” as a coping method against a difficult political and economic climate. And the beauty industry is notably anti-cyclical. Consumers will still purchase luxury items in an economic downturn and will prioritise beauty treatments, skincare and cosmetics over other items and this is a rated as a necessity to them.
Some companies found a gap in the market: they created new shopping 'experiences' for consumers, mainly women, who are given additional choice beyond going to the mall or purchasing beauty products at a pharmacy or supermarket. They importantly stocked products at different price points, from elite brands to store own-labels and had the chance to have their chosen product professionally applied to their face. A total day out and beauty excursion for some young girls and their friends.
Another significant change that propelled the beauty industry forward has been the rise of social media, in particular of image-based social network Instagram. Obviously, a visual medium is optimal for a beauty brand: it fully allows it to explore the visual potential of its products. Not only, but Instagram has enabled brands to cultivate a stronger image, interact with consumers in a more direct way, as well as creating an entirely new marketing category, that of influencers, which, in turn, have at times turned into fully-fledged entrepreneurs.
mostly written by N Ketabchi
Prior vocation was Social Work for 10 years. I am passionate about empowering people & advocating for positive change. Beauty & Massage Therapy also enables me to do this in another way. Win Win