Charlotte Libby
Charlotte is a Global Colour Cosmetics and Fragrance Analyst. Her expertise lie in consumer behaviour, trends and product innovation.

A month on from London Fashion Week, Mintel’s Senior Beauty Analyst, Charlotte Libby, looks back at the most iconic shows and picks out the key trends you need to watch out for this coming season.

Imperfect perfect: the end of brushes

YouTube tutorials and blogs have shaped the make-up industry in recent years, giving women instant access to tutorial videos to help them become more familiar with how to use products. As a result, beauty trends have become much more technical with contouring, heavy brows and precision liner becoming increasingly popular in recent years.

The SS17 runway shows featured almost a backlash to this heavy, precise beauty, with products applied in a more natural style, often with hands. This trend was seen across both make-up and hair.

At Mimi Wade, the hair, styled by Bumble and bumble, was created without the use of any brushes. While at Peter Pilotto, hair was blow dried with hands to keep it flat at the roots, with baby hairs then blown into the face for a natural un-styled look.

Lip make-up had a much softer appearance at the SS17 shows; Mother of Pearl featured messy red lips with make-up artist Ciara O’Shea for MAC Cosmetics describing the look as “the good life – eating spaghetti and kissing!.” A similar lip was also seen at Molly Goddard.

Sunshine state: tans are back in fashion

Several shows at LFW SS17, including Preen, Temperley and Mary Katrantzou, featured self-tanning booths backstage, with a golden glow being a key feature of the runway make-up look. At Henry Holland models wore hardly any foundation, but had self-tan applied to faces to create a ‘carefree, gypsy girl style’ at the request of the designer.

Mintel research shows that self-tan had begun to fall from fashion in recent years, with usage of products declining. The showcasing of tanned skin for the Spring collections suggests self-tanning products will see usage lift in 2017.

Water works: gloss and shine for skin and hair

As explored in Mintel’s Global Beauty Trends 2025, Water scarcity issues spanning the globe have led to water being promoted as a luxury ingredient, and the luxuriousness of high shine, dewy beauty was showcased on the SS17 runways.

At Erdem, the make-up was described as reminiscent of a ‘shipwrecked woman’, with faces spritzed with an Evian water mist to give a super hydrated look. A similar technique was used at Joseph, with make-up artists using a heavy layer of make-up setting mist to give the skin a moist look.

Skincare and haircare also favoured a dewy glow; Mimi Wade styled models’ hair with oil for a wet-look shine, while make-up artists at Emilia Wickstead used the technique ‘moisture mapping’. Similar to the multi-masking trend, this involved using four different moisturisers on the face, ranging from matte to rich, to create subtle highlights.

While matte products have been fashionable recently, 2017 looks set to see the return of gloss in make-up, and powder formulae will fall from fashion as a bigger focus is placed on dewy skin.

What we think

  • With Burberry announcing a shift in the retailing model in February 2016, and adopting a ‘seasonless’ approach to new fashion, beauty trends are also moving quicker and becoming more of a reflection of current lifestyle trends.
  • YouTube tutorials have boomed in popularity in the past few years, and have been credited with educating women on how to use cosmetics and create a more professional, technical finish. However, as this heavy make-up look becomes more mainstream, the SS17 trends indicate a changing point amongst the fashion-forward, with softer, carefree beauty taking the spotlight.
  • Finally, The influence of socio-economic factors, such as the global water shortage, can also be seen in the SS17 beauty trends, with water becoming a luxurious finish, and self-tanning products coming back into fashion.

Charlotte Libby is Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, collating and analysing a wide range of data on the beauty markets, including consumer trends, product sales and new innovations. Charlotte joined Mintel in 2013 as an Analyst across the Beauty & Personal Care and Household sectors and now specialises in Beauty.