Margaux Caron
As a Global Beauty Analyst, Margaux works with international clients to future-proof brand strategies and fuel ideation for product innovation. She specialises in Colour Cosmetics and Fragrances.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the beauty industry and accelerated several existing consumer trends, such as the hybrid makeup trend, which now reached mainstream appeal and influences consumer preferences. We explore what the driving forces behind this trend are and how beauty brands can tap into these for their product development.

Skin minimalism

We’ve seen ‘skinimalism’ (or skin minimalism) accelerating as a trend with the pandemic. It can be explained by two consumer attitudes. Firstly, consumers’ shrinking budgets and focus on ‘clean’ formulations are heightening their focus on essentials, and driving reduced beauty routines. For example, nearly half of French consumers have simplified their beauty routine over time. Secondly, growing eco-consciousness fosters more mindful beauty consumption, with almost half of French beauty/grooming buyers purchasing fewer products to reduce the environmental impact of their routine. This means that consumers will refocus on beauty brands that boast a minimal approach to beauty, with transparency, value for money and green claims at the core of their offer. 

Hybrid products are thus tapping into this attitude, with short, readable ingredient lists, and multi-functional value. Tapping into this trend, Saie Beauty offers products that blur the lines between skincare and makeup, with their Liquid Lip Balm tagged as ‘more than a lip balm, not quite a gloss.’

Saie Beauty’s liquid lip balm (US)

Source: Saie

Health and wellness

With health and wellness a higher focus for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are looking for products that will benefit their skin and their well-being. They want products that will not only have an instant cosmetic effect, but also improve their skin’s appearance in the long term. This is even more important with the prominence of ‘clean’ beauty; a movement whose focus on safety is progressively shifting from a ‘free-from’ approach to one that is centred around efficiency and sustainability. Seeing this opportunity, a few ‘clean’ skincare brands such as Typology and BYBI have recently developed a makeup offer focused on hybrid products that complement their facial care offer.

Typology’s Tinted Concealers (France) are made with a 97% naturally-derived formula and are enriched with caffeine to reduce the appearance of dark circles, niacinamide to reduce blemishes, and cornflower hydrolate to decongest the skin

Source: Typology 

‘Green’ beauty

An eco-conscious mindset will be heightened by new regulations and policies, such as the European Green Deal that will make eco-ethical effort the norm for both consumers and brands. This will support the longevity of more mindful, guilt-free and slower beauty consumption focused on elevated staples and essentials – challenging over-consumption behaviours.

What we think

The core of the acceleration of hybrid makeup products is made of deeply-rooted trends that have only been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, and are thus now established trends that will remain true after the pandemic has abated. The notion of health and wellness, and the ‘clean’ beauty movement, have now reached mainstream appeal and will drive consumers’ desire to use makeup products that have further topical benefits.