Beauty Trends and Predictions

In order to fuel a healthy discussion on ongoing and emerging trends in beauty, we asked our INNOCOS speakers two questions prior to the event to recap 2018 and shed light on what to anticipate in 2019.

What do you think was the biggest trend of 2018?

What are your predictions for 2019?

Their responses highlighted the plethora of trends and perspectives in the industry, ranging from beauty product predictions and production transparency to the state of mergers and acquisitions, all of which are highlighted below.


Daya Fields

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Development, ALAFFIA

The biggest trends I saw in the beauty industry in 2018 was: 1) the emphasis on “free-froms”, 3rd party certification usage/partnerships and the push for manufacturers to incorporate sustainable packaging componentry in their everyday production processes. 2) Indy beauty brands launching a 40-shade foundation range without the slightest hesitation as to whether it’s the right thing to do to be inclusive at first launch. And as a reaction, well established beauty brands launched line extensions in shades that work with the deepest of skin tones. 3) The pressure for Marketing Heads to rethink their omnichannel marketing strategy to now encompass a robust influencer plan packed with measurable ROI benefits. 4) The spotlight on Influencer Agencies

My predictions for 2019:

  • The natural set/section is going to continue to grow in square footage & gain destination status within mass channel retailers, grocer & drug. More conventional brands are going to develop natural ingredient inspired lines/collections in order to acquire new consumers & offer on trend “cleaner” formulas.
  • The consumer trend is going to move toward more simplified communication on packaging – more visuals, fewer words and easier to understand ingredients with clear benefits. Less is going to continue to mean more with consumer attention spans dwindling year over year
  • Companies, social enterprises, philanthropic entrepreneurs and organizations are going to be continually pressured by consumers to take the bulk of the responsibility in ensuring global sustainability: for community development, environmental sustainability, legislature change, as well as, economic development
  • The rise of “Naked” packaging sought after by the conscientious beauty consumer. Best example, Good Soap by Alaffia at Whole Foods Market

Andy Mauro


2018 was the year that consumer privacy in marketing became a mainstream news story marking the end of the “digital monitoring” era. Between big-tech backlashes (Facebook, etc.) and GDPR, it was the year data privacy became a major concern for consumers, and as a consequence, marketers. This evolution doesn’t mean that brands have given up on trying to get to know their consumers; in fact, expectations for personalization have paradoxically never been higher. For marketers, the search is now on for ways to engage beauty consumers while respecting their privacy and providing real value. Luckily for us, conversational AI applied to market and sales provides natural transparency and allows consumers to opt-in and decide what information they share with brands.

The rise of #beautytech will continue unabated. L’Oréal was the first beauty company to refashion themselves as a tech enterprise in much the same way as Dominos did with pizza nearly a decade ago. History has proven that traditional industries who have been able to leverage technology to reach consumers have been able to better compete with direct-to-consumer disruptors and grow their e-commerce business. We anticipate in 2019 that large beauty brands will rapidly get better at DTC digital engagement largely by partnering with, providing financing to, and acquiring startups in much the same way as L’Oréal did with Modiface, and ULTA did with GlamST in the augmented try-on space.


Sonia Summers

CEO, Beauty Barrage

The biggest trends were Pop-up shops.  They added an extra boost of energy and newness to retail, especially those with an experiential theme by brands/retailers.

Online will continue to grow. I believe the trends will continue to be the makeover of retail.  Creating services and experiences for the customer so that there is a benefit to walking into a shop rather than online.


Brandon Ford


One of the biggest trends of 2018 was the rise of inside / outside beauty and the use of supplements to support skin health.  Consumers better understand that holistic skin health requires that you consider what you put into your body and what you put onto your body.  I believe we will continue to see more brands embrace this approach as they expand their product offerings.

We saw a lot of social activism in 2018, but I believe it is just getting started.  Consumers are being a lot more thoughtful in their purchasing decisions and how what they buy impacts our environment. They are more willing to walk away from a beloved brand if they don’t believe it is good for the planet.  As a result, brands will be under more pressure to clean up their act and demonstrate they are good corporate citizens.


Marcella Cacci

Founder, One Ocean Beauty 

One of the most significant trends for 2018 was Clean Beauty. However in my view, it is more than a trend, it is a health issue and a movement that will continue to proliferate and take market share. Within clean beauty until recently, there seemed to be a void for clean products that were effective, high performance and clinically proven. With One Ocean Beauty, we were determined to show proof of performance and focused on using the most innovative, high tech active ingredients available. All of our actives have been through rigorous clinical testing, both in vivo and in vitro, this is a fairly new concept in the clean market. We proved that you could make a clean product that is stable, high tech and high performance.

For 2019 I believe sustainability will be a key trend. The rise of conscious consumerism will continue and this will alter the way companies approach product design, development and distribution. As consumers continue to demand sustainability on different levels, from production to packaging, companies will be required to meet these new standards. When developing One Ocean Beauty, we were very conscious of the consumer’s changing perspective, and decided to create a beauty company that was in line with those ideals. Our production is sustainable, as we do not harvest but use biotechnology. Our packaging is 100% recyclable and our shipping materials are from sustainable forestry.


Jeanmarie Cakouros

Cargill Beauty

The link between health and beauty; there was a big focus on beauty from the inside out – what we put in our bodies is as important as what we put on them.

Complete transparency is my prediction for the future when it pertains to ingredient lists will become mainstream. Brands will start and/or continue to communicate exactly where their cosmetic ingredients are derived. This will be just as important as the benefits of the ingredient itself.


Jeannie Jarnot

Founder, Beauty Heroes®

I think that 2019 will be all about Blue Beauty.  As consumers start to understand the importance of our sincere and sustained attention on environmental health, they will look for brands that are going beyond being green – minimizing plastic pollution and waste – while also going blue and making real efforts to contribute back to environmental causes. Beauty brands will minimize packaging and plastic, while still maintaining a creative, memorable and branded experience.  I expect we will see a lot of innovation in packaging and products that are refillable, up-cycled and lighter on our environment.  I believe it will be a transformational year for how we see beauty sold, packaged and marketed, and brands will find every way to ride the Blue Beauty wave.


Richard Kestenbaum

Partner, Triangle Capital LLC

I think the biggest trend in 2018 was acquisitions of beauty companies for very high multiples.

My prediction is that the trend will peak in 2019 and decline after that.


Lauren Brooke Steinberg

Founder and CEO, Queen V

2018 for me wasn’t about trends but was more of a feeling of empowerment. Women talking about “taboo subjects” and coming together to support each other was what defined 2018 for me.

2019 will be the year of the V and I think CBD will be everywhere! 


Wendy Ogden

Director, Beauty Essentials Product Portfolio, Young Living

The biggest trend that I saw in 2018 was consumers becoming more aware of harmful ingredients in beauty products and driving the demand for clean, natural ingredients without sacrificing results or efficacy.

I predict that as consumers continue to drive the demand for clean ingredients and also seek a healthier lifestyle, we’ll see more companies invest in Research & Development for effective and innovative plant-based actives for beauty care products.


We would like to hear whether you agree with those and if you like to discuss it in the intimate sessing at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa hotel on March 3-5,  join now:

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