Natural look trend presents beauty industry with an opportunity not a problem


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Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign is one that has seen the opportunity. (Credit: Unilever)
Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign is one that has seen the opportunity. (Credit: Unilever)

Related tags Cosmetics

The ‘natural look’ trend and campaigns such as the #nomakeupselfie can present an interesting opportunity to cosmetics companies rather than be a threat, providing the industry figures out how to enhance the ‘imperfect’ beauty of the individual.

According to Datamonitor Consumer researcher, Maria Fernandez, this trend, though not new, can invigorate the beauty industry.

“This is interesting because rather than a problem; cosmetic companies must see this ‘natural concept’ as an opportunity,”​ she tells

This idea, described by Maria, has several ramifications that can be useful for the beauty industry such as recognising the differences in people rather than unifying everyone under the same standards; the nude trend where the idea is to look as ‘natural as possible’; and the pro-ageing trend which aims to revitalise your look and embrace age.

There can also be a new approach to male grooming, according to Fernandez as, rather than the metrosexual trend, men can improve their appearance in a more subtle way.

“The idea is providing consumers with a more achievable and realistic model, and also with the tools that can help them to look fine on their daily life without so much time consuming treatments,”​ continues Fernandez.

“This is the goal for beauty companies in relation to these natural and ‘no make-up’ looks.”

Trend drivers

Fernandez points to consumers’ time constraints due to busy lifestyles as a key driver for the trend.

She also claims that consumers are feeling disenchanted with current beauty ideals and standards seen in advertising and fashion, and also that having a natural look is a sign of strong personality.

The natural look has always been a counterculture in relation to beauty against values of mainstream society and Maria explains that the ‘natural’ idea about beauty goes hand-in-hand with the same trend that is influencing food and drinks markets.

And now, with the power of social media, these ideas have found the perfect channel to reach millions of people, particularly with celebrities, as they can have a greater influence and generate more buzz about this trend.

“This phenomenon goes in two directions: celebrities use this idea to generate buzz and at the same time, their actions influence their followers and the industry, making the phenomenon to grow,”​ adds Fernandez.

“In addition, I would even venture to say that the selfie phenomenon has influenced this​ [natural look] trend. How? Charity campaigns such as #nomakeupselfie or #WakeUpCall  has supported the fact of appearing on social media without make-up, and this is associated to a good cause.”

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