Indie Beauty Expo lands in London next month, for a two-day event following this month’s New York show. Pooling together independent beauty brands from across the industry, the event provides a platform for start-ups to showcase products and an opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, consultants and retailers.
Ahead of the event, we caught up with event co-founder and CEO Jillian Wright to find out the biggest Indie Beauty trends we can expect to steal the limelight this year.
“We’re definitely seeing independent beauty focused on the new generation and beauty that is speaking to the younger people,” Wright told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
And within this, she said there was a clear and strong focus on female wellness, more specifically female hygiene, sexual wellness and hormonal health.
'We're demystifying these patriarchal views that are no longer in vogue'
From pH-balanced intimacy oils and serums to star-shaped pimple patches and ingestible elixirs for hormonal health, Wright said these Indie innovations were plugging a market gap because of the inventors behind them.
“What’s great about this is it’s mostly for women, by women. So, women are addressing unmet needs or furthering this category,” Wright said.
Female wellness was also stretching to a slightly older demographic - addressing peri-menopause and menopause among Generation X consumers, hitting their late 40s and early 50s. This consumer group, she said, were openly talking about issues like hot flushes, weight gain and sexual health and very open to products that addressed these.
“We are becoming so open as a global society that we can talk about the things that greatly effect all of us in a way that’s meaningfully intelligent and we’re demystifying these patriarchal views that are no longer in vogue. We’re taking more control of our health, our sexual wellness and the way we communicate about beauty and about just wellness in general; how we take care of ourselves every day.”
Wright said there was an increasing number of Indie brands bringing humour and lightness to issues like menopause or pimples, which was “fantastic”.
“I think it’s so beautiful to see these women coming together, building themselves, the communities and the Indie Brand community up in a way that says: ‘I’m going to solve this problem by bringing this product to market because we’re all in it together.”
Jillian Wright’s ‘What to Watch’ female wellness Indie Brands
- Smile Makers – vibrators and lubricants for female pleasure
- Bootsy Chuchu – chaste tree berry hormone-balancing elixir
- Starface World – star-shaped, colourful hydrocolloid pimple patch
Indie Beauty 18 – 24 months ahead
Importantly, these Indie brands were about 18 – 24 months ahead of the rest of the market, Wright said, largely because they were closer to the ground to develop products that addressed unmet needs. They were also able to get to market far quicker than the larger brands, she said.
“We don’t have all the loops, red tapes, the teams and different types of corporate banter that goes back and forth. If we see something, we can go to market very, very quickly, so, we are leading the charge.”
However, she said it remained important Indie Beauty brand owners placed importance on certain aspects when developing a new product, notably“excellent branding”, “beautiful packaging” and “amazing formulas”. But beyond that, she said it was about how the brand told its story to multiple consumers.
“I think it is very, very important for an Indie Brand to ask themselves the difficult questions. It is a very competitive space – Indie along with the beauty industry as a whole – and if you’re going to bring something to market, you better sit in a room by yourself and think about everything that could possibly go right and go wrong and how you’re going to tell your story (…) You also have to be able to tell that story in five different ways. The QVC market demographic is very different to, say, the Urban Outfitter demographic - as a brand you really have to button up your pitch but pivot in a way that tells your story in many different ways, because you never know who you’re going to talk to.”