WGSN: Colour to rise in importance as the ‘unblanding of beauty’ unravels in 2024

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Warmer earth tones with pops of electrifying colour will be in come Autumn 2024 as consumers look to balance wellbeing and self-expression [Getty Images]
Warmer earth tones with pops of electrifying colour will be in come Autumn 2024 as consumers look to balance wellbeing and self-expression [Getty Images]

Related tags WGSN Colour cosmetics Cosmetics trends wellbeing mood 2024

Colours that amplify and communicate product benefits, influence mood and enable self-expression will rise in importance by Autumn 2024 as the beauty industry shifts away from blander hues, says WGSN.

According to global trend forecaster WGSN’s latest Beauty Colour ForecastA/W 24/25 ​report, sensual seasonal reds, electrifying brights and mixed earth tones would take centre stage across the Autumn/Winter season of 2024 into 2025, engaging with shifting consumer sentiments. And the five key colours for the season would be: intense rust, midnight plum, sustained grey, apricot crush and cool matcha.

This thinking shifted gears from WGSN’s post-pandemic 2023 colour forecast​ that highlighted ‘reassuring blues’ and ‘planet-friendly pigments’ ones to watch for next year.

‘Unblanding’ through bright beauty

Writing in the report, Megan Bang, beauty analyst at WGSN, said the 2024/25 forecast aligned with shifting macro trends in society, technology, the environment, politics, industry and creativity.

“This season’s colours reflect a period of the ‘unblanding’ of beauty for a period of deep emotion and rebalancing, after rapid shifts in society and technology. Uncertainty will remain a force due to ongoing economic, political and environmental crises, but consumers will seek ways to balance their discomfort with expressionism,”​ Bang wrote.

She said beauty companies ought to use the five key colours “in meaningful combinations”​ across colour cosmetic products, nail products and beauty packaging to engage with these consumers.

“This season’s key colours combine into a fresh palette that feels equally unlikely as it does synergistic. This palette emanates the concept of nature melding with synthetics to create a post-natural sensation.”

Bang said gothic themes with a modern twist that incorporated “mystic aesthetics”​ would build as a response to anti-wellness sentiments, yet in contrast, earth tones would continue to prevail to offer calming properties in beauty. “These themes come together as communities continue to find rebalance and expression during difficult times,”​ she said.

Sensual reds and playful brights

Beyond this key colour palette, WGSN highlighted “sensual seasonal reds” ​and “electrify playful brights”​ as key for beauty colours from Autumn 2024.

The rich palette of reds, across crimson, cranberry juice and intense rust, it said, offered an “influx of warm sophistication”​ amongst important classic autumnal tones. And these colours, WGSN said, would be best rolled out in colour cosmetics, notably lipsticks and glosses, and products for eyes and cheeks.

On the more playful side, WGSN said the bright colours made up of “intense hues”​ aligned with metaverse and rave-culture themes, offering a “playful and edgy”​ visual for beauty consumers. Playing into the wider ‘unblanding’ of beauty trend, it said these brights would work best in colour cosmetic and nail products but could also work for creating “bold statement hair” ​with dye products.

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