It is no surprise that beauty’s biggest players are investing in digital as it is one of the best ways to engage and interact with the consumer, and social media is becoming an increasingly important channel for brands in this regard.
According to market researcher Euromonitor, Facebook is the most used social media channel for Beauty and Personal Care brands (with the exception of China, due to regulations), but it is the use of consumer platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, as well as Facebook, that we see influential trends in their element.
While not being able to directly influence consumers, it is worth cosmetics companies and brands monitoring these fads, as they give an insight into the latest consumer trends, and by teaming up with certain social media stars, as Estee Lauder has with Kendall Jenner, they can gain further insight.
Social media beauty trends
First up in our look at the biggest trends to catch on this year, is the bizarrely named ‘granny hair’ trend.
The #grannyhair trend (for those hashtag lovers out there) saw women of all ages colouring their hair shades of silver and grey, and posting the results on social media, with the aforementioned hashtag.
As with many beauty fads it was boosted by celebrity involvement, with the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kelly Osborne all going grey by choice, and this in-turn this actually helped to boost sales of hair colorants, according to Kline.
Its product-level database published quarterly showed that hair colorant sales within the brights and silver shade groups were up 46% and 14%, thanks to the craze, with Kline’s manager of the program, Paula Gottdiner, saying it showed the power of social media when it comes to spreading a beauty trend as Instagram was awash with the grey-haired images and selfies.
Love a #hashtag
Next up, and another hashtag (such is the social media game), and #ThePowerOfMakeUp trend saw women take to the internet and post pictures of themselves with half of their faces ‘made up’ with cosmetics, and the other with nothing on, in support of using cosmetics and showing their ‘fun’ side.
It all began last month, when 21 year old beauty blogger NikkieTutorials posted a video about the ‘power of makeup’, stating that many people shame women who love make-up, claiming that they’re only wearing it to impress men or hide their insecurities.
The aim therefore was to show that women can look beautiful with or without make-up, but wearing it is their choice and they should never feel judged.
Sticking with make-up, and another trend to hit the headlines this year was ‘clown contouring’, in which the face is defined by painting bright shapes on the face before being blended away.
Contouring was highlighted further thanks to posts from celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, and this particular fad took off after beauty blogger BellaDeLune, real name real name is Esther Isabel Amado Romo, uploaded a video on to her YouTube channel of her performing the ‘ritual’.
In the video, the make-up guru shows how an extreme-looking theatrical clown base of make-up could be blended into a subtly contoured look.
The trend took off after the video went viral and Instagram users took to the platform to test it out and show off their results too - some serious and some not.
Driving market growth too
And finally, the most recent trend to take off, and has had a positive impact on the market’s sales, is multi-masking, in which someone applies multiple skin masks at the same time to address different skin needs.
As part of the trend, users upload selfies to the photo-sharing platform, and, as with many of these beauty fads, this has influenced others to join in.
The trend has also had a positive business influence as the NPD Group says that thanks to ‘multi-masking’ face mask sales are up 22.8% in the UK, helping boost the prestige skin care sector.
June Jensen, Director UK Beauty for NPD, explains that the recent growth in the mask market, fuelled by this trend for multi-masking is important as trends such as this are a great way to introduce customers to new lines and foster greater brand loyalty.
“It demonstrates the role that beauty bloggers and Instagram influencers have on the sales of beauty products,” she says.
“Beauty consumers are increasingly turning to their peers for advice on products and take the lead of their online idols, revealing the true influence of online social media channels like Instagram and twitter.”