According to a new report by Mintel, British Lifestyles, beauty has been on a rising tide ever since the beginning of the new millennium. Categories associated with pleasure, fun and indulgence showed the highest levels of growth, compared to the functional day-to-day products.
- Indulgence. Being seen as indulgence, facial skincare benefited, growing almost 70 % in 10 years (2000 – 2010) and driven primarily by interest in anti-ageing. Anti-ageing moisturisers, targetting particular concerns ie. wrinkles, make up nearly 40 % of the total category sales.
- Shopping from Home. More consumers are turning to the internet for advice on skincare products. Recent study by MyFaceBody, the online and TV beauty guide, has found that 55 % women aged 35 – 50 purchase beauty and skincare online. Online retail can offer a variety of choice, competitive pricing and information better than high street retailers. With a growth of interest in beauty blogging it seems that buying high quality skincare products for specific skin issues, such as acne, sun damage and anti-ageing will boom on the internet.
Please remember that 50 % of women misdiagnose their skin type. Go for the internet bargains but have a skincare consultation first to avoid expensive mistakes. Also, try before you buy – try the testers/get samples from a local beauty counter.
- Unconscious fantasies. Our mind desires – both conscious and unconscious – can help to identify future skincare trends. The trends agency By Lude uses psychology and anthropology to understand our psychological functioning and collective fantasies. These techniques go beyond the consious data used in traditional market research eg. questionnaires and observational data.
- Autumn-Winter 2011/12 Season. They forecast a preppy “back to school” feel with a Northern twist – milky skin and translucent make-up. We should want to go back to thick walled glass bottles and creamy white contents, reflecting our unconscious need to be protected and cocooned.
According to social scientists, beauty pays. Contrary to the old feminists’ beliefs, it is not degrading to be groomed and look attractive. Beauty and intelligence are not mutually exclusive – recent research shows a link.
- Learn to invest time and effort into looking your best.
- Learn to smile and the world will smile back at you.
The past two decades have seen research documenting the economics of return to good looks. Attractive people earn up to 20 % more than unattractive people (all else being equal). They are also seen as more competent, more persuasive, attract cooperation and have smoother relationships with colleagues. But beauty pays off in friendships, in social networks and in the politics of private life.
“Beauty is not superficial, trivial, insubstantial and futile. Investing time and effort into looking good is not an indicator of vanity or frivolity – for men or women.”
Everyone can highlight what they have to present themselves in the best light. The French insist that style allows even the ugly to become attractive – the jolie laide. But ugliness and beauty are also about attitude and a state of mind. Why let the uglies win, she asks?
Catherine Hakin is a social scientist at the London School of Economics and the author of Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital. http://www.catherinehakim.org
Source: Know Your Assets. The Sunday Times Style 11/09/2011.