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What New Beauty Trends Do Millennial & Gen Z Women Want To Try Next?

From brightly colored hair to “no makeup” makeup, brands and influencers are helping to fuel a slew of new beauty trends that could impact the industry—but which do Millennial and Gen Z women want to try?

Buzz about new beauty trends abound online and on social media, where products, looks, and brands can quickly trend. Just last Friday, we wrote about the sheet-face-masked women taking over Instagram feeds with their #skintertaiment. The hashtag puts the spotlight on trending Korean face masks, which can vary from a thin, pale veil, to gold masks, and even animal faces. One @insiderbeauty post explaining rubber face masks under the hashtag has over 500,000 views. K-beauty is a trend that has “exploded in popularity,” and is expected to reach $13.1 billion by 2020, according to Euromonitor.

But as we’ve pointed out, a beauty item trending online doesn’t necessarily mean that Millennial and Gen Z women are racing to try it IRL. So what beauty trends do they want to experiment with? Our most recent Topline Report and survey data (available to Gold subscribers today) dives deep on young consumers’ personal care and beauty product preferences, behaviors, and shopping—from where they’re buying products to what they think of marketing. But we also took the chance to ask 13-34-year-olds how interested they are in some of the most buzzed-about beauty trends of the moment, including natural ingredient products, brightly colored hair, activated charcoal products, sheet face masks, Korean beauty products, and more. Here’s the ranking of recent trends, and how many are interested in trying each: 

Natural ingredient products are at the top of the list of beauty trends that Millennial and Gen Z women are interested in trying, with almost half saying they’d like to do so. Two trends that are related to the natural ingredient craze, activated charcoal products and essential oils, ranked second and third. We weren’t too surprise by the comparative interest in natural beauty. We wrote about how the beauty industry is getting a big boost from consumers’ obsessions with natural ingredients. A recent Harris Poll survey reports that young women are demanding “cleaner, greener beauty,” with 73% of 18-34-year-old women actively seeking cleaner, all-natural beauty products. Racked reports that natural beauty is a category young consumers are “clearly hungry for,” with revenues expected to exceed $13 billion by 2018. Brands are quickly jumping on board. While the U.S. beauty market overall grew 2% last year, the natural sector grew 7%, and is only gaining steam. Indie brands started the shift, but major outlets and drug stores are catching on, with everyone from Ulta to CVS stocking up on non-synthetic skincare. Consumers are willing to ante up three times the price for the products, making up in revenue what they lack in shelf life.

“No makeup” makeup is the trend in a close fourth place—and we’ve seen indie brands disrupting the industry selling these clean-look, barely-there products to young females. Glossier has been a leader in the area, and “anti-makeup makeup” brand Milk has inspired a cult following. Now the brand wants to quadruple their number of storefronts to new markets where they can target young consumers who want the effortless look.

But how do these trends fare when comparing teen females, young adult females, and older Millennial females? Let’s take a look: 

When we compare three young female age groups, it’s clear interest in certain trends is higher among certain demos. Teen females are actually the most interested in trying natural ingredient products, as well as makeup you can wear to the gym, lip masks (a la Emma Stone’s viral Golden Globe Instagram) and brightly colored makeup. This last trend aligns with Ypulse’s findings that Gen Z is more likely to be interested in bold and trendy styles that help them to stand out and feel like individuals.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here