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4 Trends We Spotted at Beautycon 2019

This weekend, we went trend-spotting at the go-to event for the beauty-obsessed…

Beauty’s biggest event went down in New York this past weekend, and brands, content creators, celebrities, and thousands of young fans were there celebrating their passion for beauty. Beautycon continues to be an industry powerhouse, a mash up of a festival and retail experience that takes place in cities around the world. This was the event’s fifth year in New York City, and it reached sold-out status with a program that featured some of the top brands in the industry, empowering panels, well-known beauty influencers, and beloved music artist, Cardi B. Even teen-favorite brand, Fashion Nova, made a flashy appearance at this year’s event, with a Hollywood-style photo shoot set up for young attendees.

When we spoke with the event’s founder Moj Mahdara in 2017, she told us Beautycon’s appeal is inclusivity: “Beautycon is a community of different but like-minded individuals from all over the world who have come together to celebrate one thing—beauty! Our community is redefining beauty inside and out. We empower our audience by providing a space where everyone is valued and included, can talk about experiences and share.”

We went to join the community, and scope out the latest trends in the beauty space that brands should know about next:

Beauty From Within

This year’s Beautycon proved that beauty is no longer just skin-deep. A host of brands and new products promised results that would go beyond the surface, fulfilling Gen Z and Millennials’ affinity to optimize their self-improvement. Patchology’s tea-infused eye gels, for example, contain ingredients that not only soothe the undereye area but can provide a boost of happiness or promote relaxation through aromatherapy. And speaking of feeling relaxed, CBD oil and its stress-relieving benefits remains a miracle ingredient in the industry, with cannabis-infused hair products, lip balms, and more. Then there were brands like NeoCell, Tonic Products, and Ancient Nutrition, which promoted a supplement that has become a recent beauty industry favorite for its “fountain of youth” qualities: collagen. The structural protein has been shown to reduce wrinkles, increase skin hydration, keep joints strong, and, more importantly, make you glow.

Low-waste Beauty

Young consumers’ interest in helping the environment is impacting their purchases, and the beauty industry is doing their part to cut waste. Love Beauty and Planet has already made a pledge to “help make a little difference towards a happier, less wasteful planet” by packing their beauty in recycled bottles. At Beautycon they brought this mission to life by becoming an official recycling partner of the event, and encouraging attendees to recycle packaging in exchange for a free gift. Reusable makeup wipes are another area of opportunity for young consumers to go green. Croon’s is just one example of a brand selling reusable wipes that remove makeup, cleanse, exfoliate, and last up to 200 washes—saving the planet from 400 disposable wipes, according to the brand.


Free & Clean Beauty

Increasingly, beauty products are being judged not but what they do, but what they don’t do—and what’s not in them. Young consumers, who are researching ingredients in products more than ever, are looking to minimize the chemicals, toxins, and negative impacts of the beauty products that they use. For some brands, like C’est Moi and Clarins, this means going fragrance-free, parabens-free, sulfates-free, and preservative-free. We also increasingly see young consumers looking for gluten-free beauty—an attribute of CōTZ’s Healthier Sunscreen, which they boldly advertised within their installation. And, of course, at the forefront of all this “free” beauty is are the cruelty-free brands, promoting that they’re free of animal testing. Animal rights organization PETA also made an appearance at Beautycon to ask young consumers to make a pledge to go cruelty-free, and according to PETA’s SVP, “The future of the beauty industry is vegan and not animal-tested.”


Beauty Redefined

Beautycon’s founder Moj Mahdara says their community is “redefining beauty inside and out,” and this year brands celebrated this credo. According to Dove, 70% of women don’t see themselves represented in media and advertising, and their #ShowUs campaign brand activation aimed to change that. Working with Getty Images, the brand featured photographs of a diverse group of women, along with thought-proving stats meant to challenge beauty biases. CVS took a similar approach, empowering women by telling them their most authentic self is beautiful. They bought their “Beauty in Real Life” campaign to life with a photo opportunity that would not include retouching. And SheaMoisture hosted a panel with a group who are unapologetically themselves and redefining beauty—like Noor Tagouri, a hijab-wearing journalist, and Kheris Rogers, a young fashion designer who wants everyone to flex their complexion.


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