3 Big Beauty Trends (Bigger Than Yellow Blush & Pearl Hair)

Makeup fads can appear and disappear faster than you can say “yellow blush” but these larger trends are helping to reshape the beauty industry, and how young consumers view it…

If you spend time on social media, you have likely witnessed the rise and fall of many a beauty fad. In just the last month, we saw the quick ascent of Yellow Blush, which both mystified and enticed beauty fans, and a quickie fascination with Pearl Hair, the latest hair color hashtag trend. Our weekly Viral List frequently includes the latest makeup fad—from feather brows to meme eye art—many of which disappear as quickly as they arrived. At the same time, some of these beauty fads can stick (especially if there are larger reasons behind them) and create huge opportunities for brands. The unicorn trend started in the beauty world, when bloggers and other fans became obsessed with unicorn inspired brushes, products, and palettes. Today it’s still going strong, with Wet N Wild releasing a much-buzzed-about unicorn collection, and the unicorn/fantasy aesthetic stealing the show at the recent BeautyCon in NYC.

Other big Millennial beauty trends are fueling shifts in the industry as well. Take young consumers’ obsession with natural ingredients. 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. Sure, Yellow Blush, Feather Brows, and Pearl Hair might not last forever, but some beauty/makeup trends are big enough to have a lasting impact—here are three we’ve got our eye on:

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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