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The beauty industry is living an exciting moment. It is evolving. Now, brands of the likes of Estée Lauder, Dior or M.A.C have new competitors able to understand the millennials needs and wants. Glossier, the social media savvy beauty brand founded by the 32-year-old Emily Weiss, is the embodiment of that shift. No wonder then, followers went crazy when Glossier opened its first European store in London. The American girl who started with the beauty blog Into The Gloss has succeeded in turning her readers’ wishes into products using their comments as a reference. And to this day, she still goes by their words to develop new formulas. ‘Skin first. Makeup second.’ The slogan of the brand is a reminder that Glossier goal is not to conceal imperfections. Emily Weiss confirms her point in an interview to The Evening Standard: “We know that beauty is all about choices, skincare being the most essential one […] Our philosophy is that products should live with you, not on you; enhancing never transforming.” With such a goal, Glossier appears to be a brand able to attract customers with various complexions while promoting well-being.

Another brand which is currently under the spotlight is Fenty Beauty – Rihanna’s label created in partnership with LVMH. More than the celebrity factor, what makes Fenty Beauty a success is its ability to match with EVERY type of complexion. ‘Shades For All’, the video campaign starring models Duckie Thot, Halima Aden, Paloma Elsesser and Slick Wood confirms it. Choosing to have a campaign with models from different ethnicities is promoting reality. A reality in which so many girls identify with that, they are all posting selfies on Instagram proving Fenty Beauty is for every woman in the world. Rihanna’s brand is doing what some of the most established make up companies didn’t manage to do: tackling the lack of diversity in beauty. A point confirmed in Business Of Fashion by makeup artist and L’Oréal brand ambassador, Sir John Barnett: ‘The buying power of the ethnic community is massive […] Black and Hispanic women buy a lot of makeup, they are a loyal customer. They are always in the pursuit of that thing that works for their hair or skin’. Thus an audience not to overlook above all when according to experts the brand is on track to generate $100 million in revenue in its first year.

Glossier and Fenty Beauty share the joint strength to sell a product that goes beyond itself. Both brands value inclusiveness and are the perfect example of a new generation of beauty companies where lifestyle takes over the product. With the acceptance of oneself as a core value, they appear ‘woke’ just like the generation Y. In this context, what think about Asos and Pull&Bear who launched almost simultaneously their makeup line?

Asos is the embodiment of London with its cosmopolitan feel. Boys and girls of different walks of life and origins are the brand’s ambassadors to enable their customers to identify with them. No wonder then Face + Body, Asos makeup line, follows the same pattern. In a press release, Asos tells its beauty line was designed to ‘empower 20-something to confidently be themselves; however, they choose to do so.’ The images on Asos site and Instagram showing boys and girls with makeup on emphasizing it. In this way, the brand shows it is not catching up with a trend but instead reveals how they understand their customers as well as the ethos of London – a city open to queer culture, another millennial cause.

Pull&Bear is a different story. There is little information about Hey Beauty! – the brand’s cosmetic line – we know though that the offer and message of the Spanish label are not on par with the other companies mentioned before. On Instagram, six videos introduce the new beauty line to their followers. Among all the comments, one question keeps coming back: ‘Is it cruelty-free?’ If Hey Beauty! still seduce aficionados of Pull&Bear, they also want to know if the line is produced ethically – a behavior typical of millennials. Pull&Bear belongs to Inditex – the owner group of Zara, Bershka and Stradivarius – a detail that has its importance. A couple of months ago Bershka launched a cosmetic line while Stradivarius was rethinking theirs with a new packaging (quite similar to & Other Stories…). Unlike Asos who has a deep connection with the generation Y, Hey Beauty! only seems to be part of Inditex diversification offer plan.

Trend or lifestyle? What do you think about fast fashion brands launching their beauty line?



Graphic by Giada Graziano

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