Is it just us or does the year 2017 sound particularly futuristic? With that in mind, it's at this time of the holidays when we start to look ahead at what the world is going to bring us in the coming year, the trends that are going to rock our worlds (or at least our beauty routines). To gain some insight on what we can expect next, we called on beauty buyers from two of London's biggest department stores—Liberty and Harvey Nichols. These are the women who ensure the shelves are stocked with must-have beauty products every single day. We also asked trend forecasting company WGSN's beauty editor to reveal the global trends that are set to make waves here in the UK in 2017. Keep scrolling for nine expert-approved future beauty trends that we can't wait to see take off next year.
Face masks are set to get a serious update. French-Canadian brand Nannette de Gaspé launched a line of innovative dry masks back in the summer, and they caused quite a stir. The fabric mask is activated with gentle massage, and despite being dry to the touch they are able to deliver the active ingredients into the skin. "The dry mask will be big news in 2017," predicts Daniela Rinaldi, Harvey Nichols group commercial director.
While a waterless face mask seems unexpected, the future is set to bring us even more unusual formulas. "Interactive products will be key with products that change from a solid to a liquid, or face sheet masks that come with a separate ampoule that you mix or inject into the product before applying to the face," explains Theresa Yee, senior beauty editor, WGSN. "At the Cosmoprof Asia trade show, which I attended back in November in Hong Kong, numerous brands are offering ball-shaped products that transform into a cleanser or mask when mixed with water."
Traditional sheet masks will also be getting an upgrade. So what can we expect from the 2.0 version? "We're set to see more specifically targeted masks for certain areas, with brands like 111Skin already offering a Celestial Black Diamond Bio Cellulose Eye Mask (£75) and Starskin set to launch another targeted mask in the spring," says Rinaldi.
"The popularity of the sheet mask will continue," agrees Yee. "Expect to see masks for everything from the neck to hands and feet."
Wellness supplements have been big news for a while, but the focus for supplements is really going to shift to skincare in 2017. "The influence of the current wellness and clean eating movement is having major influence in beauty," says Sarah Coonan, Liberty beauty buyer. "Skincare brands like Votary are stepping it up a gear with some really innovative products blurring the line between food and beauty. Arabella Preston, the founder of Votary, has taken her Super Seed skin line a step further and is launching a Super Seed Food Supplement in January. Based on the amazing face oil it is literally like skincare from the inside out."
Ingestible collagen is also being taken more seriously in consumers' minds with science studies backing up the efficacy of consuming collagen for its anti-ageing skincare benefits. Try Beauty Beneath, £35, which contains marine collagen, biotin, omegas 3 and 6, among other skin-friendly ingredients. While gut health is set to become a key part of the beauty world, since a healthy gut has been linked to improvement in skin conditions like acne. "Our buying team is investing in this area, the exclusive Potion supplements brand launched earlier this year and is performing well for us. I predict we will see growth in this wellness category into the New Year and beyond," says Rinaldi.
Big beauty brands have started to focus on protecting the skin from the ageing effects of pollution, including Elizabeth Arden and Origins. "We are backing the anti-pollution trend in a big way," says Coonan. "There are so many new products coming to market, but what we are also seeing is existing products having a moment. It is something our customers have been asking a lot about in 2016, so we know it’s going to be big."
"Our customer is more informed than ever in their knowledge of the science behind the skincare they invest in," says Rinaldi. "They really tend to do their research before coming into store or purchasing online. The knock-on effect is the growing popularity of retinols, resurfacing products, prebiotics and probiotics, which continues to build. Our buying team is investing in this area—the exclusive Glowbiotics is a probiotic skincare line, which includes retinols and resurfacers."
"Our customer has always invested in luxury skincare, but we are increasingly seeing requests for and an uplift in sales of luxury haircare," says Rinaldi. "Ouai, Duck & Dry and Show Beauty all perform extremely well for us. We are buying into this category more for 2017 with the launch of new lines such as Iles Formula."
"Targeted skincare products tailored towards the consumer’s individual needs will also continue into 2017," predicts Yee. "Geneu, a brand that uses DNA test results to create targeted products for your skin, has just announced the roll-out of its at-home kit globally so anyone around the world can experience the product and services. Also, we have seen a surge in the launch of extra-step products or add-on products on the markets, as consumers look to create even more tailored skincare, so we predict this trend will keep rising in 2017."
"Consumers are also using digital technology to enhance their beauty regimes. Diagnostic devices help to monitor skin conditions and needs, providing a platform for better product recommendations and choices based on live data to suit individual needs. We expect this to even bigger in 2017," adds Yee.
"We predict there will be a shift towards more all-gender beauty products from skincare and cosmetics, as well as gender-less packaging that is less specifically tailored to men or women as millennials and Gen Z consumers embrace and celebrate their own individuality and not conforming to gender stereotypes," explains Yee. "Also, male makeup stars, such as Manny Gutierrez and Patrick Starrr, amongst many others, are breaking the makeup mould and have been getting some serious attention on social media thanks to their YouTube videos and Instagram showing them using their faces as a creative canvas. CoverGirl even signed its first ‘Cover Boy’, James Charles, to star in its campaign in October this year."
We look forward to 2017 being a year where even more stereotypical boundaries are broken.
As more and more people head online to shop, brick-and-mortar stores are looking for ways to entice customers back through the doors. "We’ve already seen a host of beauty retailers incorporating digital features into stores, and in 2017 we’ll see even more interactive and community-orientated spaces being implemented in retail spaces from all sectors of beauty," says Yee. "These are stores that provide an ‘experience’ for the consumer. The Estée Edit store on London’s Carnaby Street encourages the shopper to upload makeup shots directly to social media on the Selfie Wall, while WAH Nails has a dedicated floor that provides a VR experience for discovery. Over in Asia, Korean brands are also bringing the virtual world into real spaces, with Innisfree and Laneige using AR and VR immersive experiences to bring products to life."
In Harvey Nichols's new beauty destination, Beauty Lounge, on the ground floor, there is a dedicated space where brand founders and influencers can host talks and interactive workshops, alongside daily product sampling. Over at Liberty in January the store is running a Re-Set campaign. "We'll be holding Frame classes throughout the month and lots of other exciting activities based on the wellness movement and starting the New Year as you mean to go on," says Coonan.