Translucent skin, strong and healthy hair, a palette of wilderness on the eyelids—international runways have already been splashed with beauty trends. We tell you the what, when and how of these trends. By Jayeeta Mazumder
It was eight in the morning. A hazy sheet of mist had settled on the distant snow-covered Atlas mountain range. On the other side, the town square in Marrakech’s medina quarter was still slumbering. If I were to cite a cliché, I’d say that by noon the city resembled the gorgeous, fantastical sets of Aladdin. It seemed fitting that a beauty event should be set right in the middle of this fantasy.
I was here to witness the beauty trend forecast for 2015 by P&G Beauty VisionHouse—the same trends that would go on to dominate the recently concluded big four fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) and eventually be adapted to the Indian runways. A hyper-real, makeup-free look was hailed as the hero on the ramp. Graphic eyes, naturally tinted lips, polished ponytails, quirky braids and voluminous hairstyles were the highlight of this season. The message was strong and clear—beauty was going back to basics. We tell you the looks to book this season, and the skin-care and hair-care trends to follow.
I was at a session on skin-care at the event with beauty bloggers from all over the world. And even before we were to be informed of the steady shift in skin-care trends, I noticed it all around me. No foundation— a light base at the most, moisturised lips, a single coat of mascara. Often as fickle as fashion, beauty trends have seen their highs and lows in the last decade. Caked foundation, neon lips and boring black eyeliners were slowly bowing out from the ramp. ‘Back to basics’ seemed to be the trend du jour, right then at that session, and apparently worldwide, if research statistics at the Olay labs are anything to go by.
It took years to grasp the ill-effects of UV light on skin, and the correlation between air pollution and skin conditions was startling. Urban dust has 224 chemical properties that derive from the incomplete combustion of diesel, petrol and smoke pollutants. About 80 percent of city women in Asia have symptoms like dry skin, dullness and weak skin barrier, while almost 100 per cent of them suffer from acne and allergies. It was clear now that women everywhere preferred to work on achieving healthy, glowing skin, rather than hiding imperfections with quickfix solutions. That must mean curtains on those atrocious blackhead removal strips, patchy concealers and peel-off face masks. We were finally ready to go beyond skin-deep.
The biggest trend, and also the way forward for skin-care and hair-care, therefore, is customising beauty products to address climatic changes at a global level and personal preferences at an individual level. “The younger generation expects everything to be customised for them, from beauty products to YouTube channels. It has to be customised for one’s needs, the length of one’s hair and the colour of one’s skin,” says Nick.
The fact that our skin changes with age is the prime focus for beauty brands. “As your skin changes, you need to constantly re-evaluate what is right for you. The products that you’ve been using for two years may not work for you anymore,” Dr Frauke Neuser, principal scientist, Olay, points out. This is where customisation for different ages (20s, 30s, 40s) comes into play. In India, the Olay Total Effects range addresses skin problems common to these age groups. Interestingly, there is also a major shift towards embracing one’s natural skin colour and darker skin tones are more desirable than ever. The focus is no longer on making you fairer—it’s about fighting sun damage on the surface.
What’s pertinent, then, is to understand how cosmetic products are revamping in order to adapt to an age when fillers and Botox are so easily accessible. “It all boils down to what you want. Yes, many celebrities get these procedures done, but sometimes they just end up looking weird. You may not want to look old but you also don’t want to look weird. And that is the most wonderful thing about cosmetic products — they are never that extreme,” Dr Frauke reasons.
Light foundations with SPF 30 work for Indian skin. A cleanser, a day cream and a night cream will be mandatory additions to the new beauty regimen. To this basic arsenal, you can add other products depending on your requirements. Anti-ageing products are also seeing a huge boom, and the earlier you start using them, the better the results. A very prominent global trend is the transition from thick, greasy creams to lighter, water- or gel-based formulations. Letting the skin breathe is the new mantra.
Hair-care will also be all about fighting the outside from deep within. Dr Jeni Thomas, scientist, Pantene Hair Research Institute, says, “In terms of hair trends, there is a growing interest in embracing natural hair textures. And that’s good news for a brand like Pantene because we believe in maximising your hair’s health. People are getting so creative and experimental with their hairstyles, which asks a lot of your hair. It is important to use products to retain its health. We are making a lot of formulations that are gel-like, so they are adaptable to a range of hair types globally.”
Explains Steve Shiel, associate director, brand communications, Global Pantene, “The aim, then, is to define the shifts that are happening in concrete spaces to understand the resulting impact on consumers’ lives, and his or her beauty needs.” As the final hair and makeup looks rolled out at the P&G event, born of the trends these experts highlighted, it became clear what women everywhere truly want— hair that showcases their personality and skin that glows with health.