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WGSN Beauty Live Key Takeaways

December 24, 2021 Carla Seipp
December 24, 2021
WGSN Beauty

Headed by WGSN President & CEO Carla Buzasi, WGSN recently presented its Future Consumer 2023 forecast, using the enterprise’s STEPIC (Society, Technology, Environmental, Political, Industry Context, Culture & Creativity) framework.

The emotional turmoil of the pandemic has instilled audiences with an increased sense of social, environmental, and (in some cases) financial responsibility, thus creating a more discerning consumer. The focus of discernment, however, varies depending on customer category.

The forecasting company outlined two overarching mindsets: The Predictors and The New Romantics. The former desire stability and security, have a recessionary mindset, prefer auto-refill and subscription models; the latter are those who have left the city behind in favor of beauty rituals, psychedelia, and wellness-focused brands. Furthermore, there are five beauty personas: Skinimalists, The Refillutionaries, The Beautopians, The Super Basics, and Skillusionalists.

Skinimalists desire to reduce their consumption, buying well rather than more, prioritizing results over costs, with strong brand loyalty. The Refillutionaries focus on natural skincare, smart design, local brands, and smart design, shifting from clean to cleanical beauty. The Beautopians see beauty as a lifestyle rather than a routine, sharing their product results and adoration or dissatisfaction with brands on social media. They have high brand fluidity and volume of consumption, with product design and screen appeal.

The Super Basics are a no-fuss consumer category, rejecting beauty hype in favor of simple (and price-conscious) product choices. Convenience and nostalgia are big shopping motivators. Last but not least is the rebel category: Skillusionalists. They reject perfection and conventional beauty standards, taking an inclusive, nonbinary, alternative, and at times tech-driven approach. Product performance is their top priority.

Key factors to success in the current industry landscape include nonnegotiable complete transparency, as well as ethical, inclusive, and sustainable practices. While these were an option previously, they will become a necessity.

Predictions for future trending ingredients include fungi such as snow mushroom, reishi, and chaga; cellular-level and microbiome-focused beauty; beauty bots, lab-grown ingredients, and more customized ingredients. Dupe culture has become a vital tool for consumers, with results trumping brand names. Intentional community-building that prioritizes stakeholders over shareholders, transcultural beauty, and co-creation, will take precedence.


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