*Editor’s note: Adapted with permission from Global Cosmetic Industry; to read the full text, click through to our digitial edition
It has been said that the beauty care industry is recession-proof. In fact, nearly every category of the industry has seen impressive growth over the past 10 years, and the future outlook is, as always, promising. Known as the lipstick effect, a term coined in 2001 by Leonard Lauder, the idea is that even during economic downturns, consumers will prioritize “affordable luxuries” that make them feel good about their appearance—such as haircuts, nail polish, lipstick and personal care—over other non-essentials. This concept was proven again after the 2008 economic crisis when the industry saw a dip in growth but still managed to eek out positive numbers before rebounding fully in 2010. Since then, the industry has continued to thrive, particularly in the premium sector, indicating a major shift in consumer preference from cheap, low-cost items to premium-quality products at varying price points.
In other words, the criteria for what makes a product an “affordable luxury” has expanded in response to a widespread demand for an overall higher quality of life. Popularly referred to as the self-care movement, these mindset shifts are changing the very foundation upon which beauty brands have traditionally marketed to their audiences (primarily women), and presents huge opportunities to re-engage, re-imagine and re-revitalize the influence beauty care products have in the health and well-being of their users. This article briefly explores the rise of the #selfcaremovement and offers three tenets beauty and personal care brands should consider to engage mindful consumers in relevant and authentic ways. (Hint: the answer has more to do with boosting their inner glow than promoting a perfect look.)