5 trends that changed the beauty industry in 2018

2019 has a lot to live up to

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / December 18 2018

2018 was quite the year for beauty and cosmetics. Between an influx of ridiculously smart beauty tools (just check out this cleansing brush that can tell you your skin’s actual age, and this mirror that can completely customise your hairstyle), and an increased focus on sustainability and all-inclusive cosmetics, it’s been a transformative year for the beauty industry at large.

Below we take a look at five game-changing global cosmetics trends that transformed our beauty regimen for the better in 2018.

#5 / Athlesiure

Athlesiure’s beauty boom kicked into high gear this year. Given the rise of all things fitness and wellness, it was only a matter of time before skin care and makeup evolved with it.

According to GlobalData, one of the largest data and insights providers in the world, the athleisure trend hit mainstream skin care and makeup categories this year, allowing exercise-compatible beauty products to become more widely available to consumers leading active lifestyles. 

“Millennials proved to be most actively engaged with the athleisure trend in personal care, with over 37 per cent* stating to be interested in and actively buying beauty and grooming products specifically targeted towards fitness and exercise occasions,” says Iliyana Mesheva, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData. 

“Capitalising on consumer desire to look their best during and after a work out, UK-based brand Sport FX, designed to appeal to active women with dynamic lifestyles, launched a compact bronzer and powder duo that can withstand sweat whilst working in the gym,” says Mesheva. If you want to check out some sweat-proof friendly goodies on the Australian market, take a peek at these 10 beauty products that deserve a spot in your gym bag.

#4 / Breaking down beauty norms

Cosmetics for men became more mainstream in 2018, with brands like CHANEL announcing its first-ever makeup line for men. “As gender neutral makeup continues to grow in popularity, brands are tapping into this new category through male-focused beauty products and are looking beyond traditional gender, age and ethnicity,” reports Mesheva.

“Brands such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line and L’Oréal’s collaboration with male beauty vlogger, Gary Thompson, have changed the conversation of inclusive beauty in the last 18 months. More brands are set to move beyond the skin care and makeup categories in 2019,” she adds. 

The rise of beauty tools for men not only offers a more polished version of themselves, but also reaffirms that beauty is in fact for everyone (plus, we’re sick of seeing our lip balms and tinted moisturisers go missing!).

“Opportunities exist for beauty brands to expand the appeal of their products to a wider audience, while also resonating with the demands of inclusivity we are seeing among our young millennial and Gen Z consumers,” notes Mesheva.

#3 / Sustainability

This year beauty brands found more innovative ways to reduce packaging and place more focus on cruelty-free, sustainable cosmetics without sacrificing quality. Lush pioneered a zero packaging movement with the launch of its egg-shaped foundation stick, which features a peelable wax handle and is sold in a completely reusable and recyclable cardboard box. The product is also 100 per cent vegan (find out more about Lush’s foundation stick here).

“Given that over a quarter** of consumers globally would buy more products packaged without plastic, beauty players will be under growing pressure to place sustainability at the heart of not only their brand, but the product too, making this a key trend set to gain traction in 2019,” explains Mesheva. 

COVERGIRL also recently announced that it is now certified cruelty-free, making it the largest makeup brand to be ‘leaping bunny’ certified.  Check out some more well-known beauty brands that have a range of vegan and cruelty-free products

#2 / Bespoke beauty 

Bespoke, personalised beauty tools and products were one of the biggest trends in 2018, as skin care, makeup and fragrance brands increasingly put consumers in the driver’s seat (just check out these four ways you can tailor your beauty routine).

“Driven by today’s individualistic and empowered consumers, hyper-personalisation marked its place on the beauty scene, as more brands are responding to consumer desire for customisable offerings,” reports Mesheva.

“This creates co-creation opportunities for brands and customers alike, given that nearly two-thirds** of global consumers say they are often or always influenced by how well a product is tailored to their needs and personality when making their cosmetic purchases.”

#1 / Next-gen tools

Technology not only makes our lives easier, but it’s also speeding up our beauty routines and making our beauty goals a whole lot easier to achieve. 2018 offered a slew of new and innovative tools to seriously up our beauty games.

“Major beauty brands invested in technological advances in a bid to cater to the desire for ‘smarter’ and tech-validated beauty solutions. Consumer interest in smart solutions will continue to grow in 2019, with 38 per cent** of consumers saying they are often or always influenced by how digitally advanced or ‘smart’ a product is when making their beauty and grooming purchases,” says Mesheva. 

“Brands are exploring usage of smart tools that assist in tracking the efficacy of beauty regimens and products by providing real-time diagnostics, including the development of smartphone-connect beauty devices and tools that provide more personalised solutions.”

One of our fave beauty gadgets this year was from FOREO – they recently launched a cleansing brush called the LUNA fofo that does everything from measuring your skin’s hydration level to telling you the actual AGE of your skin.

Looking for more cool beauty gadgets to add to your kit? Check out the latest beauty gadgets worth knowing about.

What kind of game-changing beauty trends do you predict for 2019? Let us know in the comment section below.

* GlobalData’s 2017 Q4 global consumer survey
** GlobalData’s 2018 Q3 global survey

Main image credit: Getty

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.