Packaging makes a first and lasting impression on consumers, and, in the beauty business, that impression is everything. In this, the second in a four-part series on contemporary personal care packaging, Cosmetics Design zooms in on top trends in beauty industry packaging with the help of materials and design expert Leslie Sherr.
Packaging trends directly reflect product and consumer trends in the beauty and personal care space. So there’s quite a bit of variation across the industry, explains Sherr: “Fortunately, the world of style and beauty have evolved to a place where individuality is celebrated and the options for how to care for oneself physically are so rich that bodily care is now akin to a personal journey. That breadth is reflected in beauty packaging.”
Sherr points out some overarching trends impacting personal care packaging design:
- sleek and minimal
- organic and handcrafted
- inspired by science
- inspired by ancient natural practices
- ageless beauty
This last is a trend that analysts and experts from every corner of the industry are talking about and one that’s set to be relevant for some time to come.
Some categories, such as luxury skin care, use packaging to communicate not only trends and brand values but also the nuances of how consumers should use each product in a given line. Sherr elaborates: “Among luxury skincare brands that come packaged as a ‘system’ there’s a desire for designs that offer an intuitive understanding of how a product will perform and should be applied.”
Similarly, what Sherr calls ‘dermatology-chic,’ designs are commonly “expressed through glossy surfaces and white-to-silver palettes, emphasizing purity and efficacy.”
Sherr has good advice for brands hoping to choose on-trend packaging materials. “Good classic design lasts; trends do not. The real question is, What’s right for the brand, how are its core values are expressed through a material palette?”
She continues, “materials must be appropriate to the ideas and activities that they represent. By the same token, their use and application must also be considered.”
In the end, “the most successful designs take the long view so that they are contemporary enough to reflect their moment yet not so trendy as to appear dated before their time,” Sherr notes. “As the saying goes, ‘Nothing dulls faster than the cutting edge.’”
When asked for her prediction about the future of beauty packaging Sherr says that in luxury, less will soon be more.
Beauty consumers at all levels of the market are making more conscientious purchasing decisions when it comes to the environment. Sherr affirms that, “consumers want to feel good about their choices.” Indeed, no one wants to feel guilty or wasteful when choosing a product.
“Luxury,” she tells Cosmetics Design, “no longer needs to be conveyed through multiple layers of packaging. So look for an overall reduction in secondary packaging.”
In tomorrow’s instalment of this four-part Cosmetics and Personal Care Packaging series, Cosmetics Design explores surprising sources for inspiration and how tiny tech is impacting beauty packaging.
Read part one, Cosmetics and Personal Care Packaging: material solutions.