Outstanding beauty and personal care brand innovations of 2016

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Outstanding beauty and personal care brand innovations of 2016

Related tags Cosmetics design Perfume

Cosmetics Design has gathered up the most compelling products and technologies we’ve covered over the past year. It’s an assortment of innovations in fragrance, color cosmetics, and skin care developed by multinational corporations, startups, industry veterans, and DIY visionaries.

Finding space for innovation, having the ideas and busy savvy to fill that space, and developing the strategy to make it a reality and a success; that’s what moves the world of beauty forward. Here are eight such projects.


In October, Cosmetics Design checked in with Francine Gingras, president of Beauty Boost​, to learn all about the company’s first product—FragranceLock.

FragranceLock is essentially a finishing spray for perfume. And, it fills a long overlooked whitespace in the fragrance category. Gingras believes there will always be room for innovation in beauty, “because our world changes and consumers' needs evolve,”​ as she told Cosmetics Design.

“If you are looking for white space, I think you have to know the category, live the category and understand how the category makes a difference in the context of people’s real life,”​ Gingras says. 

Early this year, in response to consumer and corporate preferences for sustainable notes and finished fragrances, IFF launched PuraVida​.  The fragrance is certified against five criteria—material health, material re-utilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness—by Cradle to Cradle and is considered a perfume industry proof of concept for sustainability.

Fragrance made news in the digital space in 2016 too. Vapor Communications, in collaboration with IFF, debuted the Cyrano device and corresponding oNotes app​. The platform is a scent speaker, per se, and using the app consumers can play an assortment of smells that coordinate with a selection of moods.

Color cosmetics

Active beauty is shaping up to be a peculiar niche in the color space.  Some believe it’s overkill, that women don’t need or want different product for different activities.

Others, like the soccer-playing founders of Sweat Cosmetics, “know first-hand that there have not been products created specifically for women who like to break a sweat. We wanted to change that,” ​as Courtney Jones Louks, CEO of Sweat Cosmetics, told Cosmetics Design this summer​.

Small-batch, DIY, and hyper-personalized beauty are just a few of the trends that rippled through the cosmetics and personal care industry this past year. A DIY nail color brand that’s the brainchild of Neha Raman, a business student at Temple University, Rungh Cosmetics keys in on all of those trends.

Since Cosmetics Design first covered Rungh early this year​, Raman has been busy pitching her innovation to Shark Tank, the QVC Sprouts program, and more. In this year’s College Pitch Philly competition, she took second prize and was awarded $5,000.  

Skin care

Karine Théberge, CEO at Biomod Concepts spoke with Cosmetics Design twice this year about Infusers: “Infusers are advanced skincare treatments that feature a water-free, dry-to-the touch rejuvenating balm imprinted onto a fabric applicator. In only minutes, these innovative textile carriers feed the skin with millions of vectors packed with active ingredients,”​ Théberge explained.

This category changing technology has already come to market. If you missed it, catch up with the Cosmetics Design coverage of what it is​ and how it works​.

Water is getting scarce and luxury is going local. Which is why the indie skin care and soap brand East Coast Glow caught Cosmetics Design’s attention​ this summer. The Canadian company sources ingredients from the sea, melting down chunks of ice that break loose from glaciers, harvesting seaweed and kelp, and partnering with a local salt company too.

And last, but not least, L’Oréal’s flexible electronic My UV Patch​ device is among this year’s outstanding innovations in beauty. As Guive Balooch, vice president of the Connected Beauty incubator at L’Oréal, puts it, “Now for the first time, consumers can wear an ultra-thin skin patch to measure their sun exposure with more precision.”

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