In beauty and personal care, age-old wisdom and up-to-date trends are converging

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

In beauty and personal care, age-old wisdom and up-to-date trends are converging

Related tags Cosmetics design Cosmetics

Ahead of her marketing trends presentation at in-cosmetics global in London this week, Dominque Assenat, who is head of color, beauty, and accessories at Peclers Paris, answered Cosmetics Design’s questions about all things Nordic and Korean.

Nordic beauty is a big trend this year; in fact it’s one that Cosmetics Design put a pin in late last year during our annual video on top trends for 2017​. The sensibility and muted sophistication of personal care and cosmetic brands from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark appeal to today’s activist consumers who have a penchant for minimalist design and a passion for long-standing civilizations. 

Traditional methods

In her presentation at in-cosmetics global on Tuesday April 4, Dominque Assenat will be “addressing this Nordic influence [of Shamanistic or] Chamane Nordic, where we talk about young customers, and especially Generation Z, who have a more activist attitude when it comes to ecological issues,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design.

There is a preservationist appeal in effect here: “With the fear of damaging the polar biotope due to global warming, the attraction of the Arctic continues to grow. We want to preserve civilisations that live in symbiosis with nature, taking inspiration from their rites, imagery and craftsmanship,” ​explains Assenat.

“This also plays into the use of stylised animals as symbols and talk of cruelty-free, vegan products – animals have recently gained a human status in this respect,” ​she tell this publication.

More concretely, what this means for beauty brands is that “[we’re seeing] a great focus on preservation of ingredients through cold techniques as well as much learning from ancestral techniques of drying and fermenting,” ​according to Assenat.

Visual values

The trend extends out into packaging and design as well. Assenat recalls as a “starting point in the minimalist trend,… the ‘less is more’ motto from the 90s.”

“Beige and greys were definitely the go-to colors at that time and they continue to provide the base for natural or nude looks,”​ she tells Cosmetics Design. “What we see with ‘minimal’ is an emphasis on textures and sensations that update the basic message. We also like to infuse this palette with a touch of orange-pink, which gives the effect of healthy vitality.”

And it’s not just about formulations: “Textures, of the product or the packaging, are adding a polysensorial dimension, which is an important part of enriching the cosmetic experience,”​ says Assenat. “We hear more and more talk about the emotional experience that connects the customer to the brand and it is essential that this happens with the product.”

Overlapping trends

Nordic beauty could be the next K-beauty, but it doesn’t need to be. “Nordic and Korean beauty can definitely overlap,” ​says Assenat.

When it comes to cold techniques – and in terms of packaging – the naive illustrative spirit that has always been popular in Asia can be further inspired by Nordic countries and I think we’ll see this in the next seasons.”

Find out more about Dominique Assenat's talk on forthcoming beauty trends here​.

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