Idea Couture event animates The Future of Beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of Idea Couture
image courtesy of Idea Couture
Last month in New York City, Idea Couture hosted an interactive and educational day-long event that brought the innovation and design firm’s new report on The Future of Beauty to life. The event and report highlighted 6 cosmetics and personal care trends that narrate what Idea Couture calls “a new story of global beauty.”

The Idea Couture agency is (since the acquisition in 2016) owned by Cognizant Interactive, a global company specializing in information tech, consulting, and business process services.

The agency’s Future of Beauty event took place on October 19th at SoHo House (a members’ club and hotel for creative professionals with locations around the world). And, many of founders and corporate industry insiders in attendance were members of the club.

The event opened and closed with panel discussions, including brand leaders, retail innovators, an indie beauty event executive, and other professionals working in and adjacent to cosmetics and personal care.

The talks

Elise Gasbarrino, founder of the Canadian lifestyle blog and apparel industry insider, moderated the opening panel talk among Meghan Asha, CEO of FounderMade; Lan Belinky, general manager at boscia skincare; and Clémentine Desseaux of The All Woman Project.

The panel discussed an array of trends and cultural movements influencing the industry today, such and tech and innovation, social media, and diversity and inclusivity (in terms of beauty brand leadership, consumer focus, and marketing).  

Desseaux summed up the lived experience of a changing beauty industry, one that is increasingly more holistic and ethical, saying “beauty is now a wellness lifestyle.”

At the end of the day, CAP Beauty founders Kerrylin Pamer and Cindy Di Prima Morisse spoke about the wellness beauty retail space they developed and how they see consumers and brands adopting a new non-judgmental, holistic understanding of beauty that is centered on a lifestyle of wellness.

And while Pamer and Di Prima Morisse didn’t talk in great detail about the products on the shelves at CAP Beauty, one of the retailer’s newer own brand products is a great example of the current moment in beauty. The o’clocks are a collection of herbal supplements meant to be drank as teas. There is one formulated for 8am, another for 4pm, and a third for 10pm. These are about wellness, beauty-from-within, ritual, and the schedule of modern life.

The trends

The core of The Future of Beauty event comprised experiences tailored around 6 trends that illustrate what contemporary ethical, technical, inclusive beauty products and practices look like.

1. Internal conditioning

This trend has consumers looking beyond topical products, according to the event’s trends map. It’s about supplements and ingestibles as well as wellness practices such as exercises from FaceGym.

Learn more about the move toward edible beauty here on Cosmetics Design​.

2. Science-fueled experiences

This trend is all about data, DNA, and AI. “To discipline the body means not only working with its physical exterior, but also the unique biological makeup underlying that exterior,” ​explains The Future of Beauty map.

This beauty trend (which has been emerging for some time, as evidenced by this sort of item on Cosmetics Design​) includes tech-enable skin analysis and product recommendation tools as well as DNA-based recommendation methods.

3. Wacky concoctions

This trend is about unconventional ingredients like cactus, rice vinegar or wine, and mushrooms. Find out more in these recent Cosmetics Design articles and videos on vinegar beauty treatments​, fermented ingredients​, and newly launched ingredients like this one from Alban Muller made from chicory​ and Geltor’s animal-free collagen​.  

4. Embracing fluid features

This trend is about letting go of ridged gender boundaries. “Consumers,” ​Idea Couture believes “will continue…to craft fluid identities that take self-expression to new levels.”

Brands like NGS (Non Gender Specific) exemplify this trend​, which is happening across categories, in skin care, in color cosmetics, in fragrance, as well as in categories more closely aligned with wellness like aromatherapy.  ​ 

5. Sacred symbols and beauty rituals

“Ancient and supernatural practices like meditation, astrology and metaphysics are providing some consumers with a sense of control and self-care in turbulent times,” ​explains The Future of Beauty map.

Luxury skin care products like those from O' O Hawaii are now commonly infused with crystals. Fragrance brands like Zodica perfumery are developing products according to astrological signs. And LVMH-owned Fresh beauty has a line of bar soaps as well as a collection of lip balms for each sign of the zodiac.  

Take a closer look at the metaphysical beauty movement, here on Cosmetics Design.

6. Seeking the sublime

This trend is about nature. According to Idea Couture, consumers are opting to reconnect with nature because of political uncertainty, climate change, resource depletion, and pollution. At last month’s event, attendees were invited to try forest bathing and experience guided meditation and reiki, courtesy of a wellness company called SALT to TREE.

Natural and plant-based ingredients make news regularly now as do corporate sustainability initiatives and brand give-backs. Events like the upcoming Raise the Green Bar summit​ highlight how important sustainability is to brands and consumers alike; and the emergence of natural, transparent suppliers like Palette Naturals​, indicate where the industry is headed.  



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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