Editor's Spotlight

How is indie beauty shaping up in Europe?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

How is indie beauty shaping up in Europe?
The first ever Indie Beauty Expo (IBE) to take place in Europe has just been wrapped up in London, a small event that showcased some of the leading brands targeting the market there.

Although the category has proved to be a game changer in the U.S., its evolution in the European market still has some way to go. The question is whether or not it is going to have the same impact on the market this side of the pond at any time in the near future?

IBE goes for gold in Europe

The organisers of the Indie Beauty Expo believe there is significant potential in the market. So much so that they have lined up their second event in Berlin, March 22 – 23, 2019.

The London event took place in a small venue in Brick Lane, in the East End of London, and attracted a total of almost 100 brands, some established brands from the US, but a significant number of emerging UK and European brands, too.

Key trends flagged up by the indie beauty brands players present in London included, wellness, clean beauty, vegan, cruelty-free and personalised beauty – trends that are also driving the larger and more established market in North America.

American brands are eyeing Europe

Of those more established North American indie beauty players, brands such as Au Naturale colour cosmetics were present on the show floor.

Like many of the brands exhibiting from the Americas, Au Naturale was there to make its first foray into the European market, testing the water in an attempt to determine if a roll out there might meet with the level of success already seen back home.

Similarly, UK and European brands were there to test the Indie Beauty Expo platform and see if it could prove to be a tool to help drive growth.

Tapping into personalisation

British brand Emulsion made a splash on the show floor with its unique approach to personalised beauty, which has been created to allow consumers to choice skin care products that suit their specific needs and fragrance preferences.

Wellness is another major and all-encompassing trend in the UK beauty market, and a number of key British brands were owning this trend at the event.

The UK version of Elle magazine highlighted four brands that caught the eye of its beauty editor when she visited the event, which included Awake Organics, Verdent Alchemy, Alex Carro Skincare and Olverum.

Giving European consumers what they want

The fact that the event helped catapult these brands into the pages of Elle magazine is in itself a great marketing and promotional tool for these small brands.

Other brands that got media coverage off the back of the IBE London event, many of which were international, included NailFix and Chill, Ikoo, Bon Pafumuer, S5 Skincare, Elvis + Elvin, Milu, Milu, Girl Undiscovered, Joji Natural, Eleni & Chris, Awake Organics and Le Prunier.

Whether or not the indie beauty trend takes off in the same way in Europe remains to be seen, but if indie brands manage to connect with European consumers by cluing into the key trends in the same way they’ve already done in Europe, they are already half way there.  

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