After reconnecting with authenticity, celebrating unique beauties, and experiencing the importance of ‘Mental health’, Beauty-Cosmetics, a faithful mirror of identity issues and our relationship with the world, invites us to cultivate vulnerability. In an increasingly uncertain and uncomfortable world where brutality and the pursuit of performance often seem to take over, it is important, in the words of psychologist Camille Sfez, ‘to marvel at our rediscovered sensitivity… to accept our flaws and emotions, which are the source of our power full of humanity’. A Peclers Paris analysis, the leading agency in creative strategy and future trends.
MACRO VISION: VULNERABILITY AS SELF-AFFIRMATION
Music, literature, design: vulnerability is at the heart of identity expression devices as narrative and aesthetic territory. At the core of this new strategy of self-affirmation is the idea of “self-acceptance,” which is manifested in the realm of the body and beauty by highlighting and valuing what has until now been considered “imperfections”: rosacea, scars, stretch marks, but also gray hair, baldness, non-standard bodies… All of these markers of individuality are, in fact, an integral part of one’s identity. To accept oneself is to assert oneself and therefore to exist socially, ultimately more than conforming. An attitude that was once defiant is now normalizing in a form of gentleness, non-struggle, and joyful self-regard.
In general, the traditional axes of identity definition continue to evolve in recent years, a phenomenon that is influencing established market segments. This evolution is exemplified by the pluralization of visions of masculinity, which began a long time ago in the fashion industry (cf. Ludovic de Saint Sernin). There are now 50 shades of gender that create a depolarized tension between masculine and feminine, allowing for both/and and neither/nor alternatives to the either/or binary. Product lines are being created that break away from the classic codes of masculine cosmetics in terms of both aesthetics and function. This movement is characterized by a joyful self-regard, a non-struggle to expose oneself in all vulnerability. Gender issues are now being addressed beyond just sexual orientation, becoming a feminist issue that is concerned with liberating men from gender constraints (cf. the essay by American intellectual Bell Hooks, “The Will to Change,” which makes the liberation of gender injunctions in men a feminist issue).
The fixed vision of the stages of life, which once organized product catalogs, is also being challenged by a more transgenerational and global vision focused on skin concerns independent of the ages they were associated with. In the field of skincare, the emphasis is on taking into account the skin’s sensitivity and the effects of the environment on it. Beauty is now seen as a protective and hedonistic device that prioritizes well-being benefits that underlie the idea of vulnerability. Beauty brands are positioning themselves around claims that highlight sensitivity, gentleness, and comfort, with naming focused on the mind and body (cf. the slogan of the brand Talm and the enveloping design of Oh My Cream stores).
CREATIVE SCENARIOS OF VULNERABILITY
Transversal: the colors of vulnerability
Textures and packaging showcase a delicate tonal range that celebrates softness and freshness while adapting to all skin tones: nude peach, skin beige, pure white, and velvety pink coexist with bright lilac. Washed-out lemon and leafy green add a lively spring touch. These colors can be used in matte finishes or subtle transparencies.
Beyond the products, an aesthetic that extends to the packaging. Peach skin touch, frosted materials, velvety chalk textures, balm care: the matte finish envelops the body in a comforting protection. To be declined on generously rounded packaging shapes that invite softness and tenderness, and in a range of warm beiges. Through this expression, a new facet of vulnerability emerges, highlighting an aesthetic that soothes and reassures.
“New Man” disrupts the traditional codes of masculinity by proposing an aesthetic that embraces the sensitivity and uniqueness of the modern man. This presents an opportunity to develop products that meet these new expectations, such as skin-perfecting makeup that offers a natural and radiant finish, and perfumes with notes of white flowers and soft scents.
Packaging is designed to reflect this new masculinity, with precious and refined details. The genderflex style is asserted, fragility is embraced and highlighted, for a masculinity that embraces all its facets and breaks free from conventions.
The trend for ultra-comforting skincare for sensitive skin continues to grow, with beauty brands increasingly focusing on gentle and soothing formulas to meet the needs of all ages. As a result, we are seeing the emergence of intimate care products with formulas designed to provide maximum comfort and well-being. Calming cocoon textures are used, with products that envelop the skin for an immediate sensation of softness and comfort. Healing blue ingredients are also making their appearance in formulations, offering repairing and soothing properties for the most fragile skin.
The pastel color palette is also at the heart of this trend, with soft and comforting shades.
From birth to old age, this “Take Care” trend meets a growing demand for products that provide comfort and protection without compromising on the quality of ingredients and formulas.
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