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Photography Hugo Yangüela, direction Isamaya Ffrench, via @officialbyredo

How the beauty industry is going to change post-COVID

Cosmoprof’s series of CosmoTalks featured Dazed Beauty’s editor-in-chief Bunny Kinney musing on how the industry will adapt in 2021

From the start of the year, the pandemic has had its grip on the planet, forcing people all over the world into their homes and for businesses to close. This change pushed brands in all industries to evolve and find new ways to reach their customers, with the beauty industry being no different. 

After a quieter year, with much fewer launches than usual, Cosmoprof says 2021 will be the year of the beauty rebound. To explore this, the past few weeks have seen the launch of CosmoTalks – a virtual series of events that gather industry experts to discuss what the future of the industry will look like. 

Investigating The Connected Beauty Consumer – how brands can engage their consumers – was none other than Dazed Beauty editor-in-chief Bunny Kinney, who moderated the digital conversation. With a panel that featured industry experts and trend forecasters, the outcome was to equip attendees with the knowledge to overcome the adversity that we have all faced in 2020. 

Here, we round-up everything we learned from the webinar.


Unsurprisingly, this year has seen an increase in online shopping, due to stores being closed; a 45 per cent increase in mobile shopping according to PWC partner, Erika Andreetta, likely due to more people working from home (74 per cent) – something that is likely to continue post-COVID. In fact, of the 19,098 people surveyed by the organisation in its Global Consumer Insights Survey this year, a huge 93 per cent said they would likely continue increased use of mobile shopping for beauty products. Since beauty products have such strong sensory links – particularly touch and smell – beauty brands will have to evolve their online offerings to cater to this.


Simone Dominici, SVP Western Europe of Coty gave further examples of how sustainability was having success with brands under the organisation’s umbrella. After Sally Hansen launched Good. Kind. Pure., a 100 per cent vegan range of nail polishes, it gained over $15m in retail sales. Similarly, Covergirl’s ‘Clean Fresh’ foundation range made over $7m. However, Jennifer Ritter, product development director of Jsrandco went further to say that brands simply being ’clean’ was not enough. She outlined that the next step for sustainability in beauty was for brands to start looking at how they can reduce their carbon footprint, localised sourcing of ingredients, and only using the ones they need in the amounts needed (conscious chemistry). 


With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining mainstream attention earlier this year, many brands saw this as an opportunity to support the Black community – donating money or offering support and resources – but not everyone did it the right way. Pearlfisher’s Futures & Insight partner Sophie Maxwell suggests that genuine political and social stances from brands will become even more common next year and beyond. From Starface’s Vote pimple patches to Uoma’s Pull Up For Change initiative, contextualising beauty as it relates to global events will be more important than ever.


Though celebrity brands are nothing new, both Ritter and Dominici outlined how differently personalities are approaching their beauty offerings now – being far more involved in every aspect. Ritter explains the work she put in with Lady Gaga on Haus Labs, noting that the singer was involved in every single shade, while Dominici uses Kylie Jenner’s KylieSkin as an example. With figureheads that engage with their consumers and listen to their needs and suggestions, brands are able to flourish. 


After enduring such a difficult year, Maxwell suggests that beauty will become even more fun and experimental post-COVID. Citing Byredo Makeup’s recent launch as the perfect example, its Colourstick is meant to be used anywhere on your face that you want. So rip up the rulebook and do what you want!