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Biggest Trends for Beauty Brands from The Makeup Show NYC

One of my favorite parts about my job is that I get to travel the country for trade shows and conferences in a wide variety of industries. With a renewed focus on the cosmetics space, I had the opportunity to attend The Makeup Show, a leading event for beauty industry professionals.

The show has editions across the U.S., but I decided to visit the one in New York since the city is such an important hub for this category. There was a ton to see, smell, and sample, but a few trends stuck out to me as being must-dos for cosmetics brands in 2018.

Check out my top three takeaways for beauty brands looking to stay relevant in this fast-changing landscape:


Inclusive Beauty

Gone are the days when makeup catered to one type of buyer - historically the “glamorous” one who fit neatly into society’s Hollywood beauty standards. Modern brands recognize that their potential market includes multiple genders, skin tones, and shopping patterns.

We see this trend evoked in brands like Black Up, which was designed to serve women of color, and M.Y.O.B., whose motto is “Beauty My Way”.



Others are working to address problem skin. Most of us were not born with a flawless complexion, and brands like Malin + Goetz, Mario Badescu, Embryolisse, and Dr. Brandt are supplying products that address a variety of derm-related concerns. From dryness and discoloration, to acne and anti-aging, these brands are blessing consumers with research-backed products that appeal to models and working moms alike.  



The focus on health and wellness is increasing in several industries, and the cosmetics space is no exception. More and more people are expecting their beauty products to coexist with their lifestyle preferences, in particular, veganism.

But not all vegans are the hippie-crunchy-granola type, nor are all vegan beauty brands. Face Atelier and Lit Cosmetics are proving that vegan makeup can be just as flashy, luxe, and pigmented as the traditional version.




Clean Ingredients

In the same vein as vegan beauty, consumers are demanding cruelty-free products or natural ingredients. I saw several brands at The Makeup Show showcasing both of these trends, some doing both simultaneously.

Many people associate animal testing with makeup, but it’s just as rampant in the hair care category. Amika is taking a stand with a cruelty-free approach to hair primping.



I also saw a professional-grade brand, Naked Cosmetics, that takes its cruelty-promise a step further with its Leaping Bunny certification, an industry gold-standard for product testing safety.



Then there’s purlisse, a skincare company founded on “Asian beauty wisdom.” The company uses recognizable ingredients like soy beans, seaweed, and white tea in many of its products.




Stick Application

Equally important as product quality is how you dispense it. Today’s marketplace is full of compacts and tubes of every shape and size, but one applicator type in particular is spreading like wildfire - the stick.

Easy to store, easy to apply, and just unconventional enough to peak consumers' interest, stick applicators are gaining popularity with everyday users and professional MUAs alike. Brands like Nudestix and Pinkie Swear have built an entire business around this concept. Others, like Hourglass, are strategically designing product lines made for this format.




The Makeup Show put the spotlight on the trends beauty brands need to be thinking about if they want to captivate the modern shopper. Curious where else Repsly will be roaming this year? Find out here!  

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Victoria Vessella

Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.

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