CEW Beauty Insider asked a variety of leaders at beauty incubators to gaze into their crystal ball and predict which products and services consumers will crave in the years ahead. Here’s what they predict beauty will look like in the next year—and beyond.

Hannah Blake, Business Development Lead, Founders Factory, a digital accelerator and incubator in partnership with L’Oréal
“With the global beauty industry expected to be worth $265 billion by 2017, customers are going to want to see the products they buy go that extra mile. Personalization and a more holistic approach to an individual’s daily beauty routine are going to be demanded, so expect to see an increase in smart makeup, smart cosmetics and smart skin care. This will not only allow for a deeper personalized service for customers but also generate new data to inform brands of potential customers for their products. The more personalized experience will also be driven by advances in augmented reality to make both the online and in-store experience richer, providing a strong marketing channel for beauty brands and allowing customers to find the best products for them before making a purchase”.

Michael Sampson, President of HATCHBEAUTY

“Moving into 2017, we expect the consumer to further their desire and discovery of natural and nature-inspired brands. An emotional connection and a conscious decision, regardless of where she is on the green scale, the good-for-you movement should reach new heights. We believe there will be further starification of single items with exciting ingredient stories and with its global footprint, we foresee a lot of growth in other geographical regions, specifically Eastern Europe, parts of Asia and Latin America.”

Gonta Kashio, Department Director, Business Development Department, Shiseido

“Projecting into the future of beauty, we see more and more women actively influencing the norms and values of the beauty world as they become even more prominent influencers in society. Given this trend, women will strive to optimize their time, and thus increasingly demand personalized products and customized services in the realms of health, wellness and beauty. Beauty will become progressively more holistic, caring for both the cosmetic as well as inner beauty through healthy diet and nutrients. Shiseido is addressing consumers’ transforming beauty needs through innovative methods and technologies, most recently through Shiseido Venture Partners (SVP). The venture has selected a start-up company called Dricos, which is developing a new supplement technology that can provide personalized nutrients by collecting and analyzing individuals’ biometric data. This first investment marks the start of the group’s Open Innovation scheme as part of a comprehensive strategy to connect to the world’s new startups by financing and supporting promising early stage businesses. Shiseido has set up Shiseido Venture Partners as an internal venture capital organization within the Business Development Department, to accelerate Shiseido’s mid- to long-term business strategy VISION 2020. Shiseido will specifically target businesses that utilize beauty-creating technologies, along with ideas and technologies that create new value trends in delivering products and services to beauty consumers.”

Joanne Hsieh, Chief Operating Officer, Walker & Company, a three year old firm that designs, develops and tests products and services for people of color

“Today’s beauty aisles are filled with products that promise personalization, yet the sheer amount of offerings leaves many consumers feeling poorly served and overwhelmed. In 2017, we’re going to see a return to simple, personal beauty and grooming care. Companies will start to take a fresh look at men and women as individuals and find beauty solutions that uniquely address each consumer’s personal needs.”

Brandy Hoffman, Co-Founder, Volition Beauty, a crowdsourcing beauty incubator

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the bias behind product development decisions. They are challenging companies more and more for innovation, to listen to them in an authentic way and to find individualized solutions for their beauty dilemmas instead of force fitting what is currently on the market to semi-fit their needs. Fundamentally, we believe that the shift from telling consumers what to buy to listening to what they want is key and is what Volition is all about. The women who are experiencing the issues are best equipped to solve them. To do this, we believe technology is critical and why we built an all-encompassing platform to support these women, go beyond just polling them, and equip them with the tools to make their ideas a reality.”

Cristina Carlino, Executive Chair, BIG (Beauty Incubator Group)

“The big winners in beauty will be those brands with clear archetypal DNA and especially those brands that perform, entertain or feed our inner rebel. We are in an age of total rebellion. Further, a 24/7 newsfeed insures we are now wired with exceptionally short attention spans as well as an imperative need to be entertained. Boring beauty without a point of view need not apply to the category. These are only the basic marketing virtues of incubator brands. The big mandatories will be value, value, value; true innovation; serious social influence; direct same-day delivery with technology leveraged in new, unthinkable ways.”

Natalie Mackey, CEO, Glow Concept, the Manhattan-based firm that seeds, launches and acquires beauty brands

“The future of the consumer experience is speed-to-market. Consumers want trends faster than ever. Press is more immediate, so when a publication publishes a story about a new movement, the customer wants it yesterday. The incubator model can move on opportunities quickly and can launch product within the context that suits it best, making everything go faster.”