FIRST HALF: In our humble opinion, 2022 wasn’t a year of huge innovation. Launches were subdued compared to pre-pandemic but if there was one prevailing trend among the launches of the year it was celebrity, celebrity and a bit more celebrity.
The Kardashians relaunched from their new Coty base, Kate Moss entered the wellness sphere – even Brad Pitt entered the beauty space. We saw Stella McCartney debut a minimalist skin care line, Priyanka Chopra launch Anomaly on Nykaa, Deepika Padukone encourage self care with 82E, Hailey Bieber unveil Rhode and Sonmi roll out Meeth to Malaysia. We could go on but we feel we’ve made our point.
What’s more, the wave of celebrity launches is by no means over yet Dua Lipa has filed a trademark application covering fashion and cosmetics at the start of the year. Could celebrity beauty market on the brink of becoming as saturated as celebrity fragrance was some 15 years or so ago? Interestingly, Dolly Parton’s recent fragrance launch was such a success, she’s launched five more and Kylie Minogue launched a new version of Darling.
SECOND HALF Meanwhile, wellness continues to trend, and 2022 saw celebrity meet wellness not only with Kate Moss’ line, as above but also Serena Williams’ athleisure-inspired Will Perform line. Another new concept to be developed over the course of the last 12 months is hair wellness. Several luxury brands entered the space – Bobbi Brown’s Jones Road for one, with its Universal Hair Balm while Unilever snapped up Nutrafol and Wella bought Briogeo. No wonder, given Olaplex’s reported net sales growth of 38.6 percent in Q2. The professional hair market saw similarly brisk activity with Henkel closing on a takeover of Shsieido’s professional hair unit and Nykaa partnering with Aveda to launch premium salons in India.
Staying in the hair care arena, lines designed for textured hair have continued to blossom. Helen of Troy snapped up Curlsmith and Unilever-owned TRESemme launched a Texture Certification Program to help train licensed hair professionals in treating, cutting and styling this hair type.
Finally, the bespoke beauty category developed further, with Kao piloting a tailored subscription program, Victoria’s Secret unveiling an adaptive fragrance P&G’s Olay and Pantene bringing individualism to the masses with the launch of personalized products at Walmart and L’Oréal investing in personalized J-beauty firm, Sparty.
WHAT’S NEXT? Although scanning through the year’s headlines, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether there’s any need for a product at all? For the major launches of the year all centred around virtual products sold in the metaverse. With Gen Z sold on gaming, beauty is increasingly attempting to infiltrate the space and sell them looks for avatars – L’Oréal’s deal with Ready Player Me is a prime example.