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In 2016 premium beauty breaks boundaries

Age-defying, exciting and boundary-breaking, says Fiona Klonarides, calling this The Year of Ageless Beauty.

In this interview, Imogen Matthews of IMA, interviews Fiona Konarides, a multi-award-winning beauty blogger. Konarides runs The Beauty Shortlist, where she provides objective and honest reviews of the best beauty products and brands on the market. Her annual beauty awards are eagerly awaited by the industry, as are her beauty predictions for the year ahead.

FK: “There’s a big chance we’ll look back at 2016 as the most “boundary-breaking” in beauty for a long, long time. Although I’ve been predicting trends for five years, it has felt slightly premature to talk about “The Year of Ageless Beauty”- but this year, the headline really fits.

Putting the Sex Back into Sexagenarian

We’re putting the sex back into sexagenarian, this year. Susan Sarandon, 69, is the brand new face of L’Oreal, Iris Apfel (91) has been rocking red handbags for Kate Spade, while Sophia Loren, 81, stars alongside a clutch of hot young Italian men (her sons) in Dolce & Gabbana’s dreamy short film for the new Dolce Rosa Excelsa fragrance launch.

Although the gap in the market for 50+ targeted makeup and skincare (with those all-important, age-appropriate formulas) remains huge and gaping, that gap is closing, if the high tech lip product trend is anything to go by.

Driven by the big luxury brand ads, our ageless beauty revolution has started.

Goodbye invisible (older woman), hello iconic (older woman). We’re looking at the biggest sociological shift in ages, a landmark movement shared by the likes of feminism, the right to vote and the drive for equal pay.

Modern Organics v. Harley Street “Filler Fixes”

Modern organics, as I call them, could skyrocket this year.

Brands like SKN-RG, or celebrity acupuncturist John Tsagaris’ “age-embracing” SkinPointEight with its strong nod to science and Traditional Chinese Medicine, are two examples.

Dr Alkaitis’ Organic Ageless Facial Elixir, meanwhile, has such a sophisticated “organic cocktail” label (andiroba, marula, sacha inchi, ashwaganda,amalaki…) you’ll need a degree in exotic botanicals or Ayurvedic medicine to decipher it.

High potency, eclectic “do different things” ingredients are the name of the game this year.

Plant power, harnessed to the max, is pushing organic beauty comfortably into the mainstream – intelligent organics are the new, main contenders in a global beauty market that’s as crowded as a Tokyo metro train.

Luxe organic brands have become much more results-driven – not just “clean” – offering as a gentler alternative to the needle-filler lunchtime fixes happening over on Harley Street. Or you can play mix and match – a little of what you fancy does you good?

Multi-Tasking, Now You’re Asking

Triple and quadruple action products are manna from heaven in a rush-rush, multi-tasking world.

Brightening, hydrating, correcting, age spot fading, etc… the more one product does by itself, the more time, money and shelf space we save.

Look out for the new generation of eye+lip wrinkle fillers arriving this year. On the lip front, Dr Murad’s new Age Reform Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is a notable example – a “collagen plumping” serum with mustard sprout, apple extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Shea, it plumps, soothes, hydrates and protects.

We’ll see a flurry of these advanced lip products launching as we edge closer to summer.

The New Super Naturals

The better the canvass, the better the makeup. So, with SS16 catwalk makeup radiating “shine” by the balm-load (dabbed on cheekbones for that fresh, just-had-a-dip-in-the-pool look), we’re going to be upping our game in the skincare stakes to complement all that brilliant blue eyeliner on the makeup menu this spring.

Flying the flag for the new “super naturals” is Swiss phytocosmetics brand Ananné. New to the UK, this sustainable, eco-centric range was developed by a neuroscientist and calls itself a Super Natural Brand, selectively handpicking some of the planet’s most “active” earth and ocean ingredients such carrageenan moss, marine algae, sea buckthorn, yangu and centenella asiatica, CQ10 and Vitamin A.

New Year, New USPs?

I feel very privileged that the Beauty Shortlist’s annual Awards deliver such a priceless eagle-eye view of the beauty market – a first look at new trends.

This year, Swiss, Scandinavian, Australian and Californian new launches are looking particularly interesting – alongside some strong “Best of British” contenders.

And if ever there was a year for big USPs, 2016 is it.

The new game is mega-watt “future science meets the natural super powers” as ongoing science-meets-nature trends diversify and fortify, and pioneering skincare research skyrockets.

Fresh beauty and small batch beauty dominate the more artisan brand trends this year.

On the more Harley Street front, Dr Levy, Switzerland’s top Botox doctor believes we can reverse ageing, and the Intense Stem Cell range with ArganCellActiv® is packaged in advanced airless technology dispensers, for optimum freshness.

Danish brand NUORI which just launched in Britain, puts freshness at the fore, stamping its product boxes with both “start using by” and “use by” dates as part of its fresh batch production philosophy.

Try-me, You’ll Like Me

I love travel sizes and sets (who doesn’t?) The affordable way to fall in love with full sizes, try-me sizes are the aperitifs of the beauty industry and I think brands should be doing more of them–

I’d like to see lipstick try-me sizes, so it’ll be interesting to see which brands will come up with a clever way of delivering lipstick “swatches”. It’s not just about colour and texture, there’s the taste factor which is impossible to gauge when you’re buying online unless you already have the product.

The internet is the fragrance industry’s poisoned chalice – it’s great for price comparisons on your favourite scent and useless for new purchases particularly in the premium beauty market when a false fragrance start can be expensive – although, of course, the online editorials and ads will probably lure you into the department store for a real life spritzing session.

Crystal Beauty Comes of Age

Finally, crystal and chakra-influenced beauty looks big this year, taking over where gold-infused skincare left off.

For crystal inspiration, look to Prismologie, AEOS, Therapie by Michelle Roques-O’Neil, NEOM, Germaine de Capuccini and Hauswitch while some of the “yogi approved” chakra ranges include Zephorium, Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr and global spa favourite, Aveda.

For years I’ve wanted to visit the Spa at Aghadoe Heights in Killarney, Co. Kerry…not only do they do Voya and NEOM treatments, they also have a crystal stone room which sounds like just the place to write my 2017 beauty predictions for next year.

With thanks to Imogen Matthews and Fiona Klonarides.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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