Spring is the season for starting fresh, even if we're really only cleaning out our closets to make room for the new pieces we've been eyeing. It's also the time to swap out those heavier skincare products for lighter, warm-weather-friendly formulas. In fact, take a cue from our beauty industry insiders and upgrade your routine to include one of today's top trends. There's something for the bold (colored contacts!), the minimalist (skin detox!) and the wellness-obsessed (tons of options for this group).
Trend: Consciously Streamlined Skincare
Say goodbye to the 10-step skincare routine - it’s time to Marie Kondo your beauty regimen. We’re seeing a welcome shift from excess skincare product usage and overflowing vanities on social media.
“Skin detoxes and skin diets are surging, due to the effects of product overuse, and dermatologists advise that a 10-step routine is not sensible, nor sustainable for healthy skin,” says Ina Subramanian, Director of Digital & Social Media for Olìe biologique. “There are several benefits of taking a classic minimal skin care approach. With multi-purpose products and potent formulas; you won’t overcrowd the beauty cabinet, will save time and money and waste less.”
Trend: Colored Contacts
Colored contact lenses are the latest vehicle for self expression. Whether your vision is 20/20 or you wear glasses, Alcon’s recent activation showcasing its AIR OPTIX® COLORS lenses at Beautycon NY proved consumers’ interest in the colorful trend.
“In the past, my patients mainly wanted color contact lenses for holidays like Halloween or permanent-wear purposes,” said optometrist Dr. Arian Fartash. “Now? I get people asking me about how to play with their eye color almost every day. They’re being encouraged by what they see on Instagram or TV, and are bringing those desires to my office.”
Trend: Banishing Blue Light
Your eyes aren’t the only victims of excess screen time. One of today’s top beauty trends is protecting against infrared and blue light, which is actually a natural part of sunlight. Chimera Collective founder Courtney Khimji points out the new problem: We’ve brought it indoors with our electronic devices, which can reach 80% of the intensity of a blue sky. She turns to Céla’s Essential Face Moisturizer for antioxidant-rich hydration as a shield.
“This moisturizer will refresh, soften and soothe your skin,” she says. “Formulated with extracts of Sunflower Sprouts and Tara Tree Fruit, this lightweight gel cream also protects your skin against the aging effects of Infrared and High Energy Visible (HEV) Light - aka blue light.”
Trend: Hair Accessories
If fashion week was any indication, hair accessories are one of this year’s most creative and ubiquitous beauty trends. “From the flowers at Marchesa to the ribbons and bows from Temperley London, the latest trend we’ve been seeing at all the major fashion shows is adorning or accessorizing the hair,” says Moroccanoil Global Ambassador Antonio Corral Calero.
Antonio Corral Calero, Marchesa runway show
“Recreating this at home is quite simple,” he continues. “Just grab any jewelry or ribbon and secure it with bobby pins. You can also use some Moroccanoil Texture Clay throughout your hair to give it some more grip so the accessories stay in place.”
Trend: Taking A Holistic Approach
The industry is shifting towards the mantra that true beauty comes from within. It’s no longer solely about applying the right creams and serums, but about how you treat your insides, too. Plus, brands are going green, from recyclable packaging to vegan ingredients.
“Holistic approaches definitely seem to be the future of beauty industry,” says Laetitia Jallais, bicom’s beauty Account Director. “We now have to think of new way of thinking about beauty, a new way of addressing our skin concerns, combining powerful topical formulations with edible ingredients. I feel that we must pay attention to brands who already understand that being beautiful is being healthy, and that this change is happening right now.”
Trend: Eastern Practices
In that vein, another prominent beauty trend is incorporating Eastern techniques in today’s beauty and wellness routines. From skincare and haircare to spas and treatment centers, brands are catering to consumers that seek products and experiences driven by these practices.
“As consumers are becoming more and more conscious of what they’re putting in their bodies, they’re also looking for time-honored ingredients to put on their bodies as well,” says beauty publicist Lindsey Smolan. “Eastern practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been used for thousands of years to treat skin issues and ailments using natural ingredients and promoting the body’s own healing processes.”
Trend: Food for Your Face
We already know that the right foods can benefit our skin from the inside, but it turns out that they could help on the outside, too. Avocado has become a major skincare trend this year, with brands like FarmHouse Fresh, Glow Recipe, Origins, Kiehl's and more incorporating the everyday ingredient in their products.
Brandstyle Communications' Caroline Johnson explains that, “Due to its high healthy fat, vitamin, and antioxidant content, using avocado as a face mask can leave the skin looking softer and younger, as it literally smooths and plumps out the skin. Its naturally high-moisturizing factor completely comforts and nurtures skin. Applying avocado as a mask leaves skin brighter due to vitamin C and super hydrated from the vitamin E and antioxidants - perfect for prepping thirsty skin during the summer!”
Trend: Inclusivity and Positivity
The recent shift towards inclusivity and positivity is one trend we can all hope becomes the new normal for the beauty world. “It started with cosmetics brands creating a wider range of foundation and concealer SKUs (thanks Rihanna!), but it's now moving into body care with brands like Love AnyBody from body positivity influencer and content creator Loey Lane, creating an affordable collection to tackle uncomfortable skin issues that everyone faces,” shares beauty publicist Elyse Koenig.
“I'm in talks with various brands coming out with skin, hair, and cosmetics offerings this year that will make sure that anyone, no matter their background, size, color, gender, ability, etc., can find something that makes them feel included and empowered to be their best.”
The world of sponsorships has evolved as experiential has come to the forefront of marketing. This leaves brand partners with a significant task at hand: how can you create meaningful engagement with event attendees while communicating a memorable, authentic message? We consulted a few members that are heavy-hitters in the space--with perspectives from agencies and in-house team members alike--for their insights on what makes a successful sponsorship initiative today.
Brands seeking to deliver a meaningful message should consider this an opportunity to meet guests' needs, as opposed to an opportunity for shameless self-promotion. “If you’re designing an experience that satisfies an actual need for attendees while solidifying a brand message or narrative, you are creating the ideal backdrop for meaningful engagement,” says Zev Norotsky, founder of marketing company ENTER. "This isn’t about giving out branded sunglasses at an event or even investing in the state-of-the-art .gif booth to live next to an immersive backdrop; it’s about changing perceptions and delivering on a brand promise without overly marketing to a target consumer.”
Delilah Belle Hamlin, Ella Angel & Brandy Cyrus, Courtesy of Lucky Brand Presents Desert Jam/Michael Simon, ENTER
Connecting with attendees is key. As Victoria Rainone, Managing Director of Demonstrate PR, New York, points out, “Whether it comes via a personal conversation from a brand representative or embedded in the experiential elements overall, if an authentic connection is a priority, attendees will leave the event with a higher likelihood of remembering and seeking out the brand."
It’s important to note that the authenticity of the story being told at an event must align with the brand values; it must ring true every day, on every platform. An attendee should be able to look back at their experience and, in their next interaction with the brand, see a similar story being told--whether it's at another event, a store, etc.
Robert Hebert, Lead Marketing Manager in charge of LGBTQ+ marketing and communications for AT&T, drives the point home with the example of a recent activation. “Last year, we presented the new, large-scale LGBTQ+ music festival LOVELOUD, where we produced an experiential program inspired by our campaign, Turn Up the Love,” he shared. “The program aligned seamlessly and authentically as AT&T is deeply committed to LGBTQ+ equality and advocacy. AT&T has been a corporate ally to the community since 1975. That’s when the company added protections for lesbian and gay employees to its nondiscrimination clause.”
LOVELOUD Powered by AT&T
Once a brand identifies an initiative that’s both in line with its core values and has seen success, it’s a no-brainer to make it an annual occurrence. Pommery, for example, has been partnering with The Armory Show (as well as Pinknic) for years. The sponsorship showcases the synergies between the two. “As Pommery is very much involved in contemporary art, it only makes sense to want to partner with one of the largest art fair in the US,” says Aurelie Vix, Partnerships and National Accounts Manager for Vranken Pommery Monopole.
“I believe you can always improve as you learn from any hiccups that arise at an event. Making changes to avoid those mishaps is crucial, so you can repeatedly partner with an event that makes sense for your brand--the best way to build brand awareness,” she continues.
Pommery x The Armory Show
Even with the best intentions in place, the industry shift towards experiential continues to change the game. While sponsorship remains an effective way to increase brand awareness, creating long-term customer relationships can be challenging the information-saturated media landscape.
“In a world where digital is the status quo, in-person and interactive events can really have a much bigger impact," says Leah Jacobson, founder of LJ Public Relations. "It’s no longer feasible for brands to simply advertise, there needs to be a full circle strategy. In the past, employing some or all of the following tactics were enough--celebrity endorsements, social media, influencers, and media placements--but brands looking to stay ahead of the curve in today’s climate need to do more.”
Norotsky calls the new paradigm “self liquidating.” “If you want to derive real value from a partnership think about how to tactfully generate sales in real time,” he says. “This is happening everywhere from ComplexCon and its ubiquitous product releases to major stadium deals with naming rights and built in incentives based on sales performance.”
Swisse Rooftop Yoga, Demonstrate PR
Achieving a desired outcome can only happen when it’s planned that way. “It’s important to establish realistic goals prior to pursuing strategic sponsor and partner opportunities to ensure your brand is putting its best foot forward,” says Rainone. “Success for one brand may look like a thousand attendees engaging one on one, while success for another might come in the form of message amplification and SEO pre and post-sponsorship."
So, how can brands measure the success of their sponsorship? Let us count the ways.
“The first way we evaluate our success is through sales,” says Vix. “Both Pinknic and The Armory Show give us a wonderful opportunity to display our brands, and they also allow us to sell our wines on site.”
“From our perspective it’s always going to come back to year over year relationships,” says Norotsky. “If you don’t have the retention, it’s such a more challenging landscape when it comes to executing deals. I will always say, the $25K sponsorship deal takes as much time and finessing as the $250K owned event, this all comes back to relationships and expectations. The other side of the coin, from a promoter’s perspective, is to determine whether the corporate partner elevated the experience for your attendees and how you can build on that year over year.”
“Press coverage and social media impressions are the main ways we measure,” says Jacobson. “It’s hard to get a quantified success rate in most cases, it’s more about building brand awareness and using that momentum to gain more visibility, cross-promote with brand partnerships and ultimately reach more consumers.”
Pommery also uses placements as a gauge, and looks at social media to evaluate real-time conversations. “With social media, it is not only about press but about the guests of an event--real people--that talk about your brand in real time. In that vein, Pop Champagne, our splits, have proven to be an especially Instagrammable product.”
Hebert's team at AT&T sees success in the reach of their content, which goes far beyond the activation itself. “We measure awareness and brand attribution. Our objective as a sponsor is to raise the profile of the event with a robust content creation program that works across marketing, advertising, public relations and social media,” he says. “This has the benefit of connecting to new audiences they may not have been able to reach before.”