The Beauty Issue: Trends to Watch in 2023

The beauty issue is always a fun read because the industry is constanty evolving. From the fleeting celeb trends only the brave embrace, to longer-term shifts like a focus on skin health, we were curious about what the next big thing in beauty might be. We consulted beauty PR pros to discover the top trends of 2023, from the products they predict to be stars to the looks both consumers and celebs will be drawn to.

Less is more

“With so much emphasis on underpainting and layering the face with an abundance of products to get the perfect contour, I feel like people will realize this is a very heavy day-to-day regimen on the skin and over time, may take its toll. I think we are going to see people embracing simpler routines for themselves, even if just part of the time.” -Jennifer J. Bickerton, founder, JJB PR

“Intentional beauty will be a priority in 2023 and less will be more! Whether it’s skincare or makeup, consumers are starting to gravitate more towards fewer higher-quality products with multiple uses as a more effective approach to their beauty routines. Shoppers want to spend more time out there 'living their best romanticized lives' instead of doing their beauty regimen, so easy-to-use hybrid products like True Two All’s Wash as prep or Jillian Dempsey’s Mixturizer for a hydrating makeup base will be prevalent.” Malinda Torres, Senior Director, OGAKI

Jillian Dempsey Mixturizer

“With the economy still on shaky ground and sustainability a top concern, consumers aren't as into massive YouTube hauls or 10 step skincare routines these days. Customers and editors alike are both on the hunt for multi-purpose products, saving time, money and waste. Brands with smaller offerings, as opposed to those with hundreds of SKUs, will be sought after this year.” -Lindsey Smolan, founder, VLIV Communications

“Our Garnier Celebrity Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist, Millie Morales, has been wearing minimal makeup and low buns this season (as seen here) and what Glamour is calling ‘Barefaced, but Better.’ The minimal clean-girl low maintenance look will still be on trend this year – focused on youthful glowy skincare with a natural makeup application.” -Jasmyn Sanchez, account supervisor, Alison Brod Marketing and Communications

No regrets

"As we continue to blend the worlds of skincare and beauty, multi-purpose serum foundations are on the rise. They offer a natural, authentic finish that’s perfect for embracing the return of grunge-inspired looks, and these modern formulas ensure matte makeup applications look more elevated than ever. Speaking of grunge, lived-in eye looks are on the rise and they’re being combined with eye contouring techniques that achieve a rounder look. We’re topping it all off with the latest eye palettes that have finely-textured sparkles and glitter for a soft edge that’s longer-lasting and easier to apply. Put down the bleach and tweezers. Thin and bleached brows are being achieved through the use of makeup as opposed to plucking and bleaching for a commitment-free look with no long term regret." -Tonya Riner, Celebrity + Editorial Makeup Artist

Psychedelic ingredients

"Consumers interest in wellness and selfcare is no longer a trend rather a part of our everyday life. As a result, brands that are incorporating psychedelic ingredients, like mushrooms, to help calm and rejuvenate tired skin will grab major attention. I predict an uptick with spa and salon treatments however this will not limit use of at home treatments and products that have the best natural ingredients and can truly deliver when it comes to results." -Stephanie Scott-Bradshaw, CEO and communicator-in-chief, First and Last PR

Soon to launch: TLB Skincare (First & Last PR)

The retinol reign

"Retinol is getting bigger and bigger. It's one of the highest searched skincare terms and brands are jumping in. Look out for an affordable option from e.l.f., sensitive skin options from Verso and fast action from Malin + Goetz. " -Kelly Marks, co-founder and director, PuRe PR.

Skin salves

“As seen on a handful of runways for Spring/Summer 2023, a heavy makeup look is out and a natural complexion is in. The look is simple; think dewy, sheer, and natural clean beauty products. Many cosmetic brands are implementing simple products into their lineup or introducing skincare to capitalize as a one-stop-shop for this trend. Use hydrating facial oils for primers, tinted sunscreens for your base, wet and creamy over pressed powders and lip combinations using hydrating masks and oils.” Marla Russo, CEO, Bella Public Relations

Bella Public Relations

"The term 'skin barrier' is getting a lot of attention right now. While skincare in general has been big for the past few years, consumers are paying more attention to which products will protect and repair their delicate skin barrier, especially in the rough winter weather when environmental factors can cause the barrier to become weak and damaged. One of our clients is a renowned cytopathologist and cellular health expert and she stresses that less is more when it comes to the skin barrier. Using a barrier-repairing moisturizer with emollients and humectants like TÊTE-À-TÊTE’s HydraRepair Rich Cream, which has barrier-supportive ingredients including ceramides, fatty acids, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and more will help to restore, repair, and replenish the skin barrier." Elyse Koenig, founder, Elyse Koenig: Beauty & Wellness Consulting


“In 2023 we will see more consumers thinking about makeup as an extension of their skincare routine. Products that can hydrate and protect your skin barrier, all the while maintaining an efficacious formula will be top of mind.” -Allyssa Munro, founder & CEO, MEG & MUNRO

"Barrier support is going to continue to be a focus. Our client Experiment just launched an incredible serum called Super Saturated that is based on glycerin—as opposed to hyaluronic acid—and the way it plumps the skin with moisture is insane. We’ve also been seeing a decent amount of brands that pull from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practicies, such as another MBA client, Redmint, which offers products as well as services via their two urban wellness sancturaries in San Francisco. My personal wish is to see the seemingly unlimited amount of celebrity brand launches take a more thoughtful, meaningful approach. I know it’s “just beauty” at the end of the day, but it blows my mind that these people with unlimited resources and gargantuan platforms are not using their brands as an opportunity to implement change, be it cultural, societal, or political." -Bryn Kenny, co-founder, MBA Partners

Hair (and scalp) health is wealth

"The category started to emerge during lockdowns when there was a heightened focus on at home routines combined with many complaints of hair loss and shedding due to long Covid and general stress. I think we’ll continue to see this evolve and the brands that truly have innovation, education and research behind them will stand apart. Monpure London launched in 2020 and has grown steadily due to their proven formulas that feature clean clinical and plant actives like retinol, vegan silk peptides and pumpkin seed oil that promote a healthy scalp environment and feed the follicles nutrients for thicker, fuller, stronger hair. They also get the emotional toll hair loss takes on women and offer advocacy and educational campaigns that speak to women in all phases of her life." -Kerri Lee Ross, founder, KLR PR


"The shag bob with a fringe – a big hit with the salons right now! That's thanks to Jenna Ortega's hair on-point at the Golden Globes: textured but a in a refined, effortless way. To get the effortless look we need to work the hair, so blow-dry in Kevin Murphy Bounce from their blow-dry range and use a big barrel ceramic round brush too smooth the hair. After you blow dried it to perfection, finish with Kevin Murphy Do-over; this will give you that cool grit and texture the to the hair. These products both work well on fine hair as they don’t weigh the hair down." -Melanie Burnicle, AKA Beauty boss business

Leave it to the pros

“From what we are seeing in the skincare world, a lot of these at-home treatments and devices, people are now realizing belong with the licensed professionals! While at-home options can, in some cases, be good for maintenance, they aren’t going to give the same results as going to see an esthetician or dermatologist for a treatment. Since that wasn’t always possible over the last few years, I expect to see more consumers flocking to these locations. And on social media, we already see a craving for educational content featuring licensed professionals and clinical results, not just testimonials from influencers or consumers. It's less about the influence of that voice and more about the credibility, when it comes to learning about your skin.” -Linda Popowytsch, director of PR, social media and influencer, IMAGE Skincare

Sustainability is still top of mind

“Greenwashing can have detrimental impact on a brand’s reputation and much broader financial and legal ramifications for those falling foul of the rules. Even if communicated with the best intentions, ambiguous and misleading jargon as well as inaccurate and untruthful claims can mislead consumers and negatively influence their efforts to live and shop more sustainably. It is worth noting that most greenwashing cases are unintentional, caused by a lack of knowledge. For brands to effectively communicate their sustainability credentials and empower consumers to make the most sustainable choices, brands must obtain a deep understanding of the environmental impact of their products and how to effectively measure this using science-based targets. Team with this, brands must also stay abreast of the latest rules and regulations such as the CMA’s ‘Green Claims Code’ and rules set out by the ASA to ensure communications are clear, accurate and informative.” -Julia Long, Junior Sustainability Officer, The Casbah

“The beauty industry overall has become increasingly oversaturated - there are too many brands emerging and consumers are questioning their purpose and environmental impact. Consumers are looking for clean, consciously-crafted products with larger impact and purpose, whether it be breaking barriers in celebrating cultural beauty traditions (like the Ayurvedic hair wellness brand Fable & Mane and the introduction of Ayurvedic inspired hair oiling products) or new clean, biotech-backed innovative skincare, fragrance and supplement formulas that positively impact both health and the environment.” -Christyanna Nguyen Public Relations & Communications Consultant - Luxury Beauty & Wellness

Cosmetics and community-building

“The advertising mix will continue to change for brands and for smaller brands we will see a heavier focus on affiliate marketing that delivers a very visible ROI. This will impact PR professionals as more and more editorial will become commercially driven. The key to this will be to keep it believable and brands will need to ensure their choices continue to reach a new audience and serve their existing customer.”- Anna Vale, Global Marketing and Communications Leadership Consultant and Advisor

As Karla Otto's white paper notes: "Using their blog as a premise, Glossier was able to generate real-time insights and conversations around their communities’ preferences, informing everything from their packaging and formulations to campaign decisions. By engaging them within their brand journey, Glossier’s community quickly felt part of something bigger than a sales statistic: A beauty brand created by the community for the community. Over time, Glossier has faced some challenges. Inside the brand’s HQ, many ex-staffers foretold stories of a proble- matic work environment following a round of layoffs. Meanwhile, their brand advocates voiced that new ranges failed to meet an inclusive ran- ge of skin tones. At the same time, non-sustainable packa- ging left the brand veering out of touch with its community's evolving needs, values, and expectations. “Glossier’s challenges present a lesson in the importance of understanding community: it’s one thing to build it, and another to keep it.” -Madeleine Boyd, Vice President of Global Beauty, Karla Otto

Karla Otto

“If you are on TikTok, specifically following ‘BeautyTok,’ you most certainly have heard of the newcomer, Alix Earle, who has popped up on TikTok users "for you pages" seemingly overnight. Although the internet can not collectively agree on her "hype", her authenticity in her storytelling in her "Get Ready With Me" videos is what ultimately gained her notoriety on the platform. Interestingly enough, Earle rarely mentions beauty products used in her ‘GRWM’ videos, but will respond directly to follower comments with product information (which usually sell out within days after mentioning them to her followers). Users seem to enjoy her fresh ‘non-gatekeeping’ approach and transparency in her videos where she regularly shares tidbits with her followers on all aspects from her life including her relationships (about 3 million people watched her go through a breakup this winter), college life and the craziness of becoming one of TikTok's fastest growing influencers. Thankfully, we are moving away from consumption of highly curated and edited content to more transparent, authentic content that is not just an unobtainable highlight reel. That being said, it's great we are moving towards the acceptance of ‘more real’ content, but I would like to see the TikTok algorithm highlight and push out more Black, Latinx and AAPI influencer content in 2023.” -Ann Ragan Kearns, founder, Odyssey PR

Be yourself, boldly

"Making beauty bold moves will be on trend this year. For 2023, maintain your natural look but go a little further by adding hints of boldness with bright colors. Shades to look out for include blue, purple, the ever-so-classic red, and orange. Not to mention, these shades look amazing on all skin tones. These bright and bold hues will be seen as eyeshadows accented the eyes, chic accents on nails via sharp edges, vibrant gems upgrading a basic nail manicure to new Instagram-worthy heights." -Nicole Newsum, Principal, NdotN PR + Events

Contact The PR Net