Published 25 May 2023

Author
Brynn Valentine
8 min read

Gen Zers’ preoccupations – a passion for the post-perfectionism movement, more empathetic e-forums, ‘cool’ frugality, and avatar-assisted shopping – are revolutionising beauty retail and marketing. We distil five trends brands are leveraging to tap into Gen Z’s growing spending power ($3tn globally by 2030), including hedonistic aesthetics, skincare-centred safe spaces and a razor-sharp focus on authentic peer recommendations.

Campaigns Lean Into Post-Perfectionism

Virtual Worlds & Avatar-Assisted Shopping

Supportive Online Spaces for Skincare

Retail Concepts to Support ‘Cool’ Frugality

E-Commerce Scales Intimacy & Honesty

Rebuffing millennials’ carefully curated Instagram profiles and high-maintenance aspirational perfectionism, many Gen Zers are challenging unrealistic beauty standards and embracing a raunchier sex-positive outlook (see Modern Purity & Liberating Sexualities in 10 Youth Trends to Watch, 2023) by flocking to brand campaigns with post-perfectionist aesthetics that celebrate contemporised sleaze, hedonism and grittier nightlife.

Rebuffing millennials’ carefully curated Instagram profiles and high-maintenance aspirational perfectionism, many Gen Zers are challenging unrealistic beauty standards and embracing a raunchier sex-positive outlook (see Modern Purity & Liberating Sexualities in 10 Youth Trends to Watch, 2023) by flocking to brand campaigns with post-perfectionist aesthetics that celebrate contemporised sleaze, hedonism and grittier nightlife.

Summary

Campaigns Lean Into Post-Perfectionism

Rebuffing millennials’ carefully curated Instagram profiles and high-maintenance aspirational perfectionism, many Gen Zers are challenging unrealistic beauty standards and embracing a raunchier sex-positive outlook (see Modern Purity & Liberating Sexualities in 10 Youth Trends to Watch, 2023) by flocking to brand campaigns with post-perfectionist aesthetics that celebrate contemporised sleaze, hedonism and grittier nightlife.

Virtual Worlds & Avatar-Assisted Shopping

For Gen Z beauty fans, the metaverse and meta-lite brandiverses (exploratory but not fully interactive communal virtual environments) are transcending escapism and becoming a reflection of lived experiences and real-life identities (see Key Stats). Brands are supporting this with socialised virtual shopping spaces, try-before-you-buy customisable avatars and digital looks echoed in physical products.

Supportive Online Spaces for Skincare

Nearly half of global Gen Zers are affected by a loneliness epidemic, an anxiety exacerbated by struggles with skin issues (see Key Stats). Brands are addressing this sense of isolation by developing proprietary social networks and communities via platforms such as Discord and Geneva to help young consumers (and their families) deal with dermatological concerns.

Retail Concepts to Support ‘Cool’ Frugality

With nearly half of global Gen Zers living pay cheque to pay cheque, affordable, effective products have become key (CeraVe and E.l.f Cosmetics are among their most loved brands). Innovative engagement from smart brands includes in-house dupe recommendations, discounted resale solutions and savings-foregrounding subscription services.

E-Commerce Scales Intimacy & Honesty

Astute brands are supplementing mainstream social media with alternatives that foster more intimate connections and unbiased opinions. From e-marketplaces without ads to filter-free tutorials and next-generation artificial intelligence (AI)-powered one-to-one WhatsApp messaging, brands are leveraging trust and a sense of community.

Beauty: Gen Z-Based Brand Engagement

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Topics

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Offering access to over 350 consumer and cross-industry reports annually, Stylus Membership is your window to tomorrow’s most exciting opportunities.

We already arm more than 500 of the world’s most forward-thinking brands and agencies with the creative insights they need to make transformative business decisions.

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