By  on June 29, 2007

Among the various preshow sessions offered for NACDS Marketplace attendees was "The State of Beauty: An Inside Look From In Style," an educational seminar focused on beauty trends, particularly within the prestige side of the business.

In Style beauty editor Ning Chao discussed the trends she believes to be impacting women — and their effects on the beauty industry — Tuesday morning to a crowd of more than 50. The presentation addressed a number of factors changing the business, including the increasing role of the Internet, the democratization of style and the celebrity lifestyle and culture that has influenced the market, or as Chao dubbed it, the "Jessica Simpson phenomenon."

Chao analyzed beauty trends among different generations and their effects on individual businesses. Attitudes widely vary between Generation X, Generation Y and Baby Boomers, she said.

"Generation Y grew up with the Internet and technology and use it to interact with people online," said Chao. "They're willing to go out there and find things themselves. These are participatory consumers who have been raised on reality TV shows. They're experimental and view beauty as a self-expression. They demand more for less and take pride in finding a steal."

Generation X's primary concern, according to Chao, has become time management as they grow older and focus on raising children.

"They're looking for easy and affordable products and have limited beauty routines," said Chao. "They want the most effectiveness in the least amount of time."

The Boomer generation accounts for the largest sector of women who want to lead more "vibrant and full lives than people in that same age category in the past," and are considered to be loyal consumers of their beauty products, she said.

Chao also discussed making beauty application processes easier through built-in brushes and sponges, the industry's involvement in the green movement, the continuing growth of celebrity fragrances and the rise of neutraceuticals.

"Beauty is now being tackled from all angles, and it's all about combining beauty and health," said Chao. Chao then gave mass marketers a preview of prestige trends that have yet to go mainstream.

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