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Beauty: The Year Ahead

Below, in the last part of a WWD five-part series examining the year ahead across all segments of the business, is a look at the beauty industry—from emerging trends and forecasts, to key executives and the industry’s unsigned heroines.


See Monday’s look at the retail and fashion categories HERE; Tuesday’s look at the media and entertainment sector HERE; Wednesday’s coverage of the financial sector HERE; and Thursday’s coverage of markets HERE.

A number of beauty companies are blazing a more aggressive path via mass market and online. Additionally, salon owners will aim to make service sales a key focus, and the $35 billion travel retail and duty free industry could be cleared for takeoff in 2010.


Nottingham, England-based tanning brand St. Tropez, British chain Boots and German beauty giant Beiersdorf are three companies that are projected to grow in the upcoming year.

Today’s leading ladies can command anywhere between $3 million and $10 million to link their likeness to a beauty firm. WWD had the The Doneger Group weigh in on the potential of seven unsigned heroines and also sat down with Youcef Nabi of Lancôme International, the person responsible for signing Julia Roberts on as the L’Oréal-owned brand’s global ambassador.

The past decade was a pivotal period for the beauty industry that triggered both an expansion and contraction of retailing and manufacturing, the rise of the Internet as a channel of authority, a surge of premium-priced skin care and the further globalization of the way the business is conducted.

Top leaders in the beauty world are warily looking forward to a hoped-for improvement in the business climate this year, following the severe bruising of 2009. But if life does return to normal, it will bear little resemblance to the free spending era of the past decade, with consumers still feeling the shock of the recession.

Women are doing more beauty routines at home and general trends in the industry will include a move to more budget cosmetics brands, a continued presence by minerals and strong performance within facial makeup. Industry experts hope fragrance sales will stabilize, and skin care is the beauty category with the most global growth potential between now and 2014.