A display of hair extensions and hair pieces of different colours.VARIOUS

Encouraged by social media trends, beauty consumers are seeking new services, which is driving innovation across categories in 2019. Below, three top beauty trends that are leading the way.

Gel Nail Extensions

Nail extensions are a growing trend, driven by Instagram and the rise of the celebrity nail artist. Acrylic extensions have long been the option of choice, but gel is proving a favorable alternative, mainly because it is thought to be less damaging to the nail.

“Gel extensions definitely are trending right now,” said Tracylee, celebrity nail artist and nail industry veteran. “The problem with gel extensions in previous years was that the gel was not as strong as acrylic, so people would have issues. Brands have finally figured it out through technology to make products that will last a little bit longer and are stronger than previous years.”

One particular innovation that has caught her eye is Orly’s Builder in a Bottle soak-off sculpting gel for nail extensions.

“The reason I like it is because it’s as strong as a hard gel but it soaks off,” she said. “It’s the first of its kind.”

Hair Extensions

Hair extensions are not new to beauty, but they are a growing area of focus for brands, thanks, in part, to social media and celebrity clientele, such as Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande.

“When you use extensions, you can switch up your look a lot,” said Edward Tricomi, master stylist and co-owner of Warren Tricomi salon, which partnered with hair extension service RPZL late last year. “It’s giving people a lot of choice and a lot of freedom.”

RPZL is one brand debuting advancements in hair extensions. The company offers a range of extension services, including tape-ins, clip-ins and ultrasound keratin-bonded extensions. Last year, it unveiled a slimmer version of its clip-in extensions designed to blend more easily into the client’s natural hair.

Skin Services

Skin services continue to gain momentum with an increased focus on lasers. Laser facials, popularized largely by Skin Laundry, are an area of interest for beauty brands and salons alike. Benefit will be the latest to debut a laser service in the first quarter of the year, when it unveils a new laser facial service, BenefitSkin, in select boutiques.

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