Skinimalism, the term coined to describe the blending of makeup and skin care, is what excites Sir John Barnett most these days.
“Clients are looking to a more holistic approach to their lifestyle, their diets, their families, their children,” said the makeup artist, who’s worked with the likes of Beyoncé and Priyanka Chopra.
Cosmetics is no different, he said: “It’s like, ‘OK, this is great topically, but is it going to actually be of service if I want to have something on my face for 12, 14 hours today?’ I love that the consumers are asking for so much more, asking for more for themselves first [and] from the brands second.”
Barnett was speaking on a panel moderated by Alexa Tietjen, editor of beauty and influencers at WWD, with Anastasia Soare, founder and CEO of Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Laney Crowell, founder of Saie.
“If your product doesn’t have a double benefit, it just feels like it’s not relevant right now, and that’s for two reasons,” said Crowell, in agreement. She launched her “clean” cosmetic brand in 2019 with a $24 mascara, $18 brow gel, $16 lip balm and eyelash curler.
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“I think, one, yes, people are at home, and they’re super focused on their skin, but even if they’re not going to be seen by anyone, [the product] still needs to be doing something,” she went on. “That trend is going to be ongoing for sure.”
Saie’s mascara, for example, has skin care benefits that help lashes grow, she said.
Soare, an industry trailblazer and social media pioneer who pivoted quickly during the pandemic, has infused products with skin care benefits in the past and has seen consumer behavior shift over the life of her brand.
“Nine years ago, we launched [a] trio eyeshadow with skin care,” she said. “I think we were way ahead of our time, like we’re always, because we take pride in innovation. The consumer thought, ‘Oh, I’m too young to use this. I don’t have wrinkles. Why should I use the eyeshadow with the skin care elements?’ But definitely today, we are talking about a completely different time. The younger generation is paying more attention…Infusions of skin care in eyeshadow will definitely be way better received now than [it] was nine years ago.”
Consumers are also looking for transparency from brands and founders on all platforms, the creators echoed. Crowell, for one, said customers are asking educative questions, like what raw materials are being used.
“Authenticity is something that we can smell about a mile away now, and in years prior, it wasn’t that way,” said Barnett.
He’s embracing minimal makeup, he said, “using less foundation, less concealer. I actually love the space that we’re in, because I feel like we’re confident and moving in a direction where we’re feeling more connected to ourselves.”
While the pandemic has been a time to reflect on life’s priorities, toning down makeup, Soare foresees color coming back strong.
“The moment the world will open up, the moment we start going to parties, we start socializing, I think we slowly will go back to what we love, more color,” she said. “I want to feel happy. I want to feel like I’m back to my normality.”