Friday, July 8, 2011

More natural than nature?

That natural means untouched, unadulterated and pure seems obvious. But natural, the state of being and looking natural has become so desirable that people are increasingly going out-of-their way to create it and to achieve it. We call that natural constructed.

In beauty we see that more and more people, salons and brands are striving to represent, communicate and be natural. First of all we see that brands leave out harmful substances like parabens or aluminum chlorohydrate and phthalates, even very mainstream brands like Sanex and Dove are starting to do this today and L’oreal recently launched a hair-die without ammoniac; INOA, so now hair can be colored without aggression to the scalp.
Natural ingredients are taking over in beauty product.  Herb extracts and essential oils are replacing ingredients and perfumes and natural oils are being used for hair-treatments i.e. from the argan tree or macadamia nuts. Hair gets healthy treatments like massage to stimulate the blood-circulation of the scalp to revive the hair-follicles. It’s all about feeding your hair to make it more healthy, glossy and voluminous. That equals Natural.
When it comes to make-up the natural or nude look is hot. You might think that means no make-up, but not in this case; it means carefully applying make-up that is all natural colors, to make you look like your better natural self. There are even foundations that contain natural minerals that allegedly improve the health of your skin whilst you wear it. Also foundations have become so light that it’s currently being delivered like a mousse, miles away from the cakes from the past. Make-up is turning aquarelle.
Bare Escentuals - Active soil complex

Bare Escentuals - Bare Minerals

Bare Escentuals - shop impression

So it takes effort to appear natural. It can take hours to create your natural look.
We think it’s a reaction to the recession, and all the glam and opulence that we had before it. Being natural represents the idea of a new cleaned up and pure state-of-mind. It’s more relaxed and casual (or so it seems). It suggests living in a more modest setting, causing less harm and costing less money.
We anticipate that beauty-products and treatments will get closer and closer to the edible as what is edible cannot be harmful to the body and skin. If it’s good for the inside it must be good for the outside too. So food and beauty will start to integrate and become on system or approach that are closely connected. We already see a lot of beauty-food i.e. like Borba and collagen drinks, and Aveda branded salons also house cafe's that reflect identical values.

Beauty is going to be a reflection of general health & wellbeing, the challenge for Philips will be to deliver product/service solutions that support, enhance or strengthen the natural systems involved in beautification. Seems like the most natural thing to do.

Published in edited form in trends section of New Value News by Philips Design July 2011
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