Body Confidential predicts the future of beauty

New year, new beauty routine? With the sheer scale of new cosmetics releases anticipated for 2019, it's more than likely. 

From millionaire beauty influencers to celebrity-fronted makeup lines, the beauty industry is now a saturated one and our ever expanding makeup bags are fit to burst. 

Signs say our lust for products and beauty won't change in the New Year. 

With the help of JWT Intelligence, we have analysed some of 2019's predicted new trends. 

'Ugly' beauty

Spent 2018 scrolling through feeds of beautiful filtered faces? Then brace yourself for 2019’s so-called 'anti-beauty movement'. In a backlash against the traditional notions of conventional beauty, artists and influencers are exploring a darker side by hacking the human form. “Beauty is not synonymous with looking good,” explains Bunny Kinney, editorial director at Dazed Media. “People recognise beauty as a way of transformation—being scary or ugly is part of that.” What beauty represents is being redefined and brands need to take note of the 'imperfect' aesthetic highlighted by a subculture of experimental artists. Whilst this year's take on beauty centred around flawless filters and viral trends, 2019 will see beauty redefined – not as the end goal, but the transformation process itself.

Virtual models

Whilst 2018 may have seen a noticeable shift in brands celebrating imperfections, social media still has a focus on showcasing perfection. So much so, that a predicted 2019 trend is taking the quest for perfection down a more bizarre route… with virtual models. The computer generated personalities were first summoned by luxury fashion house Balmain in summer 2018, when the designer recruited three virtual models to front campaigns. The Balmain Virtual Army includes Shudu, aka “the world’s first digital supermodel,” Margot and Zhi. The new type of model follows trends of virtual influencers on Instagram, drawing inspiration from Lil Miquela, who has 1.5 million followers, along with her friends BLAWKO (135k followers) and Bermuda (120k followers). It's kind of like if you set up an instagram account for your Sims, but with way better dress sense. Whether you think it’s a little bizarre, or brilliantly creative, the virtual trend could be a sign that the world of beauty is moving on from the human form. Watch out for CG influencers coming to a feed near you. 

Hair food

2018 12 06 Hair Food

You’ve no doubt heard of superfoods for your skin, now it’s time to feed you hair. 2019 will see the rise of superfoods for your tresses, with cleansing ingredients including Matcha, coconut oil and kale (think big green smoothie for your head). Andrew McDougall, a global haircare analyst at Mintel, comments that “as consumers become more aware of the ingredients they eat, drink, or use for beauty purposes, interest in natural and food-based ingredients is rising.” Food ingredients rich in antioxidants can position hair products as protecting against the effects of pollution, McDougall adds - a pressing beauty concern among global city-dwellers. We care about what we put in our bodies, so why not what we put on it too? 

The ‘it’ lip

2018 12 06 Marbleized Lips 2018 12 06 2019 Lip Trend

The beauty scene’s obsession with lips sees no desire to burn out. Whilst 2018 was the year of the full lip – fuelling a rise in lip filler procedures – 2019 will see makeup influencers take a more creative approach to their lip line. From graduated lips laden with gloss (as debuted by Rihanna on Vogue’s September cover) to marbleized lips with colourful embellishments seen at New York fashion week, get ready to adorn your lips with everything from stripes to trinkets. 

“Social media has made everyone an expert at applying makeup, so artists are also having to really step up their game to demonstrate artistry and skill,” explains Alexia Inge, cofounder of online beauty retailer Cult Beauty. “Beauty in general is also moving into a more intellectual cerebral space, so experimentation is becoming more important. 

Whether you have a petite pout or fuller lips, 2019 is all about creating a new canvas on your face.   


Another day, another taboo to tackle. The changing face of beauty shows no signs of slowing down, shining its light on previously unexplored problems and ideas. And its wake comes an unusual surge – the intimate skincare market is exploding, with experts estimating it will reach $35billion by 2024. That’s right, 2019 is going to be all about normalising discussions around vaginal health.

Whilst it might feel a bit weird talking about what lies beneath, brands are already taking note. Bodyform’s Swedish sister brand Libresse went viral for creating an advert showcasing a kaleidoscope of lip-syncing, all dancing vulvas in a bid to highlight that there’s no such thing as ‘normal’. And a recent Vagisan ad featuring Jenny Eclaire showcased the comedienne having a candid conversation about vaginal dryness in-between a break from Corrie. Conversations around intimate health are moving away from cold and sterile to positive, communal discussions.

Tech-inspired packaging

2018 12 06 Glossier Solid Fragrance
Glossier's solid fragrance with a swipe-able lid

Mobile phones may have a lot to answer for, but their swipe-ready design is about to revolutionise your beauty bag. 2019 will be the year of swipe-able and scroll-able beauty devices, from scroll-to-open lipsticks to swipe-to-unlock makeup palettes. Already, the tech-inspired gestures have been adopted by top beauty brands. Glossier’s 'You solid' perfume balm opens via a swipe motion and is encased in a weighted metal compact, which the brand says is designed to “fit the curve of your palm and thumb.”

Beauty packaging companies are also tapping into these gestures in creating their offer. US packaging brand EmpireEmco has created packaging for lipsticks and concealers that can be scrolled to open, instead of twisted, meaning you can open your favourite lippy with one hand and scroll through the gram in the other. And a Spanish packaging company has created a compact makeup set with a slide-to-unlock feature, keeping your makeup secure whilst it jiggles around your handbag.

Whilst we might curse phones for increasing our scroll time, we can’t help but agree – a scroll-able lipstick does sound nice.  

Colour-changing makeup

2018 12 06 Mac Tendertalk Lip Balm
MAC Tendertalk lip balm changes colour depending on the wearer

Instagram’s love of theatrical, transformational makeup is set to get new ammo in 2019. Brace your beauty bag for colour-changing makeup, the ultimate exhibitionist product that reacts to your skins PH or changes colour when layered with other products. MAC has already embraced the trend, launching the 'Tendertalk' lip balm, a 'smart lip conditioner' that responds to the body’s individual chemistry to create a different colour for each wearer. But next year’s trend could see the technology grace everything from foundation to eye shadow, offering the ultimate colour match for your skin tone.  

Instagram-worthy packaging

Have you ever seen a product on your favourite influencer’s feed, then rushed to snap it up online within seconds? Then well done, you’re one of the 72% of Instagram users who have made a beauty or style-related purchase after seeing an item featured on their feed (source: 2017 survey by jewellery brand Dana Rebecca Designs). In an age where looks can be just as important as functionality, brands are conjuring up new ways to make their products aesthetically pleasing.

Take Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s makeup collection that launched in 2017 to the hungry glee of makeup lovers anywhere. Whilst the collection is famed for its diverse range of shades, the brand is instantly recognisable thanks to its honeycomb-shaped design and lack of overt branding. The company’s latest release follows a similar suit - the Stunna Lip Paint in Uninvited features glow-in-the-dark packaging. 

2019 is all about creating a makeup bag as beautiful as you are. 


2018 12 11 Lu Han Yang Mi Chinese Actress
Chinese actress & song writer Yang Mi has over 77 million followers on social media platform Weibo

Forget K-Beauty (a titled coined for Korean skincare products and regimes), 2019’s beauty buzzword is C-Beauty. Inspired by centuries old Chinese traditions blended with innovative new tech, this holistic approach to skincare promises to rewrite the western cosmetics rule book. The Chinese beauty market is one of the fastest growing in the world, a demand which is encouraging exciting innovation and experimentation from cosmetics brands. From using facial recognition to recommend touch-ups at makeup stores to augmented reality beauty at store counters to Chinese influencers that are set to influence global beauty trends, the Chinese beauty market is the one to watch in 2019.  

Water-free products

2018 12 06 Lush Naked Shower Gel
Lush's naked shower gel is solid and packaging-free

Beauty ingredients are increasingly scrutinised as consumers question what's in their everyday products. As environmental awareness is increased, the demand for natural, refined products is growing. In its wake, the use of natural resources is also being questioned: do we really need water in our cosmetics?

Driven by sustainability concerns, 2019 will see more brands (hopefully) sign up to reduce their water usage. Spearheading the way is Lush, a beacon of ethical beauty blazing on the high street with everything from water-free shampoos to solid foundation. But mainstream brands are also taking note - L’Oréal has committed to reducing 60% of water consumption per finished product by 2020, compared to the amount used in 2005, and Unilever has launched a water-smart initiative which aims to develop products across its brands that reduce its water footprint.

Would you be willing to try any of these potential beauty trends. Let us know on the @bdyconfidential Twitter page.