How The Beauty Industry Has Changed Over The Past Decade

Photos By Collin Gaudet

Beauty, Brodine, Judy Inc.

Fashion Stylist, Michelle Paiano, Judy Inc.

Indie brands, the triumph of care, the influence of social networks: we explore how the beauty industry has changed over the past 10 years.

Makeup VS Care

If the first half of the “tenths” was marked by a passion for decorative cosmetics, the second half passed under the sign of skincare. In 2019, sales of cosmetics for the first time slowed down compared to sales of skincare products. Perhaps the trend arose at the 2012 New York shows, when models appeared on the catwalk with clean faces – and this was not “makeup without makeup”, but a real bare face.

No More Anti-age

The editor-in-chief of American Allure made a statement in 2013 that the magazine ceases to use the term anti-age – it makes no sense to fight age. The statement, which was initially perceived as shocking, quickly set a new trend. Today, other terms are in use – for example, smart ageing. And instead of marking “anti-aging” or “anti-wrinkle,” creams promise radiance and freshness to the skin.


There is a new class of people who call themselves skintellectuals – they delve into the essence of the processes occurring in the skin, try to understand the composition of the ingredients, are fond of chemistry and make up a huge audience of podcasts and blogs about the cosmetic chemistry .

Makeup Compounds

With the development of indie brands, industry giants had to respond to the challenges that time posed. This was expressed not only in the purchase by cosmetic concerns of the former “kids” (as happened with the purchase of The Ordinary by Estee Lauder), but also in a new approach. Large brands have ceased to rely on exotic and rare components collected on the eastern slope of a sleeping volcano in the full moon. Now the Holy Grail – ingredients with proven effectiveness . Formulas for care products are becoming more concise, and natural but technologically more complex.

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Home care

Home care products are booming in popularity. Initially, brands were carefully added to the kit for electric home epilators; today on sale (and in demand) all kinds of beauty gadgets, from photoepilators to LED face masks.

Sound toothbrushes, oral irrigators, super-tech massagers with sound vibrations , microcurrent massagers – all of these devices have settled in a variety of bathrooms. In the wake of wellness enthusiasm, people are buying jade facial massagers, gua-sha agate scrapers, mesoscooters and dry massage brushes. The industry is developing at such a pace that soon you can expect full-service home spas.


Mask applications have become the new insanity of millennials and genzers. Analysts say there are several reasons for this: firstly, the passion for leaving, secondly, the quick result that the new generation is striving for; thirdly, the photogenicity of patches – often they resemble instagram filters; fourthly, real effectiveness: a snug fit mask will allow the components to penetrate deeper and act better. At some point, people began to use patches on airplanes, at the wheel, at work and on the street. But in the wake of eco-responsibility, a new question arose: how ethical is it to use patches? There is an answer: it is worth choosing those that are made from biodegradable biocellulose. However, the individual packaging of each patch is not yet a resolved problem.

Eco Responsibility

Eco-responsibility has become the main direction in which brands prefer to develop, so as not only to please consumers, but also to make the world a better place globally. The luxury cosmetic giants have lightened their packaging. Jars are made from recycled glass; the instructions are no longer issued on paper “sheets”: they can be downloaded by the QR code located on the packaging. The packages themselves are made of lightweight cardboard. Many brands, make their packaging from recycled plastic, and take empty bottles in their stores. Guerlain began a partnership with UNESCO: they will jointly develop beekeeping in biosphere reserves and increase the population of bees, the number of which is declining annually at a catastrophic scale.


Over the past ten years, eyebrows have survived several revolutions. It all started with Natalia Vodianova and Cara Delevingne, who actually set the trend for voluminous, thick eyebrows. From the beginning of the tenth years, eyebrows served as a key element of the image: they were brightened and whitened, as in Givenchy shows; they were given hypervolume, as on the Marc Jacobs show.

They were combed up, drawn a hair to the hair, straightened and gave them a boyish look. The grooming culture has taken root around the world, and there are now brown bars . Eyebrow products beat sales records, their range was amazing: shadows, powders, permanent dyes, henna, combs and spindle-shaped brushes, gels, waxes and lipsticks. Finally, the latest sensational trend is Soap Brows . Today it is already clear: the insanity has receded, the eyebrows have become softer and more tender .


The main invention of the past decade is gel varnishes, resistant coatings that must be dried under a lamp and which have been wrestling for weeks. People quickly got used to the fact that immediately after a manicure you can get keys and credit cards from your jeans pockets – the varnish did not suffer from this at all, as it used to be. Manicure masters have become new instagram influencers, and countless other salons specializing in manicure have appeared. However, now you can observe a new wave: the rejection of persistent color coatings in favor of natural nails and organic polishes.


The canons of beauty are changing. On the catwalks and in advertising campaigns , more and more different people – the main thing – individuality. The activist model Advoa Aboa won incredible popularity; transgender models appear on magazine covers; models with acne, vitiligo, plus size models, plus age  models and models with disabilities – now, if not an ordinary phenomenon, then quite familiar.

Beauty Tools

In the last decade, many new beauty products have appeared. The most popular are contouring sticks, highlighters, multitasking tools, all kinds of cushions. But if you choose one main beauty tool of the decade, we will call the highlighter. Today, radiance is the main term in the description of beautiful skin, and there is a highlighter in almost every cosmetic bag.

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