Year in review: The biggest beauty news of 2017

By Sarah Parsons | 19-Dec-2017

Cosmetics Business looks back at some of the stories and events which made the headlines during 2017

Time for a makeover

Relaunches were a big part of 2017, as CoverGirl (pictured above) ditched its 60-year-old slogan ‘Easy, Breezy, Beautiful CoverGirl’, to welcome in the fourth wave of feminism with the new tagline ‘I Am What I Make Up’.

Another Coty-owned brand modernised its image this year. Sally Hansen rebranded to focus on its eponymous female founder and to highlight other self-made women.

British luxury department store Harrods announced a £200m revamp, the largest restoration project in its 330 year history.

Celebrating product innovation

Year in review: The biggest beauty news of 2017

After three years in the making, Jo Loves launched an ‘industry first’ perfume paintbrush.

ASOS (pictured above), Forever 21 founders, boohoo and Missguided helped mark a major industry shift as more fast fashion brands broke into beauty than ever before.

Chanel released its first pillar perfume in more than a decade. Fronted by actress Kristen Stewart, Gabrielle Chanel is an ode to the luxury brand’s founder.

Mergers and acquisitions

Year in review: The biggest beauty news of 2017

It was a year of splashing the cash for The Hut Group which acquired Glossybox in August. The British brand owner then went on to buy Australian beauty retailer RY, UK spa brand ESPA and make-up brand Illamasqua. In October it then secured another £515m in financing with sights set on further investment.

Unilever bought its first colour cosmetics brand. Hourglass Cosmetics was founded by Carisa Janes in 2004, but has now joined Unilever’s Prestige division, alongside brands including Murad, Kate Somerville and REN.

Natura Cosmeticos bought The Body Shop for around €1bn. The Brazilian conglomerate’s portfolio includes AMÓ, Ekos, Tododia, Una, Chronos, SOU, Horus and Mamäe e Bebê among others.

Thoughtful business

(Image: Youtube/L'Oréal USA)

(Image: Youtube/L'Oréal USA)

L'Oréal announced it hit the mid-way mark of its 2020 sustainability commitment. Key milestones included reducing the CO2 emissions of its plants and distribution centres by 67%.

IT Cosmetics founder Jamie Kern Lima (pictured above) made headlines when she revealed at the annual CEW Achiever Awards this year, that – early in her career – she was told by an investor she was too fat to sell cosmetics.

The British Beauty Council (BBC) formed this year in a bid to represent the voices, opinions and needs of the beauty industry at government level. Founding members include Millie Kendall, co-founder of BeautyMART, Kate Shapland, founder of Legology, and Kathy Phillips, founder of This Works.

The star ingredient

Year in review: The biggest beauty news of 2017

HEVL, the blue light emitted by electronic devices, was a buzzword for consumers worried about skin ageing. This year, DSM launched Parsol Max II, which offers protection from UVB, UVA2 and UVA1, and even extends into the blue light part of the visible spectrum. Clariant, took a different approach with its Bluemidin, a ‘blue light fatigue breaker’ aimed at reducing the appearance of eye puffiness and dark circles associated with overuse of HEVL devices.

The microbiome is also an area of fascination, with new ingredients to support the skin’s microbiota including Vantage’s PreBio Defense prebiotic skin care concept, Revivyl from Givaudan Active Beauty and Codif’s Actibiome, which reduces total bacteria and helps restore normal facial skin microbiota diversity.

While pollution has been on the industry radar for some time now, 2017 saw new angles on this topic, with Clariant, again, promising to tackle the impact of indoor pollutants, such as tobacco smoke and solvents from cleaning materials, as well as mites and moulds, on skin with a new active ingredient Eosidin.


(Image: Getty Images)

(Image: Getty Images)

Momager Kris Jenner, revealed that Kylie Jenner Cosmetics is on track to generate sales of $1bn by 2022.

Rihanna’s highly anticipated make-up brand Fenty Beauty was met with acclaim from consumers and industry experts. The line, with its 40-strong range of foundation shades, went on to be named a Time invention of 2017.

Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf found herself in the spotlight after she was fired by L'Oréal for posting a racially-charged Facebook post days after she was named as an Ambassador for L’Oréal Paris’ True Match campaign. She then went onto defend her remarks to the international media and has since been hired by Illamasqua.

Packaging progress

Year in review: The biggest beauty news of 2017

Sustainable packaging solutions are championed by both brands and suppliers this year. Hydra Life stripped back Dior’s packaging, using reduced weight glass, while L’Oréal’s Botanicals Fresh Care hair range features 100% recycled and recyclable PET. Meanwhile, Sulpac created a biodegradable alternative to plastic made from wood and natural binders.

With online trends-led labels like Milk Makeup, Glossier and 3INA commanding consumer attention, it was unsurprising that concepts facilitating speed to market, like Albéa Let’s Go! collection of customisable, market-ready innovations with an ultra-speedy lead time of just four weeks, were also trending.

Consumer customisation was a major theme in packaging in 2017. A new concept from Aptar Beauty + Home is the Snap pack, which lets you sell complementary products (like sunscreen and aftersun) together, or sell individually so consumers can create their own combos.


(Image: Getty Images)

(Image: Getty Images)

L’Oréal heiress and the richest woman in the world Liliane Bettencourt (pictured above) died at the age of 94. The daughter of Eugène Schueller, founder of the L'Oréal Group, had an estimated net worth of €33bn or $40bn in 2017.

Beauty and fashion industry leaders paid tribute to Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the Yves Saint Laurent brand. Bergé was responsible for launching the YSL brand into the beauty world.

Italian-born Giuseppe ‘Toni’ Mascolo, co-founder of Toni&Guy, passed away this month. The salon and brand-owner was an acclaimed entrepreneur, with more than 400 Toni&Guy stores across 48 countries.

You may also like