issue six : the shape of things to come
Contributor, Sjaniël Turrell, shares her predictions about the future of the cosmetics industry and the impendning impact if we do not start making some serious changes.
The beauty industry is currently one of the fastest and most consistently growing industries in the world - we seem not to be tiring of beautifying ourselves and we will pay for products that promise to do so. However, with worldwide awareness slowly growing about the real issues we will have to face in the not very distant future, it's becoming apparent that there may not be enough earth to go around for all it's beautified people! We live in this very instant gratification, instant everything culture and everything we do is subject to being represented in a visible way and by default we want those visible representations to be aesthetically appealing. People, faces, bodies, spaces, products, food and daily scenarios all need to be curated and displayed in an appealing manner and because of this cultural way we now view the world we live in, it seems that the 'beauty' industry will continue to grow in all it's many forms - except - we cannot continue to justify the 'instant' and 'convenience' part of everything we live and breathe because suddenly there won't be anything worthwhile left for us to breathe at all.
This begs the question: What is the future of makeup and beauty? I think it has already become apparent, especially in the financial and 1st World international cities and hubs, that there is only one way forward and that way is 'green.'
Large commercial corporations are realising that as consumers we are becoming more educated and conscious about our buying choices and playing on all the buzz words that imply they are adhering to our eco- and green-minded preferences and making money on those emotional tugs alone. Words such as natural, clean, eco, green, pure, organic, sustainable, cruelty free, vegan, fair-trade, free from and many more are used everywhere to convince us that we are making moral buying choices, but how do we know that we are? Can any products be all of those things?
Sadly - no. It is very near impossible for any beauty products to adhere to and tick all the sustainability and eco friendly boxes. That said, there are many wonderful independent beauty brands around the world that are working very hard to achieve as many of those requirements whilst still appealing to our aesthetic preferences. 'Health and wellness' is now a trillion dollar industry that is outperforming other mainstream industry sectors and even though this is mainly linked to food and health, the beauty industry is following suit. Note that I said "independent" beauty brands - these are the passionate pioneers who truly have, not only our own best interests at heart, but also those of the earth and all the beautiful creatures that live in it. Corporations will grab the basic pointers and capitalise on those, but seldom will they have a truly integral intention. And so, to be a conscious 'green' consumer - we need to be educated and know what we stand for individually. I call it 'your point of compromise', because no product is perfect, but if you know what is truly important to you as a consumer then you can find out if your products are a true reflection of your own moral convictions and then go ahead and vote for what you want with your money. It's where we spend our hard earned cash that will guide the outcomes of the beauty industry's policies.
For myself, it started from a point of health and whether my products are doing my body good in the long run? I choose organic certified wherever possible and always check my beauty product's ingredients for too many synthetic ingredients - by default of certification all these products are cruelty free which is also very important to me and I know that when I buy natural based ingredients or organic certified that I'm not using products tested on animals (another plus buying from smaller and independent companies is that you can be sure of this). Sustainability, being carbon neutral and recyclable or reusable are all points I consider when making buying choices.
As a makeup artist functionality and efficacy is important and my 'point of compromise' will be that I may use products with a higher amount of synthetic ingredients if they work better for the job but that they always tick the cruelty free and also the sustainability box wherever possible. Depending on what is important to you is where you need to draw your line.
As the masses wake up to the reality of the dire state of our beautiful earth and it's dying animals and oceans and also, it's very sick people, so will huge corporations have to wake up to creating TRULY green products for the woke generation of consumers that, as instantly gratified as they want to be, also want transparency and integrity in the products that they use to beautify their already beautiful selves daily. I cannot see any way forward other than that the future of makeup is green.
Or as we like to refer to it...untainted.