top of page

Identifying & Predicting Beauty Trends: An Insider’s Look by Abby & Elizabeth Hogue

Written by: Ezzah Rafique

In the vast and ever-evolving realm of beauty, trends come and go with the swiftness of a TikTok video. From the clean girl to mob wife aesthetic, from glass skin to makeup you can sleep in, and from maximalist to minimalist— the beauty landscape is in a perpetual state of flux. Yet amidst this whirlwind of change, is there a method to deciphering the patterns and identifying trends that are constantly evolving? 

Elizabeth Hogue, global brand product management director with Estee Lauder, and Abby Hogue, freelance copywriter and art director, present the perfect breakdown on how to predict trends using trend cycles and proactive trend navigation.

Trend cycles consist of five-step cycle, according to the Hogue sisters:

1. The Macro-event: a grand moment in time

An example of a macro-event would be COVID-19 work-from-home.

2. The Micro-concept: cascading themes and results by the macro-event 

An example of a micro-concept within the beauty industry now is the “mob-wife” aesthetic hitting social media. According to The New York Times, “the mob wife look focuses on conspicuous signifiers of wealth.” This trend stemmed from pop culture moments in entertainment such as “The Sopranos” 25th anniversary.

3. Consumers react: users react to the trend

These are when users jump on trends to create trending posts like following a challenge or a popular video. 

4. Brands react: brands internally strategize on how to join the conversation

Although this takes can often bring in the legal department, and lengthen the process in joining the trend, brands will jump on the TikTok trend bandwagon to reach the audience that best suits their customer demographic. 

5. Brands go to market: new product with new advertising

‘Go-to-market campaigns’ are a perfect example of brands turning trends into campaigns from E.L.F Beauty to FENTY Beauty.

PTN: Proactive Trend Navigation, according to the Hogue sisters

Within the “PTN” (proactive trend navigation) map, there are steps to analyze before jumping to conclusions on what trends are emerging. The macro-event results in micro-concepts and smaller, emerging trends and themes in the social sphere. Brands need to utilize this space where trends incubate to be able to identify tomorrow's trends. Once a trend is identified, brands can create “GTM” (go-to-market) campaigns or projects. Once a user reacts publicly to the presented GTM, a trend occurs. 

Trend Spotting in a Nutshell

Trends are cyclical. Most trends do not last over 2 years, but when they appear, most tech-savvy brands will jump on them as soon as possible.

“Like Glossier and Fenty Beauty, sometimes it takes a while for trends to catch up”

Identifying Tomorrow’s Trends

When looking at the proactive trend navigation map, the Hogue sisters point out three key predictions to keep an eye on when analyzing possible emerging trends. 

1. Return to Work

2. Economic Instability & AI

3. Climate Awareness 

When looking at the ‘Return to Work’ prediction, the Hogue sisters predict an increase in commute time for workers, face-paced lifestyle changes, the aspect of working face-to-face with coworkers in person, and a change in lighting in most workspaces. With these predictions, they see the trends of perfume layering, pollution protecting ingredients, and ‘wellness’ blurring with beauty emerge. 

In terms of the prediction of ‘Economic Instability & AI,’ the Hogue sisters point out that themes of individualism and value based shoppers will influence ingredient-focused products and the emphasis on customizable products being on the rise for 2024. 

Lastly, the prediction for 2024 that the Hogue sisters mention within ‘climate awareness’ will create a rise in demand for refillable products, skincare ingredient checkers, and cleansing balms.

Listen to their full discussion, here.


bottom of page