Commitment to the Consumer

“The cosmetic industry is in the perception business. The environmental industry is in the reality business,” said Bob Lilienfeld, editor of the Use Less Stuff Report. “It’s perception versus reality.” Understanding how commitment to sustainability can be communicated as part of the overall quality commitment is key.

The personal care and cosmetic market is one of the leading categories making green claims on products. The products in the cosmetics industry are intimate, causing consumers to have a heightened sensitivity and awareness of products that are going to be safe for their use, but consumers also expect results. However, most claims are based on a single attribute, usually raw material sourcing (organic or natural) or the lack of animal testing. Green Seal developed specific standards for the personal care industry with rigorous criteria that comprehensively address the lifecyle impact of a product—from manufacturing through packaging disposal. The GS-50 standard provides a tool for companies to improve the sustainability of their products and to earn certification and a way for consumers to know that their personal care products are safer for their families and the environment, while delivering the performance they expect.

The standard comes in response to the FTC’s finalization of its “Green Guides,” which provides marketers guidelines for labeling and promoting their sustainable products. Basically, the FTC was looking to do away with greenwashing, whereby companies and industries awarded themselves certification. The new guidelines call for transparency and urges certification from independent third party sources such as Green Seal.

Green Seal’s mission as a nonprofit is to increase sustainability in products and services. “We write the standards, but if the market doesn’t pick them up because it can’t make a decent product by following them, companies won’t get their products certified and we won’t have achieved our mission,” said Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s vice president of marketing and communications.

Green Seal spent a lot of time researching the impact of packaging and the ripple effect once it’s exposed in order to develop the GS-50 standard and conducts audits to provide independent confirmation that criteria are being met.
It’s all for a very specific reason: consumer confidence. “If the consumers do not have certainty that the product that they are buying is indeed going to enhance not only protection of the environment but the health and safety of themselves and their family, they are not going to buy it,” said Chipperfield.

Read more about green packaging in the July/August issue of GCI magazine.

Packaging for your manly man

bulldogModern men are much more sophisticated than some brands think they are and will ultimately see through a superficial, cookie-cutter approach.

“Most brands ‘for men’ are not connecting with men,” said Ben Grace, Bulldog marketing director. “Men are put off by imagery and language that is too elaborate.” Instead, Bulldog, the third largest men’s skin care brand in the UK, steers away from “pseudoscientific” terms that overcomplicate an uncomplicated category. The language used is simple and to the point. “We talk to men the way they talk to each other,” explained Grace.

Bulldog packages feature a short description along with what the product does and the key ingredients. “Some men’s brands seem to struggle with arranging their messaging, so they throw all the information on the package,” said Grace. On the back of each product, the brand encourages people to find out more about the listed ingredients by visiting the web site for full information. The brand lists every single ingredient that it uses. Not only that, it outlines the source of the ingredient and its primary function in its formulations. “We try to be as transparent as we can,” said Grace. “We want people to care about what they put on their skin as much as the food that they eat.”

Competing with huge global companies with significant marketing budgets, the brand knew it had to use the shelf as its billboard. “The packaging deliberately disrupts the category, by being different,” Grace continued. “When we looked at the category as a whole, we found a sea of sameness.” Bulldog packaging inverts the usual visuals, featuring an over-sized dark logo on white packaging.

Brands that are light-hearted also resonate with the consumer, especially men. Like using humor in marketing campaigns, such as Benefit’s tongue-in-cheek vidoes and Lynx’ and use of a double entendre, packaging that doesn’t take itself too seriously breaks down a barrier created by some men’s continued discomfort in discussing personal hygiene.

This is reflected in all Bulldog’s communication and on the packaging, where the brand injects a bit of humor that shares its personality with the consumer. While competitors use good-looking models with chiseled jaws and six-packs, Bulldog, primarily uses its namesake mascot. “It’s not nature’s prettiest beast but he’s man’s best friend,” said Grace.

Avoiding the cookie-cutter approach by purpose-building the brand for men, Bulldog was able to expand to 13 different countries worldwide since its launch in 2007.

Read more about packaging for men in the March 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

2014 Color Must Haves

2015+ Impact Colors by Future Touch Faux Nature

2015+ Impact Colors by Future Touch Faux Nature

Women have permission to explore color in 2014, particularly with nails providing a safe canvas to start experimenting with vibrant combinations–a playful attitude that has now been adopted for beauty, according to color consultant Roseanna Roberts. “Overall, we see a decrease in the use of black in cosmetics, replaced by subtle neutrals and/or saturated brights as consumers take a more light-hearted approach to beauty,” she said. For 2014, color is featured on the eyes, with brilliant liners and shadows commanding attention—and a more matte version on lips.

Many colors from Pantone’s spring palette are commonly seen as nature’s background. Placid Blue, Violet Tulip and Hemlock are versatile pastels that can be creatively combined with any other color in the spectrum or paired with a bolder hue for a modern look. “These Pantone colors reflect the softer side of womanhood, combining a fresh feel of pastels and blooming flower tones,” said makeup artist Rachel Wood. The blue, purple and beige tones in this new palette pair with many of the designers collections she witnessed from New York fashion Week. At Jenny Packhams runway show, for example, her chiffon fabric dresses colors were straight from this color chart, according to Wood. “The late 60s boho mixed with Edwardian style inspirations would pair beautifully with a Placid Blue or gentle muted grey eye shadow applied subtly and smoky on the eye lid,” she explained. Wood recommends more satin or velvet textured shadows.

This year is going to bring a lot of muted tones that go into neutrals. Sand and muted gray are quintessential, while Pantone’s high-pitched red and blazing yellow adds spicy heat to neutrals, for example, and colors with warmth and energy such as Celosia Orange also set the stage for a look that is chic and sophisticated. Read more about 2014 color trends in the January issue of GCI magazine.

Based on the Pantone palette, Wood shares her must-haves for 2014:

NYX Cosmetics
Matte Lipstick in Bloody Mary
“I’d top this with a dab of my fav lip treatment Rosebud Lip Salve.”

Cream Blusher in Libido
“To imitate the Celosia Orange from the color palette.”

Cheek Stain in Tipsy
“Great color for the cheeks!”

Beauty Flash Balm
“An oldie but a goody. I’ve been using this on top of my clients makeup, patting it over the cheek bone and forehead area to create dewy fresh skin.”

Velour Lashes
“The plushest lashes on the market, cruelty-free made of mink hairs, a celebrity favorite!”


While extrinsic factors such as UV exposure, chemicals and environmental pollution play a major role in the aging process, inflammation is now recognized as a major cause of intrinsic aging.

With age, the immune system becomes less effective and inflammatory activity increases. This can lead to chronic inflammation characterized by a slow but continuous production of free radicals causing wrinkles and sagging skin. “Inflammation is a vicious cycle that leads to wrinkles and other signs of aging,” said Mibelle Biochemistry’s Beata Hurst.

Inflammatory enzymes initiate the process that causes skin aging. These enzymes normally destroy old or damaged skin tissues to make way for new ones. With chronic or recurring inflammation, however, the immune system continues to produce low levels of inflammatory chemicals including free radicals, leading to the continuous damage of the surrounding tissues.

Mibelle is looking to inhibit the inflammatory reaction with MAXnolia, a water-dispersible active powder based on magnolia bark extract, a natural inhibitor of the po-inflammatory transcription factor NF-KB. Soon Mibelle also will introduce CM-Naringenin-Chalcone, a single molecule derived from naringenin, a flavanone naturally occurring in the peel of citrus fruit. In a clinical study performed on volunteers with rosacea skin, CM-Naringenin-Chalcone, clearly diminishes capillary blood flow and thereby the appearance of facial redness for consumers at almost any age.

Glycation, the binding of a protein molecule to a glucose molecule, causes many aging symptoms as well. Proteins such as collagen and elastin can get damaged by reducing sugars under harsh conditions. This leads to the formation of Advanced Glycation End products (AGE), which then react with cellular receptors to produce inflammatory reactions. The accumulation of AGEs eventually leads to a gradual stiffening and loss of firmness and elasticity of the skin. Anti-glycation and anti-aging compounds, such as the much-hyped theraglycan-3, to reduce actual AGE content in the skin will be an emerging trend moving forward.

The proof is in the science. According to Hurst, backing up claims with real science to validate efficacy builds consumer and client trust and keeps the market growing. Mibelle proves its claims with in vivo testing, showing the results on live skin. With further understanding of the underlying causes of aging, such new claims such as anti-inflammation, as well as anti-glycation, anti-redness and growth factors will allow products to specifically target various needs. “The anti-aging market is going to be much more specific moving forward,” explained Hurst. “We now need to treat the specific needs of customers with precise applications.”

It’s not your grandma’s wrinkle cream anymore. No longer do products only assure a reduction in lines and wrinkles, but the aim is also to offer an improvement of skin structure, an even skin, diminution of pigmentation disorders, and increase of elastin production, for a firmer, supple and healthier appearance of the skin.

Read more about Anti-Aging Solutions in the December 2013 issue of GCI magazine.


As the digital age collides with a DIY mentality, the at-home beauty devices market is pulsing with potential. Opportunities abound for expanding offerings and marketing products in a new way that capitalizes on the trend as consumers bring home everything from acne-treating blue light therapy to sonic cleansing and wrinkle-eliminating microcurrents.

The acquisition of Clarisonic has helped to increase consumer awareness regarding skin cleansing systems overall and indicates that major beauty companies are taking interest in beauty devices. L’Oréal’s purchase may inspire other acquisitions.

“Essentially, the global at-home beauty devices market is likely to see a greater tendency of mergers and acquisitions activity as large established marketers acquire smaller marketers to gain market share and intellectual capital in this relatively avant garde segment,” states market researcher Kline & Company. Acquisitions would allow for increased consumer awareness and interest, as it generally leads to more advertising support, increased distribution and lower price points.

Another growth opportunity exists for beauty marketers to partner with device manufacturers. This synergistic idea has been observed in Japan by Kline, and is well illustrated by Panasonic recommending Shiseido cosmetic products for use with its devices—as well as packing AquaLabel moisture lotion with Panasonic’s Ultrasonic Beauty Device. These ventures allow tech brands to enjoy the cachet and reach of established cosmetic brands while providing brand-enhancing, cutting-edge technology.

“The opportunity is in the combination of devices and consumables where they have a synergistic effect but not where there is a consumable purely for recurring revenue reasons,” said Peter Luebcke, senior technology consultant, consumer products, Sagentia Ltd. To be successful, there must be value added for both the brand and the device technology. “Each on their own has efficacy and user experience value, but together they have an effect greater than the sum of their parts,” he explained. “It’s a bit like saying 1 + 1 = 3.”

An example of such a synergy would be a device plus an active formulation where not only is the formulation dispensed onto the skin or hair but is also either activated by the device and/or delivered deeper in to have greater efficacy.

Read more about the potential of at-home beauty devices in the September 2013 issue of GCI magazine.

Celebrity Makeup Artists’ Must-Haves for Spring

Jo Candelaria

Makeup and Hair: Jo Candelaria
Photographer: George Favios
Model Sophie Warner / Vivian’s Sydney

The must-have products for the spring look, according to celebrity makeup artists KJ Bennett, two time Emmy® award winner for “Outstanding Achievement in Makeup;” Emily Katz; and Rachel Wood. Read more about spring makeup trends in the March 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Total Cover Cream
“Let’s face it, some days you need a little extra help, some days you don’t. Having a really great combination foundation/concealer will get you through both.” KJ Bennett

Whip Hand Cosmétiques
Set the Stage Makeup Primer
“The silica physically builds in fine lines that levels texture and diffuses light so you don’t need as much foundation or concealer.” KJ Bennett

Satin Primer
“Use stand alone or under foundation to create fresh, dewy skin for spring.” Rachel Wood

Becca Cosmetics
Shimmering Skin Perfector
“Everyone wants to have radiant skin. This perfecter gives all the gorgeous glow … without the gawdy glitter.” KJ Bennett

Estée Lauder
Midnight Blue Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil
“The Monaco blue type tone has a bit of shimmer.” Emily Katz

Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof
“A very light shimmered Linen-like color that is great on eyelids. Draw it thicker than a liner, smudge it up toward crease, use with a black liner winged out at the corner or with a matte deeper taupe shadow in crease and under eye.” Emily Katz

Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Cream Shadow in Blazing Gold
“You can apply it with your fingers and it has the most beautiful shimmer for a softer take on winter’s metallic smoky eye. Great for a night out.” Rachel Wood

Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Cream Shadow in Tiger Lily
“A rich shimmered nectarine color that works alone or as an accent.” Emily Katz

BADgal Lash Mascara
“Creates thick, flirty lashes which are always in season.” Rachel Wood

Senna Cosmetics
Face Sculpting Kit
“Contouring and highlighting your face has become a huge trend … and this kit comes with everything you need to do it like the pros (including a brush and instructions).” KJ Bennett

Orgasm Blush
“A warm but soft coral, pink shimmery blush that works on most complexions and as a highlight blush on darker skin.” Emily Katz

Aquaphor or Vaseline
“Massage into damp lips with a baby toothbrush to condition and exfoliate before applying balm.” KJ Bennett

Makeup Forever Professional
Aqua Lip in 01C, 03C, 07C
“Whatever the skin complexion color is, these nude colors help perfect the lip. These three look great on everyone and stay in place because they are waterproof.” KJ Bennett

Tom Ford Beauty
Lip Color, Pink Dusk
“Subtle, sex kitten flesh tone lips with a soft tone of matte pink is a great finish to a natural everyday makeup look.” Rachel Wood

Revolution Organics
All-Over Body Balm
“This lip and body balm has more than 22 uses!” KJ Bennett

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Lip Tars
“Just a tiny dab of these insanely pigmented creams create the ultimate long-lasting, demi-matte lip color … and they’re vegan.” KJ Bennett