Millennials and Beauty

Millennials are probably the most talked about generation out there. There are studies that follow their spending habits, the way they’re changing the map of the corporate world, how large an impact they’re making on the fashion industry, and of course, the inevitable, the relationship members of the millennial generation have with beauty, skincare and everything related to it. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are one of the fastest growing populations, one that will outnumber the baby boomers by the year 2019. Now, when you add their tech-savvy, a knack for innovation, awareness, and care for matters of social, political, gender and environmental issues, you get a generation that is a true force to be reckoned with, and the way they’re affecting and changing the beauty game is not something that should be taken lightly. They have a powerful voice, strong convictions and a power to bring change to every aspect of life, including beauty.

The fight for equal representation

One of the ‘hot potato’ topics that haven’t only been huge on YouTube and Instagram but has even made it into such prominent magazines as Elle, is the issue of inclusion in the beauty world. The fact is, millennial women are sick and tired of the lack of inclusivity, not only when it comes to beauty campaigns but also the diversity of products that are on offer. One of the latest brands to feel the ‘millennial heat’ is Tarte Cosmetics over the release of their new Shape Tape Foundation. Beauty gurus of all colors deemed the selection shameful, as it appeared to cater only to those with pale to medium skin and taking little to no time to develop suitable foundation shades for women of color. The most positive thing to come out of it all is the fact that women of all colors formed a united front and even those beauty gurus who did find their ‘perfect match’ refused to even test the product as it wasn’t representative of all. This is why companies such as Fenty Beauty have earned quite the positive reputation, having released no less than 40 shades for all different skin tones and even undertones. Millennial women are calling out all the other companies for their lack of inclusivity, and positive strides have already been made, but we still have a long way to go.

A tough customer 

Being so tech-savvy makes your typical millennial consumer a tough customer. They might not have the sufficient means to lead overall luxurious lives, but they’re not afraid of spending their hard-earned money on quality beauty products – because you need at least small luxuries in your life. Having said that, when it comes to committing to purchasing a product, they won’t be swayed by advertisements. No, this generation is using their devices to check out numerous reviews from peers and beauty influencers they trust, they compare products and make sure they’re getting great value for money. A recent poll has found that the number of people who would reach for their smartphones for a quick check on a product’s reputation or price comparison, rather than ask the salesperson, has reached 58 percent. They have apps that help them get coupons, scout the best deals, and they even use apps like Mind-Beauty to book spa treatments and facials – because booking over the phone is so passé. The digital age has made everything more accessible, and this generation is using all the perks that it has to offer. So, beauty companies, make sure your products and services are high-quality and live up to their claims, because once a millennial bashes your products, it is going down.

Brand loyalty

This is a tricky field as there is no conclusive evidence to provide a definite answer to whether millennials nurture or don’t nurture brand loyalty. On the one hand, given their pursuit of inclusivity and desires for vegan and cruelty-free makeup with a proud history, they will stick with brands that they feel share their values. However, the pricing also plays a major role in the loyalty arena so if, for instance, there are two companies with similar products and are both, let’s say, vegan, cruelty-free or even completely organic, your average millennial will be tempted by a company that offers the same product at a better price. Of course, being a tough customer also means that the price isn’t the only thing that will keep them loyal. There is also the little matter of customer service. Whether they’re physically present at Sephora, Ulta or browsing for products on their websites, they want that personalized touch that shows that you, as a brand, care. They’ll expect free samples, the ability to test out a product before buying it and someone who will help them find the best possible product for them – for instance, the perfect foundation shade.

This generation knows what it wants from beauty, and they want it now. The industry is adapting to these demands because they absolutely have to cater to new beauty needs in order to survive.
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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