Trends are a reflection of our time, but they can also signal a fresh start—especially when it comes to the beauty industry. In honor of a welcome New Year ahead, we tapped a stable of beauty world heavy-hitters to help us sift through fleeting fads and pinpoint their best bets for 2024 beauty trend predictions.
While compiling the following beauty trends, we noticed that most fell into the skincare realm (a reaction to a consumer shift toward serums and moisturizers over makeup), and often speak to the sophistication of today’s buyer. The market may feel saturated, but skincare lovers are more educated than ever. They’re seeking out what actually works for them and are understanding the science as to why.
It’s an exciting, innovative time in the beauty world. The following 2024 beauty trend predictions feel like a hopeful response to that fact.
Featured image from our interview with Mary Ralph.
Quiet Luxury, The Beauty Edition
“The rise of ‘quiet luxury’ we saw come to the forefront of consumer consciousness in early fall ’23 is here to stay. A term initially coined for fashion—timeless, understated pieces that look expensive due to their high-quality materials—will influence the beauty industry as consumers seek effective, high-quality products that are both sophisticated and simple. (This doesn’t mean a steep price tag!)” — Monique Meneses, a 15-year former beauty brand consultant and founder of IOTA
“In 2024 I’m pretty sure we’ll continue to see the rise of the functional fragrance movement as the next big perfume trend—where fragrance isn’t just about smelling good but is scientifically designed to be a powerful catalyst for mental well-being. I think we’ll see more scents that help with stress reduction and mood enhancement, ushering in a new era where fragrance not only awakens the senses but also contributes to a balanced mind and body.” — Rosie Johnston, Founder/CEO of By/Rosie Jane.
“People are looking for a much more “natural” look now, particularly the younger generation. They are less interested in that “high cheek contour” and “extra full” lips—prejuvenation is much more popular. The trend is moving to less filters and less makeup, with more focus on skincare and anti-aging.” — SkinSpirit Physician’s Assistant Kristin Polega
Polega does recommend dermal fillers for that rejuvenated look, but not just any kind.
“I love Sculptra Aesthetic because we remove the “shock factor” that some people feel with filler. It provides a gradual build-up over time, so the results are subtle yet impressive when comparing photos.”
Scalp Care is Here to Stay
“Throughout 2023 we saw a comparison drawn between scalp care and skincare. As many companies move into the space and capitalize on the trend, our job as stylists is to further learn and educate clients about what we think are the most effective solutions available.” — Jay Small, Celebrity Hairstylist and Co-Founder of Arey
Regardless of hair texture, density, or style preference, Small recommends two things when treating the scalp at home.
- Ditch the added fragrance in scalp serums. “Scent is more for the experience and less about the health of your scalp,” Small explains. “I would also look for a water-based formula that is free of oil—preferably one that is backed by research and science.”
- Look for gentle products. “Scalp scrub doesn’t have to literally scrub your scalp!” Small adds. “The most common causes of buildup on the scalp are oil and dead skin cells. Using a product that is less abrasive and contains ingredients that target that build up is key.”
“When formulating Scrub, we wanted to focus on the most effective ingredients to cleanse the scalp, so we chose salicylic, glycolic and lactic acid, which gently remove buildup and won’t irritate the scalp,” says Arey founder Jay Small.
The Skincare-ification of Nails
“2023 was a big, bling-filled nail year where studded talons and metallics prevailed, but I predict that 2024 nail trends will be dialed down with more of an emphasis on flaunting the underlying healthy nail, à la the no-makeup-makeup looks that have prevailed.” — Dr. Dana Stern, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Dr. Dana
For reference, Dr. Stern nods to fashion: “Helmut Lang’s spring/summer show models wore sans-serif typeface nails, which have a minimalist tattoo-like vibe. Jin Soon created a similarly chic, understated yet edgy look for Jason Wu’s show where black dots and lines were used over a clear base, again flaunting the underlying healthy, well-cared-for nail. Also, Holly Falcone created a clean, but playful and somewhat fanciful look for Sandy Liang’s 2024 runway show where nails were painted with an almost translucent pearly base and accented with satin bows and delicate gems, again flaunting the underlying clean, healthy nail.”
The Rise of the Trichologist
“A trichologist is a professional that studies the hair and scalp. Often we don’t know who to turn to for matters of scalp health—is it our dermatologist or our hairstylist? A trichologist bridges the gap between both, helping to diagnose and advise on everything from dandruff, hair loss, damaged hair strands, and overexposure to chemicals or styling. More and more I am speaking with hairstylists that are getting certified in trichology.” Jay Small, Celebrity Hairstylist and Co-Founder of Arey
Less Sameness on the Shelves
“Given the oversaturation in the market and overflowing shelves, as well as economic pressures across the board, I believe customers will invest in brands that are truly innovating with a clear point of difference that goes beyond trendy marketing. The last few years have seen a lot of ‘sameness’ on the shelves and I think we’ll start to see that fizzle in the spirit of focus and customer-led innovation.” — Stephanie DiPisa, CEO + Founder of Solara Suncare
“The mind-skin-gut connection will inspire more brands to highlight how comprehensive well-being and physical appearance are interconnected as the lines between wellness and beauty become even more blurred.” — Monique Meneses, a 15-year former beauty brand consultant and founder of IOTA
“I love what founder Yasmin Sewell is doing with the first healing perfume brand, Vyrao,” says Meneses. “Each aroma is specifically blended to encourage positive feelings for the wearer and even better, each is powered by a Herkimer crystal, known for its healing properties, which is charged by energy worker Louise Mita in Hawaii.”
“It’s like the healthiest matcha mousse dessert for skin with 16 vitamins and minerals from superfoods like matcha, rambutan, snow mushroom, caffeine, and face-grade actives like niacinamide,” notes Meneses. “It helps firm your body but also benefits your overall health.”
“I think consumers will be moving past some of the latest social media-driven ingredients or marketing trends in a return to craving more science-backed, high-performing ingredients. Brands that take that seriously and remain transparent and focused in their expertise will continue to thrive.” — Stephanie DiPisa, CEO + Founder of Solara Suncare