John Lewis unveils inaugural Beauty Bets trend report for 2021

Department store John Lewis has outlined ten key trend predictions across skincare, make-up, hair, fragrance and wellness for the next 12 months in its first-ever Beauty Bets report.

The report takes a look back at beauty in 2020, while also combining customer insight with opinions from its beauty buyers, Amelia Kendrick, buyer for emerging beauty, Joe Coggrave, buyer for skincare and fragrance and Laurie Cilberto, buyer for make-up, on what trends will shape beauty in 2021.

“It’s something of an understatement to say that 2020 has been a big year for beauty,” explained John Lewis in the report. “In light of the global pandemic, we’ve seen customer behaviours alter, unexpected trends arise and innovation come to the forefront to cater to our shifting lifestyle.”

In 2020, John Lewis introduced 27 brands to its beauty roster, including Kate Somerville and Sunday Riley and launched two specialist hubs, the Tech Shop and the Wellness Edit in response to “the changing needs and lifestyles of our customers”.

In terms of what consumers were buying this year, John Lewis reveals that customers spent an average of 6.2 percent more per beauty item, and visit value also increasing by 6.6 percent as customers invested in more premium products.

Products including Vitamin C were up 248 percent year-on-year, while skincare, body and hair product jumped up by 234 percent, and multifunctional serums up by 168 percent.

Bestselling products included Olaplex, Chanel’s Soleil cream bronzer, Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, Creed Aventus Eau de Parfum, and Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex.

This year also saw the department store host its first-ever Virtual My John Lewis Beauty Weekend in July, featuring industry experts and 17 masterclasses. Tickets for the event sold out in 24 hours. and its second Virtual Beauty Weekend in October and saw more than 7,000 tickets sold.

John Lewis predicts 10 beauty trends for 2021

“Though the wider world may look a little uncertain over the next 12 months, what we can guarantee are many more exciting and innovative developments for John Lewis beauty,” added the retailer.

Beauty to become a “totally holistic experience”

For 2021, beauty will go 360, every product will need to make consumers both look good as well as feel good, explains John Lewis, as wellbeing becomes permanently part of the beauty journey. Products that promote and support inner beauty, sleep and relaxation will be key, with items such as plant-based supplements, sleep sprays, and CBD products expected to boom.

Amelia Kendrick, buyer for emerging beauty, said: “As we move into the new year, beauty takes on an increasingly holistic approach. With the pandemic ensuring physical and mental health will continue to be main priorities in 2021, we are seeing the consumer demand more from their beauty products; not only must they make you look good, they need to make you feel good too – It’s about the 360 experience.”

Make-up bags get smaller

2020 has seen a re-evaluation of priorities in beauty, with many consumers leading more of an at-home lifestyle, and John Lewis explains that overly complex make-up has become less of a focus as customers chose to allocate ‘me time’ to extended skincare routines instead. This, in turn, means that cosmetic bags will get smaller in 2021 and will instead contain what it calls “smart kits featuring hardworking essentials” such as a light base or tinted moisturiser, lip balm or tint, a glow-giving cheek product, and a lengthening, natural-look mascara.

Menopause will become mainstream in 2021

Historically a little-spoken-about topic, the next 12 months will see menopause brought into the spotlight adds John Lewis, as the conversation around it significantly increases and negative connotations are shaken off. In response to this, the department store is anticipating that the menopause beauty market will “significantly grow,” and will offer products to address wellness and cosmetic concerns, such as wellness-boosting supplements, cooling sprays and facial hair removers.

Hair wellness to become a priority

Historically haircare routines have consisted of a simple shampoo and condition, with the occasional hair mask, well, over the next 12 months it predicts that hair wellness will be “dialled up” and will become a key trend. Products that will do well will address customers biggest haircare concerns, such as products that thicken and replenish the hair, promote stronger and healthier hair, as well as deep clean scalps. Key brands will be Olaplex and Aveda.

The unfiltered face

While the trend for ‘flawless’ complexions that appear as poreless and smooth as an Instagram filter has dominated the past few years, 2021 will move towards a more natural look, in response to customers desire for quicker, low-maintenance make-up routines. John Lewis predicts that formulas will develop to include skin benefitting ingredients to enhance the appearance of a natural complexion.

Estée Lauder will lead the charge with the new Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturising Make-up, which features probiotic technology, Ion-charged water complex and chia-seed extract to hydrate, plump and even skin tone. In addition, the pristine Insta-brow will be replaced by a fluffier, bushier look, with the Benefit Brow Microfiling Pen, which mimics natural hair growth to create the illusion of full, natural brows, expected to be a big seller for 2021.

Home fragrance zoning will boom

With many consumers’ homes becoming not just living spaces but also offices, gyms, schools and restaurants, home fragrances are going to be an important category into next year. John Lewis is stating that customers will take inspiration from the idea of a perfume wardrobe and will adopt fragrance zoning to create moments and moods throughout the at-home day.

2021 the time to educate and experiment with beauty

John Lewis is claiming that the beauty hall will be a key retail driver next year as customers look to discover new brands, trial out textures, test colours and sample scents to find their next beauty favourite. While current restrictions in shops have meant that the traditional mode of testing is, in many cases, no longer possible, the beauty industry has adapted through beauty boxes, discovery sets, travel miniatures and virtual eventing and this will continue into 2021.

“Buy fewer, buy better”

The beauty mantra for 2021 will be “buy fewer, buy better” explains John Lewis, as customers look to buy purchase more responsible and sustainably. The department store is predicting that customers will purchase a reduced amount of products, however, those they do add to their baskets will have a higher price point as they opt for premium quality products that last and perform.

Skincare gets serious

The UK skincare market is booming and by 2024 it is estimated to be worth 18.47 billion pounds, with an average yearly growth of 5.2 percent between 2019-2024 (Mordor Intelligence). With an estimated 30 percent market share in 2020 (NPD), this sector is particularly strong for John Lewis.

Over the next 12 months, John Lewis is predicting that “powerful and proven performative skincare” will dominate as customers reach for high-performing products from both heritage and discovery brands that offer visible results. Ingredients will be at the forefront, with Vitamin A and C in high demand. Key brands for the department store will be Clarins, Clinique and Estée Lauder, brands that saw a significant uptick during lockdown as customers reached for those tried and tested products they know deliver. There will also be growth in skincare gadgets from anti-ageing LED masks to sculpting devices.

The rise of the everyday ritual

The everyday will get extra-special over the next 12 months as bath and shower time is transformed into a pampering self-care ritual. Customers will replace basics with luxurious soaps, shower creams, scrubs and lotions as they look for achievable ways to indulge and unwind. John Lewis has already seen a huge surge in customer demand for bath and body gift sets from brands including Diptyque, Le Labo, Molton Brown, Rituals and L’Occitane.

Image: courtesy of John Lewis

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