Beauty News

The Future Forecast: Our Top Three Trends For 2023

dark skinned model with gold eyeshadow

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ‘trends’ are redundant – with TikTok creating a fresh beauty buzzword each minute (or so it seems), it’s easy to feel that you blink and you miss it. We’re now long beyond the biannual cycle of catwalks dictating the terms, and with new beauty ‘moments’ emerging (and vanishing) faster than you can say “Next!”, it’s tough to find something to act upon.

The concept of ‘trends’ is evolving from micro to macro – we’re talking ‘overarching themes’ instead of granular, prescriptive rules – and this shift is engendering greater creative expression, as well as a slower, sustainable mindset that safeguards the planet while celebrating you, the individual. And so with this in mind, we’ve cherry-picked the ‘themes’ that we’re predicting major things for – from next-gen ‘natural’ to scent as a {supplement}; shade-shifting {hair dye} to tech-focused formulas…


As the climate crisis reaches fever pitch and pressure is applied to brands – as well as consumers – to buy less and buy better, developers are finding ways to harness nature’s larder while protecting and preserving our resources. Synthetics are shedding their stigma, with engineers blurring the lines between ‘lab-derived’ and ‘natural’ – growing and nurturing extracts that mimic those found in the wild in an effort to safeguard supply and alleviate planetary pressures (think: vertical farming).

Suspicion of science (for several years seen as the ‘bad’ to green’s ‘good’) is waning as we become ever more eager to care for ourselves while respecting the globe – and we are now seeing a swathe of innovation in this cutting-edge arena. Biotechnology, and its capacity to lessen our ecological burden, is rebranding the concept of ‘man-made’ and, as we are forced to face up to the dwindling numbers (and potential extinction) of plant and animal life, we’re rethinking our former commitment to ‘clean’ and pursuing lab-centric alternatives. It’s all about making conscious choices and re-examining what we feel comfortable with but, expect to see more product ‘hybrids’ that marry the best, clinically proven natural and synthetic ingredients to guarantee efficacy, safety and sustainability.


Beauty has matured beyond a means of ‘looking better’ – for a long time it’s been a lot more than a topical concept – and although we have already witnessed an increase in products that straddle the lines between beauty and health, this cross-pollination shows no signs of slowing. We’ve taken supplements, we’ve embraced meditation, we’ve filled our homes with crystals…. but beauty is becoming much more all-encompassing, with brands exploring ways to engage all five senses on their quest to help us feel our best.

In a time when the world is still reeling in the wake of the pandemic while confronting fresh uncertainties (climate fears, a cost-of-living crisis and political instability, to name a few), self care has taken on greater significance. We’re feathering our nests and making ever greater efforts to recharge and safeguard our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. {The Nue Co.}- always at the forefront when it comes to innovation in the realm of beauty health – are changing the face of {fragrance} by launching the concept of scent as a {supplement}. With stress and anxiety increasingly prolific amongst Millennials and Gen Z, perfumers are capitalising on the scope of scent to influence our outlook. And it doesn’t end with scent; texture, tactility, craftsmanship, ethics and even sound (some brands are compiling soundtracks to enhance your beauty rituals) – all need to allude to this new sensibility.

two the nue co products one on top of the other being held by a hand


Futurism, science fiction and immersive virtual reality are fast becoming fixtures of the present and their influence is permeating everything – which now includes the beautysphere. With increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence (we’ve seen avatars gaining a staggering following (and subsequently being ‘cancelled’ for their controversial output)), and NFTs creating a new space for beauty to dominate (think: crypto cosmetics), the metaverse is where it’s at and brands are innovating in accordance.

For many Gen Zers, platforms like MyScene and Stardoll have granted the scope for a trip down make up memory lane, with avatars frequently seen rocking {glittery shadow} and baby pink {lipstick}, while big names like NARS and Charlotte TIlbury are already dipping their make up brushes in the ‘metaverse water’ with NFTs and a ‘virtual wonderland’ complete with volumetric avatars.

This digital immersion has been burgeoning for years – many users now shop for {foundation} online thanks to accurate colour-matching technology – but the limitless scope for innovation is triggering exhilarating new developments that straddle both make up and tech. Brands like The Unseen Beauty are marrying make up with cutting-edge science, art and design to encourage an entirely new wave of experimentation: harnessing never-before-seen technology, the brand’s Colour Alchemic holographic {hair colour} adapts to changes in light and temperature to reveal a mesmerising shift… and this is the tip of iceberg as brands look for new ways to speak to this tech-obsessed age and make waves in an ever more ‘virtual’ world. Watch this space!

Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…