Shifts and movements in Beauty as dictated by Gen Z

If you want to make it big in beauty tech, you should already have your eyes set on Generation Z.
 Generation Z, generally classified as people born after 2000, is set to surpass millennials as the most populous generation by next year. According to a Bloomberg research, Gen Z will comprise an estimated 32% or almost 1/3 of the 7.7 billion global population.
 So while millennials have driven the creation of new business models and tech products in recent years, Gen Z is now beginning to take the spotlight in start-ups in Silicon Valley.
 At the BeautyTechSF meet-up held last September 25 in San Francisco, it was clear that companies in the beauty tech industry are making this shift not just in brand marketing but down to the core of product development.

Joel Palix, CEO of Feelunique, says the top-down approach has now been reversed. 
 The wealth of information, thoughts, and opinions expressed by the Gen Z and millennial generations on social media allows companies to understand, connect, and create new products and platforms that respond to the needs and desires of this market. 
 Quick and live

 BeautytechSF panelist Calgary Avansino cannot emphasize the importance of having two-way communication with consumers enough. 
 She recalls her previous work as British Vogue Editor when it took about three months before the magazine touched the readers’ eyes.
 So she created an app that connects users with beauty influencers and the products they care about in an interactive and engaging live stream experience called Glamcam
 Gen Zers and millennials love to watch videos of their favorite influencers apply make-up or take advice on beauty product they’d like to buy on different social media platforms. What’s great with Glamcam, users can ask questions and interact with their idols in real time.
 Values that drive change
 Aside from digitization, perhaps the most outstanding path forged by millennials and Gen Zers’ to the beauty industry is the “clean beauty” movement.
 Because they are more likely to patronize and consume natural and organic products, industry giants were compelled to change their practices, goods, and products into more sustainable, locally-driven and green ones.
 “Clean beauty” has now been mainstreamed globally and not just reserved for artisanal, local, and independent brands.

Promoting inclusion and embracing diversity are also getting the spotlight in the beauty tech world.
 At the panel, Allure Systems CEO Gabrielle Chou talked about their computer vision technology which can generate pictures of different models wearing the same item. The more relatable the model is, no matter what physique, size or race, the more likely the purchase. 
 This use of “mixed reality” in fashion saves companies the high costs of hiring models and producing fashion shoots. But more importantly, this challenges the conventional concept of beauty that is thin, blond, white, and blue-eyed. “Mixed reality” can be a powerful tool that proves beauty is found everywhere — in every race, color, gender, and size.
 Pinterest is also working on this. A new function was introduced in the platform last April which sorts beauty-related search results based on skin tone. 
 In today’s world where everyone is more connected and at the same time, more siloed than ever, creating similar functions in tech platforms or apps that embrace diversity and promote tolerance will be the next movement the beauty and fashion world will trudge on.

Text: Christine Roque 
 Original text (Japanese): Yuka Oishi