This year there has been a lot of talk online about the colour nude. Or perhaps more accurately, the nude colour palette. The fashion industry has switched onto the fact that beige, which has widely been accepted as the universal nude shade until recently, no longer cuts it in a diverse society where one shade most certainly does not fit all women. Catering for a wider variety of skin tones is not only ethically responsible, it makes good economic sense. Brands and retailers could miss out on a portion of what is projected to be a $25.9bn market, according to an article by Jo Ellison in the Financial Times, simply because they don’t provide their product in a wide variety of colours.   

The modern nude diversity movement has been championed by recent projects such as The Nude Project by lingerie brand Heist Studios and an online petition to change the definition of ‘nude’ in the Oxford English Dictionary by clothing retailer Nünude. Both projects aim to challenge what the definition of a nude skin tone really means in today’s market. However, none of this recent activity in the fashion industry has been generated without the game-changing catalyst of a range of five (now seven) nude pumps by Christian Louboutin in 2014. In fact, the range proved so popular that three new nude ranges have been introduced by the brand. 

This shift in the fashion industry, identified by major trend forecasting sites such as WGSN, is having a trickle-down effect on the beauty industry due to its amplification through popular social media channels such as Instagram. A keen interest from previous generations who’ve put up with beige for too long, and millennials who demand nothing less than the correct shade for them, is great news for the personal care sector. A comprehensive nude palette is not a new concept to the sector; it’s something that the major cosmetic brands have been developing for many years. 

With this in mind, we asked our Business Development Manager, Kelly Shenton, about the latest nude diversity developments in the personal care sector.   

Do you think it’s important that your customers have access to ingredients that support a broader range of nudes? 

I understand just how difficult it can be to find a match for each unique skin tone. It’s important that brands can access ingredients that enable them to offer the consumer choice. Also, consistency is very important once the consumer’s perfect match has been found. 

On a wider scale, the increasing globalisation of fashion and beauty, facilitated by widespread access to social media, has brought the need for greater diversity in the nude colour palette to the forefront. This was evident in a recent collaboration between our strategic partner BASF C&E (Colours & Effects) and Pantone to produce colour trends for 2019. As you would expect, nude tones representative of each country are vastly different.  

On-trend looks should be accessible to everyone, regardless of skin tone. As sheer, illuminated and radiant makeup trends accelerate, it’s great to see that brands such as Mented, for example, are championing the trend for a wide range of skin tones. 

In many industries brands now have less power over directing seasonal looks. Do you think that a skin-tone-enhancing palette may become the new go-to for influencers? 

The concept of being the ‘best version of you’ is a strong theme in today’s market. It’s a trend that’s not going anywhere. It seems hard to believe now that the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ campaign was launched over ten years ago! I think there will always be a market for the fully-contoured selfie but most women, myself included, want a wearable, everyday look that doesn’t take too much time in a morning. Ultimately, a wide range of nudes is what’s required to create a natural look for all women.

Many of the BASF C&E 2019 colour trends focus on bringing out the best in a variety of skin tones. For example, the Enhanced Nudes concept for a supple and velvety smooth ‘second-skin’ effect or the Haven concept that takes a fresh and feminine approach to skin tones with light-infused pastel tones are both ideal for creating an ‘enhanced natural’ look. 

However, I think what will really resonate with influencers are the pigment ranges. Subtle, yet stunning, looks can be created with formulas incorporating new BASF Timica® Terra absorption effect pigments that create the perfect balance between coverage and lustre and Gemtone® Radiant Nude, a new to the market pigment driven by a multi-cultural palette. The effects of these pigments are demonstrated beautifully in British Beauty Blogger’s Vlog, which was mentioned in last month’s post

Do you think the current trend for a more natural look will impact demand for high-intensity colours in cosmetics?

A natural base is always likely to be popular for everyday wear. However, the ability to play around with exciting new colours and textures is a fundamental part of the appeal of cosmetics. We see our key strategic partners continuing to advance their ingredients to a level that continues have the ability to delight and surprise the end-user. Colour is an important way to express oneself, regardless of skin tone. And applying colour against a wonderfully natural, illuminating base takes it to another level completely. 

In summary…

It seems that the movement for greater diversity in the nude colour palette is well underway. Amplified by social media, the requirement for diverse nudes across sectors has appeared across footwear, apparel, lingerie and even sticking plasters, as this Cosmopolitan article clearly demonstrates. The care sector continues to lead the way by developing ingredients that further enhance an already diverse nude colour palette. All we can say is roll on 2019! We look forward to the next phase of exciting developments from our key strategic partners and will keep you updated. 

For more information on the distribution of ingredients for the personal care sector, please contact the Cornelius team today.