MILAN – There is not too much beauty.
As the industry questions whether the global beauty market has reached saturation point, a new wave of independent brands is on the rise in Italy, a country known for its strong supply chain and major cosmetic manufacturers. rather than for its successful labels.
But as the pandemic accelerated the digitalization of the market and local consumers became more familiar with online shopping, a new generation of entrepreneurs saw the endless shelves of the digital world as an opportunity to compete and ultimately , to try to change the paradigm that categorizes Italian beauty. players take roles behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight.
According to the most recent projections published by Cosmetica Italia, the country’s beauty market is expected to register an 8.5% increase in revenue to 10.6 billion euros for 2021, as all distribution channels have shown signs of recovery last year. Online sales are expected to register the strongest growth with an increase of 29.7%. Although in value, online sales still represent a marginal slice – to the tune of 900 million euros – there remains significant growth potential on this channel.
In recent years, some digital native brands have already grasped this potential and have taken advantage of the disruption caused by the pandemic to grow. Examples ranged from Skin Labo and Shampora, which expanded into new markets last year with their accessible skin care offering and customizable hair care products, respectively, to body care brand Veralab launched by social personality Cristina Fogazzi in 2015. Veralab has grown exponentially during the pandemic. , almost doubling its 2019 turnover to reach 55 million euros in 2020, allowing Fogazzi to complete e-commerce with physical stores in Milan and Rome, to boost the distribution of the Rinascente department store and the corners of the Pinalli perfume chain, as well as launching into pharmacies last year.
As Zago Cosmetics continued to develop its core niche of under-makeup products, new brands targeting consumer lifestyles rather than specific conditions were introduced in the last quarter, including Sinesia and Syster Beauty.
One of the first in Italy to anticipate the need for a quick and simple beauty routine, Espressoh remains one of the most convincing examples in the independent segment. The Instagram-friendly makeup brand that Chiara Cascella launched in 2018 has become a favorite among millennial shoppers for its focused assortment, engaging visuals, engaging communication and smart marketing campaigns, ranging from temporary stores set up in Newsstands to collaborations with independent artists and galleries. .
While gradually expanding its assortment and footprint with partnerships, such as with Sephora in Asia, Espressoh has also stood out for its community development – a skill that other players, especially in skin care, are increasingly hoping for. no longer master in 2022.
Natural and vegan skin care brand, Honieh was founded by local fashion influencer Erika Boldrin in 2019 after converting to a healthy vegan lifestyle. Between 19 euros and 46 euros, the assortment includes a cleansing foam, a face cream, a multi-tasking oil, as well as three types of masks and serums. All formulations are certified by the AIAB association which guarantees that the ingredients come from natural sources, are respectful of the environment and that the use of chemical processes is limited.
Over the past year, Honieh has started going into brick and mortar with a pop-up store at the Rinascente annex and a corner at Modes.
Also focused on essential skin care products and featuring recent pop-ups at Milan’s Annex and T Fondaco dei Tedeschi department stores in Venice, Adesso is an Italian brand with a French twist – a blend that results from the fact that three sisters behind the company live between the two countries.
Enrica, Mariolina and Cecilia Sangalli wanted beauty solutions suited to their active lifestyle. Hence the brand’s name, which translates to ânowâ in English, and its emphasis on the holy trinity of healthy skin: cleansing, protection and hydration. Priced between 20 euros and 35 euros, the products are leave-in to limit water consumption and include the rebalancing micellar cleansing gel, the multiprotective face mask and the repairing face cream.
Officially launched six months ago, Lieve also promotes a simple, gentle approach to skin care through clean, seasonal formulas containing over 95 percent natural, fragrance-free ingredients. Highlights include Sudden Light Multivitamin Serum and Haruhana Serum, which features hydrating sakura blossom extract, plumping hyaluronic acid, and tissue elasticity boosting collagen. The brand’s prices range from 28 euros to 42 euros.
In line with this streamlined attitude to skin care, new brands are also focusing on specific segments. Take, for example, Darling, the Alberto Giacobazzi and Ilenia Gebennini sun care brand launched in 2018 with a mission to make SPF products cooler to raise awareness of the importance of skin protection, especially among young consumers.
Hence the recyclable packaging in pastel tones and the eye-catching visuals that complement the brand’s Made in Italy formulations rich in vitamin E, aloe vera and jojoba oil. Offering medium and high protection lotions, a face cream, an after-sun and a tan activator between 29 euros and 41 euros, the brand is available in 19 countries in a selection of independent shops as well as in flagship brands. like Liberty and Galeries Lafayette. , in addition to its e-commerce.
Rather, Permano focuses on improving the hand care experience. Founded by a pool of young entrepreneurs from different sectors, the brand intends to transform everyday actions into attractive and sustainable experiences.
Launched with hydrating and scented hand sanitizer sprays, the line has expanded to include bar soaps, liquid soaps and rich hand creams, presented in recyclable aluminum packaging and certified paper. FSC. With prices ranging from 10 euros to 29 euros, the brand also offers charging formats.
Another strategy is to base a brand on a key ingredient. For Imersa, the skin care brand of Martina Gamboni and Stefano Lorenzoni, it is sericin, a silk protein included in all products that aims to offer a long-lasting moisturizing effect as well as protective and elasticizing properties. .
One of the flagship products of the range is the Silk Cocoons scrub based on sericin and fibroin, another natural silk protein with a rough surface that improves skin exfoliation. Each cocoon in the jar should be immersed in lukewarm water before being glued to a finger and used to massage the face in circular motions.
Iuva’s formulations are based on Barbera grape marc from a vineyard in Monferrato, in the Piedmont region. These by-products of the winemaking process are reused in a concise skin care line in a process that also limits waste and promotes a positive impact on the environment. Sold online from 17 euros to around 35 euros, the range includes a mask and a scrub as well as an anti-aging cream and a booster.
Beauty Thinkers follows a similar path but rooted in centuries-old olive trees cultivated in the hills of Umbria. Launched three months ago by former global director general of Tod’s Claudio Castiglioni, the brand offers scientific formulations based on hydroxytyrosol, an antioxidant derived from the by-products of olive oil production.
After research supported by the University of Ferrara and its spin-off Ambrosialab on the extraction technology and the performance of the formula, the brand launched the Antioxidant Boost face oil and the Antioxidant Cream moisturizer, available in refillable packaging. at 58 euros and 88 euros, respectively.
Also deeply rooted in science, Aeqium raises awareness of the correlation between radiant skin and overall health by offering dermocosmetics and nutraceuticals aimed at working in synergy. Priced between 70 euros and 165 euros, the brand, founded by Francesco and Nicola Balestrieri and Alla Reitsma, includes cleansers and creams for the face and body as well as two types of supplements aimed at purifying the body and improving the skin regeneration process from the inside.