I’ve really tried to avoid Brexit because enough already, but The Body Shop are citing economic uncertainty as the reason they’re moving part of their distribution works to Germany. The Body Shop is now owned by Natura & Co after being sold by L’Oreal in 2017.

I hardly dare say it, but the Sephora-in-the-UK rumours are starting again, this time concerning a store opening in Manchester. Let’s just wait and see but I have to admit that I hardly care any more and it’s only going to be good if it’s the US model rather than the Europe model. Time has moved on and we have access to so many beauty brands from so many places BUT we still don’t really have a one-stop-beauty-shop model that works for everyone. The Manchester beauty scene is really hot so if it is true, it’s the right place for it.

Unilever is making a stand against on-line publishers (think Google, FB, etc) who don’t monitor their content well enough. Last year, the ad-budget giant threatened to remove their spend across platforms unless they cleaned up their act. What it means is that Unilever doesn’t want their ads to appear next to inappropriate content – FB and Google haven’t been vigilant enough in this respect. The Unilever Trusted Publisher program will vet all publishers before placing ad spend – best way to make meaningful change is to squeeze them where it hurts the most.

QVC is bring its own beauty brand to market with Carmindy (USA make-up artist – everyone loves her) Beauty. What’s interesting about this is that its being manufactured by the same company that makes for Christian Laboutin Beauty.

Bids are about to take place for Nestle’s consumer beauty arm (Cetaphil, Restylane, Differin, Sculptra, ProActive) thought to be worth in the region of $10 billion. L’Oreal dropped out of the race, but Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive still in the running.

Of all the things you thought could never happen in beauty, James Corden popping up in your bathroom to discuss your routine would probably rate very highly. But, SK-II, for reasons that we will never know I imagine, has tapped him for a web-series to ‘demystify’ skin care. I’m just more confused than ever to be honest.

Amazon has launched its own beauty line – Belei (I have to stop myself saying ‘belly’) with twelve skin care products. There’s a bigger story here about retailers having access to brand data that allows them to utilise that knowledge to make an own-brand as a competitor. If you’re Amazon, you can do as you please advertising wise and favour your own-brand to your heart’s content.

A make-up brand to look out for is Stonebrick – the south Korean brand is a bit Lego-looking in bright block colours, geometric design and stackable system. While we’re in a wash of pale pink, the products are standing out as markers for the next trend.

I completely forgot – several times – to flag up Chanel’s man make up – Chanel Boy Beauty. It launched in South Korea last year, has made its way to Hong Kong and features foundation, brow pencils and lip balms. Man make up is so popular in Asia that nobody gives it a second thought but it’s considered more niche elsewhere (not in my world I must say – I see it every day).

Boots has big plans to make over their beauty sections, moving away from counters and into zones with live demos. 25 branch beauty sections are having a re-haul and the retailer plans to bring 20 new brands on board. Personally, I think this will have a direct effect on M&S beauty – currently counter-less and in ‘zones’. M&S recently ended their contract with their beauty PR agency which I am guessing is for economic reasons. Like Boots, experiences of M&S beauty seems to depend on where you live. Mine, without exception, and I include central London as well as local branches, are always empty so I wonder if we will see some news on this in the not to distant future.

Trend word: Breathable Film-formers. A formulation that makes a physical but flexible film on the skin – think peelable beauty, mascara, long-stay lipsticks and smudge-proof liners. Hard to make them breathable.

Emerging Trend: Roll on SPF (currently mostly just for kids.. watch it make its way into your handbag).

Brands to Watch: Schaf, Hush & Hush.

Sources: beautyindependent.com. globalcosmeticsnews.com cosmeticbusiness.com  theindependent.com thedrum.com

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