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Beauty in 2020: Did the Industry Change Forever?

We’re almost there! When I launched this video series in January 2020, I promised to share my ideas, and observations, and insights into the business of cosmetics and personal care with you. And I promised to discover the future of beauty right alongside you.

Of course, we weren’t able to be side-by-side as we have been in years past. But we certainly have learned a lot about the power and potential of this industry and we’ve learned about where we as an industry fall short too.

In-person tradeshows and awards and events and luncheons and coffee meetings will all return in some form or fashion before long. Maybe not soon enough, but soon. And we’ll be back to learning about the business of beauty together.

But right now, 2020 has a tremendous potential to be remembered as a pivotal year for beauty.

Is This the Black Lives Matter Effect or Lasting Change?

In 5 years or 10 years or longer, I wonder, will 2020 be remembered as the moment when textured hair care and beauty by and for Black people hit its stride in the so-called mainstream marketplace? Or will this be a mere blip on an otherwise Eurocentric industry graph?

Will we look back at 2020 as the year when global marketing research powerhouse Nielsen welcomed SSI and that firm’s Founder Romina Brown as a Connect Partner, forever changing the relevance and magnitude of the data behind consumer packaged goods in and beyond beauty?

Will this be the moment when, thanks to Aurora James and the 15% pledge, that beauty retail stopped giving preference to brands led by white men, major multinationals, women of privilege, and investment firms and really began giving Black-owned brands the shelf space they full-well deserve?

Are investments like the one J&J made in a hair care brand for active Women of Color called Sunday II Sunday the beginning of an industry-wide sea change or just a clever bet in an uncertain market?

Are Indigenous People Gaining Ground in the Beauty Industry?

Will 2020 be remembered as the year when beauty began to truly value the land and wisdom and business ventures of Indigenous peoples?

Will the fact that Cheekbone Beauty made the Glossy 50 list in 2020, or the fact that, that brand’s Founder Jen Harper was named One To Watch at the 2020 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards be the start of meaningful change?

Will the launch of startup ingredient supplier Organic Bioactives and that company’s reliance on traditional Mauri harvesting practices to source New Zealand Red Algae for its sophisticated natural skincare actives make a real difference?

How Important is the Vitality and Leadership of Women in Beauty?

Is 2020 the year when Menopause Beauty emerged as a soon-to-be popular and lucrative category? As the year when the industry fully decided to start seeing and serving the needs and expectations of women over 40?

Will 2020 be remembered as the year when gender parity began to be possible and new CEOs like Sue Y. Nabi at Coty, Annie Young-Scrivner at Wella, JuE Wong at Olaplex, Cara Sabin at Sundial Brands, Kristi Hubbard at Younique, Linda Rendle at Clorox (the company that owns Burts Bees) …is this the year when women CEOs aren’t placed strategically on a glass cliff but instead appreciated as the leaders we need to move the cosmetics and personal care industry forward?

Will the year when Natura &Co set a deadline to achieve 50% women in leadership and when women became the majority on Coty’s Board of Directors be a wistful irregularity or a tipping point for the executive makeup of this industry?

What about the Future of Work and the Future of Beauty after 2020?

Will it matter in the years ahead that in 2020 numerous brands and corporations paused business as usual long enough to hire or promote diversity and inclusion experts?

Will the fact that digital tools and high-tech solutions were used to inspire real connections, to facilitate meaningful communications, and to support creativity in 2020 be the start of lasting change?

Will the pre-competitive alliances forged this year to get ingredients and packaging and the resulting donations of soap and hand sanitizer to the front-lines of the virus crisis last beyond year’s end?

Can the Heartache and Hope of 2020 Help the Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry Advance?

I am hopeful that all we have lost in 2020 is not truly gone and that all we have gained this year will not be lost in the months and years ahead.

This year has been a unique opportunity to realize what is essential and to appreciate the human spirit whenever and however it shows up.

My heart goes out to you if you have experienced personal loss this year. And I think we can all benefit by taking a moment to acknowledge the global trauma and turmoil that we are still living through.

When we look at the headlines, and reflect on how we’ve spent our time and our energy this year, 2020 may still look quite daunting.

Yes; what a year this has been.

But we’re almost there! Soon it will be 2021. We have made it this far. Just imagine what we can accomplish—what we will accomplish—in the New Year.

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this DUviews item was originally posted to LinkedIn and now appears on


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