What is the ultimate secret ingredient that goes into making a truly covetable beauty product? Turns out that it isn’t just the formula within the tube or pot that makes the magic – it’s the product design and packaging itself.
That might not be as much of a secret as it might first appear, especially if you cast your mind back to the last time your attention was captured by the sight of a beautiful compact or fragrance flacon.
In fact, while it’s discussed a lot less than the latest trending ingredients, there’s actually a whole intricate design process (and full teams) behind the perfect click of a lipstick lid, weighted close of a makeup palette, and the sound of a luxe hairdryer. After all, beauty products are specifically designed to invite you to come look a little closer.
But, now more than ever, beauty product design is going through a transformative process – powered by the growing eco-consciousness of society. In luxury beauty especially, there’s increasing demand for packaging that is both lavish and sustainable, meaning that the traditional flimsy, lightweight and non-durable planet-friendly options (for a long time, the only possibility available to brands) has had a shake-up.
Increasingly, your favourite luxury beauty brands are delivering dressing table-worthy essentials, across fragrance, makeup, haircare, and skincare, which will satisfy your inner magpie and tick all the right sustainability boxes too.
Read on to discover how the luxury art of beauty design is reshaping our eco-conscious beauty bags.
It's long been the norm for luxury fashion brands to launch beauty collections that are designed specifically to grab your attention – that's why you'll often find yourself wanting to get them out of your cosmetics case to showcase to your friends. But, when Prada Beauty launched earlier this year, it went one step further – the eye-catching art deco-inspired packaging is not only collectible, it's also easily refillable, effortlessly increasing your beauty regime's eco-credentials without compromising on style.
Did you know that there are numerous rooms at Dyson's head testing lab just dedicated to getting the pitch of the sound emitted from its hair tools just right? Or that there's a whole team of colour scientists tasked with finding the very best combination of hues for its products, including this Blue Blush edition with its ultra-matte finish for Christmas? It's true, but its also all accomplished in a factory powered by 100% renewable energy and a host of other innovative sustainability initiatives.
With the Chanel 31 Le Rouge lipstick collection, product designer Sylvie Legastelois (the silent force behind the iconic shapes of all Chanel products) really broke the mold. The first lipstick packaging to be made entirely from glass and metal, it still retains that all-important luxury click when you close and open it. As Legastelois explains: "It was obvious to Chanel that the creation of a new lipstick should reflect the values of our time…It is in line with our approach to eco-responsibility and ultimate luxury. A precious, long-lasting object that can be kept and passed on."
Dior has an innate ability to make its jars of creams decorative objects of desire, turning your skincare routine into an act of self-care. The weight of the glass itself, the lid is large, embossed and twists off smoothly, with a large opening to reveal the thick, cossetting creams within. No wonder this nourishing cream is the top of beauty insider's winter shopping lists, and that includes eco-conscious experts, as the dressing table-worthy jar is refillable, and made from recycled and recyclable materials.
La Bouche Rouge is perhaps best known for throwing down the gauntlet to makeup brands when it came to its chic refillable eyeshadows and powders – in essence, the brand's products weren't just cased in flimsy, quick-to-become-dirty packaging. But it is the range of upcycled fragrances, housed in refillable recyclable aluminium tubes, complete with chic leather outcut jackets, that has seen the French brand continue to lead in innovatation.
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Lead image credit: Chanel