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Fashion and beauty matter. To society, the economy, and to each of us personally. Faster than anything else, what we wear tells the story of who we are – or who we want to be.

However, fashion and beauty are often seen as vain, frivolous, and unimportant industries. Many people fail to appreciate just how important and wide-reaching it really is. Globally, the beauty industry is worth around $511 billion, while the fashion industry is valued at $3 trillion. It’s one of the biggest worldwide economic activities for the intensity of trade – employing over 57 million workers in developing countries, 80% of whom are women.

If you’re interested in learning more about the fashion and beauty industries, keep reading! 

What is the Fashion and Beauty Industry?

The fashion and beauty industry encompasses range of sectors, including art and design, management, sales, media and communications, and personal care and service, to name a few.

Specifically, the fashion industry includes many different smaller, and more niche industries. Usually, people think of it as just design houses and brands, retail/online stores, and fashion magazines. However, there are other craftspeople and industries in the manufacturing of clothes. Most obviously, there are those that make and sell fabric and notions, but there are also embroiders, seamstresses/tailors, flower makers, and many others.

When it comes to fashion shows and fashion marketing there are stylists, models, model agents, make-up artists, hairstylists, photographers, and a host of other non-fashion businesses that all make up a larger fashion eco-system.

The beauty industry is also quite broad: it includes both services (such as barbers, hairdressers, make-up artists, etc.) as well as beauty products, such as skincare, color cosmetics, fragrances, haircare, and personal care, to name a few. 

How Does Fashion Affect Beauty?

“Makeup is an accessory to fashion. You buy a bag, you buy shoes, you put on eyeliner, you buy a lipstick, makeup compliments the clothes.” –  François Nars, Founder of Nars Cosmetics 

The fashion industry is one that’s characterized by glitz, glamour, and everything in between. It is one that sets the pace for trends and largely determines how we define beauty.

However, apart from the clothes and accessories that come to mind when we think of fashion, other aspects make fashion what it is today – and one of them is beauty and makeup. For most women, makeup is what completes their dressing and makes the entire ensemble come alive, attracting the attention of many admirers.

Is Beauty Part of the Fashion Industry?

The short answer: Yes.

Today, makeup has become an integral part of fashion and one cannot be separated from the other since they work hand-in-hand with each other.

The fashion industry is all about beauty, glitz, glamour, and making a statement. Almost all the popular trends start from here. People tend to invest a lot in designer clothes, shoe accessories, and whatnot, only to follow the latest trends. This is how obsessed some people are with the fashion industry and fashionable lifestyles these days.

Another aspect of the fashion industry that has become an integral part of everyone’s life is makeup. Makeup is a powerful tool used by both men and women all around the world to enhance their looks and feel confident.

Today, beauty has become part of the bigger picture when it comes to fashion, individuality, and artistic expression. We can find real value when we start seeing beauty and fashion as an item and focus on what can be achieved when the two collide. 

Fashion and Beauty Products

The fashion and beauty industries are so large, with thousands of products being developed day after day. Below, we list down some of the common products found in each industry. 

  • Fashion Products

Fashion products refer to products related to clothing and other things that people wear. the following are common types of fashion products: 

  • Clothing lines for women, men, and children.
  • Formal Wear. Formal wear such as a full evening dress, business suit, evening gowns, and wedding dresses.
  • Anything worn on the feet, such as shoes, sandals, and boots. Includes sporting goods such as swim fins or ballet shoes.
  • Clothing for physical activities, such as swimsuits, tracksuits, ski wear, protective gear (i.e. helmets, knee pads, etc.), shorts, and wet suits.
  • Traditional Garments. Traditional garments such as the kimono, hanbok, barong, sari, kilt, agbada, and huipil to name a few.
  • Items that contribute to clothing in one way or another, such as hats, necklaces, neckties, watches, cufflinks, belts, gloves, shades, socks, and stockings.
  • Beauty Products

Beauty products refer to cosmetics – products designed to enhance one’s beauty. By definition, cosmetics are “constituted mixtures of chemical compounds derived from either natural sources or synthetically created ones”. Cosmetics have various purposes; those designed for personal care and skincare can be used to cleanse or protect the body or skin.

Cosmetics designed to enhance one’s appearance (makeup) can be used to hide blemishes, enhance one’s natural features (such as the eyebrows), add color to a person’s face, and can be used to change the appearance of the face entirely to resemble a different person, creature or object. Cosmetics can also be designed to add fragrance to the body.

The following are common types of beauty products/cosmetics.

  • Lipstick is a cosmetic that applies color, texture, and protection to the lips. Many colors and types of lipstick exist. Some lipsticks are also lip balms, to add both color and hydration.
  • Eye Shadow. Eye shadow is a cosmetic applied primarily to the eyelids to make the wearer’s eyes stand out or look more attractive. Eye shadow can also be applied under the eyes or to brow bones.
  • Facial Makeup Products. Facial makeup products are products that are used to color and highlight facial features. They can either directly add or alter color or can be applied over a foundation that serves to make the color even and smooth.
  • Face Powder. Face powder is a cosmetic product applied to the face to serve different functions, typically to beautify the face. Originating from ancient Egypt, face powder has had different social uses across cultures, and in modern times, it is typically used to set makeup, brighten the skin and contour the face.
  • Rouge, also called blush or blusher, is a cosmetic for coloring the cheeks in varying shades, or the lips red. It is applied as a powder or cream.
  • Hair Spray. Hair spray is a common cosmetic hairstyling product that is sprayed onto hair to protect against humidity and wind. Hair sprays typically consist of several components for the hair as well as a propellant. 
  • Hair Dyes. Hair dyes are cosmetic products that are used to change hair color. 
  • A lotion is a low-viscosity topical preparation intended for application to the skin. By contrast, creams and gels have a higher viscosity, typically due to lower water content. Lotions are applied to external skin with bare hands, a brush, a clean cloth, or cotton wool.
  • Nail Polish. Nail polish is a lacquer that can be applied to the human fingernail or toenails to decorate and protect the nail plates. The formula has been revised repeatedly to enhance its decorative effects and to suppress cracking or peeling.
  • Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents, usually in liquid form, used to give the human body, animals, food, objects, and living spaces an agreeable scent. 

Fashion and Beauty Trends

Below are some of the fashion and beauty trends that are becoming increasingly popular in 2021:

  • Pastel Tones

A trend that has continued to dominate this year has been pastel tones. These colors are the perfect option for summer and they suit a wide variety of skin tones. 

  • French Manicures 

    Over the past year, the French manicure has gone from polarizing to a red-carpet staple. For 2021, nail artists are having fun dressing up the classic mani, with everything from glitter to smiley faces, butterflies, and retro florals. While more intricate designs are best left to the pros, you can easily get the same vibes with nail decals. 

  • Skinimalism

Coined by Pinterest, “skinimalism” is all about embracing your natural skin and super-minimal makeup. It makes sense since many of us are wearing less makeup and spending more time on skincare than ever before. According to the social media platform, Pinners are focusing on upping their skin-care game as searches for both “how to get glowing skin” and “face yoga exercises” are up four times from last year, while “natural everyday makeup” is up 180%.

  • Head Scarfs

Taking inspiration from the 50s and the 60s, this sleek fashion trend is coming back in a big way. Headscarves protect your hair and add a finishing touch to your outfit without overdoing it. 

  • ‘80s Vibes Makeup

While the past few years have been all about the ‘90s, ‘80s looks are trending this year. Instagram has been full of inspiration that looks better suited for the girls of GLOW than a day of Zoom meetings. Think blush draping and Princess Diana-esque bright blue eyeliner. While the decade has a bad rap for being too over-the-top, it’s surprisingly easy to make these trends feel modern. Just keep the focus on one feature and everything else toned down.

  • Oversized Shoulderpad Boyfriend Jackets

Create a long line silhouette and play with shapes with an 80s-inspired oversized boyfriend blazer. With the help of shoulder pads, this outerwear cinches in your waist and elongates your legs. Rock this look with a pair of straight-leg trousers or leather shorts for an ultra-modern style – colors that suit this trend are powder blue, charcoal, and neutrals. You can easily dress this up or down for an effortlessly chic aesthetic.

  • Curtain Bangs

If the recent flock of celebs showing off this look is any indication, curtain bangs are shaping up to be the “It cut” of 2021. They’re super low-maintenance and are flattering on pretty much everyone, making them a fail-safe way to enhance your look.

  • Liquid Lipstick

It’s all about transfer-proof makeup in the age of COVID. According to Charlie Riddle, Global Creative Director at Stila Cosmetics, “Liquid lipstick, in particular, is making a big comeback this season. Women want products that will stay on throughout the day without having to worry about it coming off on their face mask.” 

Fashion and Beauty Companies

Looking for the best of the best when it comes to the fashion and beauty industries? Listed below are the top fashion and beauty companies in the world (in no particular order). 

  • Beauty 
  • Estée Lauder. The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products, based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The company owns a diverse portfolio of brands, distributed internationally through both digital commerce and retail channels. 
  • L’Oréal. L’Oréal is a French personal care company headquartered in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine with a registered office in Paris. It is the world’s largest cosmetics company and has developed activities in the field concentrating on hair color, skincare, sun protection, make-up, perfume, and hair care. 
  • MAC Cosmetics. MAC Cosmetics, stylized as M·A·C, is a Canadian cosmetics manufacturer founded in Toronto in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. The company is headquartered in New York City after becoming a subsidiary of Estée Lauder Companies in 1996. MAC is an acronym for Makeup Art Cosmetics. 
  • Shiseido Company, Limited is a Japanese multinational cosmetic company. Its product categories consist of skincare, makeup, body care, hair care, and fragrances. It is one of the oldest cosmetic companies in the world. Founded in 1872, the company celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2012.
  • Clinique Laboratories, LLC is an American manufacturer of skincare, cosmetics, toiletries, and fragrances, usually sold in high-end department stores. It is a subsidiary of the Estée Lauder Companies. As of 2019, Clinique has over 22,000 customer consultants worldwide.
  • Fashion 
  • Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton Malletier, commonly known as Louis Vuitton or by its initials LV, is a French fashion house and luxury goods company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. 
  • Giorgio Armani S.p.A., commonly known as Armani, is an Italian luxury fashion house founded by Giorgio Armani which designs, manufactures, distributes, and retails haute couture, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, accessories, eyewear, cosmetics, and home interiors. 
  • Gucci is an Italian luxury fashion house based in Florence, Italy. Its product lines include handbags, ready-to-wear, footwear, and accessories, makeup, fragrances, and home decoration. Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany. 
  • Prada S.p.A. is an Italian luxury fashion house that was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. It specializes in leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, ready-to-wear, perfumes, and other fashion accessories. 
  • Chanel is a French luxury fashion house that was founded by couturière Coco Chanel in 1910. It focuses on women’s ready-to-wear clothes, luxury goods, and accessories.