At Tuesday’s Glossy Beauty Forum, executives from the beauty and wellness industries came together to discuss how they’re evolving their business strategies in the Covid-19 age.

Trends like clean beauty, inclusive products and digital-first sales are now guiding principles for brands. But determining what comes next will be make-or-break moments for companies hoping to lead the next era of consumerism. This includes what one-on-one communication with customers will look like, what the next mega-platforms of discovery will be and how to incorporate customer values.

We gathered some of the best speaker and attendee comments of the day, including those centered on how beauty brands are making a statement, pushing action and adapting with — and ahead of — the times.

The power of social media and livestreaming
“Social media gives everyone an opportunity to be in the same space and see all the same things; it gives everyone a platform and an opportunity to express themselves in ways they never could. As a founder, I have a whole new insight on what people want, [including what] new ideas and new products.” –Addison Rae, Item Beauty co-founder and chief innovation officer

“One of the teams that we’ve really started to leverage [in livestreaming] is our pro team. When you take a step back and think about the education and knowledge base of our employees, you can have an authentic interaction [with customers]. It really makes it a more organic and real community in which you can educate and provide continuous content to the [customers] shopping on” –Kecia Steelman, Ulta Beauty chief store operations officer 

“Consumers are more educated and they have heightened expectations around product ingredients, around product benefits. Now, they’re going to social more than ever before. They’re going for peer-to-peer advice and recommendations and, quite frankly, they’re going just to be entertained, as we all are.” -Cori Reinartz, vp and gm of North America, Dr. Jart+

“You have to come up with something that will cause her to stop the scroll. What we found is that our community is really educated about skin care, and they really know their ingredients.” –Patricia Santos, co-founder and CEO, Volition

“When this viral moment happens, you really need to maximize it and move quickly to make that virality. Second, you [should synchronize] all of your efforts at the same time. And then, third…you have to be open to the creator’s interpretation.”Cori Reinartz, vp and gm of North America, Dr. Jart+.

A changing landscape for brands and founders
“There’s a lot more enablement to create brands than there was before. And even when you’re investing more in the actual products, it’s in some ways more accessibly [priced]. Platforms like Shopify and all the payment tools [make it easier].” –Marcelo Camberos, BFA Industries co-founder and CEO

“I am trying to make sure that, as we grow, we grow responsibly. That means making sure that my team has the room to breathe, making sure that my team knows that they are appreciated and making sure that the customer understands how they are impacting not only my company’s growth, but also the industry’s growth.” –Melissa Butler, The Lip Bar founder and CEO

“You can’t just decide to launch a product because somebody submitted an idea and you think it sounds good. You have to supplement that with other pieces of data to ensure that you’re actually launching something that will do well and is differentiated from what else is in the marketplace.” –Patricia Santos, co-founder and CEO, Volition

Making space for better beauty
“We have a responsibility as an industry to be more sustainable and to be cleaner. It’s ours to lose and we need to collaborate with one another, across all different brands and countries, because the customer demands it and because it’s the right thing to do. We had an opportunity with Item Beauty to show the right way and to then share best practices. Hopefully, we can collaborate with others and share our formulas, share what we’re doing and then maybe influence the industry. ” –Marcelo Camberos, BFA Industries co-founder and CEO

“Even in the last two years, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in how consumers are beginning to do a little bit more research, to take a little bit more time to make a more thoughtful decision than they did a couple of years ago. … It’s not just a sustainable brand. I’ve always said that it’s not a brand that was designed for, say, hippies — I love hippies; I hope to be one myself one day. But it’s [about being] an accessible brand that should be available for anyone, and it should appeal to the larger audience.” -Sonika Malhotra, co-founder and global brand director, Love Beauty & Planet

The next evolution of physical retail
“We decided to launch in big-box retailers [in 2019], and it came in handy last year when smaller boutique retailers were shut down for five months. This was an opening for masstige beauty, because people were going to big box stores to get their groceries and hand sanitizers, but also to pick up their shampoo, lipstick, et cetera. So we learned a really valuable lesson that an omnichannel approach is incredibly important.” –Melissa Butler, The Lip Bar founder and CEO

“When our stores were closed down, we augmented about 7,400 new products into the Glam Lab virtual try-on app, which already existed. We took advantage of store associates not working in the stores to help us build the database. And the adoption rate has been incredible. Usage of our technology increased by 1200% in 2020, and we’ve had over 171 million try-on sessions.” -Kecia Steelman, Ulta Beauty chief store operations officer