This is an episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, which features candid conversations about how today’s trends are shaping the future of the beauty and wellness industries. More from the series →
Over the past year, the Glossy Beauty Podcast has provided an insider’s look into the beauty industry through thoughtful interviews, unique perspectives and forward-thinking commentary. But this week, we’re taking a look backward.
For the final episode of the year, hosts Emma Sandler, Glossy’s beauty and wellness editor, and senior reporter Sara Spruch-Feiner, are joined by myself, Glossy’s West Coast Correspondent, to reflect on 2023 and offer our predictions for the year ahead.
The changing finance landscape — and how it impacted brand closures, as well as mergers and acquisitions — was a topic du jour. As was the opportunity for brands using TikTok Shop. We dissect the growth and innovation in the fragrance category, which is having a gangbuster year, and what we can expect from influencer- and community-focused marketing in 2024. Keep scrolling for highlights, and be sure to listen to the full episode for the team’s end-of-year thoughts. We’ll see you next year!
The changing financing landscape
Emma Sandler: “Brands really have to prioritize being profitable from the jump, which is such a shift from that mid-2010s period. I always reference WeWork as an example of, ‘Let’s grow as big as we can, and we’ll figure out how to be profitable afterward’. But with interest rates rising, it no longer makes sense to invest in a newer brand, where there’s a lot of inherent risk, if you’re a venture capitalist. Instead, you could just park your money in a high-yield savings account and earn a sustainable source of income that makes potentially even more money. So I think that’s why we’re seeing this dearth of activity in the venture capital space. … We’ve seen fewer deals in the private equity space, which tends to be larger brands, and we’ve seen fewer deals in the acquisition space, which is usually strategic acquirers.”
TikTok’s olfactory opportunity
Sara Spruch-Feiner: “The opportunity for fragrance brands on TikTok Shop is huge. It’s absolutely enormous. And of the brands that I’ve heard and talked about having success on TikTok Shop, there have been a number, but I don’t think a single one has been a fragrance brand yet. … What has fascinated me about #PerfumeTok is … some of the people purchasing fragrance online are essentially buying them ‘smell unsmelled.’ … They’re just going for it, based on what some of these #PerfumeTok influencers are saying. It’s been a world full of big opportunities.”
The regulatory learning curve
Lexy Lebsack: “2024 is going to be another roller coaster year for indie brands. I think we’re going to continue to see brands needing to close, needing to pivot or needing to reformulate, because as we know MoCRA legislation is [taking effect December 29]. The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 is going to create some changes by giving the FDA more power to regulate the beauty industry, and I think that … when we come out of 2024, we’ll end up being a better beauty industry.”