5 Things I’d Like To See From Brands in 2023

Happy New Year! I thought it would be fun to kick this year off with what I want to see some of my favorite brands do this year. I think it will be fun to look back at the end of the year and see if anything I am hoping for actually happens. For some context on my background, I have a long history in retail both as a cashier and as a store manager; I’ve operated my own small business selling makeup bags and brush rolls; and I’m an experienced government buyer (sometimes called a contract specialist or purchasing agent). So while I’ve never worked for a beauty brand, I do have a strong understanding of retail, logistics, and supply chain operations. My point in telling you this is that I’m considering not just the consumer perspective, but I’m also attempting to consider what may be happening behind the scenes of these brands.

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1. I’d Like To See Smashbox Release Powder Blush and Bronzer in Single Compacts

Smashbox has no problem formulating blushes and bronzers, they just always typically appear in palettes. I personally like single products over palettes although I know that palettes give the brand a larger profit margin. They did come out with a liquid blush (Halo Cream Cheek + Lip Tint**) in 2022 that is available as a single product, but they didn’t get much attention. The reviews for the Halo Cream Cheek Tint seem mixed, so the brand could still use a reliable blush in its lineup. They could maybe even resurrect the luminous blushes and sunlit bronzer from the now-defunct Becca. The Smashbox x Becca branded highlighter** and corrector** have remained bestsellers in their categories at Ulta and Sephora and have become bestsellers for Smashbox on their own website.** Since that seems to be working out so far, why not take it further? The wish for the sunlit bronzer to make an appearance from another brand is partly selfish, it is one of my favorite products. However, I stand by my thought that it would be a good product for the brand to release.

Smashbox still relies heavily on its face primers and from what I can see, promoting those is where they spend most of the marketing budget. But I think if they took even a small slice of that budget and focused it on creating and promoting some single-color cosmetics, it could be a good move for them. I think that many consumers still like the idea of brand loyalty. I’m specifically thinking of the type of consumers that don’t read beauty blogs and hang out on beauty forums. Expanding the product line to have these types of basics could help foster that feeling in the less adventurous consumer that makes up a significant portion of beauty sales. Then even if people come to them for the primer, they may stay and buy more from the brand.

2. I’d Like To See MAC Revitalize The Sheertone Shimmer Blush Formula

Even with the huge emphasis on glowy skin, there are tons of makeup consumers that don’t want to use cream products (like me 😂). It is past time to capitalize on that market and give people an easy to use blush with a glow. MAC does still sell 3 Sheertone Shimmers**, but that isn’t nearly enough. I do have a swatch of the shade Peachtwist. You can see below how it compares in finish to burnt pepper (matte finish) and breath of plum (sheertone finish). Ambering Rose and Sweet as Cocoa were cult classic sheertone shimmers (especially for women of color) that unfortunately, MAC has discontinued. If the brand has no plans to bring back some of those fan favorites, they could at least release some new more modern shades. MAC’s blush line used to be much more extensive and I’d love to see it return to its previous more vast range.

MAC matte Blush Burnt Pepper, sheertone shimmer blush peachtwist, and Sheertone blush breath of plum swatches dark skin
L to R: MAC Burnt Pepper, Peachtwist, and breath of plum

MAC does have the baked mineralize blush finish (see swatches here), with some of those shades being the closest they currently have to a powder blush with a glowy finish. But that formula is also limited in number and some of the shades are a matte finish. The shades that do have a sheen like love joy and love thing don’t provide as much glow as some may be looking for these days.

MAC does still formulate and release new blush shades, however, they are always grouped into a limited edition collection. The limited edition shades have also been typically either matte or the Glow Play** formula. Consumers are loving the Glow Play formula, so they can play off that popularity and release a powder version of them. They could call it Glow Play Velvet and they could either tweak the existing formula into a baked version or use their existing baked formula (Mineralize Blush**) as a jumping off point. Since those formulas are already available and the packaging already exists, they don’t have to start from scratch. I’d also love to see an expansion to the existing Glow Play formula, but I feel like I’ve talked about that a ton in the past year already lol. I have two posts featuring the shades Groovy, Heat Index, and Rosy Does It if you want to know more about them.

3. I’d Like To See More Mini Size Foundation and Concealers Being Offered

As someone who regularly falls between shades, it would be nice to see more mini sizes being offered so I could save some money when I need to buy two shades. This is something that is happening more often but I’d like to see it from even more brands. It’d also be nice if the mini came in all the same shades as the full size, which doesn’t always happen. There are some brands that only pick select shades to make in mini sizes, which leaves a lot of people that can’t take advantage of the minis. The two items I featured above, bareMinerals Tinted Moisturizer** and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer**, have both sizes available in every shade which I appreciate. And again, this is something that is becoming more common, but I’d like to see mini sizes of some of the top-selling foundations like MAC Studio Fix Fluid, Estee Lauder Double Wear, NARS Natural Radiant Longwear, Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation plus Concealer, and the Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundations. It’d be nice to see mini sizes for the Too Faced Born This Way, Rare Beauty Liquid Touch, ABH Magic Touch, and MAC Pro Longwear concealers.

This one is a little trickier to accomplish from the brand’s side of things. Mini sizes need brand new packaging, which isn’t cheap especially if the brand’s packaging is special in any way. A good example is the LYS foundation bottle. That triangular bottle shape is a specialty component, so it likely costs the brand more than if they had chosen a more standard cylinder shape. So if they wanted to offer mini sizes, they’d have to decide both if there was enough demand for the product, but also if they could afford a mini size triangular bottle. If they had the demand for the mini sizes, but no budget for the triangular bottle, then they’d have to decide if they were ok disrupting their visual merchandising to make the mini foundations in a different shape.

4. I’d Like To See Drugstore and Indie Brands Providing Shade Descriptions (especially for complexion products)

This is something that I’m starting to see more often, but it can use a lot of improvement. I often see complaints from people that want to see more drugstore reviews and I think the difficulty in shopping for drugstore makeup is part of the issue. When it comes to indie brands the complaint is often about accessibility and not being able to see items in person. Drugstore and indie brands do need to keep costs down because they don’t have as much profit margin as mid-range and high-end brands. However, when colors are being formulated the brand knows what colors and depths they are aiming to create. So they just need to release that information with the rest of the product description. Yes, they would likely have to drop other marketing information in favor of the shade descriptions, but most of the time the extra marketing speak doesn’t tell the consumer anything helpful anyway. Or they could shorten some of these product names (some of which are getting outrageous) in favor of shade descriptions.

At the very least, it would be nice for the undertones (warm, neutral, cool, olive) of foundations and concealers to be designated. Also, there are some brands that only have shade descriptions on their own website. Examples that come to mind are Milani, Revlon, and NYX. It’s great that they are available somewhere, but they should work on making them available at all retailers. When it comes to drugstore brands, having access to them at Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc is supposed to be part of the package. If these stores are where most of the products are sold, then they should offer shade descriptions at those stores. If brands can make it easier to shop for these items, it may increase the chances of people buying them. In turn, we’d hopefully see people that are happier with their purchase because their shade was easier to find and possibly more reviews as well. Some brands that I have a particularly hard time deciphering their shades are Covergirl, Black Opal, Wet n Wild, and L’oreal (with the exception of the True Match line). Honestly, although shade descriptions are often present, higher-end brands are not always immune to this issue either.

5. I’d Like To See More Shades Offered In Non-Matte Foundations

For some reason, matte foundations seem to be the ones that get shade ranges with 40+ shades. Then the satin and luminous foundations will be 20+ shades. As an example, the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation** with its matte finish comes in 57 shades, while the Estee Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Foundation** with its Radiant finish only comes in 28 shades. Obviously, the sales data must support this tactic because it is common among most brands but I’d still like to see a shift. It is possible that if more people had access to good shade matches in non-matte formulas, brands might see that sales data shift. This could be an area where a mini size could be utilized for less popular shades, cutting down on some of the cost of manufacturing. I do think that some of this discrepancy could be due to coverage level. The more coverage the product offers, the better the shade match has to be, and I understand that. But for a radiant finish to come in half the amount of shades seems pretty drastic for it to be all about the coverage.

What do you think about my list? Do you have any insight on the changes I’d like to see? Is there anything you want to see from your favorite brands in 2023? Let’s chat about it in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like down below.  If you’d like to check out more of my content, here are some places to start. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • The Wanderlust List:  Join me as I search for alternatives to new releases.

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2 thoughts on “5 Things I’d Like To See From Brands in 2023

  1. I’d love to see everything you mentioned, especially when it comes to Smashbox. They’ve been limiting themselves by putting blushes and bronzers just in those face palettes. MUAs can still get use out of not having perfect combinations, but the rest of us tend to just skip buying them in favor of single products guaranteed to be our preferences in color, depth, finish, and formula. There are too many factors that could steer someone away from a full face palette. The best artist brands are the ones that keep both MUAs and the regular consumer in mind, especially if their products are going to be at Ulta and Sephora and not just Pro Beauty shops.
    Expanding on the Sheertone shimmers would be fantastic for those who find the Extra Dimension Blushes to be too intense in their shimmer level/reflectivity. There really is a vacancy there I hadn’t realized.
    Definitely love the idea of minis and it drives me nuts when they do offer them, but not in my shade. Lol. You mentioned all the reasons a brand might find it too expensive and I can see why they wouldn’t want to. At the same time, I wish brands would factor in that the beauty boom years ago where people were buying more makeup than ever before…we’re phasing out of that and that boom came with a drawback. We now have collections bigger than ever before, which means less chance to use what we’ve got and eventually leading to fewer and fewer purchases in the future. At least with a mini, it can satisfy the people who want to try something new but don’t want to buy a full size they’ll never use up. And if they end up loving the product, they’ll just buy a full size after anyway.
    And why do brands come up with such long ridiculous names? Lmao.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of the confusing things about Smashbox. They do lean heavily into being “Smashbox Studios” and having that professional branding, but they don’t publicize artistry as much as a brand like MAC. Even NARS capitalizes more on artistry despite releasing the bulk of its products in consumer-friendly styles.
      You make a good point that it would be nice to be able to buy a mini for trying something new or even just to have a bigger variety of products without having as much quantity overall.

      Liked by 1 person

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