Even in the worst economy, the beauty industry thrives, as consumers seek solace in small confidence boosters like a tube of lipstick or a manicure. According to Collins Dictionary, active listening is a two-way communication process; to actively listen is not just to hear but to understand, interpret and evaluate what is heard. Other online movements such as #BlackGirlMagic, which Julee Wilson from the Huffington Post described as a way to celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women, have spurred brands to expand shade offerings addressing the vast spectrum of skin tones and take an all-encompassing approach to marketing mixes further fueling success. Capitalizing on this trend, brands like NYX Cosmetics have jetted to the forefront by building a community around artistic expression, with Tribe Dynamics ranking NYX fourth in terms of earned media value and social media growth in January 2017. A recent Mintel report on millennial beauty consumers also reveals women prefer a more natural look, which explains why musician Alicia Keys’ au natural 2016 album cover became a catalyst for the #nomakeup and natural texture movements. Brands that anticipated this movement, such as No. 7 skin care and KEVIN.MURPHY, are just a few enjoying success from marketing platforms centered on healthy skin and hair serving as the foundation for flawless, stripped-back beauty. According to the aforementioned Mintel report, millennials are results-driven, but they also prioritize natural ingredients and ethical claims such as cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced. Securing verified seals from organizations such as the Non GMO Project may be costly and complicate manufacturing processes, but when the consumer is clamoring for it, why wait and fall behind? Experience economy A lot can be discovered about people through their social media habits, and beauty brands were a quick study, learning that above all consumers want bragging rights. Indie inspired Multichannel shopping has turned most industries upside-down, making way for indie brands that are agile and more in tune with their consumer because they are social media savvy and engaged. Thankfully, parent companies have learned to leave a good thing alone and let indie brands do what they do best — innovate through active listening.