How VSCO Girls Are Disrupting the Beauty Industry

The day has come where VSCO girls are no longer just a meme. The group of trendy tweens in long, baggy t-shirts with hair tied in scrunchies and picture-perfect Instagram feeds are forcing the $532 billion beauty industry to reconsider their importance.

Are You VSCO Girl Level?
Eco-Friendly 72%
Woke 99%
Laughs in Sksksk 50%
Skin-care > Makeup 87%
TikTok Memes 40%

According to UBS analysts, after three years of consistent growth in sales of up to 9%, the cosmetic industry’s growth has slowed by 4%, whereas the skincare industry’s growth rate increased by 13% in the last year.

Analysts believe the dewy, minimal aesthetic of the Tumblr girls of 2019 may be to blame. Instead of opting for heavier-makeup looks popular in the generation before them, VSCO girls opt for no-makeup makeup looks, using neutral makeup shades and dewy bases. They are also focusing more of their money and time on skincare.

Where scrunchies, crocks, Fujifilm cameras, and Hydro flasks make up the VSCO-girl starter pack, the Mario Badescu skincare line, $30, and the Aztec Secrets: Indian Healing Bentonite Clay Mask, $21, also make the cut. Retailers like Urban Outfitters are a one-stop-shop for a VSCO starter-pack carrying most of the overall aesthetic composed of popular brands.

Google search trends have also shown a general shift towards more natural looks and skincare consciousness. Contouring search trends have dropped by 62% since 2016 whereas skincare searches have increased by 40%.

For skincare brands, this means tailoring more content towards tweens. For makeup brands like Morphe, this may mean opting for partnerships with younger influencers with a more natural taste to compete with already VSCO girl favorites like Milk and Glossier. Likewise, for beauty influencers like James Charles and Nikkie De Jager it may mean creating content with more minimal makeup looks and exploring skincare for younger audiences. Finally, for retailers, it may mean creating displays dedicated to VSCO girl consumers and investing in partnerships with companies with trendy products.