Tween and teen preening
I have an 11-year-old cousin. She’s into Pretty Little Liars and anything and everything else from Lush to Adidas Superstars. There are 13 years between us and yet she shares much in common with someone my own age.
Though tweens and teens are rapidly accelerating into adulthood, they’re still holding on tightly to childhood. They appreciate products and activities that allow them to be playful. They want to feel sophisticated but also enjoy being a kid. This makes it tricky for brands to know what’s on trend – or even what’s likely to be banished from their collection.
In our study, ‘The Beauty Project’, we explored what’s currently ‘in’ for tween and teen girls when it comes to beauty, personal care, and grooming. Most of the products they love fall under three main themes. They are enduring themes as far as this age group is concerned; but the products & brands within them have changed.
Tweens take pride in building up collections of beauty and personal care products. They are hooked in by miniatures, shapes with personality, varieties of colours and patterns, as well as funky textures. Take affordably priced lip balms and mini hand creams for example. Whilst it’s important that these products do their job well, they also must look distinct and offer variety in fragrance, look and feel.
Both tweens and teens LOVE products – and shopping in stores – that appeal to the senses. When I was younger, toy aliens in eggs were all the rage (remember those?). Slime continues to be huge for tweens at the moment; anything that can be moulded, be played with and transformed is a winner.
It should be no surprise that bath bombs, bath jelly and shower foams are exciting for girls in this age group. For beauty products, they’re looking for sweet and fruity smells. It’s also important that they can test and sample products in-store.
Something to showcase
Unicorns, sparkly things, rose gold colour cues are all popular when it comes to showing off a trove of goodies. The main difference by age is that whilst tweens display for themselves (“I won’t use it, they just look good in my room.”), teens exhibit for others. Some even consider their audience at the time of purchase (‘for my Lush bath bomb, I’m thinking about what it’s going to look like on Instagram!’).