Welcome to the Spring issue of Retail Beauty. It’s that time of year when the days grow longer and it’s the perfect weather to have a barbecue, or take a walk in the park and socialise.

But Spring looks vastly different to what many of us imagined. This year has again been a crazy rollercoaster of a ride thanks to Covid-19. Just months ago, life was almost back to normal. Retailers were not only open for business, but consumers were also purchasing – and spending up big. Retail sales were well up on pre-pandemic levels, fuelled by the fact that people were unable to travel overseas.

Conferences and expos were back in the diary, and I had the good fortune of attending Naturally Good and the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP), as well as Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW).

Everyone I spoke to was optimistic about containing the virus, and our ability as a nation to quash the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with our “gold standard” contact-tracing system. But as I write this piece, locked down with the number of infections rising, attempting to home school two small children, it’s clear the Delta variant upended all of our assumptions about coronavirus.

As we try to bravely stay positive and move forward, the virus has again highlighted our need to get vaccinated. I received my second Pfizer shot in July. We also should aim to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as best we can.

Unsurprisingly, Google searches for ingredients with immunity claims have soared during the pandemic. Consumers are looking for increased peace of mind through preventative wellness products.

Elisabeth King explores in depth how the pandemic has continued to fudge the line between beauty and wellness in her Immuno-cosmetics trend report, page 14.

Elisabeth also talks to leading and  upcoming Australian beauty, skincare, beauty and wellness brands for Talking Point, page 46, about the Covid-19 pandemic supercharging local consumers appetite for Australian-made products  – that’s at least one silver lining that’s come out of this.

Due to the pandemic, we now also reportedly have an epidemic of sleep deprivation, known as ‘coronasomnia’. Since getting a good night’s slumber is easier said than done, we have rounded up our top Beauty Sleep Essentials, shot by photographer Brandee Meier, on page 80.

Also in this issue we catch up with a number of powerful and successful female retail beauty gurus including Erica Galea, Chemcorp Marketing Manager, who shares her secrets for managing a portfolio of 20 brands on page 78.

Almira Armstrong, Lumira Founder and Creative Director, who talks about her extensive distribution journey around the world before landing her artisanal scents on the cosmetic floor at David Jones, page 82, and Ocea McKenzie, Education Manager for Mac & Bobbi Brown ANZ, who shares this season’s hottest trends on page 97.

Our fragrance offering continues to expand, with insights from Clayton Iloahia, Fragrances of the World Communication and Evaluation Consultant, who talks about the importance of changing the ‘outdated’ term Oriental to Amber on page 68.

As stay at home rules continue to apply to those in NSW, which includes myself and publisher Nicci Herrera, please stay in touch or drop us a line via one of our social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Stay safe and happy reading!

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