Why the Beauty Industry is Going Back to School

If the beauty industry’s latest launches have you reliving the thrill you used to get when picking out a pencil case for the start of the school year, you’re not alone. Beauty has become a little nostalgic of late, with a growing trend for childhood-inspired products.

Courtesy of Imaxtree

It originally took off back in early 2017, with the launch of Clinique’s limited-edition Chubby Stick collaboration with Crayola. The range, which is no longer available, saw the brand’s best-selling balms turned into retro crayons.

Now, buoyed by the success of this collaboration, Crayola has entered the beauty market themselves, launching their own cosmetics collection exclusively on Asos.


As you’d expect from a handicraft company, the range consists of playful and artistic products that focus on experimentation. There are large palettes for your face and lips that wouldn’t look out of place in a school art class, as well as a range of multi-use face crayons (complete with traditional Crayola crayon packaging), which allow you to decide exactly how and where to apply the products.

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Mindful of the modern sustainability movement, proving that the products look to the future as well as to the past, the environmentally-aware range is also vegan and cruelty-free.

The shades are unsurprisingly primary-coloured and aren’t designed with precise application in mind – think thick nibs and soft textures just like Crayola crayons – so we’d recommend applying with care and choosing one or two of your favourite colours to incorporate into your existing summer make-up routine.

Then, for a more sophisticated take on the trend, look to Clarins, the luxury French beauty company, which is proving that it’s not just newcomers to the industry that are investing in their youthful side.


Resurrecting a pencil case staple from your schooldays, Clarins has combined three coloured eye liners and one lip liner together into a clickable multi-coloured pen. The small nib allows the soft waxy formula to be applied more precisely around your eyes and lips and there’s even a sweet limited-edition summery edition that is perfect for packing in your holiday hand luggage.

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An acknowledgement of the back-to-school trend wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the rise of K-Beauty either, with the playful feel of Korean sheet masks and the adorable packaging of brands like Tony Moly, leading the way.


The rise of Instagram might be blamed (or praised) for the rise in fun packaging – the ranges are certainly ripe for photographing – but the quest for baby-like ‘glass skin’, as popularised by South Koreans, can often be found by the discerning customer within the animated, childish packaging. As can, for that matter, fun yet practical make-up looks.

So, whether you’re looking for some old-school nostalgia, want to recapture a sense of youthful experimentation or have simply fallen in love with the products, you’re likely to find your slice of beauty heaven in the back-to-school trend. Let’s just hope you don’t trigger memories of some of your less successful teenage beauty looks along the way.

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From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK