The Latest Look: What Happened in Beauty Last Year

- 4 minute read
Digital Content Specialist​

Gemma Elgar is a Digital Content Specialist at Foundation where she creates and executes content strategies, including site copy, blog content, and more. She also conducts social media campaigns for our clients, and has spoken on a panel about creating sensitive campaigns for niche audiences.

2022: The first year since pre-pandemic days where we didn’t have a lockdown. Covid-19 saw many industries, beauty included, adapting to be successful online without the luxury of trying products in-person. With the restrictions now fully lifted, people are back to shopping in stores – but the way they find and choose their makeup and beauty products may never be the same as it once was.

Virtual influences, on platforms like TikTok and Instagram in particular, are more impactful than ever as we continue to style ourselves based on the recommendations of posts-gone-viral.  

What’s more, the international borders of the beauty industry are continuing to blur as brands adapt to the climate with where and how they sell. Feel Unique’s website finally changed over to Sephora, and Morphe made the decision to close all their US stores, both choosing to prioritise the online space to gain more traction internationally.

With beauty being such a major talking point online, trends are quick to come and go in all three products, styles and brands. So, what were the most popular brands and products of 2022, and how do they compare to the year before?

How Much is the Beauty Industry Worth Worldwide?

As of 2022, the global beauty industry is worth approximately $528.6 billion, or £433.2 billion. If current trends continue at the rate they are, then it’s expected that its worth in 2023 will be higher still, at $571.1 billion or £468 billion. This marks an 8% increase year-on-year.

While its worth dropped briefly between 2019 and 2020, every year has seen a steady incline ever since. In the last year, what have been the brands and products driving this revenue?

Top Beauty Industry Trends 2022

We looked at Google search data to find out which brands were defined by which products in 2022. The top beauty marketing trends of 2022 were widely dictated by social media, particularly as many brands have chosen to prioritise their online shops in recent years. So, which brands’ products are beauty lovers interested in most? Let’s review.

Eyebrows

Every year, the most popular way to style eyebrows is something that drastically changes. Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Julia Fox amongst other names were all seen sporting the bleached brow look this year, whereas laminated brows took off on TikTok for the DIY beauty-lovers.

A staple in all beauty boxes, eyebrow pencils were searched for alongside the brand name Benefit most often in 2022, with an average of 2,900 monthly searches. While the likes of NYX and Revolution became popular for styling soap brows, it seems that nobody can quite knock Benefit off their eyebrow throne.

Foundation

The most searched-for beauty product by quite some margin, foundation was searched for most often in conjunction with NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, and bareMinerals, respectively. In fact, ‘nars foundation’ saw a monthly search volume of 40,500 throughout 2022 – 7,000 more than Charlotte Tilbury.

Soft skin was a very popular look throughout 2022, with people looking for a natural, delicate finish. To do so, higher-end foundations became more popular, as these typically make it easier to achieve a flawless, ‘no makeup’ finish.

Back to Basics

Concealer and mascara have had the highest increase in searches in 2022. Both of these had a monthly average of 18,100 searches for their top associated brand, compared to 14,800 in 2021.

Nars have held onto their crown as the most searched-for concealer last year, likely in part because Nars is the most popular foundation. People like to perfectly match the products they use for their base, so will often buy concealer and foundation from the same brand.

Setting in Style

When it comes to finalising your makeup, setting powders are perfect for doing just that. With 2,900 average monthly searches, Huda Beauty is the brand most often searched for alongside the phrase ‘setting powder’, retaining its crown and improving on its average of 880 searches in 2021.

If you want to go the extra level, setting spray makes your makeup long-lasting, so that you don’t have to touch up throughout the day. Urban Decay have always been at the top of the list when it comes to search volume for this product, but in 2022, Charlotte Tilbury caught up, matching Urban Decay at 12,100 average monthly Google searches.

Interestingly, Charlotte Tilbury was also the most searched for brand in 2022 in conjunction with highlighter, blusher, and lipstick, too.

The All-Rounders

Over the course of the year, some brands ranked highly on their own, regardless of the product you paired their name with in your search.

Some more generalised self-care brands, like The Body Shop and Lush, have ranked highly this year because of their pre-established industry-leading status. Other brands with higher competition, however, could have products going viral to thank.

With over 62.7 million views on the TikTok hashtag #olaplexno3, it’s safe to say that TikTok has been a leading reason behind the success of this brand over 2021. Similarly, Elf saw a burst in popularity following the release of their Power Grip primer last year. Elf was already doing well in the realm of primer, as its Poreless Putty Primer has been well-known for some time. With both of these products now being among the industry’s most popular primers, #elfprimer on TikTok currently has over 46.7 million views.

With all that in mind, below are the top ten searched for beauty brands in 2022.

BrandAvg. Monthly SearchesThree-Month ChangeYear-on-Year Change
the body shop450,00050%-18%
charlotte tilbury450,000173%22%
lush301,00083%-18%
olaplex201,00083%-33%
St. Ives201,000-55%83%
elf165,000233%22%
the ordinary135,00083%22%
glossier135,000174%82%
avon110,00023%-18%
beauty pie110,00023%23%

Beauty Marketing Trends with Foundation

At Foundation, we can help you and your brand grow by providing insights into beauty industry analysis, strategy, and campaign performance. Our team specialises in digital marketing within the beauty industry, so we can keep you in the know of the relevant search landscape, complete competitor analysis, and more.

Find out more today about how we can help by getting in touch.

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