It’s been a year since we launched the initial ‘Cosmetify Index’, where we ranked the world’s biggest beauty brands on factors such as their social reach and engagement. Now, it’s time to take a look at the latest state of the beauty industry with our 2020 Q3 report.
Of course, the world has changed a lot since our last refresh of the Index, which came just as the coronavirus outbreak was taking hold, so how have things changed for Quarter 3 (July - September)?
We begin, as always, with our ranking of the 200 hottest beauty brands in the world, based on: Instagram followers, Instagram engagement, Instagram mentions, Google search volume and change in search volume.
The top three brands in beauty remain unchanged, but there are still plenty of interesting updates to the index.
Huda Beauty has consistently taken top spot in our ranking, which is little surprise when you see the numbers, with 47.9 million followers on Insta and 27 million hashtag mentions too. However, it’s been an interesting quarter for the brand, which saw Huda Kattan herself step down as CEO of the company and focus her energies on other aspects of this.
Much like Huda Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills was built from the ground up by its visionary founder, Anastasia Soare and is now amongst the very best in the business, with over 24 million people posting about their products on social media. Q3 saw them launch their new collection of waterproof, matte and pigmented Lip Stains.
Canadian brand M·A·C stayed in third place in our ranking, with an impressive Insta following of 23.4m (bettered only by Huda Beauty). Developments for them in the last three months included launching their products in Boots here in the UK, with over 48,000 people joining the waiting list beforehand (a record for Boots.com).
The Body Shop
Moving all the way up from 26th place to 4th is the Body Shop, which this quarter was also the most-searched beauty brand in the world, with over 8.2 million searches between July and September.
Florence by Mills
Florence by Mills is the creation of Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown and moves up one place into the top five for this edition of the index. Once again, the brand has by far the highest level of social engagement, with an engagement rate of 4.41% (down from 7.97%).
L’Oreal Paris have been around forever but made a big jump in our rankings, from 14th up to 6th. Their Insta following grew by about 750,000, while most of the other big names saw their follower counts largely stay the same or fall during the pandemic.
As we’ve seen in previous versions of the index, Yves Rocher is a huge brand globally, especially throughout Europe, although this year it’s no longer the most-searched beauty brand in the world, losing that title to the Body Shop.
ColourPop were one of the few big brands to see their searches actually go up in the last few months, with global searches increasing by 5.8% this quarter. They also launched a new Hocus Pocus makeup collection just in time for Halloween!
Despite having a lower profile compared to many of the other brands in the top ten, PÜR scored so highly this time around due to an incredible 338% increase in searches compared to the previous quarter, driven by their collaboration with influencer RawBeautyKristi.
We also refreshed our look at 50 of the world’s most influential beauty influencers, measuring not only the follower counts of our favourite Insta and YouTube beauty gurus, but also how much money they could potentially be earning from their sponsored posts.
While the top three all switched places, there was significant movement further down our influencer rankings, with the likes of Mari Maria jumping from 13th to 6th and Bianca Heinicke rising from 16th to 8th, while Antonio Garza and Safiya Nygaard were among those to fall down the rankings.
It’s also interesting to note that Jeffree Star saw his following decline by over 1.5 million people, after a number of high-profile controversies.
Our influencer ranking was the one place where Huda Kattan didn’t come out top in the last edition of the Cosmetify Index. But she puts that right this year, as she boasts both the highest number of followers and highest potential earnings, with £3,000 per video and an eye-watering £121,000 per sponsored Instagram post, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
In just six months or so, Huda saw her combined followers on Insta and YouTube rise from around 44 million to just over 52 million currently.
James Charles saw the biggest increase in followers since our last report, gaining an impressive 13 million new ‘sisters’, an increase of 40%.
However, he’s actually dropped from first to second on our influencer rankings, due to a massive increase in the potential earnings of Huda Kattan (which are calculated based on engagement, not just total number of followers).
Since we last ran the Cosmetify Index, Bretman Rock has steadily seen his followers grow. With 1.9 million new followers, an increase of 9%, he just falls behind James Charles in the rankings this time around.
Next up, we take a closer look at which beauty brands have seen the biggest increase in interest over the last three months.
It’s been a tough time for all kinds of industries, not just beauty, but searches for cosmetics have been down across the board. However, there are still some companies which have seen interest on the up in the last quarter.
PÜR Cosmetics saw an increase of 337.9% - the biggest spike in searches throughout Q3! This was largely down to a much-anticipated collaboration with beauty blogger RawBeautyKristi, which sold out just hours after going on sale in early July. They also launched a Barbie-themed makeup collection in August to celebrate the iconic doll’s 60th birthday.
Another company that saw interest grow by more than double was Kitsch, who are best known for their designer hair products (which often go viral on Instagram). They made the best of a bad situation with the coronavirus pandemic, creating a range of lightweight, stylish, cotton face masks, which were a huge hit.
Another brand which has largely benefitted from the current situation is Merci Handy, who actually had the biggest increase in popularity in the last edition of the index. They specialise in colourful hand gels made using clean ingredients, which understandably have been in high demand over the last couple of months.
Probably the least surprising aspect of the Cosmetify Index at this stage is that Huda Beauty is by far the most followed beauty brand on Instagram. At the latest count, the brand had over 47.9 million followers, steadily closing in on the 50 million mark after adding around 4 million new followers since the last edition of the index. Once again, they’re followed by Kylie Cosmetics (24.8m) and M·A·C Cosmetics (23.4m).
Huda also takes the crown when it comes to the highest number of hashtag mentions on Instagram, with over 27 million people posting about Huda and her products. That’s an increase of about 2 million from quarter 1.
Florence by Mills has had an incredibly high social media engagement rate in each edition of the Cosmetify Index. Over time, that rate has steadily dropped down to 4.41% as the initial hype from the brand’s launch has potentially died down a little. But, that’s still a very impressive level of engagement for a big brand – especially one with just shy of 2 million followers.
One of the areas where we saw the biggest change in this edition of the Cosmetify Index was our look at each country’s favourite beauty brand.
While in previous years, the picture has largely been dominated by Yves Rocher, this time around it was an even split between the French brand and The Body Shop, which were both the top brand in 31 different countries around the world.
Other popular brands around the world included Dove and ColourPop and we once again saw a few brands which clearly have a strong presence in their home country, such as RMK in Japan, Fenty Beauty in the Caribbean and Ole Henriksen in Denmark.
With the beauty industry having a large carbon footprint, we also wanted to highlight some of the sustainable brands that our users at Cosmetify have been loving the most in the past three months, as more and more of us make a conscious effort to reduce our impact on the planet, especially when it comes to our beauty routines.
Our most popular sustainable brand this quarter was Origins, who pride themselves in delivering the nation with a great selection of soothing skin, body and cosmetic items. More recently, the brand has made great strides in terms of sustainability, having supported reforestation projects as part of a bid to plant one million trees, and achieve net-zero carbon emissions
Liz Earle herself is a passionate advocate of sustainable and regenerative agriculture, which is definitely something that feeds into the ethos of her brand. The company only uses responsibly sourced ingredients, with a focus on ‘naturally active’ ingredients that have been naturally derived from plant, marine or mineral sources.
They may be one of the smaller beauty brands to feature, but we’ve seen an increasing interest in Weleda and their products. The brand was founded by Rudolf Steiner, who also founded the philosophy of ‘anthroposophy’, which states that “we must do our best to support an adequate living for everyone today, without compromising the needs of future generations”.
Rituals are one of the biggest names in the beauty world, taking 18th place in our overall ranking and also featuring as the favourite brand in eleven countries around the world. They’re also leading the way when it comes to sustainability, whether that’s through their natural hand and lip care collections and eco-friendly refills or working to support women in countries around the world.
Burt’s Bees are a very transparent sustainable beauty brand, regularly sharing their sustainability goals and achievements for everyone to see, not just highlighting where they’re doing well, but also where they can look to improve.