In 2021, we launched an updated version of the Cosmetify Index, ranking the world’s biggest beauty brands based on their social engagement and following, and it went viral. Now, in 2022, we will be revamping our index with the most powerful new influencers and brands to make their mark on the beauty landscape.
This year, we will be exploring the hottest brands that have been on the rise in the last 12 months, our holy grail beauty products, our favourite sustainable brands, and the most powerful beauty influencers of 2022.
To get to know 2022’s hottest new beauty brands, we explored the 100 most searched beauty brands in the world, ranking them on: Instagram followers, Instagram engagement, Instagram mentions, Google searches and change in searches.
This year, the world has made a switch, preferring sustainable, natural ingredients in their products. Our new top 10 beauty brands are:
Florence By Mills has taken the beauty world by storm this year, soaring to the top spot for its impressive Instagram engagement. The brand has seen a huge increase in Google searches and Instagram followers since our 2021 edition of the index. Created by none other than Stranger Things star, Millie Bobby Brown, the brand is likely to stay in first place for a long time.
CeraVe is the number one dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, so it's no wonder that this brand is in the top three. CeraVe has seen 18.4 million searches just in the last 12 months, that’s an increase of 26.62% to the previous year. The brand is known for its products enriched with a blend of three essential ceramides (ceramides, 1, 3 and 6-II), fatty acids and other lipids to help repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
Another fresh new brand in our top 10 is the highly successful Glossier. Glossier boasts 2.6 million Instagram followers, with a profile featuring influencer collaborations, aesthetically pleasing tips and tricks, and videos of their sleek packaged products. This minimalist and refreshing cosmetics brand is leading the way with its cult following.
The Body Shop
This UK-based skincare, beauty and bath brand jumped up to fourth place in this year’s edition. The Body Shop is once again crowned the most searched beauty brand in the world, topping our last index in 2021, with now over 40 million Google searches.
Estee Lauder has made it to our top 10 beauty brands, and rightfully so, its products are sold in approximately 150 countries and territories, under brand names including Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Lab Series, Origins, M·A·C, La Mer and Bobbi Brown. Estee Lauder has 4.3 million followers on Instagram, and its Google searches have gone up 7.71% in the last year.
Making it to our top 10 for the very first time, is Revolution, a UK-based brand offering skincare, cosmetics, and hair products. Bringing their customers the latest ingredients, formulations and technology at an affordable price, Revolution has built an impressive and loyal Instagram following of 3.4 million. Revolution Beauty develops incredible, cruelty-free beauty for everyone, made accessible and affordable for all.
In seventh place is Yves Rocher, a huge global brand in Europe and beyond. Although Yves Rocher’s Google search volume dropped slightly this year, a huge 30 million searches for the brand were recorded this year.
Also in joint seventh place is Olaplex, the hugely popular hair care brand. Olaplex ranks as the third most Instagrammable beauty brand in the world with 13.9 million posts. It’s also amongst the most searched, with around 18.5 million searches in the last twelve months. Olaplex has experienced a meteoric rise since starting out in a California garage less than ten years ago and is now one of the biggest independent haircare brands in the world.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna made a huge comeback in 2022, with popular favourites including Fenty Beauty foundation, face primer and Gloss Bomb. Rihanna launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included.” The brand has seen an increase in searches this year, and Rihanna’s brand still has a proud following of 11.7 million.
Another brand that is new to our top 10 is eco-friendly French skincare brand, Caudalie. Caudalie skincare boasts 962,000 Instagram followers, an impressive 0.25% Instagram engagement rate, and 5.7 million customers searching for the brand this year. Launched in Bordeaux in 1995, the brand offers entirely plant based products, with 0% parabens, silicones, and sulphates, which has become extremely favourable for eco-conscious skincare lovers everywhere.
We found the most popular hair brands by looking at the top names in the hair game in the last year, and we looked at various social media factors and Google searches. Some of these brands also appeared in our top 10 beauty brands overall, so we decided to look at purely hair based brands in this year’s index. These top selling hair brands made it to our top 5:
This fresh name in our top 10 brands, is a brand that has revolutionised the salon industry, and haircare buffs everywhere with its bond-building technology. Olaplex boasts over 1 million hashtag mentions on Instagram, close to 18.5 million Google searches in the last year, an increase of 21%, and a huge Instagram following of 2.3 million. We’re sure Olaplex will be sticking around in our top 10 brands.
Ghd has become the number one global hair brand for professionals, celebrities and individuals. Ghd is well known for its professional hair straighteners, hair dryers, curlers and hot brushes for fresh out of the salon locks. Ghd saw close to 6 million Google searches in the last year, and has a following of 762,000.
Babyliss was founded in 1961 and has become a leader in both electrical beauty and grooming. The brand provides professional quality, high performance hair clippers, beard trimmers, as well as hair stylers like the cordless hair straightener. Babyliss has 1.6 million tagged posts on Instagram, and has an impressive engagement rate of 0.13%.
Long standing professional haircare brand Paul Mitchell has served the professional beauty industry for over 40 years. With salon-quality hair products and styling tools including damage repair systems and styling products to keep up with hair trends. The brand has 2.7 million hashtag mentions and saw almost 1.8 million Google searches in the last year.
Davines sustainable hair care has marked its stamp on the world this year, with an impressive number of Google searches (1.92 million). Davines has 2.2 million Instagram mentions, an engagement rate of 0.13%, and an increase in its Google searches compared to 2021(1.25% increase).
Founded in Parma, Italy, back in 1983, Davines is family-owned and favours the use of natural origin ingredients to create salon professional products. Davines offsets 100% of all CO2 emissions from its packaging, products, and its site in Parma, as well as their offices worldwide.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, online retailers have seen a huge increase in sales, leaving stand-alone retailers to suffer. We wanted to explore a new avenue this year, by exploring which beauty retailers are the most popular in 2022.
We ventured into using a range of factors, this time including organic web traffic for each retailer’s website in the last year, Instagram followers, hashtag mentions, and engagement rates.
In the UK, we also included the exciting new launch of Sephora’s UK online store (previously FeelUnique). We used FeelUnique’s organic web traffic to give us an accurate result, as Sephora UK is a new and upcoming website.
We also took a look at which are currently the biggest beauty retailers in the US, with the pictures being dominated by two giants of the industry.
Sephora and Ulta Beauty are dominant figures when it comes to US beauty retailers, which can be seen in the fact that both of them came top for two out of four factors.
8.61/10 Overall score
Beauty Bay has become the leading beauty and skincare retailer in the UK. Beauty Bay, based in Manchester, is an online store for the beauty obsessed, with over 10,000 products on its site and new launches every week. Beauty Bay stole the show when it comes to Instagram, with 1.95 million followers, a fantastic engagement rate of 0.17%, and almost three-quarters of a million posts.
6.67 /10 Overall score
Boots grabbed second place for our hottest beauty retailers. Boots stores were founded way back in 1849 in Nottingham, and it has since become the number one high street retailer for health and beauty. Boots operates over 2,200 stores and offers customers a loyalty card programme with the Boots Advantage Card. As Boots is one of the largest retailers in the UK and Ireland, it scored the best on our list of retailers in terms of its explosive web traffic, with over 19 million average visitors a month. Boots also has an impressive Instagram following of over 1 million.
6.11 /10 Overall score
In third place is Superdrug, which has become a high street favourite for shoppers, and now prides itself as the second largest UK beauty and healthcare retailer, behind Boots, with over three million visitors a month. The retailer, founded in 1964, now has an impressive 292,056 Instagram hashtag mentions, and its product videos have been trending on TikTok in the last year.
5.56 /10 Overall score
Two retailers are tied in fourth place, the first of which is Cult Beauty. Cult Was founded in 2008 but recently underwent a hue acquisition by THG plc for almost $350 million. It specialises in selling independent brands, as well as sustainability and transparency in the industry.
5.56 /10 Overall score
Also tied in fourth place is Sephora UK, which recently replaced Feelunique. The brand is huge in the US but has been absent from the UK for some years. Not only has it now returned online, but will be opening its first UK store in London in spring 2023.
7.71/10 Overall score
In the US, there were two brands tied for the top spot, Sephora and Ulta Beauty. In terms of Instagram followers and posts, Sephora came first with Ulta second. And when it comes to monthly traffic, this was reversed, with Ulta first and Sephora second. The two were also neck and neck in terms of engagement rates, with Ulta just coming out on top there too. Sephora is actually based in France and features over 300 brands, including its own collection, with products across cosmetics, skincare, body, fragrance, nail colour, beauty tools, body lotions and haircare.
7.71 /10 Overall score
Joining Sephora at the top of the tree is Ulta Beauty, formerly known as Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance. Based in Illinois, their stores stock high-end and drugstore cosmetics, skincare, and fragrances, from brands such as MAC and Kylie Cosmetics. They also have their own brands of beauty products and fragrances.
7.29 /10 Overall score
In third place is Sally Beauty, which only came ninth in the UK. While they have over 4,000 stores in countries right around the world, the brand is based in the US, having opened its first store in New Orleans in 1964. Sally Beauty came third behind Sephora and Ulta in three out of the four categories: its Instagram followers and posts and its monthly organic traffic.
6.46/10 Overall score
In fourth is Soko Glam, which specializes in a particular niche, offering Korean beauty products to the US market. Formed in 2012, today it’s one of the biggest K-Beauty providers in the country. Soko Glam has one of the highest engagement rates out of these retailers, at 0.09%.
6.25/10 Overall score
Two retailers also tied in fifth place, the first of which is FragranceNet.com. As the name suggests, this retailer does mainly focus on fragrances, but they also have an extensive selection of skincare haircare and makeup too.
6.25/10 Overall score
Joining FragranceNet.com in fifth place is Beautylish. Beautylish offers makeup skincare and haircare products and was founded in 2010. It was amongst the top-scoring retailers for both is Instagram followers (536,000 followers) and posts (89,961).
We also looked at the biggest influencer stars in the beauty world at the moment, refreshing our take on the 2021 gurus. We inspected their follower counts on YouTube and Instagram, and their potential income they could be earning from sponsored posts.
James Charles remains in the top spot on our list of the hottest beauty influencers in 2022, with 29.3 million YouTube subscribers and 22.8 million Instagram followers, and a combined total of 52.1 million. Despite some high-profile controversies in the last year, the star remains in the top spot.
Mari Maria is a beauty guru who initially rose to fame on TikTok, Instagram and Youtube and has since become an influencer phenomenon. The Brazilian star has almost 10 million YouTube subscribers and an impressive Instagram following of 20.1 million, closely behind James Charles. Her expected earnings for sponsored Instagram posts are upwards of $235,000.
In third place is Bretman Rock, with 8.8 million YouTube subscribers and 18.4 followers on YouTube. Born in the Philippines but based in Hawaii, he rose to fame on Vine with a series of viral contouring videos back in 2015. More recently, he’s starred in his own reality TV show and became the first openly gay man to appear on the cover of Playboy.
Next up, we will take a closer look at which beauty brands have seen the biggest increase in interest over the last twelve months.
The year of 2022 saw searches on the rise for a lot of brands, as the sector is finally recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
With a huge search increase of 95%, Kiko Milano has risen to the top spot. Italy, despite having one of the world’s four major fashion capitals, is not necessarily recognized for its beauty brands the way France and the UK have been for decades. Kiko Milano is quite literally putting Italy on the beauty map, since its founding in 1997, there are now over 1,000 stores in 21 countries. The brand had a small search volume of 2,476 in 2021 which exploded to 4.8 million in the last 12 months.
Runway makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is by no means a newbie to the beauty world, but her debut brand has blown up in popularity in the last year, thanks to her platform on TikTok. Charlotte’s once limited collection now boasts a sprawling selection, from nude lipsticks and eye-enhancing liners to dozens of twinkling eye palettes. In 2021, the brand had a search volume of 9,884,000, and in the last year has risen to almost 15.5 million.
IsaDora cosmetics, established in 1983, was voted Sweden’s most popular cosmetics brand and has risen in popularity in recent years. The line had a search volume of 2,133,000 in 2021, and has climbed to 3,294,000 in the last 12 months. When a beauty brand rules an entire country as the #1 best-selling makeup line, you know it's gotta be good.
- 79.96% decrease
One brand that saw a lot of popularity in recent years but just missed out this year is BH Cosmetics. The major reason being that BH filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2021, after seeing sales plummet during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business is known for makeup, which didn't fare well as people stayed home and wore masks. BH saw a whopping 76.96% drop in its searches in the last year.
- 66.64% decrease
The Swedish skincare and oral care brand saw a decrease in searches in the last 12 months. Famed for their cleansing and massage facial brushes, the beauty-tech innovator sends shockwaves through your self-care regimen. It could be that the initial hype of the brand has now cooled off, with a search volume of 5,076,000 in 2021 which fell to 3,046,000 in 2022.
- 43.83% decrease
The trusted, global brand that is Palmer’s, is most famous for its cocoa body butters and lip balms. Palmer’s has seen a decrease in searches in the last 12 months. In July 2021, the brand had a search volume of 6,005,000, which dropped to 4,175,000 in 2022. In earlier years, Palmers collaborated with celebrities and influencers, including the likes of DJ Khaled in 2017, and it could be that the brand’s representation has died down since then.
50.8m Instagram followers
Huda Beauty remains in the top spot for the third time, for its remarkable social following, gaining 1.3 million followers since our last edition of this index. By far the most popular beauty brand on social media, Huda Beauty is a social media revelation, with a diverse and dedicated fan base.
25.9m Instagram followers
Created by social media queen, Kylie Jenner, who is now the second most followed Instagram user on the planet with 367 million followers, it's no wonder that the brand has just as much of an exceptional following.
24.5m Instagram followers
In third place for the highest social following is the iconic MAC Cosmetics. One of the largest and fastest growing brands in the world, initially created for professional makeup artists, has gained 300,000 followers since our last count. Its mass appeal is predicted to increase even more.
Barr Cosmetics has an exceptional social media engagement with their followers (3.39%), Barr is a new and upcoming cruelty-free, vegan skincare brand promoting sustainability. The Korean brand often posts reels and videos showcasing their products to their 9,500 followers, and their minimalist formulas with natural ingredients have become a popular choice.
The Depend brand falls just behind Barr Cosmetics but still has a high engagement with their followers (2.03%). The Depend brand produces incontinence products for men and women, and their instagram account features engaging posts of tips and tricks related to health and lifestyle.
Brisk Cosmetics takes third place for best social media engagement. As a UK founded and NYC based brand, with 2.1 million followers, they have fantastic engagement with their followers. Brisk is known for offering premium quality, yet affordable, beard grooming essentials.
In 2022, we noticed a few changes when we looked into every country’s favorite beauty brand. Avon dominated all other brands, and the brand was a staple for 21 countries. Oriflame has headed back into one of the most popular brands, as the most searched for beauty brand in 19 countries.
There has been a dramatic increase in love for Origins and Nordstrom, with 19 countries opting for Origins, and 17 for Nordstrom.
Other popular brands around the world included Revolution, The Body Shop and Rituals, making a much more varied picture of favorites this year.
With sustainability and eco-friendly products being a key focus for brands in this 2022 edition of the index, we 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, we can also apply this to our beauty routines.
ILIA is a skincare and makeup brand that offers skincare-powered makeup, designed to enhance the skin’s natural radiance. ILIA strives towards more recycled packaging, but not only that, they believe the end of makeup life is even more important, to ensure the products don’t end up in a landfill.
UpCircle’s mission is to repurpose what would be waste-ingredients to create award-winning skincare and beauty products. UpCircle’s most well known products are their eco-friendly eye cream, moisturizers and toners and serums. Their story started with giving used coffee grounds a new lease of life. Now, UpCircle has transformed more than 450 tonnes of waste into sustainable skincare.
Biolage professional haircare strives on their commitment to a better future, with all of their products having a vegan formula, cruelty-free and made out of 100% recyclable materials. Biolage’s primary manufacturing facility in the US is powered by renewable energy, committed to reducing water consumption and waste to landfills year over year.
Aveda has been leading the way in sustainability for some time and was the first beauty company to use 100% post-consumer recycled PET packaging. Aveda’s products are made from recycled containers like milk and soft drink bottles. Some of Aveda’s best-selling products include their haircare products and hydrating moisturizers.
REN is a clean skincare brand that endeavours to produce sustainable products. They launched a Zero Waste Pledge in 2018, to only produce packaging designed to be recyclable, containing recycled materials or being reusable by the end of 2021. After achieving their goal, their aluminium eco-smart sample won the Premium Skincare category in the PCD Innovation Awards that celebrates innovation in packaging.
Here are some planet-friendly products that our users at Cosmetify have been loving the most in the past three months.
We also took a look at which were the most popular beauty products that Cosmetify users have been searching for in 2022.
The most searched product was Olaplex’s No.3 Hair Perfector, followed by Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.
In this modern world we live in, social media is a key tool for any business. That’s especially true in the beauty industry, where thousands of brands are competing to win the hearts of potential customers.
Beauty brands are often the most followed and engaged with on social media, often posting tutorials and tips and tricks content, as well as collaborating with influencers and beauty bloggers. Let's dive into the beauty brands who are killing it on social media: