Pure Beauty

Florence By Mills and CeraVe crowned 2022’s hottest beauty brands

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 15-Dec-2022

The Gen Z and dermatologist-approved beauty brands have reached peak popularity, dominating Google and Instagram searches over the past 12 months

Florence By Mills has been named 2022’s most popular beauty brand, followed closely by CeraVe and Glossier.

All three brands have blown up online over the past 12 months, according to beauty comparison site Cosmetify’s 2022 Index.

The report ranks the biggest beauty brands in the world based on Google searches and Instagram engagement, mentions and following. 

Gen Z brand Florence By Mills, founded by Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, took the top spot for its 1.78% Instagram engagement rate and 3.1 million following. 

The brand also reported a huge increase in Google searches this year, totalling 3.8m. 

Dermatologist recommended skin care brand CeraVe came in second.

Although its Instagram engagement rate only came in at 0.41%, the brand achieved 18.4m Google searches this year.

This is a +26.62% increase compared to 2021’s figures, the report found. 

Glossier got savvy on Instagram to secure its place as 2022's third hottest beauty brand

Glossier got savvy on Instagram to secure its place as 2022's third hottest beauty brand

Millennial-pink beauty brand Glossier took third place after doubling down on its cult following, resulting in 2.6 million Instagram followers.

The brand boosted its engagement with “influencer collaborations, aesthetically-pleasing tips and tricks, and videos of sleek packaged products,” said Cosmetify.  

Other brands that made the top ten include The Body Shop, Estée Lauder, Revolution Beauty, Yves Rocher, Olaplex, Fenty Beauty and Caudalie. 

Brands that have fallen out of favour

Some beauty brands, meanwhile, experienced a fall from grace in terms of engagement and searches.

Make-up brand BH Cosmetics experienced an -79.96% decrease in searches over the past year.

Cosmetify cited the brand filing for bankruptcy protection in January 2022, after sales plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic, as a key reason. 

BH Cosmetics experienced an -79.96% decrease in searches

BH Cosmetics experienced an -79.96% decrease in searches

Swedish skin and oral care brand Foreo also experienced a steep drop.

Its search volume fell from 5,076,000 in 2021 to 3,046,000 in 2022 – a -66.64% decrease. 

“It could be that the initial hype of the brand has now cooled off,” said Cosmetify.

Skin care brand Palmers’ popularity has also dropped, with a -43.83% decrease in Google searches.

The brand had a search volume of 6,005,000 in July 2021, which decreased to 4,175,000 in 2022, found the report.

“In earlier years, Palmers collaborated with celebrities and influencers, including the likes of DJ Khaled in 2017,” said Cosmetify.

“It could be that the brand’s representation has died down since then.” 

Best places to shop for beauty

This year’s best beauty retailers were also revealed – for both the UK and US.

Analysing organic web traffic data, Instagram followers, hashtag mentions and engagement rates, the comparison site gave each retailer a score out of ten. 

The top three beauty retailers in the UK are Beauty Bay (8.61/10), Boots (6.67/10) and Superdrug (6.11/10).

“Beauty Bay stole the show when it comes to Instagram,” said Cosmetify. 

“With 1.95 million followers, a fantastic engagement rate of 0.17% and almost three-quarters-of-a-million posts.” 

Boots has cemented its reputation as one of the UK's top beauty retailers this year

Boots has cemented its reputation as one of the UK's top beauty retailers this year

In the US, Sephora (7.71/10), Ulta Beauty (7.71/10) and Sally Beauty (7.29) took the top spots. 

“In terms of Instagram followers and posts, Sephora came first with Ulta Beauty second,” added Cosmetify.

“When it came to monthly traffic, this was reversed. 

“The two were also neck-and-neck in terms of engagement rates.”

2022’s most powerful beauty influencers

The biggest influencers in the beauty world have also been unveiled, with YouTube star and make-up artist James Charles coming out top.

Charles remains one of the most influential players in the business, with 29.3 million YouTube subscribers and 22.8 million Instagram followers. 

However, he has also undergone some high-profile controversies of late.

Last year he was accused of grooming a 16-year-old boy and pressurising him into exchanging sexual photos via Snapchat.  

Brazilian beauty guru Mari Maria, who rose to fame on TikTok, scooped second place. 

She has 20.1 million Instagram followers and her expected earnings for sponsored posts are upwards of £205,000, the report found.

Bretman Rock came in third with 8.8 million YouTube subscribers and 18.4 million followers.

He has his own reality show – MTV Following: Bretman Rock – and was the first openly gay man to appear on the cover of Playboy.

The list was calculated using follower counts on YouTube and Instagram, as well as the potential income influencers could be earning from sponsored posts. 

2022’s most searched-for beauty products:

  1. Olaplex No.3 Hair Protector
  2. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
  3. Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
  4. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  5. Embryolisse Lait Créme Concentré
  6. Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
  7. CeraVe Blemish Control Cleanser
  8. Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam
  9. Bareminerals Original Loose Powder
  10. Carolina Herrera Good Girl Eau de Parfum Spray. 

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