The face of the nation

Published: 23-Sep-2021

Make-up is unique to the person that is wearing it, and trends differ across the world find out more in this report from Justmylook

Justmylook know that foundation holds an important role in everyone's day-to-day make-up routine, serving as the perfect base to your look, though this essential beauty product hasn’t always been the same.

First used by the Greeks and Romans, foundations have gone from containing dangerous ingredients to those that benefit your skin, from dewey to matte, from powder to liquid… There is always a new foundation trend to try out.

Right now beauty trends are all about the no-make-up-make-up-look, but we wanted to find out exactly what trends are most popular with foundation both globally and in the UK… From finishes to brands, their report reveals all.

Every country's most popular foundation brand

The face of the nation

Just like each person has their own favourite products, each country does too. Justmylook analysed Google searches to find out the most popular foundation brand in every country to see whether there are any brands that shine above the rest.

The face of the nation

Their map revealed that Clarins’ foundation is the popular choice in the highest number of countries, 29 to be exact, such as Costa Rica, Hungary and Russia. Clarins was established in Paris in 1954 as an institute and is now well-loved all over the world for their use of natural ingredients and belief in well-being and happiness.

The well known brand Maybelline isn’t far behind as their report revealed that they are the favourite in 25 countries. People living in the likes of Canada, Mexico and Spain all prefer Maybelline when it comes to their foundation which comes as no surprise due to the accessible price-point making it the perfect starter brand for any young girl, while influencer marketing and presence on the runway makes for fans from all generations.

Other foundation brands that their report revealed as highly popular across multiple countries are Nars, Mac, Benefit and Fenty all proving popular in around nine to ten countries each.

The most popular foundation finishes

The face of the nation

There are so many different foundation finishes to choose from depending on the look you are going for, though their report reveals that the no-make-up-look is the most popular worldwide as BB cream takes the lead in 65 countries including the United Kingdom, United States and South Korea which is nearly 60% of the globe! Their research shows that 27% of people wear makeup every day, and 27% multiple times a week so it comes as no surprise that BB cream is so popular, it is the perfect foundation for continuous use due to is lightweight formula allowing your skin to breathe and not trapping as much dirt and oil in your pores.

The second most popular finish is matte which came out on top in 15 different countries. This type of finish is very popular in warmer countries such as the Bahamas, Cyprus and Montenegro as it covers up oil and sweat. This isn’t as popular in countries that experience colder winters as this causes dry skin which matte foundation could potentially exacerbate.

Other finishes that are the most popular in countries around the world include dewey, popular in China, Ireland and Mexico, longwear foundation, popular in India, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates, and medium coverage which is the most popular in countries such as Jamaica and Slovenia.

The face of the nation

The most popular foundation application method

The face of the nation

At one point or another we have all applied our foundation using our hands. This used to be the accepted way of applying foundation, but then MUA’s became more popular and make-up tutorials on YouTube became huge and all of a sudden we forgot about using our hands and the tools took over, more importantly… The beauty blender.

Justmylook's report revealed that the well-known egg shaped sponge is now the most popular method for applying foundation around the world, in fact an incredible 91 countries love this method the most. From Australia to Germany and all the way over in Russia, the beauty blender is not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s no surprise that this method is so popular, the benefits of using a beauty blender include clean hands (and no germs being transferred to your face), a streak free application and helps conceal your pores.

The spongy texture of a beauty blender has proven to be popular in other countries too, as make-up sponges take second place as the most popular around the world. The egg shape of a beauty blender isn’t the only sponge applicator available, wedges and round sponges are also wildly popular according to their report with countries such as Albania, Iceland and Zimbabwe all preferring this method of application.

The other commonly used application method, brushes, is the most popular in just eight countries with China, Vietnam and South Korea all favouring this method, possibly due to the glass skin trend that is popular in these countries as the sponge will have a mattifying effect on foundation applications.

Although they are not as popular as their spongy competitors, make-up brushes are also still a popular choice with makeup artists due to the ability to wash the brushes as opposed to replacing sponges.

The global trending foundation

The face of the nation
The face of the nation

It is safe to say that Fenty Beauty has got everyone talking. Positioned as the number one trending foundation brand of 2021, it is safe to say that Rihanna’s beauty brand has got everyone talking. From inclusive shades to glowy finishes, Fenty foundations have given the world what they have been asking for, for years. The products have taken the world by storm, featuring in countless YouTube videos, TikToks and Instagram posts, while also featuring in high-end fashion and beauty publications such as Vogue, RiRi is not messing around.

Estee Lauder is the second big brand to keep your eye on. This brand is not new on the scene, but it has still managed to reach younger generations as well as older generations with its famous double long wear foundation. The perfect foundation for a fuller coverage while boasting a formula that allows your skin the breathe, it is no surprise that this brand is trending.

Glossier’s marketing team is to thank for it’s trending status in 2021. Earlier in the year the brand caused a lot of noise in the cosmetics industry by announcing on it’s social platforms that it was doing a huge online sale which was very uncommon for Glossier and caused the brand to sell out.

Other brands that have made a splash in the foundation world this year are Dior, Wet n Wild and Catrice cosmetics who recently went viral on TikTok for it’s Huda Beauty foundation dupe for less than £7.

The face of the nation

Nars comes out on top in the UK as the favourite foundation brand and with their full range of varied foundation options from luminous finish to spf foundation, we can completely understand why. No.7 by Boots came in second place, the brand was launched by Boots in 1935 as a range of skincare products, this expanded into a range of cosmetics products a few years later. It’s accessible price-range and age defying products make it perfect for all ages whether they are looking for prevention or anti-aging, so it comes as no surprise that this is at number two on the list.

Other popular foundation brands in the UK are Rimmel, Max Factor, Maybelline and L’Oréal, all likely to be a result of their presence in supermarkets and drugstores across the country. The range of products offered by these brands vary from full coverage to BB creams meaning that there is a product for everyone.

Instagram’s most loved beauty brands

The face of the nation

Social media is one of the biggest platforms for the make-up industry, and where better to look for the most loved brands than the original platform that allowed MUA’s and beauty lovers to showcase their looks.

Mac is officially the most loved beauty brand on Instagram with almost 30 million tagged hashtags. As one of the biggest make-up artistry brands Mac broke the mould for traditional make-up and introduced bright pops of colour, sharp shapes and expressing yourself. With over 24 million followers they have created a community of make-up lovers worldwide.

Started by make-up artist Huda Kattan, Huda Beauty is the second most loved beauty brand on instagram with almost 29 million tagged hashtags. The brand has an invested community of make-up lovers who are a fan of the brand but also Huda herself. Before Huda Beauty was created, Huda was one of Instagram’s biggest make-up artists and has amassed over 50 million followers across both accounts.

Fenty Beauty is another brand that has seen a huge following due to the name associated with it, Rihanna. The singer’s beauty brand is just one of Rihanna’s successful business ventures over the years bringing inclusive beauty to the industry. The brand benefits greatly from user generated content which is perfect for platforms like Instagram where it has gained 11 million followers.

Other popular beauty brands on Instagram include Urban Decay, Nars and Benefit all of which utilise influencers marketing to reach their audiences.


Their report shows that makeup is unique to the person that is wearing it, and trends differ across the world. At Justmylook they have all the products you need no matter what trend you’re following, looking for the perfect base for a no-make-up-make-up look? Take a look at their range of BB creams for the perfect finish. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a new beauty blender or make-up brush for a flawless application.

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