The Beauty Index 2022

When it comes to skincare or cosmetics there is a wealth of options available, from household names to boutique style start-ups. In the past year alone, we have seen beauty trends boom, such as soap brows and faux freckles, but which beauty products were our favourites?

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As a follow up from’s Beauty Index 2021, our credit card spending experts reveal the UK’s most searched for beauty products for 2022. The index uses Google search data from more than 8,500 products from both luxury and high street retailers to reveal the most sought after beauty products in the UK this year. 

If you are looking to add the must-have products to your collection you could consider a 0% interest credit card to spread the cost. 

Popularity: Most searched for beauty products in the UK

The #1 most searched for beauty product

Image of Gucci perfume on a shop shelf

Topping the charts for search popularity is luxury perfume, Gucci Guilty. Launched in 2010, the fragrance has risen in popularity and is a firm favourite of the Italian fashion house. At £76, the full sized bottle (90ml) received 10% of the overall search volume from nearly 400 perfumes researched in 2021.

CategoryProductSearch Volume (yearly)
PerfumeGucci Guilty301,200
SerumClarins Double Serum195,600
TonerPixi Glow Tonic167,200
BB/CC CreamLaura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser151,800
FoundationNars Sheer Glow Foundation133,300
PowderBareminerals Powder Foundation124,900
Makeup RemoverThe Ordinary Squalane Cleanser98,900
Face MaskElemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm85,800
Self TanIsle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops65,500
ConcealerNars Radiant Creamy Concealer61,400
MascaraLancome Hypnôse Mascara59,600
BronzerBenefit Hoola Bronzer55,300
BrowsNYX Brow Glue52,590
HighlighterCharlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter51,300
PrimerBobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base51,300
BlusherNars Blush49,400
False EyelashesArdell Wispies38,300
Face OilNuxe Huile Prodigieuse32,800
Setting SprayUrban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray27,600
EyeshadowNatasha Denona Glam Palette25,800
EyelinerNYX Jumbo Eye Pencil22,930

If you are looking to add some Gucci Guilty to your fragrance collection alongside an overhaul of your makeup collection, then prepare for a big spend. The cost of the ultimate makeup bag totals £651. 

The most highly contested beauty product – Highlighter 

Image containing two different variations of highlighter

With just 3,700 searches between them, Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Flawless Filter and Mac’s strobe cream was the most contested top spot. The cream highlight bases are both fan favourites with a combined search volume of 98,900 and both sit on the mid to lux end of the scale when it comes to the price at £34 and £25 respectively.

Social favourites

Image of woman putting on make up in front of a ring light (tutorial)

Social trends often impact a product's popularity with videos tagged “Tiktok made me buy it” racking up more than 8 billion views. Some social favourites made it to our most searched list, noted as ‘holy grails’ all over the internet, we saw products such as Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base top the charts in the primer category. The brand has more than 100 million tags on Tiktok alone with the most-liked video including Face Base racking up 1.8 million views.

Another fan favourite, Hollywood Flawless Filter from Charlotte Tilbury was the most searched for highlighter this year solidifying its success on Tiktok, where #chralottetilburyflawlessfilter has nearly 1 million views (919k).  

And of course, one of the hottest products from last year's index and a huge internet star with 3.2 million views on Tiktok, Nars Radiant creamy concealer was the most searched for in its category. 

Image with a tray of different make up products by the same brand

Price: Most searched for budget beauty products

It can be hard to keep up with the ever changing beauty trends and latest products on a budget. But mixing your kit with luxury and budget items is a great way to get the most out of your money and that's why we have revealed the most searched for beauty products for £10 or less.

BB/CC CreamNatural Collection Tinted Moisturiser£2.99
BlusherNo7 Blusher£8.95
BronzerE.L.F Putty Bronzer£6.00
BrowsNYX Brow Glue£6.50
ConcealerMaybelline Fit Me Concealer£5.99
EyelinerNYX Jumbo Eye Pencil£5.50
EyeshadowRevlon Colorstay Creme Eye Shadow£6.99
Face MaskThe Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque£9.75
Face OilThe Ordinary “B” Oil£8.50
False EyelashesArdell Wispies£4.75
FoundationThe Ordinary Serum Foundation£5.70
HighlighterNYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator£8.00
Makeup RemoverThe Ordinary Squalane Cleanser£5.50
MascaraMaybelline Lash Sensational Mascara£9.99
PowderCollection Pressed Powder£2.49
PrimerNYX Born To Glow£10.00
SerumThe Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%£5.00
Setting SprayNYX Setting Spray£7.00
TonerThe Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution£6.80

The winner when it comes to budget beauty, for a second year in a row is, The Ordinary. The cult skincare brand is a Zillennial favourite both in-store and online, with their simple no-nonsense approach to trending skincare. The brand was the most popular value product in a variety of categories including, serums, makeup remover, toner, face oil, face masks and even foundation. 

The Beauty Index - (Image Module)

Second spot goes to American makeup brand NYX, with its low cost but highly coveted products. Often sold out at beauty stands, NYX holds the low cost top spot for eyeliner, brow products, setting spray, highlighter and primer.

Cruelty-free: The most searched for beauty products not tested on animals

Image of a sign, protesting against testing animals for cosmetics

Year on year there is more expectation from consumers for brands to be up to standard when it comes to animal testing. Here are the most searched for beauty products classed as cruelty-free by  PETA.

BB/CC CreamLaura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser£33.00
BlusherMilani Baked Blush£11.00
BronzerCharlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand£29.00
BrowsNYX Brow Glue£6.50
ConcealerThe Ordinary Concealer£4.90
EyelinerNYX Jumbo Eye Pencil£5.50
EyeshadowNatasha Denona Glam Palette£60.00
Face MaskOmorovicza Silver Skin Saviour£69.00
Face OilSunday Riley Ceo Glow£68.00
False EyelashesArdell Wispies£4.75
FoundationCharlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation£34.00
HighlighterCharlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter£34.00
Makeup RemoverThe Ordinary Squalane Cleanser£5.50
MascaraUrban Decay Perversion Mascara£21.00
PowderHourglass Ambient Lighting Palette£61.00
PrimerCharlotte Tilbury Wonderglow£39.00
Self TanIsle Of Paradise Self Tanning Drops£19.95
SerumThe Ordinary Buffet£11.75
Setting SprayUrban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray£26.00
TonerPixi Glow Tonic£18.00
PerfumeLe Labo Santal 33£141

So whether you are looking to expand your collection, find the most loved affordable products or make sure your purchases are cruelty-free, you have a variety of options and an industry working to provide more each year. 

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Methodology and sources

*Cruelty-free status was checked using PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies search engine. For brands that were not listed, we checked the brand’s website FAQs and other sources. Where a brand’s credentials were not listed by PETA and there were conflicting reports on a brand’s cruelty-free status, these were not included. Some of the brands are classed as cruelty-free by PETA but their parent companies may not be. 

We scraped all the brands, product names and prices from 21 cosmetics categories on, Cult Beauty, Harvey Nichols and Beauty Bay to create our seed list of beauty products. We then used Google Adwords to retrieve 12 months worth of search data (correct as of 14 January 2022).

As the aim of this campaign was to highlight specific products which consumers search for only near-exact product names were used. For example, a search term needed to be ‘Nars Sheer Glow Foundation’ not just ‘Nars foundation’. Products with names over 10 words and 80 characters were appropriately shortened to run them through Google Adwords. Colours, sizes, SPF credentials, and long ingredient descriptions were removed.

Some products were available across multiple websites and therefore we used the cheapest price for our tables.

Where single products (excluding palettes) appeared in multiple categories, for example, MAC’s Strobe Cream appeared under Primers and Highlighters, we consulted the specific brand’s website to find their classification. For products which are classified as ‘multi-use’ we have included these within multiple categories.

About James Andrews 

James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC

View James Andrews’ full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.

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About James Andrews

James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.