By Alicia Williams, Brand Relationship Manager, GO!


In the week where a lot of people were listening to and sharing their Spotify ‘Your 2020 Wrapped’ what really caught my attention was The Cosmetify Index 2020 ranking all leading beauty brands.

I find it incredibly interesting which brands are the most popular in each country- perhaps if this had been the way to demonstrate and teach GDP per Capita I would have listened more in Geography.

In previous years, the map has largely been dominated by Yves Rocher, but for 2020 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. Second popular is Dove who came first in 15 countries and it was also fascinating to see ColourPop leading USA.

It is imperative in such an aggressive market to know your target audience, who are your direct and indirect competitors? How can you align the marketing strategy well? What is the tone of voice? What is the aesthetic? And how do you safeguard the balance of the ‘hero’ and ‘new’ product ranges?

Brands that are clearly able to maximise their home turf advantage are RMK in Japan, Fenty Beauty in the Caribbean and Ole Henriksen in Denmark.

I’m keen to investigate more into how each brand will have made changes to their above and below the line marketing activation for this year, which campaigns have had to be adapted, delayed or scrapped. How did they change the beauty hall experience to an online one without losing the incentive to purchase especially when people were not leaving their houses?

Undeniably social is one of the biggest tools for beauty and is here to stay. Social has been important to both customers and brands and provides a platform to reach a worldwide audience for hours on end.


The Top 10 beauty brands in the world based on Instagram followers, Instagram engagement, Instagram mentions, Google search volume and change in search volume are:

  1. Huda Beauty
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills
  3. MAC Cosmetics
  4. The Body Shop
  5. Florence by Mills
  6. L’Oreal Paris
  7. Yves Rocher
  8. Colourpop Cosmetics
  9. PÜR
  10. Morphe


The brands killing it with the largest social following are:

  1. Huda Beauty (47.9 million followers)
  2. Kylie Cosmetics (24.8 million followers)
  3. MAC Cosmetics (23.4 million followers)


However, sneaking in at number two on the most tagged brands is Anastasia:

  1. Huda Beauty (27 million Instagram hashtags)
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills (24.4 million Instagram hashtags)
  3. MAC Cosmetics (19.2 million Instagram hashtags)


I’m completely biased but could look at cosmetic imagery day in day out. It is as creative as artwork and although each feed is predominately filled with perfectly applied foundation, an expert winged eye or lips that make me want to overline my own but there are also surprising and unique finds. Social is also an opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves, engage with their community and gain valuable insight into their customers- what makes them excited? What packaging is the most instagrammable? Is that more important than formulation? How are consumers using the existing product base? What products could enhance the range?


We all have our favourites our go-to gurus for beauty advice, tips and tutorials and Cosmetify also looked at the most powerful beauty influencers. The result for 2020 based on follower counts on Instagram and YouTube, as well as how much money they could be making from sponsored posts are:

  1. Huda Kattan
  2. James Charles
  3. Bretman Rock


Finally, With the beauty industry having a large carbon footprint, Cosmetify also wanted to highlight some of the sustainable brands that users have been loving the most in the past three months. More and more of us make a conscious effort to think about sustainability as mentioned in a previous blog post.

Origins is the most popular sustainable brand this quarter 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.

Firm favourite Liz Earle also gains a well deserved top three spot. 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.

Relatively new on my own radar but creeping into almost every top list, influencer feed and blogger recommendations is Weleda. 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”.

I am really keen to hear the opinions of my network.

  • What surprised you?
  • How has the marketing activities changed?
  • What does 2021 planning look like?
  • What’s been your hero product of 2020?

Let me know by dropping me an email at: [email protected]