When I think back on the past 12 months, I believe 2022 has been a year full of defining beauty products and moments. Undoubtedly, social media—and TikTok in particular—is one of the biggest influences on the beauty products that we decided to purchase. Whether it be expensive-smelling perfumes or celebrity-favourite moisturisers filling our For You Pages, 2022 has seen real mix of products, both new and old classics, which have taken pride positions in our makeup bags, dressing tables and bathrooms.
After a couple of years of uncertainty during the pandemic, 2022 was the year that we finally had a sense of normality. As such, we made our way back to our beloved nail salons and hairdressers, however, we also became used to tending to our beauty routines and continuing to implement the skills we learned during lockdown.
A spokesperson from retailer Millies.ie noted how much these two important factors have continued to shape our purchasing habits: “We understand how much make-up trends can change over time, from the pandemic changing how people viewed make-up to everyone being allowed out again and embracing going out again. This, and social media trends have hugely changed which products are becoming cult favourites.”
You see, many of us, the Who What Wear UK team included, utilised our time spent indoors to experiment with new makeup, skincare, and haircare. And after a good year of being able to live our lives a little more freely, it begs the question: which products did we remain loyal to now that we're back to some form of normality? With our interest piqued, we set about finding out.
From luxurious investment purchases at Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols to the favourites we continue to stock up on at Cult Beauty and Lookfantastic, we sifted through beauty’s top retailers to find out which beauty products are most in demand. Keep scrolling to discover the most popular beauty products of 2022, and see how many you can tick off your bucket list.
At Net-a-Porter, super-luxe skincare devices and gifting reigned supreme. From candles to fragrance and makeup to skincare, there were a real mix of customer favourites in 2022.
Top of Net-A-Porter's bestselling beauty list is Diptyque's mini candle duo, complete with a candle carousel that spins from the warmth of the candle wick. The two candles, Rose and Mimosa, are two much-loved candles from Diptyque and their timeless scents make them ideal for anytime of the year. It no doubt makes a great gift (even for yourself) so it's no surprise that it's one of Net-A-Porter's bestsellers at the end of 2022 as we approached the gifting season.
Next up is Net-A-Porter's Vanity Case, which the retailer launches annually. And while £360 isn't exactly affordable, you do get a lot of bang for your buck. Inside the chic vanity case (which also has a mirror and compartments inside) you'll find hand-picked favourites from Net-A-Porter's beauty buying team, including Augustinus Bader The Cream Cleansing Gel, a Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quad, Dr. Barbara Sturm's The Better B Niacinamide Serum and 111 Skin's Molecular Hydration Mask amongst many other beauty big-hitters, including Slip's silk headband to wear as you perfect your skincare routine.
This luxe foundation contains the same prized Miracle Broth that you'll find in La Mer's moisturisers and skincare. As its name suggests, the liquid formula has a weightless feel upon application and promises long-lasting wear. And naturally, it looks chic on your dressing table too.
This fragrance rose to TikTok fame as the ultimate 'expensive-smelling' perfume in 2022, so it's no surprise that so many wanted a bottle—and yes, it is expensive. Blind buying a fragrance online can be tricky, but if there was a 2022 fragrance that could convince us, it was most certainly Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540, which smells of jasmine, saffron, cedarwood fir resin and amberwood. If you've not smelled this before, you will have most likely smelled it on someone else.
Harvey Nichols has also seen customers lap up luxury beauty products en masse, only this time around it's makeup that leads the way. Notably, brands such as Dior and Fenty Beauty came out on top.
When Rihanna dropped her Fenty Eau De Parfum, fans couldn't wait to get their hands on a bottle. Of the scent, Rihanna says: "This exudes everything I feel, everything I am, and everything I want to be,”—sounds great to us. The fragrance itself smells of magnolia, musk, tangerine and Bulgarian rose—it's warm, floral and addictive.
It's unlikely that you've opened up TikTok this year without seeing a Dior Beauty product. From its cult lip oils and lip glosses to the brand's La Collection Privée fragrances, Dior has dominated 2022. Harvey Nichols's second best-seller is the Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation, and the clue to its success is in the name. It has a super-hydrating formula with skincare ingredients infused into the pigment, which help your skin glow as you wear it. It has a light-to-medium coverage and leaves skin with a healthy-looking glow.
Up next is Charlotte Tilbury's Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Pillow Talk, in which the shades are inspired by the brand's cult Pillow Talk lipstick. The mix of pink and neutral shades means that they are really wearable, and the gold glitzy shade is ideal for dialling up your eye makeup for the evening. The formulas are also silky soft and blend beautifully.
Another Fenty product made Harvey Nichols's bestsellers, and this lip luminizer coats lips in the glossiest veil, leaving lips plump, hydrated and with a very subtle tint—and zero stickiness. The huge doe foot applicator makes it a breeze to apply, whether you sweep it all over or just add a touch to the centre of your lips for a subtle sheen.
It seems that Harvey Nichols' customers couldn't get enough of lip plumpers and glosses in 2022. Dior's Addict Lip Maximizer has a reflective glow which makes lips look fuller and plump. The formula is also very hydrating thanks to the addition of hyaluronic acid.
Over at Lookfantastic, it was all about those TikTok-famous beauty buys, as well as firm favourites like Olaplex which had people stocking up in 2022.
The fact that this is one of Look Fantastic's bestseller's doesn't surprise me. It went TikTok viral in 2022 when Kim K's hairstylist, Chris Appleton, showed how this product makes hair virtually waterproof. After applying it to his model's hair, he placed water droplets onto the hair and they virtually rolled off—it really works. It's ideal if your hair is affected by humidity or you want to weather-proof your style.
The beauty of this moisturiser (which comes in at a very affordable price for 100ml) is that it is a really great basic moisturiser that every skin type can benefit from. With natural moisturising factors, hydrating hyaluronic acid and amino acids which intensely nourish the skin, leaving compromised skin restored, plump and hydrated.
This moisturiser has been loved by makeup artists and skincare fanatics for years. But, Hailey Bieber caused quite a stir in a recent TikTok video when she shared that she uses this £14 Weleda moisturiser to prep her skin before makeup. Of course, it immediately sold out on many retailers, but it's now in stock if you want to see what all the fuss is about.
Beauty lovers were sent into a frenzy at the news of Sephora launching in the UK this year, and there are some clear bestsellers from the retailer, which carries just about any brand you can imagine.
A favourite of makeup artists to prep the skin, this might just be the best moisturiser to apply before you apply your makeup. Not only is it hydrating without feeling heavy, but the light-as-air consistency sinks in quickly so any makeup applied on stop won't slip and slide throughout the day. Every time that I've been backstage at fashion week, I always spot this moisturiser in makeup artists' kit bags.
For setting makeup into place without creasing, so many people rely on this finely milled setting powder for flawless results. Makeup artist and founder Huda Kattan swears by 'baking' to set your makeup, particularly under your eyes, by applying a layer of powder, letting it set for a few minutes before buffing away the excess powder.
This is by far Paula's Choice's most-loved product, and it's also one of Sephora's bestsellers. This exfoliating toner is well suited to those with oily, congested or acne-prone skin that want to address blemishes and keep pores clear.
Cult Beauty hosts many cult beauty brands, and in 2022, it's the classics which made most of its best-sellers.
Small but mighty, Olaplex's hugely popular No.3 Hair Perfector makes light work of repairing damaged ends, whether it be from heated styling or colouring your hair. Leave on damp hair for for at least 10 minutes before shampooing your hair as normal for restored and healthy strands.
Some SPFs can leave an unsightly white cast, particularly on darker skin tones. Supergoops's formula is completely transparent, while the velvety texture glides on for a mattifying finish that leaves skin perfectly prepped for any makeup that you might apply on top too. It's a bestseller for a reason.