Beauty trends to watch for fall 2022


Beauty trends to watch for fall 2022

With summer over and autumn in full swing, NielsenIQ’s social media intelligence reveals what’s hot (and what’s not) in fall beauty trends.   

Beauty consumers in the U.S. and U.K. are all about fall. In September, these beauty consumers’ fall-related Instagram posts had +190% more likes than the average post. These posts were 40% less likely to be sponsored. This topic is set to peak throughout the month of October, so beauty brands need to act now to ensure they don’t miss the opportunities.   

NielsenIQ’s Connected Partner PCSSO—a visual search engine that monitors growing and declining beauty and fashion trends on social media—has been observing the Fall trend via images posted by beauty consumers, brands, and retailers across Instagram. PCSSO’s AI technology reveals that the most popular topics within beauty consumers’ fall-related posts are: 

  • Glow: likes increased +200% 
  • Night out: with likes increased 120%   
  • Fashion: with likes up increased +80%   

Likes for posts related to skincare decreased by 60% among beauty consumers who posted about fall trends. Nielsen IQ’s data also supports this insight—as total U.S. skincare sales declined 3.2% over the past 12 weeks. 

The beauty brands leading the way and gaining the most attention on the topic of fall are:  

  1. L’Oréal Paris
  2. Chanel Beauty
  3. MAC Cosmetics
  4. Charlotte Tilbury
  5. Kerastase 

Looks to follow this fall

An analysis of selfies posted to Instagram by U.S. and U.K. beauty consumers shows that the most popular makeup looks for fall are: 

  • Classic glam (red lips, full face blush and contouring, light eyes) 
    This iconic look accounts for 16.1% of selfie looks posted about the fall trend and has switched from being the third most common makeup choice to the second most popular across a range of demographics on social media. The number of selfies posted with classic glam looks has increased 34% in the last. 
  • Enhanced natural look (glass skin, minimal makeup)  
    Consumers have been steadily moving away from “no-makeup” looks to more traditional glamor; “enhanced natural” is the middle ground between the two looks. It still looks “natural,” but more polished than the previously popular “No-makeup” style that previously reigned supreme among Gen Z beauty consumers. It also encompasses a wide variety of subtypes, including “glass skin,” “glowy skin,” and “clean girl.” 

The popular “clean girl” aesthetic has recently risen by 6.4% (35.8% year-over-year) and now accounts for 18% of all looks posted by beauty consumers in selfies related to the fall trend.

Bold eye looks drop off the fashion radar

Bold and graphic monochromatic eye looks have been popular over the past few years, but the number of selfie posts that feature this dramatic makeup style recently dropped 19.3% and fell-16.7% compared to the previous year.  

NielsenIQ’s sales data reflects this social trend. Total U.S. sales of eye cosmetics decreased by 5.6% in the past 12 weeks and sales of false eye lashes and eye shadow both dropped by 8.8%.   

Social topics everyone’s talking about

Two more standout looks emerge if we look at all types of posts (not just selfies) related to fall: 

  • #CleanGirl (+56% recently; +100% year over year) 
    The “Clean Girl” look centers on neutral, barely-there makeup, effortless yet glossy hair, and neat but understated nails. In terms of colour cosmetics, the look relies on concealer, a touch of highlighter, and a little blush or bronzer to deliver a polished and groomed aesthetic that happened “without even trying.” 
    The hashtag #CleanGirl is already being posted by 1.5% of early-adopter Makeup Artists (MUAs) and consumers in the U.S. and U.K. and it’s quickly gathering momentum. Brands like Milani Cosmetics, Sigma Beauty, and Honest Beauty are driving this trend.  
  • #BleachedBrows (+26% recently; +12% year over year) 
    While less than 1% of MUAs or consumers have tried this bold look, the bleached eyebrow trend is growing. Gucci catwalks pioneered the look in 2018, but it wasn’t until early 2021 that a few brands (BPerfect, Sensorium Beauty, Milk Makeup) started encouraging the look among consumers. 

Want to know what else the data says? 

Schedule time with one of our leading industry experts to discover more valuable trends and insights to boost your business. 


PCSSO’s AI technology precisely measures and forecasts beauty and fashion trends by watching the products that consumers are wearing and sharing, to help you better understand your consumers and competitors.  Identify catalog gaps and explore popularity for looks, styles, packaging, brand rankings events, ingredients, product types, and more for the U.S., European, Korean, and Japanese markets.  

Learn more about how it works here


  • PCSSO Visual Search  
    PCCSO fall trend data: based on 8,370 Instagram Beauty Users in U.S. + U.K. / 18.6 Million Photos + Videos 
  • NielsenIQ