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The 45 Most Powerful Brands in Beauty

From the established to the emerging, Beauty Inc's annual list of beauty's most powerful brands.

Beauty’s only constant is change, and the companies on the 2022 Beauty Inc Power Brands list are not only keeping pace with the times — they’re spearheading the industry’s evolution. To compile this list of 45 players — which are divided into Established, Originals and Emergents, Beauty Inc looked at a wide array of qualitative and quantitative data to determine the brands that are winning today. What’s most clear is that this year’s crop sees chance where others see challenges. They have embraced TikTok, entered the metaverse and mastered an omnichannel environment. Here, the brands that thrive because — not in spite — of beauty’s shapeshifting landscape.

 

The Established

CeraVe: DermTok’s darling shows no signs of slowing down. The mass market skin care brand beloved by derms and consumers alike holds the top slot in both the facial cleansing and facial moisturizer category according to data from IRI. Its cleansers reached close to $260 million in sales, while moisturizers grew 40 percent in a category that overall posted growth of 25 percent. CeraVe is also the runner-up in the body care category. The brand’s digital dominance remains steady: CeraVe sees more than 2.2 million Google searches in the average month, according to Spate, and on social media, its earned media value topped $43 million, according to Tribe Dynamics. As reported in 2020, that year’s revenues were expected to be around $600 million. Cleaning up, indeed.

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Chanel: One hundred years on and still going strong: This year, Chanel No.5, the original celebrity fragrance, marked its centenary in a big way. Its enduring popularity — the scent was voted the greatest fragrance of all time in Beauty Inc’s poll of industry insiders earlier this year — shows it has hit the sweet spot between history and currency better than any other brand out there. Consumer spending remains strong: Euromonitor reports that Chanel is the biggest fragrance brand in beauty, while NPD said it’s the top total beauty business in the U.S. prestige market. At the same time, Chanel remains firmly focused on the future, too. The launch of the No.1 range, a clean and sustainably minded offering spanning key categories like skin care, makeup and fragrance, resonated with shoppers as well, with two products in the top 10 wish-listed items on the Klarna app.

Clinique: Clinique has cemented its powerhouse status. In a year in which skin care dominated, the brand was the top skin care player in the prestige market in the U.S., according to NPD, and number two in makeup. That cross-category domination is leading to outstanding results: On a recent earnings call, execs from parent company The Estée Lauder Cos., said the brand was hitting double-digit growth, helping to drive gains overall for Lauder. Searches are high — about 1.5 million monthly, according to Spate — driven by a brand that though big is never content to rest on its laurels. The brand is still breaking barriers, launching its first NFTs, a beauty industry first at the time, tying loyalty to the metaverse.

Cover Girl: As the tide turns at Coty Inc., so does Cover Girl’s next chapter. The brand, once beleaguered, has become a true bright spot for the company, with chief executive officer Sue Nabi calling it “the most beloved makeup brand in America” on the company’s most recent earnings call. No wonder: Consumers are responding well to the brand’s next-generation identity, which has encompassed everything from rekindling partnerships with past Cover Girls like Niki Taylor and Queen Latifah, to reformulating products to be a leader in mass market clean beauty. The strategy is working: Cover Girl owns the top spots in powder and blush and is third in mascara, according to data from IRI. It’s parlaying that popularity into new territory, too, introducing a range of five products in skin care late last year.

Dior: With classic fragrances like J’Adore and Sauvage (the top-selling fragrance in the U.S.), it’s a given that Dior is one of the biggest beauty players. It’s also one of the fastest growing. According to data from NPD, the brand is the second biggest share gainer both in makeup and overall beauty, a result of a strategy that has fueled its hero products, while amping up its relevance with Generation Social Media, too. Its marketing strategy — including new spokespeople Anya-Taylor Joy and Yara Shahidi — earned it a Genius ranking on the L2 Genius List for beauty in France while younger consumers are clamoring for its TikTok-viral Dior Glow Lip Oil, which is the brand’s bestseller on Sephora’s website, and its Kylie Jenner-endorsed Dior Backstage Rosy Glow Blush. The success is global: Euromonitor ranks Dior as the fifth biggest makeup brand and the third biggest in fragrance, and the Dior Prestige skin care franchise took home two Marie Claire Prix awards this year.

Dove: Beauty’s pioneer of purpose is doubling down on what it does best: Using its considerable platform to effect meaningful change in the world. Riding high on the pandemic-induced cleansing craze (cleansing comprises the largest piece of Unilever’s personal care business), the brand has been concentrating its efforts on everything from sustainability to social justice. When it comes to the former, it launched refillable aluminum packaging for body washes following the launch of its refillable deodorants last year, which won an Allure Best of Beauty award. In terms of the latter, Dove’s focus on body positivity continues (a positioning reinforced by its latest launch of body care products containing active levels of skin care based ingredients), while the CROWN Act, an acronym for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, which protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race-based hairstyles, passed the House of Representatives. Next stop: the Senate.

E.l.f.: What a difference four years makes. Sales dips at E.l.f. are a thing of the past: the brand, an early arriver to the TikTok craze with a 4.4 billion-view campaign, supercharged its growth with a slew of collaborations equally buzzy and unexpected. Its TikTok debuting an E.l.f. x Chipotle eye shadow, themed around the food chain’s ingredients, garnered thousands of comments and nearly 100,000 likes. Meanwhile, content creator Mikayla Nogueira’s video for E.l.f.’s partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts gained more than 1.5 million views, and 231,000 likes. But it’s not all hype and no substance. E.l.f.’s mainstay hero products are also outperforming the market. Company CEO Tarang Amin called out its Camo CC Cream during an earnings call as a top seller. According to data from IRI, it’s the second-largest brand in concealers, growing 45 percent — more than double the category’s overall growth. Brow skus tell a similar story. E.l.f.’s Clear Brow and Lash Mascara is a perennial favorite, with more than 2,000 Walmart reviews averaging at about 4.5 out of 5 stars. Per IRI, the brand’s sales in the segment soared 33.3 percent, compared to the category’s overall 18.5 percent.

L’Oréal Paris: Just as its parent company quickly returned to pre-pandemic growth last year, L’Oréal Paris itself is also back with a bang. The world’s largest beauty brand continues its cross-category domination. L’Oréal Paris hit the 6 billion euro mark in sales last year, according to its parent company’s financial results, and is a top seller across categories. Euromonitor reports it to be the world’s second-largest brand in both makeup and skin care, while it takes the top slot in hair. IRI data shows it to have the top-selling lip glosses, which spiked triple digits, while its leading foundations outpaced the category’s growth, hitting 37 percent. In skin — where its Derm Intensives line has taken an ingredient-forward approach — it ranked second in facial antiaging. L’Oréal Paris continues to up the buzz factor, too: It announced singer H.E.R. as a new global ambassador, while also staging a fashion show during Paris Fashion Week last year.

La Mer: Talk about staying power. The ultra-luxe skin care O.G. has maintained its cult-favorite status, even in the face of ever-increasing competition. On a recent earnings call, Estée Lauder Cos. CEO Fabrizio Freda credited the brand’s “standout results” — double-digit growth versus the company’s overall skin care category which grew 7 percent. A billion-dollar brand since 2018, La Mer is the fifth largest skin care player in the prestige market, according to the NPD group — and it keeps growing its purview, too. It was one of the inaugural brands to launch on Farfetch’s new beauty vertical. While its hero products continue to fuel the business, newer launches are popular, too: Its eye cream was an Allure Best of Beauty winner.

Maybelline New York: As the top player in liner, brow and mascara, it’s all eyes on Maybelline New York. The brand’s multipronged strategy has kept it as makeup’s largest brand, according to Euromonitor. It expanded its assortment in key categories like mascara — it’s the top player at $358 million in sales, up 23 percent from last year, according to IRI — and it’s also keeping up with the times, debuting its first “clean” product range, dubbed “Green Edition.” That sense of purpose translated to new initiatives as well. Maybelline has been a leader in conversations around mental health, and this year it rebooted its Brave Together campaign with Wattpad during Mental Health Awareness Month to drive awareness even further.

Nars Cosmetics: Call it the feel-good factor. Artistry brands were makeup’s biggest gainer in 2021, according to the NPD Group, and Nars, one of the category’s original players was a key contributor, helped by enduring popularity of its Orgasm blush, which has spawned an entire category of products for the brand. The Shiseido-owned Nars is a top 10 player in the U.S. — and thanks to a savvy cross-platform social media strategy (it earned just shy of $280 million in EMV, according to Tribe Dynamics), it remains one of the top share gainers in the category, too. Still founder-led at a time when many of the makeup artists who launched brands at the same time have not only left their original businesses, but started new ones, Francois Nars continues to propel his namesake proposition forward.

Olay: P&G-owned Olay has been quick to adapt to trends — it started putting skin care ingredients into body care just before the pandemic — and its sense of innovation kept momentum high. Its ingredient-focused lines launched in 2021 were bestsellers, favorites with consumers and industry insiders alike. It won two different Allure Best of Beauty Awards last year for two of its body products. According to IRI, Olay is maintaining its position as the top player in facial antiaging, bringing in more than $330 million in that market segment alone, and third in facial moisturizers. With Stephanie Headley taking the helm, the brand is also betting more on purpose, inaugurating partnerships with Free The Bid and Dr. Joy Buolamwini to increase the representation of women in film and STEM careers, respectively.

Pantene: When it comes to hair care, Pantene is really cleaning up. Pantene Gold Series grew double-digits last year, while according to IRI, the brand is the top seller in both shampoo and conditioner, having reached volumes of $255 million and $210 million, respectively. Two of its products, including the Pure Clean & Clarify Shampoo and the Miracle Rescue 10-in-1 Spray, also nabbed Allure Best of Beauty Awards.

Paula’s Choice: At a time when transparency and efficacy are top of mind for consumers, Paula’s Choice is more relevant than ever. That fact was solidified when its acquisition by Unilever Prestige, became one of the year’s biggest deals in beauty, with the transaction reportedly valued at $2 billion. Since then, Paula’s Choice continues to resonate with Millennial and Gen Z consumers — it reached an average search volume of 1.28 million on Google Search, according to Spate. It also has expanded distribution aggressively. Last year, it launched into Sephora stateside, and entered the German market with a partnership with Douglas. Its Skin Perfecting 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel also took home an Allure Best of Beauty Award, and has become a cult favorite.

Tom Ford Beauty: F*cking Fabulous is not just the name of the bestselling fragrance in the Tom Ford Beauty stable. It’s also an apt description of the brand’s overall performance. As consumers gravitate toward luxury prices and collections of scents, Tom Ford is reaping the benefits: The brand had more winners than any other company in Beauty Inc’s ranking of the 100 greatest fragrances of all time, and has seen 30 percent increases in monthly average searches on Google to more than 500,000, according to Spate. Distribution-wise, Tom Ford opened a new digital channel by launching on Farfetch’s beauty vertical. It’s also amplifying gains by expanding key franchises, such as line extensions with its new Soleil Summer makeup collection. Estée Lauder Cos. Freda lauded Ford’s double-digit growth during a recent earnings call, noting “Tom Ford Beauty exemplifies the benefits of a strategic focus on heroes and innovation.”

Latex dress by Moschino, Cap by Alejandra Alonso Rojas.
Latex dress by Moschino, Cap by Alejandra Alonso Rojas. Kourosh Sotoodeh/WWD

The Originals

Augustinus Bader: Augustinus Bader burst onto the skin care scene three years ago and its momentum shows no signs of slowing. After launching with just two products, cofounders Charles Rosier and Bader have expanded into a full skin care lineup and late last year entered the prestige hair fray. The brand tapped into its hero ingredient, TFC8, and published clinical trials stating demonstrating its ability to supercharge hair growth and strength. Bader has also forayed into wellness, launching hair and skin ingestibles with probiotic strains. Still, the brand isn’t taking its eyes off its core skin care category. Its newest, the Ultimate Soothing Cream, a heavier alternative to cult classic The Rich Cream, is expected to reach $20 million in sales for its first year on the market.

Beautycounter: Beautycounter and its founder Gregg Renfrew helped spark the conversation about “clean” beauty when it launched in 2013. Today, clean beauty has fully entered the mainstream, and the company (and its founder) are one of the strongest players in a category that is now table stakes for entry. Still, Beautycounter isn’t about to rest on its laurels: Armed with investment after Carlyle Group acquired a majority stake, Beautyounter tapped Marc Rey to be CEO, to spearhead everything from international expansion to a possible IPO. Renfrew, in the meantime, remains as committed as ever to amplifying her advocacy work, particularly in passing the new Personal Care Products Safety Act, which would be the first regulatory laws passed in more than 80 years governing the industry.

Briogeo: Briogeo is a brand of firsts. Founded by Wall Street alum-turned-entrepreneur Nancy Twine, Briogeo was one of the first to break through in the prestige hair space, and is also the first brand to be acquired by Wella as that company carves out a new path for itself under the ownership of KKR. It was a smart bet. Twine has ably melded hair health and well-being, creating a superfoods-fueled line that looks set to expand its purview from hair to skin. Post-acquisition plans also call for an aggressive expansion into Europe and Asia. “We looked at companies growing even faster than us,” Wella CEO Annie Young-Scrivner said of the acquisition. “With Briogeo’s size, Twine has just knocked it out of the park, doing extremely well in premium retail and also building her digital capacity.”

Byredo: Call it one of the fiercest acquisition battles in recent beauty history: The weeks leading up to Puig taking a majority stake in Byredo were rife with speculation about who was going to buy the brand (with every major name in beauty being bandied about) and no wonder: The Swedish-based brand founded by Ben Gorham in 2006 remains as buzzy and directional as ever, almost two decades after its founding. Not one to rest on his laurels, Gorham has consistently taken the brand into new ground — most recently color cosmetics, with skin care said to be in the near- to mid-future — and he remains as passionate (and creative) as ever. The one-time athlete is super competitive and he loves to win. With a new team behind him, looks like the sky’s the limit.

Charlotte Tilbury: Come for the star power, stay for the products. Charlotte Tilbury has had a blockbuster first year under Puig’s ownership as the fastest-growing makeup brands in the U.S., according to the NPD Group. Tilbury, one of Hollywood’s most adept makeup artists, is a master at driving buzz, whether tapping the likes of Twiggy and Kate Moss to be the faces of the brand or jumping into the metaverse with virtual reality shopping. No surprise it’s a social media darling. Charlotte Tilbury generated $326 million in EMV, according to Tribe, and also garners a monthly average search volume of 801,000 on Google. From Mecca in Australia to Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan — both of which recently started carrying the brand, global retailers can’t get enough.

Deciem: Leave it to Deciem, the brand that first blurred the lines between mass and prestige with accessibly priced products in specialty distribution, to rehabilitate na ingredient like sulfates. But it did just that when it launched hair care earlier this year. Disrupting the status quo has been a winning strategy thus far for the brand. The Ordinary is the fourth largest prestige skin care brand in the U.S., according to NPD, and averages nearly 2 million monthly searches, according to Spate. It’s a hit on TkTok, with 2.5 million followers and more than 2 billion views for its videos on serums alone. No wonder execs at parent company the Estée Lauder Cos., cite it during earnings calls, lauding its positive impact top-line sales and bottom-line health.

Diptyque: Sixty years old and still smelling as fresh as a daisy. The luxe home and personal fragrance brand Diptyque is on a roll, with a revamped take on retail starting with a new store in SoHo, N.Y. It follows trends adeptly, olfactively and otherwise, including a new rose-forward collection that came to market this year, an expansion into home goods and the brand’s growing authority on TikTok, where videos mentioning Diptyque surpass 40 million views. The brand’s mainstays, though, are still in full flower. Philosykos, a woody personal fragrance inspired by Greek fig leaves, was voted one of the 100 greatest fragrances of all time in the Beauty Inc poll of industry insiders.

Goop: Gwyneth Paltrow is laughing all the way to the bank. Though the entrepreneur and founder of Goop may be mocked for scents like “This Smells Like My Vagina” and her Netflix show exploring psychedelics for psychological healing, as wellness has taken root so has Paltrow as the undisputed queen of the self care scene. She has steadily built out Goop’s product launches with a strategic cadence of launches. Today, the brand has hero skus in skin care and ingestibles, and she’s also increasingly dabbling in beauty beyond her own brand. Earlier this year, Paltrow invested in Crown Affair, a hair care brand sold on Goop, and she’s also invested in the makeup brand Saie. All the while though, she’s firmly focused on Goop — and bottling that incredible Gwyneth glow.

Hero Cosmetics: Talk about an apt name. After starting her business with a simple pimple patch, Hero Cosmetics founder Ju Rhyu has broadened her strategic vision to include a robust retail footprint and a “problem-solution” mind-set to to conquering the skin care category. Although the majority of consumers come to the brand via its Mighty Patch franchise, Hero’s assortment now includes a slew of products for an array of skin care concerns. That strategy is proving to be a winning one at Target, Ulta Beauty and on Amazon — and has quickly fueled sales to an estimated $140 million this year.

Kristin Ess Hair: A case study in how to win at mass retail, Maesa-incubated Kristin Ess Hair’s runaway success at Target is said to bring the brand’s sales volume to $230 million in retail sales this year. According to IRI, Ess’s shampoo and conditioner sales shot up 42 and 35 percent, respectively, in relatively flat categories that only grew 5.7 percent and 2.8 percent. The star stylists’ dry shampoos and hair coloring also swelled double digits. Booming sales also drove growth at Maesa, where hair care made up 53 percent of its $344 million net sales in the 2021 calendar year.

Ilia: One of the buzziest — and first — brands in “clean” makeup has big ambitions. After the Courtin-Clarins family snapped up the Los Angeles-based Ilia, Prisca Courtin, deputy CEO of Famille C, outlined her ambitions to WWD to “make the brand the worldwide leader in clean color [cosmetics].” If sales are an indication, it’s well on its way. The brand’s turnover tripled from $30 million in 2019 to $100 million in 2020, driven by hot demand for its Super Serum Skin Tint, which has sold more than 1 million units since launch in 2019. Capitalizing on those gains, the brand introduced a vitamin C-SPF hybrid in three translucent shades this year.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian: Bacarrat Rouge 540, the scent that started as a limited run of 250 units, has taken Maison Francis Kurkdjian into the cult status zone, with a fan base including Winnie Harlow and Kacey Musgraves. Regular consumers love it, too, especially young ones. The scent has garnered more than 140 million views on TikTok, and saw its average monthly search volume on Google grow 31 percent, according to Spate. Sales-wise, it’s no slouch. It’s a top 10 seller in the U.S. prestige market, and equally as popular with beauty industry insiders, who named it as one of the top 10 best fragrances of all time.

Olaplex: The runaway hit of the beauty world that has seemingly single-handedly fueled the growth of the prestige hair category, Olaplex continues to ride the relevance wave. The biggest player in prestige hair care in the U.S., sales are expected to reach $826 million in sales this year, putting billion-dollar brand status well within reach. On Google, searches near 1.5 million on average per month, according to Spate, and that digital prowess extends to social media. Olaplex is the top hair care brand ranked by EMV, with $117,602,700 and a roster of more than 9,000 creators. And all of this with a super tight lineup consisting of just nine products (three of which consistently top bestseller lists at Sephora ad Ulta beauty.) As CEO JuE Wong told WWD, “We don’t want sku proliferation, we want sku innovation.”

Tatcha: With a turnover of about $250 million, Tatcha’s business is significant. But that hasn’t stopped its new C-suite — comprised of three digital savvy execs from PlayStation and P&G, along with founder Vicky Tsai, from supercharging its strategy. The strategy is working. The brand is the ninth largest prestige skin care brand in the U.S., per the NPD Group, and the second largest by EMV, having brought in nearly $70 million in the past year, according to Tribe Dynamics. (Fans are said to include Meghan Markle and Kim Kardashian.) Despite its size, the Unilever Prestige-owned brand isn’t afraid to take risks, when it launched a product on the livestreaming platform Newness. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tula: Tula is the fastest-growing prestige skin care brand in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, and the top skin care brand on social media, according to data from Tribe Dynamics, with an earned media value just shy of $100 million. No wonder P&G Beauty snapped it up in January as a cornerstone of its new Specialty Beauty division, joining Farmacy Skincare and Ouai Haircare. The brand’s probiotic skin care formulations are very on target with wellness-obsessed Millennial and Gen Z consumers, and CEO Savannah Sachs and her team have adeptly deployed a variety of digital levers to further spread the message. Despite its stratospheric success, the brand still has plenty of runway for growth, especially internationally. Gut instinct, indeed.

Dress by Tory Burch.
Dress by Tory Burch. Kourosh Sotoodeh/WWD

The Emergents

Ami Colé: One year since its founding, Ami Colé — and its message of no-makeup makeup for melanin-rich skin — is quickly gaining steam. The brand, founded by Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, launched to much fanfare on its own website and with purpose-first retailer Thirteen Lune, following a $1 million seed round including Katherine Power, Hannah Bronfman and The Cut’s editor in chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner. Now, it’s steadily building out its assortment with a range of concealers and loose powders, and its digital-first marketing approach has garnered Ami Colé-related videos on TikTok have more than 660,000 views.

Bubble: Talk about going big. When d-to-c brand Bubble decided to expand into brick and mortar distribution, the Gen Z skin care brand founded by Shai Eisenman in 2020, went into nearly 4,000 Walmart doors with its under-$20 full lineup. So far so good. The blend of accessible prices with efficacious formulas is expected to result in retail sales of $20 million this year and continued growth online. On TikTok, Bubble has more than 3.5 million likes and with a steady stream of product launches on the horizon, this is one phenom that doesn’t look like its bursting any time soon.

Fashion Fair: One of the first brands created by and for Black women in the early ’70s, Fashion Fair has entered a strong second act. The brand relaunched at Sephora last year under the stewardship of owners Desirée Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. What’s new: a reformulation the beloved Iconic Lipstick and a wide range of vegan complexion products, designed by former creative director of makeup, Sam Fine. HBO Max acquired a Sephora-produced documentary on the brand’s relaunch, a first in garnering consumer engagement with entertainment. A pioneer in more ways than one.

Floral Street: Marrying corporate know-how with entrepreneurial drive has served Floral Street founder Michelle Feeney well. The founder, a veteran of the Estée Lauder Cos., has brought her 360-degree vision for clean fragrance to fruition, and it’s resonating with consumers. The brand grew 257 percent in the U.S. — not even its home market. Overall sales are expected to reach 15 million pounds at retail in 2022, and part of that growth comes from Feeney’s imperative to drive exposure. Floral Street’s discovery set is its top seller, and her mission to “scentscape your life,” as she told WWD, has extended to home products.

The Inkey List: Fresh on the heels of an infusion from Aria Growth Partners, The Inkey List has earned sales and street cred in equal measure, thanks to partnerships with retailer Sephora and creator Hyram Yarbro on a new line. Although cofounders Colette Laxton and Mark Curry have their eyes on new geographies like Asia, business is still booming Stateside. The Clean at Sephora brand recently nabbed an Allure Best of Beauty award for its Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, and its posts each garner up to 6,000 people saving each one for reference. That engagement is reflected in performance: Industry sources estimate the brand will top $100 million in sales this year.

K18: Beauty’s love affair with biotechnology — and consumers’ with proprietary hair care — has catapulted K18 into the $100 million sales realm in record time. The brand, which only sells one product and launched at the end of 2020, has generated more than 10.8 billion views on TikTok for its #K18HairFlip challenge, and already gets a monthly 70,000 average searches on Google, said Spate. It is on track to reach between $112 million and $150 million in sales for 2022, up from $75 million last year. Not bad for a newcomer.

Live Tinted: Striking the balance between influence and purpose comes easily to Deepica Mutyala, who founded Live Tinted with a passion for inclusivity, and nearly half a million followers on Instagram. Mutyala’s drive and vision have attracted blue-chip beauty investors like Bobbi Brown and NYX founder Toni Ko and leading retailers like Ulta Beauty. Sources estimated the business reached between $5 million and $10 million in sales last year, driven by Mutyala’s solution-oriented approach to product creation. Last year’s Hueguard, a mineral sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast on deeper skin tones, took home a Beauty Inc Award — and garnered a 10,000-person strong wait list even before launch.

Maude: Sexual wellness is making its way away from the fringe and toward the spotlight, and Maude, founded by pioneer Eva Goicochea, is leading the charge. The brand, which helped inaugurate the category at Sephora, has also expanded into new international markets in the E.U., U.K., as well as Australia and Canada, and even ventured into supplements in partnership with brand Asystem. As if vibrators couldn’t get any buzzier, it also counts actress Dakota Johnson as a co-creative director and investor.

Parfums de Marly: Horses feature prominently in Parfums de Marly’s branding, so no surprise that the brand has galloped to success. It was one of the big winners of the pandemic, riding the surge in fragrance sales to triple-digit growth. Delina has become a bona fide hero scent, in Parfums de Marly’s stand-alone stores as well as third-party distribution like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Sales are soaring — in the U.S., the brand’s largest market, as well as in China and Europe — and surpassed 130 million euros in 2020 alone. Parfums de Marly is winning on social, too, with views on TikTok reaching 20 million. A thoroughbred is born.

Pattern Beauty: Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross built Pattern Beauty on the basis of purpose, and she is bolstering that mission by taking it beyond the brand. Ross now serves as a diversity and inclusion officer at Ulta Beauty, and even released a two-track record in partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation as part of the brand’s “Legacy” campaign. Pattern’s product range has also expanded to include a satin cap and a transition mask for consumers weaning off of hair relaxers, and the entire hair care line can now also be found at Sephora, with whom Ross inked a partnership last year. She’s teased the idea of launching skin and body care, and why not? When it comes to products, Ross is clearly a natural.

Moon Juice: Amanda Chantal Bacon is no stranger to going against the grain (or grain-free, for that matter). An early arriver to wellness, beauty’s ingestible craze and the mushroom-as-hero-ingredient frenzy, Moon Juice has stood the test of time as its products go from controversial to coveted. Its Sex Dust adaptogen blend is the top wish-listed item on the Klarna app, and that sustained interest also extends to the investor community. Moon Juice closed a $7 million series C funding round last year, led by True Beauty Ventures.

Pat McGrath Labs: Pat McGrath has long relied on her vast cultural lexicon for marketing expertise — remember when the brand’s collaboration with Supreme sold out in mere seconds — and this year, she’s put big hopes on the small screen. After two collaborations with the record-shattering Netflix show “Bridgerton,” McGrath has solidified her marketing genius status, leading a category on the upswing post-pandemic, when artistry brands saw the highest growth of any other brand type in 2021. McGrath doesn’t just think makeup, though. Earlier this year, she debuted her first skin care product, an essence to prep the skin.

Uoma Beauty: As an early pioneer of purpose, Sharon Chuter epitomized her inclusive vision for the beauty industry with Uoma Beauty upon its 2019 launch. Now, she’s bringing other beauty brands into the fold. The brand rebooted the “Make It Black” campaign in partnership with E.l.f. Cosmetics, Flower Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Mented and Morphe, and is refocusing on product launches for the year ahead. Her lineup still plays well digitally, with videos mentioning Uoma Beauty accumulating more than 20 million views on TikTok.

Versed: One campaign, 50 million organic views. Versed, Katherine Power’s mass-market brainchild under the Clique Brands family, was among the first to harness the power of TikTok, starting with a campaign around its Doctor’s Visit Instant Resurfacing Mask. Sales soared — from 400 to 3,000 percent, depending on the channel — and Versed has taken that buzz to body. Videos making mention of its retinol body lotion have amassed 11 million views on TikTok. Clearly, it’s goal of writing a new chapter for skin care is working.

Westman Atelier: Gucci Westman is among the world’s most sought after makeup artists, known for her skin-first approach and clientele ranging from Gwyneth Paltrow to Drew Barrymore. Her brand takes her no-fuss appeal to the masses, with multipurpose products that truly blur the lines between color cosmetics and skin care. Westman is her own best model, openly sharing her battles with rosacea and sharing her techniques for naturally camouflaging her skin condition. The message is striking a chord. Following the brand’s partnership with Sephora last year, sales were said to have reached $40 million at retail, with even loftier goals to expand the brand beyond beauty into lifestyle.

Dress by Moschino.
Dress by Moschino. Kourosh Sotoodeh/WWD

 

Our Methodology

WWD Beauty Inc consulted a variety of sources to compile our list of beauty’s most powerful brands, including our own reporting throughout the year.

Domestic and International Sales 

For the prestige market in the U.S., we looked at rankings of the top performers and highest-growing brands provided by the NPD Group. We also looked at the fastest-growing brands in the prestige market by category. For the U.S. mass market, IRI provided sales information for the 52 weeks ending March 20, 2022. Globally, Euromonitor International provided sales rankings for each category for 2021. We also used sales and growth data from the WWD Beauty Inc top 100 annual ranking of the world’s largest beauty companies.

Digital Success

To determine the brands with the highest digital engagement, we consulted data from Tribe Dynamics, Spate and the L2 Digital IQ Genius List. We also consulted Klarna’s top wish listed products, as well as bestseller pages and lists on sephora.com and ulta.com.

Agility and Innovation

We took into account our own reporting when factoring in product innovation, trend leadership and agile response rates to the factors that have most impacted the first quarter of 2022. Additionally, we relied on companies’ self reporting when compiling figures related to monetary and product donations.

Industry Awards

We took into account industry awards, such as the Allure Best of Beauty awards, the Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence, as well as our own Beauty Inc Awards and ranking of the 100 Greatest Fragrances of All Time.

 

Styled by Alex Badia

Makeup by Frank B. for The Wall Group

Hair by Kenna at Kennaland using May11

Model: Natalie Ogg at The Society

Casting by Luis Campuzano

Produced by Jillian Sollazzo

Market editors: Emily Mercer and Thomas Waller

Fashion assistants: Kimberly Infante and Ari Stark

 

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