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Ulta Beauty Predicts Top 2022 Trends

The report, which outlines the retailer's anticipated trends for 2022, highlights important social causes and beauty as expression.

Ulta Beauty has released its first trend report.

Called “Uncover,” the report focuses on three umbrellas of emerging and existing trends to watch for in 2022: natural beauty, beauty as self-expression, and the growing importance of purpose for beauty brands.

The report is an amalgamation of various data points the retailer researches and collects. “A huge part of what we do is identifying trends to look for innovation, looking for new brands. This is a lot of our own proprietary research,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer, Ulta Beauty. “We do a lot of research, we have teams that do social listening,” she continued, as well as the retailer’s search data.

The trends, which range from high-octane makeup looks to beauty and wellness as self-care, are results of a consumer base on the heels of a global pandemic. “2020 was really the onset of everyone taking care of oneself, and 2021 has been a bit of reemergence. We see, then, 2022 is just that anything goes, and there’s no limit,” Arnaudo said.

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What Ulta has dubbed “That New Natural” includes acceptance of hair texture, freckles, wild-sourced products, wellness and ingestibles products, in addition to skin tints with lighter coverage.

“Self-care is very much at the forefront of this whole idea of ‘natural,'” Arnaudo said. “People are aware of their mental health, so it’s bringing in new themes to this idea of natural.”

For more daring customers, though, the retailer predicts movement in experimentation with hair, eyebrows and eye makeup. “We’ll see a lot of bolder expression, whether it’s through makeup or through hair trends that we’ve identified,” Arnaudo added.

Ulta’s final grouping, “Power to the People,” calls out sustainably minded brands, in addition to those with a strong sense of community, resonant founder stories and geared towards female wellness as other areas to watch.

“If you think about what transpired in 2020, there is so much more awareness [for social justice],” Arnaudo said. “It’s about making sure that there’s a social aspect and that we’re taking care of our world. Beauty is a big part of that.”

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