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The Top Performing Instagram Beauty Trends

Elise Ngobi
October 23, 2019
Last Updated On
April 22, 2024
top performing beauty trends blog header

There are more than 95 million posts shared on Instagram every single day — in the feed alone — so you can imagine how much higher that figure would be if it included Instagram Stories data. In fact, in the eight years since Instagram Stories launched, Instagram usage has doubled. The simple fact that the amount of content shared increases each day, means it’s harder for brands to stand out and garner engagement.

Since the Instagram algorithm is ruled by engagement, this is where brands should start if they want to grow, drive sales, and build meaningful connections with their audiences. The level of engagement your content receives plays a role in your visibility in the feed, so it should be a key focus to grow the amount of interaction you receive on each post. It’s the classic notion of the chicken and egg — but for social, it’s reach and engagement. 

So, what do people engage with? We dug into the data and found six high-level trends that are driving engagement for many beauty brands:

1. Promote Clean and Sustainable Beauty 

Yes, terms like ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ can be buzzwords for some brands — make sure this isn’t the case. Audiences don’t want to be talked down to, and are increasingly weary of inflated environmentally-friendly promises. According to Instagram, Gen Z seeks out ‘climate-proof’ beauty products that don’t have a negative impact on the environment.

2. Get Creative and Promote Individuality

Another tip from Instagram’s 20234 trend report, don’t be afraid to try bold new trends. This year, almost ⅓ of Gen Z respondents report wanting to get more creative and discover their personal style, including discovering their core aesthetic and personal style. Brands should look for opportunities to share products utilized in a variety of looks, expressive makeup techniques that don’t necessarily focus on traditional beauty and other displays of personal style and creativity. Focus less on beautifying, and lean into artistic expression, bold colors, and graphic designs.

woman applying creative unconvential purple eyeliner
Image credit: @glisten_cosmetics

3. Underpainting

Give your audience a close-up visual of product texture, viscosity, and overall appearance while indulging in the underpainting trend. Popularized by makeup artist Mary Phillips (notable clients include Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and a slew of other models) underpainting involves creating a seamless marriage between your foundation and contour by carving out the face initially, and applying a light-to-medium weight foundation on top, blending the contour out during application. From there, apply highlighter, bronzer, and blush depending on preference. This is a great trend to highlight a wide variety of products in an organic and educational way for your audience. 

Skincare brand? Highlight your best product to remove or prep the skin for underpainted makeup looks.

4. Get Closer 

Close-up beauty and application shots still reign supreme — whether you’re a skincare brand or a makeup brand, highlighting natural texture and pigment, whether on the face or swatched is a key visual trend that will continue into 2024. 

Close-up beauty video and visual shots give viewers a realistic idea of what products look like on the skin, how they might perform and offer a tactile and sensory experience that can be hard to capture in photos (and sometimes even video) — embrace imperfections and texture.

rhode barrier restore cream coming out of tube
Image credit: @rhode

5. Build Relationships with Micro and Nano Influencers 

Creator and influencer marketing isn’t new for many brands — but nano and micro influencers might be. 

Micro and nano influencers don’t necessarily have the most followers, but they do have a lot of engagement, and nano influencers are certainly on the rise. In fact, nano influencers (influencers with 1,000-5,000 followers) receive 213% higher engagement rates, and 192% higher effectiveness rates than micro influencers. This is a great opportunity for smaller brands, or the rare brand that’s yet to tread into influencer marketing and wants to start small in their strategy. 

Beauty brand florence by mills outperforms the average beauty engagement rate by 234%, largely due to the infectious energy of their celebrity founder, Millie Bobby Brown, and their ability to related with their Gen Z audience. 

Dash Hudson’s Influencer Relationships tool is a huge asset for marketers looking for the best influencer partnership opportunities. The tool finds the most engaged influencers among your followers and gives you meaningful insights like ROI, influencer comparisons, and precise analytics that help you make data-informed decisions. 

6. Follow Trends, But Don’t Forget to Create your Own 

It can be tempting to jump on the latest trend, after all, they’re trends because they’re popular with a particular audience. Social meda trends can be helpful when brands are looking for new ideas, trying to break into new categories or engage a new demographic — however, there’s a lot to be said about carving your own path to foster a deeper connection with your unique audience.

You might already post these types of images and videos on your brand’s feed, and while that’s great, industry macro trends won’t necessarily perform with every unique audience. So an important question still remains — what trends visually resonate with your community?

woman applying creams for hydrated skin
Image credit: @sephora

7. Leverage AI

For ultra-visual beauty brands, AI-geared content tools like Dash Hudson's Vision AI help determine which assets from your library have the best chance to perform. Vision uses a range of factors from color trends, composition, tone, contrast and more, to understand which visuals will perform best. Vision is also available for content from UGC creators to help you find content and secure in-platform rights in just a few clicks. This can also bleed into your paid strategy, by boosting high-performing UGC content from creators that can help you reach and attract new audiences.

Dash Hudson’s Vision AI and Creative Intelligence for Beauty Brands 

There is such a thing as a data-backed creative genius, and it is possible for data and creativity to coexist in a wonderfully productive partnership. It’s called Dash Hudson's Vision AI

Vision is Dash Hudson’s visual intelligence technology which can see images much like we do. With this technology, your team is empowered with the most impactful insights for visual content you’ve ever come across. Vision can identify engaging trends and show you areas of opportunity within your content strategy. Because every brand and every audience is different, Vision’s algorithms are unique too. Vision learns what your audience likes about specific elements of your content in real-time. This means that you can identify the micro and macro trends that resonate with your unique human customers. 

Insight like this gives you extra security and insight when it comes to scrutinizing each and every image from a campaign shoot or deciding which image to put first on a carousel. While you save time on everyday decision-making, you can spend more time planning your global media strategy, engaging with your audience, or honing your brand ambassador program.


Who are the most followed beauty influencers on Instagram? 

The top 5 most followed beauty influencers on Instagram are: 

How do you get more beauty followers on Instagram?

Getting more followers from the beauty community is similar to any other community on Instagram — explore audience demographics, creative conversations and speak to them meaningfully, create organic content, and don’t be afraid to start your own trends. 

What is another new beauty trend set to emerge in 2024?

Accessibility in all forms, from application to packaging, is set to emerge as a big trend in 2024. From arthritis-friendly packaging from Rare Beauty to the recently announced HAPTA technology by L’Oréal (a precise digital makeup applicator meant to assist people with limited hand and arm mobility), the research, development, release and promotion of a range of accessible beauty products is projected to trend further in 2024.

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