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Battle of the Beauty Brands

We wanted to find out how Generation Z feels about makeup and beauty – what their go-to brands are, and why they like them. So we asked the most engaged users on our Snapchat beauty channel, MakeUp Tuts TV, for their opinions on some of the world's top makeup brands.

These users were all girls and women, aged 13-25, and from the US and the UK.

The most popular brand among young women is NYX, with an impressive 40% naming the brand as their favourite. Maybelline came in second place at 29%, followed by L’Oreal, then Cover Girl, Rimmel and finally Max Factor, which consistently scored the lowest.


As the parent company of both NYX and Maybelline, L’Oreal technically dominates the top spots. From our research, Coty Inc. (owner of Cover Girl, Rimmel, and Max Factor) has less of a rapport with young women in the US and the UK.

Looking more closely at how users ranked the brand in terms of affordability, brand ambassadors, and their effectiveness at matching their skin tone, we uncovered some interesting reasons why NYX won and why Max Factory seems to have less appeal among young women and teenagers.

Brand Ambassadors

This was where Maybelline won, and to no suprise. Their recent campaign with model Gigi Hadid populated the Instagram feed of many young women. They also have models such as Joan Smalls and Adriana Lima in their arsenal.

NYX was second most popular in terms of brand ambassadors. NYX are unusual in embracing beauty vlogging to the extent that vloggers are their primary ambassadors. It's clear that this has been very successful for them, enabling them to engage and relate to their target audience. NYX try to present themselves as digital natives, and it's clearly working.



Max Factor was believed by 40% of users to be the most expensive of the brands, whereas NYX, and L’Oreal were thought to be the most affordable. This is a pretty fair assessment. To use just one example, a highlighter is £8.00 from Nyx, £8.99 from L’Oreal, and £10.99 from Max Factor. It looks as though Max Factor are just considered just that little bit out of budget for the average budgeting young person.


Skin Colour Match

Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty last year. Its main brand message was inclusion for all women, as it boasted over 40 different foundation shades. Since then, there's been more conversation in the indsutry around foundations matching your skin colour no matter what colour you are. Brands are starting to realise that it plays an important factor in how consumers feel about the brand.

In our poll, how well the foundations matched their skin colour correlated exactly with how much they liked the brand. It looks as though NYX, with their 30 foundation colours, might have a better reputation for diversity than Max Factor, with its 18 foundation colours.


Final Note

Ultimately, NYX appeal to Generation Z because they market themselves as professional and affordable. They also keep up with the trends young people care about, catering to the bolder looks particularly popular among young women, especially in the US. And, more importantly, they know how to speak to their target market. Just take a look at the front page of their website:


Immediately, NYX invite young women to join in their online community. This is a community that reflects the content young women watch online: videos of women expertly contouring and experimenting with bright colours.

Compare this with a screengrab of Max Factor’s Instagram:


A gorgeous and colour-coordinated display, but it’s immediately clear that Max Factor aren’t going all out for Gen Z in the same way that NYX are. They’re trying to appeal to slightly older women, hence the more subdued, natural tones and straplines like ‘perfect for those morning meetings’, which immediately resonate with working women rather than teenage girls.

With all this considered, it’s really no surprise that young women on MakeUp Tuts choose NYX as their number one brand. NYX understand their target market.

Having worked with top brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, we care about how audiences on Snapchat receive brands, and what it is that most appeals to them.

Charlotte Gifford


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