I recently asked my teenage sister to tell me what’s hot and what’s not in beauty and fashion. With a 16-year age gap between us, I consider her my informant on all things trendy and cool. On beauty she had this to say, “It’s better to wear less makeup than, like, a lot of makeup, but neon colors are cool too and, like, don’t just do your hair straight because that’s boring, you know?” I said I didn’t know. But in true teenage fashion she told me she would not elaborate any further by giving me a slight eye roll and turning her attention back to her mobile phone. So in order to find out more on the latest beauty trends, I decided to do what I do best and head online to research.

Starting with search, I quickly found that there are a lot of exciting beauty trends to explore. For instance, when it comes to ‘non-boring’ hairstyles, the sock bun is all the rage. As the name implies, you hide a (preferably clean) sock in your in your bun to give it more volume.

A bolder, edgier hairstyle that is also popular in search right now is the Skrillex hairstyle. This image search showcases the Skrillex hairstyle better than I ever could with words.

The natural makeup look is also gaining in search popularity. I learned the key to the natural makeup look is to wear makeup so discreetly that it does not look like you are wearing makeup at all. However, in what seems paradoxical to being ‘natural’, neon nail polish and coral lipstick are also seeing a surge in search interest. I guess there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to beauty.

I perused makeup, hair, skin care and more in my search for beauty information and found it tough to make online purchase decisions with the absence of the ability to test products first. Fortunately, beauty sample subscriptions have emerged as a solution by allowing consumers to subscribe and try a variety of sample-size products before making a substantial beauty investment. I further fueled this trend by searching for and ultimately signing up for two beauty sample programs.

With all the beauty information housed online there are many ways for retailers to showcase the beauty products. For someone like me who dove into search relatively clueless, the best search experience was when a retailer answered my search queries with beauty tips, advice, product ratings, and in-depth product information. Retailers leveraging ad formats such as product extensions and sitelinks helped boil down a vast amount of beauty information to help me find beauty answers quickly.

The online advertising opportunity extends well beyond search. Beauty aficionados head to YouTube in droves to seek and post videos related to beauty products and trends. For instance, the sock bun that is hot in search also showcases 1,500 related videos on YouTube. This large amount of video content provides allows beauty retailers to advertise to a highly engaged and targeted audience. And to top it all off, there are an uncountable number beauty blogs, magazines, and columns with devout followers, further extending the opportunity for retailers to advertise beauty products online through the Google Display Network.

After all my research, I am happy to report I am keeping up with the latest beauty trends with a natural makeup look, neon nails, and the occasional sock bun. With that, I think I can consider my quest for the latest in beauty trends complete. And thank goodness, because when I asked about fashion trends, my cool and trendy teenage sister only had to give me a single look to let me know that it is a research project I badly need to tackle next.

Posted by Kristin Patterson, The Google Retail Team