Minimalist Makeup Capitals of the UK

At The Body Shop, we believe that makeup should allow you to feel your most beautiful self, and if that means enhancing your natural beauty, we’re here for it. Whether you just want a few more minutes to relax in the morning or feel that your skin needs a break from heavy makeup, minimising your makeup bag and honouring your fresh face can feel empowering.

We have analysed search data to find out which cities in the UK are opting for a more natural make up look, with ‘barely there’ make up set to be a 2022 trend. Looking at terms such as nude, simple, and natural looks, we have compiled a list of the UK’s minimal make-up capitals. Find out more below.

Map of minimalist make up looks

The UK’s Top 5 Minimalist Makeup Cities

1 - Rochdale

It’s goodbye full-face, hello bare face for Rochdale, who came in at number one with the minimal makeup searches. 49 searches per 10,000 people were for natural, nude or simple makeup looks, with ‘natural make up looks’ being the most popular search term.

Top tip – It’s all about the makeup base

A good base layer to build from or blend into is always the best place to start, especially if you want even coverage. Our Fresh Nude Face Base will give you a smooth, breathable start to your minimal look.

2 - Bolton

In second place is Bolton, with 42 searches per 10,000 people for ‘barely there’ makeup looks. The city is opting for the low-key style, with over a quarter of searches for ‘nude makeup' - the city of Bolton is ready to bare it all!

Top tip – Tailor your foundation

Tailoring your coverage to what makes you feel the most confident is key. For a lighter, more dewy coverage the Fresh Nude Foundation may be a better pick, giving you a radiant looking finish. For those areas that might need a bit more coverage, the Fresh Nude Concealer can help cover up any blemishes or dark circles.

3- Blackburn

Blackburn have gone back to makeup basics, ranking third in the UK’s minimal makeup cities. Three fifths of Blackburn's search terms were for ‘natural makeup looks,’ with 41 out of 10,000 people searching for more simplistic and fresh-faced looks.

Top tip – Go easy on the mascara

Going light on the lashes is a wonderful way to highlight your eyes natural colour. Simply curling your lashes and applying a clear lash gel can boost the appearance of your eyes, or if you have lighter lashes applying a gentle mascara can add more definition.

4- Wigan

Next is Wigan, with the fourth most searches for minimal makeup. With 38 out of 10,000 people searching for more subtle and simple make-up looks, the people of Wigan are obviously loving a stripped back makeup look.

Top tip – Brush up the brow

Natural brows are embraced when going for the minimal look. Enhance your brows with brow gel, by simply brushing and shaping them into place.

Model with Lip & Cheek Stain Deep Berry

5- Stockport

Following closely behind is Stockport, another Northern location, having 37 out of 10,000 people searching for minimal makeup. Nearly three quarters of terms searched were for ‘natural makeup looks’, suggesting Stockport is well and truly embracing its natural beauty.

Top tip – Blend out the cheek blush

Rosey, flushed cheeks are a MUST when trying to achieve the no-makeup-makeup look but keeping it subtle is key. Using a cheek stain means you can mute out your blush through blending with your base, giving your cheeks a pop of colour.

Where else is going for the natural makeup look?

How does the rest of the UK fare when it comes to going for a fresh-faced look? Out of the top ten cities searching for natural make-up looks 8 were based in the north of England, with Glasgow being the only Scottish city to make it into the top 40, with 35 searches per 10,000 people.

Also in the top ten were Doncaster, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, and Peterborough, all of which had ‘natural makeup look’ as their most popular search term.

Despite its large population, the nation's capital missed out making it into the top 50 minimal makeup cities, with search terms for a no-makeup-makeup looks being only 22 per 10,000 people.

If you are feeling inspired to try out a minimal makeup look, or just fancy showing yourself some self-love by trying a new makeup look, check out our full makeup range including our fresh nude foundations, mascaras and bronzers that will allow you to magnify your natural beauty.


We analysed search terms for natural make-up, nude make-up and simple make-up looks across the UK and normalised these figures, providing us with an overall ranking and section breakdown of each city. Data pulled January 2021.