These were the most Googled beauty questions of 2021 (oh and we've answered them for you)

You are very, very welcome

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

You are very, very welcome

Each year Google releases its Year In Search report, which details the most asked questions from the previous year. And as ever, in 2021 there were quite a few burning beauty questions that people wanted answers to.

It's not really a surprise, whenever we want to find out the best hair dryer ahead of spending our cash, we ask Google. Or when we want to get our nails done, we ask Google to point us in the direction of the best nail salon in London. Google, as ever, is our very understanding and helpful friend.

From how to include face oil into your skincare routine, to how to remove fake tan, we've answered some of the UK's most Googled beauty questions of 2021. You are most welcome.

What is the correct order of doing skincare?

If our Beauty Editor had a pound for every time someone asked her that, she would be a very rich woman indeed. Getting your skincare routine nailed is so important to your skin's maintenance. It can vary between skin types, says Ksenia Selivanova, co-founder of skin consultancy Lion/ne. 'For example, dry and reactive skin will not need a toner, and oils aren't suited to every skin. A good way to remember how to layer products is: thinner, water-based products first followed by oil-based, thicker products, and always ending with SPF [during the day].'

Here's a quick cheat-sheet:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Mask (evening, max twice a week)
  3. Toner
  4. Retinol (evening)
  5. Serum
  6. Moisturiser/Oil/Eye Cream
  7. SPF (every morning)

How to colour your hair at home?

We completely understand why everyone wanted to know this. With numerous lockdowns and salon closures over the past couple of years, we had to take matters into our own hands. This is why we chatted with Josh Wood - hair colour master - about his at-home colour system and he gave the tips & tricks on how to dye your own hair.

Watch our how-to colour your hair at home video with Josh below...

How to get gel manicures at home?

Another question spurred on by the ever-changing restrictions we've encountered thanks to COVID-19. So many of us missed our regular gel manicure appointments because sometimes regular nail polish just doesn't cut it.

However, there are now some really brilliant products and at-home devices that fill the gap when needed.

For example, Manicurist is the world's first plant-based gel brand. It goes on like a gel but can be removed like normal polish.

Manicurist Green Flash Pro Kit - £89

Manicurist Green Flash Pro Kit - £89
With this kit you get the lamp, base coat, nail colour, top coat and remover. The fact that it comes off like normal polish might mean that you never go back to the salon.

Beauty brands have recognised the demand for the high-shine, long-wearing nail colour that a gel manicure offers. That's why there has been a flurry of polishes hitting the market with the promise of the look and feel of a professional manicure, without the use of a UV light.

Max Factor Nailfinity Gel Colour Nail Polish - from £4 | Lookfantastic

Max Factor Nailfinity Gel Colour Nail Polish - from £4 | Lookfantastic
Max Factor's Nailfinity range is the closest we have found to a gel manicure. Two coats of this highly-pigmented colour, followed by one coat of the brand's gel top coat gives the most beautiful look. It won't last three weeks, like some gel manis, but the chip-repellent finish is pretty damn effective.

How to make eyelashes look longer without applying falsies?

Wouldn't it be marvellous if we all had naturally long and voluminous eyelashes? However, this is not the case. So we asked Pro Make-up Artist Cher Webb for her advice. ' A good lash curler is a secret weapon when it comes to fuller and longer-looking lashes,' she says. 'Use your lash curler before mascara application to give it a head start and also to instantly open the eye, with or without mascara and you will never look back. It makes the work of difference.'

Mac Full Lash Curler - £16.50 | Lookfantastic

Mac Full Lash Curler - £16.50 | Lookfantastic
Mac's super easy-to-use Full Lash Curler gives lashes gravity-defying volume.

She also recommends opting for a mascara that defines as well as lengthens. 'The more defined and less-clumped the lashes are, the longer they will look. The bareMinerals Strength & Length Mascara features a paddle-shaped brush wand that combs each lash to perfection.'

Bareminerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Mascara - £23 | Lookfantastic

Bareminerals Strength & Length Serum-Infused Mascara - £23 | Lookfantastic
This formula cares for lashes with every application and it actually reduces the chance of lashes falling out.

What does vitamin C do for your skin?

Vitamin C is a wonderful ingredient that we encourage everyone to include in their skincare routines. It's a skin brightener and a pretty powerful antioxidant, providing some protection against the damage of UV and slowing down premature ageing. We're not alone in our love for it, Joanna Czech, a celebrity facialist and skin expert agrees. 'I use it in my treatments in a few ways,' she explains. 'Vitamin C peels are super brightening and there is no downtime, so the results are instant glowing, healthy skin. I also love to use serums with Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD), which is a highly stable form of vitamin C that stimulates and strengthens collagen and inhibits melanogenesis and prevents hyperpigmentation.'

Dr. Anjali Mahto, a Consultant Dermatologist, adds that it aids collagen synthesis. 'Collagen is the main protein of the skin giving it support. Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for collagen production, so using it for around six months can help reduce the appearance of fine lines.' She also recommends acne-suffers use the best vitamin C serums, as they can help reduce redness and irritation.

Pai Vitamin C Skin Booster - £19

Pai Vitamin C Skin Booster - £19
This all-natural, highly concentrated vitamin C oil serum evens out skin tone and brightens even the dullest of complexions. A little goes a long way and it can either be popped in with your daily moisturiser or used alone.

How to fix cakey make-up

Is there anything worse than the late-afternoon glance in the mirror? A harsh reminder that all was not as it was that morning? Cher Webb told us how to avoid such horrors in the future.

'Cakey make-up can often be revived and refreshed with a spritz of makeup setting spray. It's designed to fix make-up in place and increase longevity, but it also refreshes the skin instantly. I love the Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray and a light mist of this all over your makeup will instantly revive, refresh and also eliminate an overly powdered skin.'

Urban Decay All Nighter Spray - £26 | Lookfantastic

Urban Decay All Nighter Spray - £26 | Lookfantastic
This award-winning setting spray is a cult classic for a reason. If you're off dancing till dawn or attending a wedding in the heat of the summer, you can rely on this to keep your make-up in place for every eventuality.

Cher also says that cakey make-up is often the result of too much product on the face. 'A good brush will sheer this out,' she says. 'Another tip is to use a good firm stippling brush to buff away any excess product and polish the skin so it looks more perfected and less made up. The Clinique Foundation Buff Brush is the perfect size and shape for liquid and powder textures. Use this in circular motions across the face to sheer it all down.'

Clinique Foundation Buff Brush - £29 | John Lewis

Clinique Foundation Buff Brush - £29 | John Lewis
Mary Phillips, make-up artist to some of Hollywood's biggest A-Listers, also recommends using a brush like this to refresh your make-up halfway through the day. She says to pop a little bit of moisturiser onto the back of your hand and then buff it into the skin with the brush. It will give your foundation another lease of life, without stripping it back.

Do beauty products really expire?

Yes. There are no two ways about it. There are both skincare and make-up expiry dates and you can find most of them on the packaging. Have you ever noticed the little symbol of a pot with a number on the inside? That details how many months after opening your product lasts.

beauty expiration date symbol

In terms of make-up, these are some general rules to follow:

Make-up expiry tips:

  • If your product looks or smells funny, chuck it out
  • Wash your hands every single time you go to apply or reapply your make-up. Avoiding getting any bacteria into any of the formulas will make them last longer
  • If you’ve had a cold sore, get rid of any lip products that would have come into contact with it
  • Write the date you bought a product on some masking tape and stick it on to remind you when you should throw it out
  • Wash your make-up bag regularly. We are all guilty of letting it get into a state, but cleaning it on the reg will keep bacteria at bay.

What is brow lamination?

Brow lamination is the pain-free treatment that straightens your brow's natural hair, then lifts and fixes them into place and into your desired shape with a chemical solution. It's not invasive or as permanent like microblading, but super groomed brows will be yours for up to six weeks. No one has made us want to get the treatment more than influencer Laura Klein, who often talks of her love for the treatment. Check out these brows...

A photo posted by on

How to remove fake tan

The panic that sets in when you realise that you've made a mistake with self-tan is incomparable. This is why we consider the correct way to remove fake tan one of life's most important lessons.

There are a few remedies that we rely on here at Marie Claire HQ thanks to the advice of Jules Von Hep, creator of one of our favourite tanning brands Isle of Paradise and fake tan god.

  • use a gentle body scrub mixed with a tiny amount of oil on the area that needs fixing
  • head to a steam room, sauna or swimming pool (if you don't mind being a bit streaky in public) the heat and chlorine will break down the DHA
  • grab a pair of exfoliating gloves, jump into the shower and gently work in circular motions
  • two tablespoons of baking soda added to some water creates a paste that can be applied to the mistake
Isle of Paradise Magic Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser - £17.95 | Boots

Isle of Paradise Magic Over It Magic Self-Tan Eraser - £17.95 | Boots
Of course, sometimes you just want to know how to remove fake tan, because we're ready for a refresh. Mist your body with this Self-Tan Eraser, leave it to sink in then get into the shower and buff it off with a flannel or sponge.

What does niacinamide do?

'Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, helps to control pigmentation, increases energy production, reduces acne, promotes cell growth and speeds up skin renewal,' explains Joanna Czech. She says that no matter your skin type, you will reap the benefits.

Dr Anjali Mahto adds that if you're going to include it in your routine, be sure to 'look for products that contain at least 5% niacinamide for best results and ensure that it features highly (top 3-5) on the ingredients list of a product.

The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc - £5 | Boots

The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc - £5 | Boots
If you want to give a niacinamide product a bash, why not start with the ever-affordable The Ordinary. It promises to tackle uneven skin tone, blemishes and enlarged pores.

So there we have it, we hope we have helped solve some of beauty's most asked questions.

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.