The poll, carried out by Tesco last month, marked the tenth anniversary of the UK retail chain's beauty business. The unique comparison between expert and public opinion illustrated how differently both groups think when it comes to choosing 'best' products.
"It's fascinating to find out which beauty brands are British women's best friends. And it's very interesting to see the difference in opinion over our greatest beauty icons," said Catherine Baxendale, director of beauty at Tesco.
When asked to nominate the greatest beauty icon of today and all time, the British media choose blondes in the shape of Julie Christie and Kate Moss, a selection that contrasts with the publics preference for more voluptuous brunettes in the form of Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The difference of opinion however did not stop there. Whereas the media choose L'Oréal for its preferred skincare brand the majority of the 500,000 women sampled for the poll put Olay top of their list.
The preferred skincare product also differed, with customers highest ratings going to Garnier Synergie Lift in contrast to the media's choice of ROC Protient Lift Facial Gel.
In the colour cosmetics sector customers selected Max Factor and Maybelline Great Lash, in contrast to Bourjois and Bourjois Effect 3D, for the best colour cosmetic brand and product.
The best haircare brand, however, was agreed by both groups to be John Frieda for its sheer blond shampoo and Frizz Ease products.
The results announced at the Celebration of Great British Beauty in London have suprised the cosmetics industry, leaving the door open for new market research into what the consumer really wants and values in a cosmetic.