At this point, it should go without saying that I’m a beauty fanatic. The only thing I love more than trying a new beauty product is discovering a new beauty brand. With the proliferation of social media and influencer marketing, there are so many cool, indie brands bursting onto the scene.
What are Indie Beauty Brands?
All brands in the beauty industry are either owned by a massive beauty conglomerate (ex. L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Shiseido, etc.) or are operated independently. Popular brands that are owned by L’Oreal include NYX Cosmetics and Urban Decay. Some indie brands are partially owned by a beauty conglomerate, but still technically remain independent. For example, Estee Lauder invested stakes in the Korean skincare brand, Dr. Jart+ but hasn’t directly acquired the brand. Although many corporate beauty brands are mainstream, not every brand in their portfolio commands the same brand recognition.
By comparison, an indie brand is a brand that operates independently from a large beauty conglomerate. However, these indie brands can still command powerhouse brand recognition and sales. The best example of this type of indie brand is Anastasia Beverly Hills. However, more often than not, indie beauty brands are typically small brands with limited brand recognition and small sales volumes.
Lately, I’ve been super inspired and excited by the innovative releases from the smaller, less-known beauty brands. Here are the brands I’m most excited to try more of in 2019.
Indie Brands I Want to Explore More
I’ve tried products from all of these indie brands, but I’m still curious to try more – whether that means buying a new release of a popular product or a new category for the brand. If you’ve been following my blog this past year, then you’ll see there is an indie brand on this list that I didn’t love in 2018. Why? Everyone deserves a second chance.
ColourPop | 2014
About the brand: ColourPop was founded in Los Angeles in 2014 by siblings, Laura, and John Nelson. The brand is well known for their on-trend releases, Influencer collaborations, and for featuring looks created by their fans on their social channels and website. ColourPop is Cruelty-Free.
Why this brand excites me? As a whole, ColourPop sells some of the most affordable and high-quality beauty products on the market that are appealing to s wide variety of people. They do a great job of pairing neutrals with bright colors. ColourPop constantly releases new palettes and new products.
I’m an avid fan of the brand’s Super Shock Shadows and Pressed Powder Shadows, but I’ve yet to try any of the brand’s face products or traditional lip products. (I know that I dislike the brand’s liquid lip formula). However, I am most excited to try the brand’s new mascara launch. Within a week of launching, the ColourPop mascara kit sold out!
Product review(s) on the way: I will be posting a “Bad or Rad” style review on some of the brand’s Pressed Single Shadows, Super Shock Shadows, and other goodies this year. For a super thorough palette review, check out my thoughts on the ColourPop x ILuvSarahii Eyeshadow Palette collaboration. Click here for my thoughts on the Double Rainbow Super Shock Shadow Collection, Sweet Talk Eyeshadow Palette, and Disney Villains Collection.
Where to buy: Sephora, Ulta, ColourPop’s website
Juvia’s Place | 2013
About the brand: Founded in 2013 by Chichi Eburu, Juvia’s Place is a fast-growing indie beauty brand best known for their affordable, high quality, vibrant eyeshadows and stunning packaging. I love how each palette is inspired by African culture and art and is specially designed to pop on dark skin tones.
Why this brand excites me? Juvia’s Place eyeshadows are the definition of pigmentation. Also, I love that Juvia’s Place isn’t afraid to play with colors, because I find that their color schemes challenge my creativity.
Product review(s) on the way: Although I’ve owned this palette for a few years, I’ve yet to do a review on the original Nubian Palette. This palette is perfect for a sun-kissed, bronze look, so expect to see a review as the warmer weather approaches.
Where to buy: Ulta, Beauty Bay, Juvia Place’s website
Melt Cosmetics | 2012
About the brand: Founded in 2012 by Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, Melt Cosmetics is helping to usher in a new wave of colorful beauty brands with their bold offering of colorful shadows and lipsticks.
Why this brand excites me? Melt Cosmetics is an innovative brand. Every other newbie beauty brand tends to rush to release eyeshadow palettes, but Melt broke the mold by releasing eyeshadow stacks that can be custom made or pre-built. Moreover, Melt does a fantastic job at making bright, bold colors wearable – both on the eyes and on the lips. My first experience with the brand was in 2017 when I purchased the highly sought after Gun Metal Stack.
Product review(s) on the way: I was HYPED when the promo photos for the Blueprint Stack were released, so I snagged that the day after it launched online. Additionally, after having such good experiences with the shadows, I knew I wanted to try some of the brand’s colorful eyeliners and liquid lipsticks. Click here for my full review on the Blueprint Eyeshadow Stack, Liquid Lipstick, and two liners.
Where to buy: Beautylish, Beauty Bay, Melt Cosmetics’ website
Natasha Denona | 2016
About the brand: Launched in 2016 by world-renowned makeup artist, Natasha Denona, the eponymous brand, became an instant favorite for luxury beauty lovers across the globe. The brand is most known for their expensive, but high quality, colorful palettes. Many Natasha Denona shadows are talc free, but not all.
Why this brand excites me? LOL – if you’ve been reading my blog then you know I tried one of the Mini five-pan palettes from Natasha Denona and hated it. That being said, everyone rants and raves about the Natasha Denona formula and the brand’s larger palettes tend to have vibrant and interesting color stories.
Product Review(s) on the Way: Ideally, I’d like to try the Purple-Blue Palette (pictured above) so I may pick this up this year to test and review. Although the Lila Palette and Safari Eyeshadow Palettes are still on my wish list, I ended up grabbing the Sunrise Palette was it was much less of an investment.
Where to buy: Sephora, Beautylish, Cult Beauty, Natasha Denona’s website
Nudestix | 2012
About the brand: Founded in 2012 by Jennie Frankel, Nudestix is all about streamlining your beauty routine and enhancing your natural beauty through the use of multi-use products that can be applied to the lips, cheeks, eyes, and face. The brand’s products are free of preservatives, parabens, and gluten and the brand does not test on animals.
Why this brand excites me? I like Nudestix for the same reasons that I love Glossier and Bite Beauty – the brand highlights the wearer’s natural beauty. Although I love playing with color and going for a full glam look, I love that Nudestix aesthetic is all about easy-to-wear, easy-to-apply beauty. Brands like this are really great for the on-the-go beauty consumer.
Product Review(s) on the Way: I included Nudestix within my 2018 Newbie Awards, but will be reviewing more of the brand’s multi-pencils in 2019.
Where to buy: Sephora, Beautylish, Cult Beauty, Nudestix’s website
I always want to arm my readers with the most knowledge and I would never want to encourage someone to purchase from a brand, new or known, without giving a fairly comprehensive picture. As a result, I’ve split this into a three-part series, so please come back to my blog for more indie beauty inspiration.
*Note: ColourPop technically can be considered a brand owned by a parent company, since Seed Beauty owns ColourPop, as well as Kylie Cosmetics and KKW Beauty. However, I’ve included ColourPop on this list because the brand’s co-founders also founded Seed Beauty.
**All Instagram photos belong to each respective brand.
Have you tried any of the brands on this list? Are there any new discoveries that you want to try? Please let me know in the comments below.