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.
While I love many of these corporately owned beauty brands, lately I’ve been super inspired and excited by the innovative releases from the smaller, less-known beauty brands. If you haven’t read it already, check out the first part in this series to explore indie brands that I know and love or check out the second installment to read about the indie brands I’m currently testing.
In today’s installment, I’m spreading love to brands that I’ve yet to try. Many of these brands are women-owned. Here are the brands I’m most excited to test more in 2019:
Indie Brands I Want To Try
The below indie brands are the least-known brands of those I’ve discussed in previous posts. Also, unlike those brands featured in my previous installments, these are brands that I have yet to try. Some of these brands have been on my list for some time, while others are newer editions.
Beauty Bakerie | 2011
About the brand: Founded by mother, nurse, and Breast Cancer survivor, Cashmere Nicole in 2011, Beauty Bakerie has been a rising brand in the beauty space over the last eight years. The brand began to receive more mainstream notoriety after Beyonce featured Cashmere Nicole and Beauty Bakerie on her website during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Why this brand excites me? I love Beauty Bakerie’s packaging and product names. Every element of a new release always ties back to the brand’s bakery theme, which I appreciate.
Products I want to try: Out of all the products sold by Beauty Bakerie, I’m most eager to try the Blending Egg sponges because of the adorable packaging.
Where to buy: Ulta, Beauty Bay, and the Beauty Bakerie’s online store.
Beautycounter | 2013
About the brand: Founded in 2013, by Gregg Renfrew Beautycounter is all about creating clean, high-quality cosmetics and personal care products that are free from potentially harmful ingredients. Beautycounter believes that “beauty should be good for you”. Unique to the other brands included on this list, Beautycounter is a certified B-Corp which means that the brand operates a super transparent business model that considers people and the planet as opposed to just profits. Beautycounter is cruelty-free.
Why this brand excites me? I’m HERE for EVERYTHING this brand stands for. As an avid beauty junkie, I can say that researching beauty ingredients is like opening a Pandora’s box. Lately, I’ve been questioning some commonly used ingredients, but this type of research for every product can be tedious. Moreover, most brands “clean” brands don’t exclude all potentially harmful ingredients in their products, but Beautycounter excludes more than 1,500 potentially toxic ingredients. Curious about some of the banned ingredients – check out the brand’s Never List.
Products I want to try: I am eager to try the brand’s Mattifying Powder, as this is a talc-free formula, as well as the No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask. My hesitation in buying from the brand is due to the high price points of each product.
Where to buy: Beautycounter is currently only available for sale on beautycounter.com.
Certifeye | 2016
About the brand: Founded by Aysha Ali in 2016, UK-based, Certifeye Cosmeticshas been a fast-growing online beauty brand. Certifeye’s method for releasing new products is quite unique compared to other brands in the market. They actively listen to what their customers want AND will storyboard photoshopped eyeshadow palettes online in order to gauge customer sentiment.
Why this brand excites me? I’ve never seen eyeshadow palettes quite like those sold by Certifeye. Not only are the palettes shaped uniquely, but they feature a stunning array of bold matte and shimmer shadows.
Products I want to try: I’ve been eyeing the Affinity Palette for quite some time, and the yet to be released, Affinity 2 Palette. The first palette is a warm, pinky-purple palette, while the Affinity 2 is a true, blue-green palette.
Where to buy: Certifeye is currently available via the brand’s website, as well as Beauty Bay in the U.K.
Coloured Raine | 2013
About the brand: Founded by Loraine Dowdy in 2013, UK-based Coloured Raine aims to break beauty barriers and make color wearable and fun for all beauty lovers. Although the brand sells various product categories, they are most known for the vibrant and highly pigmented single eyeshadows and palettes.
Why this brand excites me? Coloured Raine creates beautiful color stories with each full size and mini palette released. Additionally, I’ve only heard rave reviews about the brand on YouTube. My trusted, fave, Stephanie Nicole, has featured many of the brand’s palettes on her channel and has only said wonderful things!
Products I want to try: The Queen of Hearts Palette is the most appealing color story. However, I go back and forth on purchasing this because I have so many similar colors already. If you own this palette AND the Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Modern Renaissance, I’d really love to know your thoughts!!
Where to buy: Coloured Raine is available on ColouredRaine.com
JD Glow Cosmetics | 2015
About the brand: Founded by best friends, Jennifer and Deandra, JD Glow Cosmetics is a US-based indie brand founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. JD Glow aims to make beauty accessible to all wearers by selling affordable, high-quality beauty products.
Why this brand excites me? JD Glow is best known for their highly pigmented and transformative shimmer and metallic eyeshadows. Fans of the brand have gone as far as to compare JD Glow’s metallic formula to Pat McGrath! Also, HAVE YOU SEEN THE MULTI-CHROME EYESHADOWS???!!
Products I want to try: I want to try some of the brand’s Galaxy shadows, particularly the Multi-Chrome shadow bundle. I was initially hesitant to spend $75.00 USD on an indie brand I’ve never tried before but ended up picking these up during the brand’s most recent restock.
Where to buy: JD Glow is available online only.
About the brand:Jouer Cosmetics was founded in 2008 by Christina Zilber, Jouer aims to provide wearers with fresh, editorial makeup aimed at enhancing everyone’s natural beauty and individual style.
Why this brand excites me? Jouer’s packaging and overall aesthetic feel modern and minimal, while still retaining a classic sense of glamour. This brand has been on my radar since 2014 and I actually purchased the Essential Matte & Shimmer Palette for my sister when it launched a few years ago.
Products I want to try: Jour’s powder blushes, powder highlighters, and lip toppers look fresh and ethereal. When I finally try something from the brand, these are likely to be the first things I buy.
Where to buy: Jouer can be purchased at Sephora, Beautylish, Beauty Bay Cult Beauty, and the brand’s online store.
Ofra | 1994
About the brand: Founded by Ofra and David Gaito in 1994, OFRA Cosmetics aims to provide wearers with professional quality makeup and skincare. Although OFRA sells a wide range of products, they are most well-known for their blinding highlighters and high-quality liquid lipsticks.
Why this brand excites me? OFRA’s highlighters are some of the most immediately impactful, high shine products available.
Products I want to try: The OFRA highlighter in the shade Pillowtalk is a stunning pinkish hued highlighter that I’d love to add to my collection.
Where to buy: OFRA is available at Ulta, Beauty Bay, and the brand’s online store.
Lemonhead LA | 2016
About the brand: Lemonhead LA was founded by Megan Dunn to fulfill a niche need in the editorial beauty market for face and body glitter that would provide high shine and stay locked in place during photoshoots. The brand gained more widespread recognition in the online beauty community after it was exposed that employees at ColourPop allegedly purchased Lemonhead’s Space Paste for the purposes of copying the indie brand’s formula.
Why this brand excites me? I’m not a huge fan of loose glitter because of the mess the product creates, nor am I a fan of pressed glitter. However, Lemonhead’s Space Paste looks incredibly appealing and user-friendly. Also, the brand’s aesthetic reminds me of Pat McGrath as both brands are edgy and editorial.
Products I want to try: I want to try the Space Paste glitter paste in the shades Gunshow and Mulholland.
Where to buy: Lemonhead LA can be purchased at Muse Beauty, Cult Beauty, and the brand’s online store.
Sarazaar Cosmetics| 2016
About the brand: Sarazaaris a UK-based beauty brand known for infusing 24-carat gold into their Insta-famous highlighters. I believe the brand was founded in 2016, but I cannot confirm with absolute certainty.
Why this brand excites me? In all honesty, I don’t care that certain products are infused with gold. I am, however, always transfixed by videos of people swatching the Sarazaar loose pigments on Instagram.
Products I want to try: The pigment that always captures my attention is the vibrant blue shade, Mystique.
Where to buy: Sarazaar can be purchased exclusively via the brand’s online store.
About the brand: Unicorn Cosmetics is a UK-based beauty brand founded by Mel-Blue. The brand’s ethos is all about expressing individuality and breaking the mold in the beauty industry. Originally Unicorn Cosmetics only sold lashes and brushes, but the brand has slowly been expanding into color cosmetics.
Why this brand excites me? Unicorn Cosmetics definitely has a unique vibe when compared to some of the other well-established players in the beauty industry. I find the image of the brand to be both playful and edgy.
Products I want to try: Both of the brand’s cosmetic offerings, the Glitterskin, and Unicorn Gloss look perfect for rocking fun, festival-inspired looks. I may pick up one of these goodies as the festival season draws near.
Where to buy: Unicorn Cosmetics can be purchased via Beauty Bay and the brand’s online shop. Professional MUAs get a steep discount on products.
As a whole, I love that all of these brands are founded by women, and many of these indie brands are founded by women of color because diverse representation matters. Although the beauty community is diverse, many mainstream brands are still lacking when it comes to adequate representation in employment, marketing messaging, and product offerings. I hope to showcase offerings from more indie and lesser known brands on my blog over the next year!