For beauty lovers, is there anything that beats the joy of falling in love with a new brand?
With the rise of social media and digital marketing, there has been a huge beauty boom over the last decade. In today’s post, I will be sharing 20 dope American Indie Makeup Brands that you need to try in 2020. Keep reading to find your next favorite American indie makeup brand.
What is an indie makeup brand?
All makeup brands are either independently owned and operated or owned by a conglomerate company. A conglomerate, sometimes known as a parent company, is a corporate entity that owns multiple subsidiaries (brands) that span various industries. Examples of known parent companies include Coty, Estee Lauder, L’OREAL, LMVH, and Shiseido.
Indie makeup brands are independently owned and operated by an owner that is not a parent company. Indie makeup brands can be independently financed or financed by venture capitalists.
An indie makeup brand can be mainstream, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills and Melt Cosmetics, or could be much more niche such as Touch of Glam beauty. Similarly, brands owned by parent companies may be mainstream or niche.
The below roundup includes 20 dope indie makeup brands you need to try in 2020.
About the brand: Founded by Cuban born, Gabriela Trujillo, in 2017 Alamar Cosmetics aims to bring inclusive Cruelty-Free beauty to the marked. Inspired by Trujillo’s Cuban heritage, the brand aims to empower beauty lovers of all skin tones.
Why the Brand Excites Me: I love how Alamar Cosmetics’ inclusive line of makeup is a celebration of Cuban heritage. Gabriela’s thoughtful product creation and quality of each new release always impress me. Alamar’s Colorete Blush Trio was featured in my 2019 Newbie Awards roundup. In addition to being an indie cosmetics maker, Alamar creates brushes – I received the brand’s face brush set in my February 2020 Boxycharm.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Have you seen the brand’s Stained Glass collection? These show-stopping multi-chromes from Clionadh Cosmetics come in a variety of shades and finishes. Check out swatches of the Clionadh’s Stained Glass shadows in my indie beauty single shadows collection.
Devinah Cosmetics Single Shadows (Photo Credit: Devinah Cosmetics Instagram)
3 | Devinah Cosmetics
About the brand: Founded by DeAndra DeArmas, Devinah Cosmetics set out to provide MUAs of all stages and talent-levels with affordable, high-quality hand-pressed shadows that span a wide range of colors and finishes.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Devinah Cosmetics is a brand that takes risks and is constantly working hard to release new and interesting products. From the brand’s high-quality mattes to its impressive shimmers, Devinah is an American indie makeup brand to watch. For swatches of the Devinah Cosmetics shadows in my collection, check out this post full of Melt Cosmetics Gemini Palette dupes or my indie beauty single shadow collection.
Dose of Colors Baked Browns Palette (Photo Credit: Dose of Colors Instagram)
4 | Dose of Colors | 2013
About the brand: Dose of Colors was founded by Anna Petrosian in 2013 to provide pigmented, high-quality beauty products. The brand has since garnered a cult following for its popular lip glosses, liquid lipsticks, and well-known collaborations with Desi and Katy as well as Karen Gonzalez a.k.a. ILuvSarahii
Why the Brand Excites Me: Like so many other Dose of Colors fans, I am a huge lover of the brand’s lip products and eyeshadow formula. Dose of Colors’ comfortable, high shine lip glosses are some of my favorite glosses in my lip gloss collection, while the brand’s all-matte quintets are go-to staples in my collection.
Reviews on the way: Baked Browns Palette, Blushing Berries Palette, Liquid Lipsticks, Lip Glosses
Give Me Glow Cosmetics Vintage Rose Palette (Photo Credit: Give Me Glow Cosmetics Instagram)
5 | Give Me Glow Cosmetics
About the brand: Give Me Glow Cosmetics is an American Indie cosmetics brand that is known for creating highly pigmented shadows and blinding highlighters. The brand’s single shadows and palettes frequently run in and out of stock.
Why the Brand Excites Me: I am always so impressed by the performance of the Give Me Glow shadows that I own. The Give Me Glow Shadows and Highlighter swatches shared on Instagram are sickeningly pigmented. Check out some swatches of my single shadows from Give Me Glow in my indie beauty single shadow collection.
Reviews on the way: Summer Vibes Palette, Single Shadows
About the brand: JD Glow Cosmetics was founded in 2015 by best friends, Jennifer and Deandra. This Baton Rouge-based indie makeup brand aims to make beauty accessible to beauty lovers through its high quality, affordable beauty products.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Have you seen the brand’s Galaxy Shadows or Multi-chromes?? These multi-dimensional, wet-looking metallic shadows are quite impressive! To see some swatches of the JD Glow Multi-chromes check out my indie beauty single shadows roundup.
Reviews on the way: Galaxy Shadow & Multichrome Shadows
Juvia’s Place Loose Highlighters (Photo Credit: Juvia’s Place Instagram)
7 | Juvia’s Place | 2013
About the brand: Juvia’s Place was founded in 2013 by Chichi Eburu. This Black-owned indie beauty brand is best known for its high quality, super pigmented, and affordable eyeshadows and visually stunning packaging design. The African inspiration behind each palette is clear and quite beautiful.
Why the Brand Excites Me: The Juvia’s Place eyeshadow formula is one of my absolute favorites. These shadows are easy for makeup beginners and makeup masters, alike. Juvia’s Place makes palettes for colorful shadow lovers and neutral fans, too. I’ve reviewed two of my favorite Juvia’s Place Palettes – the Nubian Palette and the Warrior Palette on my blog.
Reviews on the way: Warrior 2 Palette, Nomad Palette, The Berries Palette, The Nomad Palette, etc.
About the brand: Founded in 2008 by beauty influencer, Marlena Stell, Makeup Geek made waves in the beauty industry with its high-quality single shadows. When the brand first started it was known for making more affordable dupes to MAC Cosmetics single shadows.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Makeup Geek is one of the first influencer-owned, dope American indie makeup brands to burst onto the beauty scene. I am excited by the brand’s strong focus on single shadows and I am excited to try the brand’s Matrix Single Shadows.
Reviews on the way: Makeup Geek Color Matrix System
About the brand: Melt Cosmetics was founded in 2012 by Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar, to usher colorful beauty products to the market through their boldly colorful matte bullet lipsticks. The brand has since expanded into eyeshadow stacks and palettes, as well as countless other lip and cheek products.
Why the Brand Excites Me: If this is your first time on my blog – welcome.
If you’re a regular reader, then you know that Melt Cosmetics makes one of my favorite formulas and has created some of my all-time favorite palettes. In fact, I own so many of the brand’s palettes that I’ve ranked them. The founders create products thoughtfully, with clear passion and inspiration.
Each product is created with great attention to quality and feels authentic to the brand. Over the last couple of years, I’ve reviewed many releases from this dope, American indie makeup brand on my blog. Check out my in-depth reviews of the Blueprint Stack, Amor Eterno Collection, and Millennial Pinx Palette.
Reviews on the way: Smoke Sessions Palette, Radioactive Palette, Twenty-Seven Palette, Matte Lipsticks, Blushlights, Digital Dust Highlighters
About the brand: Founded in 2019, Menagerie Cosmetics is a wildlife-inspired, Vegan, Cruelty-Free, and indie makeup brand that burst onto the market with its Feral Palette.
Why the Brand Excites Me: I love the brand’s nature-inspired aesthetic and ability to create high-quality, colorful shadows that are Vegan! After being impressed by the Violet Ink Micro Palette, I’m excited to try more from this brand!
Midas Cosmetics High Times Palette (Photo Credit: Midas Cosmetics Instagram)
11 | Midas Cosmetics | 2018
About the brand: Founded in 2018 by Rocio Nunez, Midas Cosmetics is an affordable indie beauty brand known for its colorful palettes and glitters.
Why the Brand Excites Me: From creating bold color stories to collaborating with small creators, Midas Cosmetics is an indie makeup brand that isn’t afraid to take risks. Moreover, this indie brand creates affordable products that many cosmetics fans are sure to love.
Reviews on the way: High Times, Smokey Glow, and Temptation Palettes
About the brand: OFRA Cosmetics was founded by Ofra and David Gaito in 1994, to provide beauty lovers with professional quality makeup and skincare products.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Ofra makes some of my favorite cheek products. From blinding highlighters to creamy bronzers and blushes, I’ve enjoyed every cheek product I’ve tried from the brand. The Ofra Highlighters are some of my top-ranking products in my highlighter collection. Check out this in-depth review of the Pillow Talk Highlighter.
Reviews on the way: Ofra Cosmetics x Samantha March Collaboration
Persona Cosmetics Cali Glow Highlighters (Photo Credit: Persona Cosmetics Instagram)
14 | Persona Cosmetics | 2016
About the brand: Persona Cosmetics was founded in 2016 by Armenian makeup artist, beauty blogger, and YouTuber, Sona Gasparian, and her husband K.B. Gasparian. The brand is all about providing inclusive, high-quality products expertly curated and designed to help beauty lovers look and feel their best.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Not only is Sona one of my favorite YouTubers, but Persona has quickly become one of my favorite makeup brands due to how the brand reinvents classic products with a modern twist. Each product is thoughtfully crafted and easy to use for makeup beginners to makeup artists. Read my review of the Persona Lip Glosses, Liquid Lipsticks, and Identity Palette.
Reviews on the way: Super Blush, Identity 2 Palette, Copper Color Theory Kit, Pink Color Theory Kit
About the brand: Founded by 17-year-old Aashna Sharma in 2019, Shared Planet is a Cruelty-Free and Vegan Indie brand that donates 10% of all sales towards Panthers & Polar Bears International.
Why the Brand Excites Me: I love Shared Planet’s mission to support animal protection and conservation for threatened species. Moreover, I am so impressed that Shared Planet was founded by such an accomplished teenager who is passionate about animal conservation.
Reviews on the way: Tiger Palette and Polar Bear Glosses
About the brand: In 2019 the brand formerly known as Strobe Cosmetics rebranded to Shroud Cosmetics. This Cruelty-Free and Vegan indie makeup brand is known for its edgy color stories and fun with color.
Why the Brand Excites Me: The Creepy Cute Palette is a classic and well-loved pastel palette within the beauty community. After hearing or reading so many people rave about this palette, I knew it was time to try it for myself.
Reviews on the way: Arcana Palette, Creepy Cute Palette
Sydney Grace Cosmetics Single Shadows (Photo Credit: Sydney Grace Cosmetics Instagram)
18 | Sydney Grace Cosmetics
About the brand: Sydney Grace is a high-quality, California-based indie makeup brand that is best known for its diverse range of eyeshadow singles.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Everyone from Mel Thompson to Jen (Jen Luvs Reviews) raves about the Sydney Grace eyeshadow formula. In fact, shadows from this American indie makeup brand are often used to dupe unique, luxury formulas. Click here to read my review of the Enduring Love Palette.
About the brand: Thrive Causemetics was founded in 2013 by professional makeup artist, Karissa Bodnar to create beauty with a purpose. Created after the loss of a friend to Cancer, Thrive creates Vegan and Cruelty-Free products. Additionally, the brand donates a portion of all sales to partners who aid women facing cancer, homelessness, and domestic violence.
Why the Brand Excites Me: Not only do I love the brand’s mission, but just looking at Thrive Causemetics’ turquoise packaging makes me feel joyful. So far, I’ve loved everything that I’ve tried from the brand. I like how Thrive Causemtics creates products that create effortless-looking beauty.
Uoma Beauty Say What!? Foundation (Photo Credit: Uoma Beauty Instagram)
20 | UOMA Beauty | 2019
About the brand: UOMA Beauty was founded by Sharan Chuter in 2019 to rewrite what it means to be inclusive and diverse. The brand celebrates and accepts people for who they are and not how they look.
Why the Brand Excites Me: UOMA’s mission resonates with me due to its authentic feeling. Everything the brand puts out exudes empowerment and celebrates badass women, particularly women of color. The brand’s high quality, unique formulations continuously impress me – I’ve even reviewed the brand’s Savage Black Magic Palette.
Reviews on the way: Badass Icon Matte Lipsticks, Say What?! Foundation, Stay Woke Concealer, and Double Take Contour & Highlight
Final Thoughts on the 20 American Indie Makeup Brands You NEED to Try in 2020
Technically, I featured 19 American indie makeup brands on this list, since Clionadh Cosmetics is Canadian. However, Canada is still a part of North America, so I had to mention them!
If it wasn’t apparent from this roundup, I love supporting American indie makeup brands. Not only does it make me happy to support a small business owner, but I love seeing people pursuing their creative passions. Many American indie makeup brands are the first to set trends that mainstream brands eventually follow.
Beyond my love of supporting small business, I enjoy seeing how so many American indie brands are Cruelty-Free and 100% Vegan or Vegan-friendly. I hope that more brands follow along with this trend to create inclusive makeup for all to enjoy.