8 Indie Beauty Brands You Need To Know

Some of our favorite products are from lesser-known brands, but as the market grows, it gets harder to sift out the good from the great. This month, New York City hosted its first-ever Indie Beauty Expo to help consumers do just that.

"When I started my skin-care business, I was frustrated by the lack of true beauty incubators," said Jillian Wright, beauty industry veteran and expo founder, in a statement. "The category has consolidated into an environment where niche brands are not given the chance to flourish and take center stage."

More than 50 indie beauty brands set up shop for the sold-out show — complete with complimentary manicures, informative talks with beauty insiders, breakfast burritos (seriously), and an array of product samples so vast that even this beauty editor broke out in a sweat. More well-known and beloved brands such as Tata Harper and Osmia Organics were in attendance, alongside more obscure companies, like a Brooklyn skin-care line with packaging that will make you swoon, and an eco-friendly nail brand that will make you think twice about the ingredients in your polish.

Ahead, we round up the most exciting indie beauty brands we came across during the event. Click through to learn about the ones you should have on your radar and start making room on your top shelf.
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Onomie has quickly gained cult status among beauty editors for its fabulous eye-care products, and its Bright Concealing Elixir simply cannot be beat. The correcting concealer not only helps to hide dark circles with its tint, but it also uses botanicals and antioxidants to improve their appearance over time.

Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir, $26, available at Onomie.
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Flynn & King
A couple of years into working together at a hair salon, Summer Dinh Manske and Corina McDonnell became frustrated at products that claimed to be organic or all-natural, but when they looked at the ingredient list closer, they were not. What started as a "skincare club" amongst friends and family soon evolved into their Brooklyn-based brainchild: Flynn & King.

"We are conscious of everything we do, from the sourcing and quality of our ingredients to the packaging of our products," their site reads. Its products range from dope soap (infused with hemp and green tea, hence the name) to beard and hair treatments — all found in the chicest packaging this side of NYC. It's a gender-neutral brand, so feel free to share your new buys, including this exfoliating Coconut Water mask, with the men in your life.

Flynn & King Buff Exfoliant & Mask with Cleansing Clays & Coconut Water, $25, available at Flynn & King.
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Forager Botanicals
A lot of fragrances can be overwhelming, as well as irritating to people with sensitive skin. Those looking for a simpler, more natural perfume, should definitely check out Forager Botanicals. We already praised it for being the must-have perfume line for people who don't like perfume — but, in case you missed that, here's a reminder.

All of Forager's perfumes, lotions, and body oils are made with all-natural oils and leave you with a subtle, yet lovely aroma. And there's truly something for everyone: Bloom, a bright floral; Island Lei, a tropical blend; Nectar, a fruity scent with a touch of sweetness; and Woodland, a musky, unisex fragrance for outdoorsy types.
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Worker B
With ingredients straight from the hive (of actual bees not the Beyhive, unfortunately), Worker B's skin-care products are made for people with chronic skin issues in mind.

The company consists of three (and only three) employees who oversee the business, product concept, and formulation. The brand is also adamant about supporting ethical, sustainable beekeepers; they not only keep their own beehives in Minneapolis, but they have personal relationships with reliable beekeepers, as well.

We love smoothing their Worker B Balm, a soothing treatment stick that's perfect for travel, onto our lips, hands, and elbows, when they need a kick of moisture.
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Gold Label Cosmetics
We challenge you to find a line of lipsticks that are as richly pigmented and nourishing as these — while also being cruelty, paraben, and gluten-free.

You can pick up everything from vibrant pink, reminiscent of bubble gum, to vamp-y '90s red. Our personal favorite is Dark Children, a berry-black, which brings back fond memories of the ladies in The Craft. You can bet it will be in heavy rotation as soon as the leaves start changing colors.
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Priti NYC
Maybe you've heard of them, and if you haven't yet, now you know. Since its launch in 2005, Priti NYC, founded by Kim D'Amato, has made a name for itself as the leader in eco-friendly, but fashion-forward nail polishes. Its formulas are 5-free and vegan, completely non-toxic, and free of the carcinogenic ingredients (like camphor and formaldehyde) without compromising quality.

Their latest collection, inspired by Cuba, includes shimmer-y sky blue, gold, and fuchsia shades that are a nice change of pace from the traditional dark colors we're used to seeing during the fall season. You can fulfill your wish of a holiday in Havana — in your head, at least.

Priti NYC Nail Polish in Sapphire Shower, $15, available at Priti NYC.
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Modern Minerals
Makeup that's also good for your skin? Yes, please. Modern Minerals, a cruelty-free, vegan brand founded by Diane Read, includes super-light finishing powders, lip glosses, brushes, and eyeshadows that are formulated with skin-soothing ingredients like rose petal, honeysuckle, and coconut.

If these mini-globe eyeshadows — that look like they were beamed in straight from the future — don't draw you in then, well, we don't know what to tell you.
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While Pottymints don't quite fall under the beauty category, we love this indie brand for its smart, and hilarious solution to a common problem. The hero product is exactly what it sounds like: mints for your toilet. During an uncomfortable getaway, founder Suzanna Grobman and her boyfriend, now husband, both found themselves taking turns going back and forth to the lobby — too embarrassed to handle their business in front of each other. Enter: Pottymints.

Just drop the dissolvable air freshener tablets after you flush and a subtle, fragrance (which smells like either fresh citrus or floral — not Febreeze or a lit match) will fill the room. The best part? They're super compact. You can throw one in your wallet without drawing too much suspicion.
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