When you’re a beauty obsessive, going through the fabled aisles of your go-to beauty emporiums can get to be kind of predictable — been there, tried that. And, unfortunately, many brands aren’t yet up to speed on animal testing and gluten allergies. All of this can limit your choices in beauty drastically and make trying something new a tough pill to swallow.
But, no longer! There’s an incredible number of indie beauty brands out there that cater to even the most specific desires. Even better? Many of them are gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free, to boot. Ahead, we've rounded up a slew of new indie beauty launches we are
so excited about. Are you ready for this?
This silky body treatment, derived from almond and meadowfoam seed oils, banishes winter flakes and dullness.
Etta + Billie
Grapefruit Cardamom Bath + Body Oil,
We've written a lengthy
love letter to Lawless Beauty's line
of paraben-, mineral oil-, and silicone-free lipsticks, so you can imagine our excitement over the brand's new pink shades: Alex (fuschia), Parker (baby pink), and Prince (berry). The creamy lipsticks glide on with intense pigment, then dry to a matte, long-wearing finish that never leaves our lips feeling parched.
Soft Matte Liquid Lipstick in Alex, $25, available February 1st at
— PAID —
Most people think of keratin as a chemical-ridden, in-salon straightening treatment, but it's important to note that not all keratin is created equally. Enter: Virtue Labs, a hair-care line formulated with human-derived keratin that's not only totally safe to use on the reg (it's free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates) but also super nourishing for all textures — yes, even ultra-fine, straight hair. Our fave from the range? The Recovery Conditioner, which is a must-have during frigid (and dry) winter months when your hair could use the extra TLC.
Recovery Conditioner, $40.00, available at
We were first attracted to this moisturizer because of its beautiful packaging, but it doesn't just sit pretty on a vanity — it's effective, too. The gentle cream is loaded with rosewater, aloe vera, white tea, and rice extracts to hydrate and soothe. Plus, because of its fast-absorbing, lightweight texture it won't disturb any makeup you apply over top.
Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème,
Fans of Captain Blankenship's
Mermaid Sea Salt Spray
will love the brand's newest addition: Mer-Mane Shampoo. Thanks to the formula's blend of aloe vera, sea buckthorn, sea salt, and organic kelp it hydrates as it texturizes.
This spray makes the benefits of a hair mask so much easier. After hopping out of the shower, generously mist the argan oil-, aloe extract-, and rosehip oil-infused spray through your roots and ends, then comb the product through your hair — no rinsing necessary.
Don't Despair, Repair! Strength & Moisture Leave-In Mask Spray ,
"That micellar water is so pretty," said no one ever — until we laid eyes on Girl Undiscovered's Cleansing Water. Not only does the bottle look like it belongs on a mermaid's underwater vanity, but the formula effectively removes makeup while hydrating with manuka honey and coconut oil.
Under the Waterfall Crystal Cleansing Water,
We keep this aloe vera-, hyaluronic acid-, and cactus extract-infused face mist on our desks for much-needed hits of moisture throughout the day.
beauty writer Rachel Krause says,
"Sometimes you just want a damn good moisturizer,"
and this one is just that. Drunk Elephant's newest offering is loaded with vitamins, proteins, peptides, and marula oil to hydrate skin without making it look greasy.
Protini Polypeptide Cream,
As a 100% vegan and totally cruelty-free beauty brand, Pacifica is climbing the ranks as one of the most creative and innovative indie natural beauty brands on the market. It offers a full range of cosmetics, perfume, and skin care, but we're currently loving their
clump-less waterproof mascara
Aquarian Gaze Mascara, $14, available at
If you constantly deal with irritated skin, it might be a good idea to try out this makeup removing cleanser. The gentle oil-gel formula uses rosemary, squalane, and black currant seed to not only protect skin from environmental stressors, but also cut down on sensitivity.
Hydra+Facial Cleanser Rosemary CO2 Extract, Squalane, Blackcurrant Seed, $54.95, available at
The Saturday Skin line is designed to give you skin that's as easy as waking up with no plans on a weekend morning. Our favorite product offered: the brightening sheet mask, which has bilberry, licorice, and lotus extract to soothe and freshen up dull complexions.
Spotlight Brightening Sheet Mask, $30, available at
Not only does this patchouli- and rose-scented hair powder smell incredible, but it's an A+ oil absorber thanks to a mixture of white clay, rice powder, and baking soda. And that packaging — swoon!
Catbird x Lulu Organics
Patchouli Rose Hair Powder, $10, available at
It's rare to find an eco-friendly eyeliner that performs in both the longevity and pigmentation departments. But — you guessed it — this one does. Unfortunately, it takes a bit longer than we'd prefer to dry (around 30 seconds in our experience), but once it does, it sets to a budge-proof finish.
Expressionist Liquid Liner, $17.99, available at
Natural beauty has exploded in popularity, but still, we haven't seen many brands tackle eye primer. This gel-like one works as well as the classic ones we love, improving the wear-time of our eyeshadows and minimizing powder fallout.
Eye Primer, $26, available at
Most hairsprays leave our hair feeling hard and helmet-like, but this one holds while delivering cool-girl texture. Our favorite feature, though, is that it doesn't spray out in a big mist that gets everything, so we can focus in one small sections.
Strong Hairspray, $14, available at
Photo: Courtesy of KB Shimmer.
Glitter-packed polishes tend to be either too watery and translucent or have the dreaded "taco glitter" (which, according to nail bloggers, is perma-curly glitter chunks that won't be tamed by a topcoat). KB Shimmer manages to avoid these issues and produces some of the most unique glitters and duo-chrome polishes in the business.
At under-$10 a pop, they're not much more than your drugstore favorites, but a lot more daring. We also love the brand's collaborations with die-hard nail bloggers, which always result in bold, on-trend shades.
Nail Polish in Pigment Of My Imagination, $9.25, available at
Use this fragrant mist with rose water and aloe vera juice as your toner or keep it on your desk for a mid-day boost of hydration.
Aloe Immortelle Hydra-Repair Treatment Mist, $39, available at
This bronzer is made up of ingredients you can actually pronounce — cocoa seed powder, argan oil, and rice powder — and gives cheeks a rich, reddish-bronze glow.
Skin Care Cosmetics, $16, available at
A heavy-duty scrub that will turn dry, flaky elbows and heels into buttery-soft skin is a must during the cold months. This one is packed with sugar, shea butter, coconut oil, and olive oil to hydrate as you exfoliate, but there is one caveat: It's pretty gritty, so we'd limit it to the body.
Cream Scrub, $17, available at
Scoop a dollop of this salve-like body balm into the palms of your hands and generously slather it all over your body. The warmth from your skin will melt the balm and transform it into a luxuriously rich oil. Added bonus: the incredible herbal rose scent.
Rose Neroli Body Balm, $125, available at
This handy tube from Juice Beauty crams a creamy highlighter and blush into one convenient package.
Flash Luminizer, $32, available at
We can't stop singing the praises of this game-changing new sea salt spray. (
Mare Mediterranean Sea Mist, $34, available at
When you ball up this mesh exfoliator, it's almost like a loofah on steroids. There's no scientific way to explain it, but it feels like liquid body washes hold better and act faster with Luv Scrub, compared to a boring ol' washcloth.
Mesh Body Exfoliator, $18, available at
The Luv Scrub
Forget everything you think you know about toner, and get acquainted with this
tonic instead. It balances science-y skin-care technology (lipids! Stratum corneum! Lamellar membranes!) with ingredients you could technically drink in a desert-island scenario (green tea extract, apple cider vinegar, licorice root). The result is a uniquely hydrating, skin-restoring potion that will leave you glowing — even if it smells a tiny bit like salad dressing at first.
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