There’s something so exciting about discovering a new, under-the-radar beauty product. While we love our well-known beauty brands, sometimes the best products come from smaller, up-and-coming brands you may not have heard of—and once you try them, they’re game-changing. We’re shining a light on some of the best, buzziest indie beauty brands creating killer, high-quality makeup right now—many of which are women and BIPOC-owned. Read on for 15 of our favorite indie brands, and why they’re about to become holy grails in your beauty routine.
If you’re looking for amazing color cosmetics to add to your stash, Makeup Geek will be your new go-to. With dozens of multipurpose Power Pigments and create-your-own eyeshadow palettes, you can craft any look you dream up from minimalist to extra-edgy. Plus, every product is cruelty-free and ethically made.
This Black-owned company was founded by two friends who set out to create the perfect nude lipstick—and they’ve delivered that and so much more. Sure enough, their liquid lipsticks are amazing, as are their buildable foundation sticks. Tip: Use the brand’s amazingly accurate shade finder to nail down your perfect shades of both.
That “cause” in the name is there for a reason: This brand gives back to incredible charities with every purchase. But the products happen to be fantastic as well. We recommend the Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara™, which adds crazy length with zero clumping whatsoever.
Founded by Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter (who also started the @pullupforchange movement), inclusivity is at the core of everything Uoma creates. You can’t go wrong with any of the lip, brow, eye, or complexion products, but their Say What?! Foundation which comes in 51 shades that are further grouped by skin tone, can’t be missed.
This Afro-Latina founded brand has only been around since 2018, but it already has an enthusiastic following of makeup-lovers. The color cosmetics are bright and bold, but it’s their glitter offerings in every shape and color that have us completely obsessed.
Not only does this brand use good-for-you ingredients, but the packaging is also made without magnets and mirrors, which simply end up in landfills when you toss them. Above all else, the products are obsession-worthy. Their luxe Supernova Crushed Pure Diamond Highlighter is made with actual diamond powder and its shimmer is unmatched.
Founded with self-expression at its core, Coloured Raine is skin-tone inclusive and made in the United States by manufacturers who specialize in formulations for darker skin tones. That attention to detail can be seen in products like the Matte Bronzer, which comes in a range of six sunkissed shades.
If you’ve found yourself in a makeup spiral on Instagram or TikTok, you’ve no doubt come across this brand’s colorful swatches. After the founders (who got their start working as makeup artists at Nordstrom) discovered an opening in the makeup market for bold, matte makeup shades, a social media makeup darling was born. Their eyeliners, including the super-pigmented Gel Liners, are true standouts.
Calling all minimalists: Undone is for those seeking products that simplify your beauty routine. Female founded and featuring vegan, cruelty-free formulas, the line has earned a cult following for its sheer coverage and multi-purpose products. Their cult-favorite Lip Life Balm, for example, has an exfoliating tip so it doubles as a lip moisturizer and scrub.
The pandemic may have halted long-distance trips, but this travel-themed brand’s products will take you on a beauty vacation. Cities and countries all around the world lend inspiration to cruelty-free products like the Lake Como Eyeshadow Palette, with nine dreamy shades.
Don’t believe clean beauty works as well? Try Kosas’ Revealer Concealer, which comes in 28 shades, has a skincare-inspired formula with hyaluronic acid and peptides, and (like all their products) contains zero parabens, phthalates, or any of the other 2700(!) ingredients the brand has banned.
The beauty industry has an enormous problem with excess waste, but PYT is making strides to help offset that. Exhibit A: The cheekily named Dew Me Lip Gloss, which is not only packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and coconut oil, but is also encased in recycled and sugarcane-based plastic.
Tynt has a small but mighty assortment of products, all of which can serve multiple purposes in your beauty routine. We love the Multi Tynt, a vegan lip and cheek tint that adds the prettiest wash of buildable color (and is great for use on the go).
It’s not exactly a small business, but Morphe has retained its indie cred while still growing like crazy. Plus, the products are worth the type: They work as well as (or better!) than some more expensive brands, and their soft, synthetic makeup brushes are among our favorites.
As one of the amazing brands that set the tone for inclusion in the beauty industry today, Juvia’s Place is a must-try. They made products for all skin tones and all genders. Our pick: The Nubian Glow Balm that’s like a lip oil, gloss, and balm all in one.
Want to discover more buzzy new brands? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.
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