One of the things I love most about running this blog is the element of discovery. Every day I receive pitches for countless products and services to try. It is my job to weed through it all and share the best stuff with you. Skin care! Clean beauty! Makeup! And on top of that, I am such a shopper myself. I love buying and trying things and reporting back to you with my favorites. And nothing gets me more excited than finding a hidden gem that not everyone knows about yet.
Smaller brands tend to offer high quality, unique and innovative products that beauty lovers love. They’re often mission-based or create their products in small batches with natural ingredients. And they’re rising in popularity as the demand grows for cleaner, better beauty products. The other thing I love is that oftentimes when you support one of these smaller brands, you are supporting an actual person, which is pretty cool.
Also cool is feeling like you have the inside scoop and are using something not everyone else knows about (yet!). Today I am sharing a handful of indie beauty brands I personally really love and think you should know about (if you don’t already!). Some are pretty popular already, but there are af ew up & comers. If they haven’t already taken the beauty industry by storm, they surely will!
13 INDIE BEAUTY BRANDS TO KNOW
Favorite Indie Skin Care Brands
You are going to love this skin care brand. I haven’t seen it featured very many other places but I have a pretty big feeling that will change. As of writing this, there are just two products, both of which I have tried and really like. The first is the Sérum Radiant, a face oil that will give skin the loveliest GLOW. This is great for evening out the skin tone. The second is the Élixir Exfoliant which is one of the more unique products I have tried. At first blush it has all of the qualities of a face oil but it’s actually a mask! Leave it on for 10-30 minutes and then wipe clean. It gently exfoliates while hydrating. It’s really, really nice.
Over the past few years I’ve become a die-hard Klur fan. Their skin care products are AMAZING – these are high performing products for sure. It started with their Elements of Comfort Body Oil (still a favorite fancy gift to give!) which smells like orange blossom and neroli. It’s heavenly. I also love their gentle cleanser (and you can mix in these grains to make them a face scrub), this cream, and this face oil. This brand is clean, Black-owned, ethical, self-funded, inclusive, sustainable skin care… I could go on. My favorite Klur product far and away is their Supreme Seed Face Mask. It smells faintly of cocoa and manages to purify AND hydrate at the same time. It’s fantastic. One of the best masks I have ever used.
Sérum RadiantAn incredible face oil for all over glow.Shop
Lipstick RefillSo many gorgeous colors, with a silky satin finish.Shop
Élixir ExfoliantSo Unique!Shop
Bulgarian Rose WaterThis is so light and refreshing, + it smells amazing. I keep a bottle at my desk and mist my face throughout the day.Shop
Lipstick CaseChic, elegant, AND sustainable.Shop
Body Oilorange blossom + neroliThis body oil is pure heaven. It feels so good on the skin but also smells amazing. Fellow orange blossom lovers, rejoice!Shop
Lipstick SetFeaturing two classic nude shades and the camel leather case.Shop
Tammy Fender Epi-PeelSuch a wonderful exfoliating treatment. The perfect hybrid of scrub meets mask.Shop
Face Maska holy grail favThis mask is incredible. It somehow manages to purify AND hydrate the skin. One of my absolute favorites. Plus, smells like cocoa!Shop
Face WashThis is such a nice face wash. It’s really gentle and doesn’t strip the skin… but it’s also effective and gets your skin nice and clean.Shop
Cheek + Lip TintThis is so pretty and stays on all day. The red is like a cherry popsicle!Shop
BronzerGives a really natural sun-kissed glow. Not cakey or chalky at all.Shop
Tammy Fender’s skin care products are organic, custom-blended products that use the traditions of holistic medicine. They’re prepared in small batches, which I love. My favorites from her are her Epi-Peel (such a great exfoliating treatment – leave it on like a mask for a while; and then use it as a scrub) and her Bulgarian Rosewater Face Mist (pure luxury!). Tammy Fender is proof that natural small batch products can also be really effective and backed in science.
Linné is my latest obsession. I feel like I have shared them a million times now, but had to include here as well. Really high performing products, thoughtfully crafted, with high quality ingredients. I was especially intrigued as they are based right here in Charleston, but when I tried the products I was just like.. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE! I started (naturally) with the bath salts. These are heavenly. Packed with magnesium, coconut oil, clay, and honey. These are such a treat. Next, I tried this exfoliating body wash. This is just… whoa. First of all, it’s jet black. When applied to the body it foams up a little and turns grey. I like to leave it on like a body mask. It purifies, cleanses, helps with uneven skin tone, exfoliates… it’s just wonderful.
And then, I tried this purifying cleanser/mask hybrid. Equally wonderful (and it smells like the spa in a jar). I love that it’s somehow creamy… but also, clay? I definitely recommend leaving it on as a mask. This would be great for acne prone skin, but really all skin types as it is not drying at all. I also tried the scrub/mask and love that too. Seriously, everything from this brand is SO GOOD. PS – we have a code with Linné! GRACE15 gets you 15% off sitewide!
Cleanser/MaskThis is an epic product. It’s a creamy clay cleanser that you can leave on as a mask. It deep cleans and purifies without any stripping.Shop
Bath SaltsThese will give you all of the things: relaxation, relief for achey muscles, and hydration (they’re packed with coconut oil!).Shop
Exfoliating Body WashWOW!This body wash is just… wow. I know people may be put off by the price tag but this is more of a treatment than an everyday wash. It’s everything.Shop
Grounding Body StoneShop
Shea ButterThis is such an incredible body butter, from a great small business. It sinks right in and just feels so good on the skin!Shop
UncoverupOne of my favorite concealers. I feel like it works with the texture of your skin as opposed to against it. My shade is 22!Shop
Kate McLeod’s body stones are heaven (and make for such a great gift – I got them for everyone in my family a few holidays ago!). They are basically a solid moisturizer that warms up when it touches your body. Applying body lotion becomes a ritual- gliding the stone all over your body. I love them. There are lots of different ones but my favorite is the “Grounding.”
I found out about this brand when I was an ambassador for the Seeds of Beauty campaign. Upon the announcement that Kate Lynn & Adwoa was a finalist, I had to order a few things. I fell in love with their shea body butters (so lush and hydrating) and black soap body wash! The products are 100% natural and also serve as a tribute and source of empowerment to the women of Ghana.
Favorite Indie Makeup Brands
(Honestly, I am not sure if RMS, Saie, and Westman Atelier even count as they’ve grown so much, but they’re favorites of mine so I wanted to include anyway!)
Kjaer Weis is a Danish brand founded by makeup artist Kristen Kjaer Weis. Their products are truly LUXE. Some of the most beautiful (mostly refillable) products you’ll ever lay eyes on (the packaging is just exquisite), high-performance organic skin care and cosmetics. She actually spent seven years developing the line before it debuted in 2010. I love her mascaras and lipsticks and that most of the products (bronzer, blush) are cream based. This mascara is particularly fab!
I am newer to Vapour but really like their products, especially this highlighting stick and their brow gel (my current favorite brow gel, for the record!). I was not a big fan of the mascara but really like everything else that I have tried.
I have been a tremendous fan of Saie since they first launched. Everything they do is magical. They are one of my absolute favorite cosmetics lines. I have done a lot of really in depth reviews of Saie products. First: a review of the brand when they first launched, then their glowy gel + highlighters, and of course their cream bronzer (obsessed). In my opinion, their best products are the bronzer (+ brush!), the glowy super gel, and the mascara. I have been testing the new lip blur lipsticks and will have a review of those out in the next month or two.
I think that RMS was actually the first clean color cosmetic brand I ever tried. I feel like they have really taken the beauty industry by storm. And I remember my friend Victoria came to visit and brought me their living luminizer. I had never tried a highlighter and was just… enamored! Now, they hare a full range. They make so many of my favorite products including the famous Uncoverup and their (gorgeous!) blush (Smile is my favorite).
For the products that come in pots I do think there is a bit of a learning curve (warming them up between your fingers is key, and for the Uncoverup, I find it works best using a brush) but it’s worth it! This reel has a little explainer for the blush, Uncoverup, and luminizer! I also really like the primer (I always recommend this as a more affordable alternative to the Bader one) and the new foundation (for when I want something a little bit more full coverage). More to come on both of those!
I think that what La Bouche Rouge is doing is nothing short of incredible. Beautiful refillable leather lipstick cases (if you order directly from their site, you can have it monogrammed) with refillable lipstick bullets. They also have sets. I hope that the beauty industry follows their lead… I’d love to see more refillable products (done in such a luxurious way).
Is Westman Atelier indie? IDK. But I wanted to include them as I am such a huge fan. Their cream blush is my favorite (Petal is my go-to but Minette is the prettiest coral!). I love their highlighters too. I will say that I tried the new foundation drops and am only medium on them. So I will use up the bottle, but would not repurchase. As a dry skinned gal I just find them a bit too matte for my liking!
Ere Perez is an Australian beauty brand. Their cosmetics line features formulas that are free of toxins and use only plant-based ingredients. My favorites from this brand are the bronzer (super natural and pretty) and this beetroot cheek + lip tint. The red one looks like a cherry popsicle. The cheek and lip tint is very highly pigmented… a little goes a long way!
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