indie beauty brands

Who needs big beauty brands when these homegrown, healthy, ingredient-driven startups are so damn good? Meet five under-the-radar indie companies we’re so obsessed with; we don’t mind sharing them. Unique formulas, yummy-smelling scents, cruelty-free philosophies – and give-back programs – along with sustainable packaging, set them apart from the rest, and it also helps that their products are straight up awesome. In other words, make some room on your #topshelfie for a new crowd of up-and-comers.

Glow Recipe


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Glow Recipe (@glowrecipe) on

If glowy skin is what you’re after, Glow Recipe is how to get it. As a harsh-free K-beauty skincare line developed by two industry vets with over 20 years experience, they only use the most quality ingredients in their highly coveted products. They also received three offers when they appeared on Shark Tank before launching, but declined all, keeping Glow Recipe self-funded to this day.

And giving back is high on their list of worthy causes as well. Most recently they partnered with charity: water on a social campaign to provide a community in Madagascar with clean and safe drinking water. So yeah, they’re doing the most. They’re also doing the most for our skin, with their best-selling Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask, $8, (which had a waitlist of over 8,000 people at launch and sold out over seven times!) and new Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, $45. We’re hooked and you’ll be, too.

Kai


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by kai fragrance (@kaifragrance) on

There are certain addictive fragrances that you only come across by chance in life, and Kai happens to be one of the most alluring. So much so, they developed an entire skincare range around just this one scent. An intoxicating blend of gardenia wrapped in exotic white flowers is what celebs, supermodels, and beauty editors (in the know) are drawn to, but the real bonus is that it smells completely different on every individual. So you actually feel like you’re wearing a one-of-a-kind secret scent. In addition to their 1st Eau de Parfum, $76, Kai is also available in lotions, body butters, rollerball oils, and more, and they just released a Kai*rose collection. Time to get involved.

Löwengrip


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Löwengrip (@lowengrip) on

One of the fastest-growing beauty brands in the Nordics. The brand was created by blogger-turned-businesswoman, Isabella Löwengrip, and she was just named Sweden’s most Powerful Business Woman of 2018. And her ever-expanding collection – which already includes a myriad of facial creams, serums, masks, and mists – now features solutions for hair and body (like cleansers and hair care, and bronze-inducing Self-Tan Drops, $41). We love that as well as the bomb formulas, everything is made in an environmentally-friendly way in Sweden using the best holistic, quality ingredients.

Youth to the People


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Youth To The People (@youthtothepeople) on

Before a brand becomes a ubiquitous household name, it has to start somewhere, and Youth to the People is right on the verge of blowing up. This “skincare for all” company doesn’t play dirty (AKA mess with toxins), they’re powered by science-backed knowledge and superfoods (we’re talking kale, spinach, green tea… all the good stuff), and their simple and effective product assortment has everything you need to put a flawless face forward. Our faves include the Superfood Cleanser, $36, Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil, $44, and Superfood Firm and Brighten Serum, $62.

Herbivore


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Herbivore Botanicals (@herbivorebotanicals) on

Magical is how we’d describe Herbivore in one word. What started as a good idea in a kitchen (as most indie success stories often do), has turned into a seriously buzz-worthy phenomenon and it’s only a matter of time before Herbivore reaches icon status in the beauty world. Gorg packing and active and raw natural ingredients are at the forefront of their mission statement (think French pink clay to Brazilian gemstones) and hero products such as their Rose Quartz Illuminating Body Oil, $48, Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment, $58, and Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish, $44, need to be restocked on the reg. So grab ‘em while you can.