Up-&-Coming Beauty Brands We're Taking Into 2022 With Us



As much as we love cult beauty brands that have millions of recommendations and countless 5-star ratings behind them, there’s nothing we love more than supporting up-and-coming beauty brands that are making their mark in, let’s be honest, a heavily saturated market. So, in our continual effort to support the underdog beauty brands of the industry, we wanted to shout out 11 brands we’ve LOVED this year that we will continue to invest in during 2022. From clean formulas to revolutionary tools, these beauty brands are delivering products that deserve a spot on your shelf…

1. Merit

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by MERIT (@merit)

Founded by the same fabulous people who brought you Versed skincare, MERIT is a clean, vegan, cruelty-free cosmetic brand that’s gaining more and more fandom daily. In fact, you can already shop it at Sephora. So what’s the hype? MERIT’s chic lineup of beauty essentials will take you from bare face to full glam – all while placing emphasis on eco-responsibility, which in 2022 is a must. The brand effortlessly demonstrates that being clean and socially aware can also mean luxe.

Top product pick: The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick, $38

2. LYS Beauty


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by LYS Beauty (@lysbeautyofficial)

Self-love is super important here at Huda Beauty and the same goes for LYS Beauty Founder, Tisha Thompson. Need to see a receipt? Well, LYS is actually an acronym for ‘love your self,’ as Tisha wants to encourage people to inject self-care into their beauty routines to help fuel confidence. She’s also on a mission to diversify the clean beauty space, and she’s certainly an impact. In fact, as of February 19th, LYS Beauty will be the first Black-owned clean beauty line stocked in Sephora.

Top product pick: Triple Fix Serum Foundation, $22

3. Nuele Hair

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nuele Hair (@nuele_hair)

Nuele Hair was Founded by Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola and Anne Cheatham with a clear vision: they wanted to create products that enable you to switch up your hairstyle with minimum damage and maximum results. They also wanted to support healthy, glowing, well-nourished, manageable hair that didn’t call for chemical relaxers or keratin treatments. Fast forward to 2021 and they’re our go-to natural, clean hair brand, stocking products fueled with nourishing rich ingredients. The ingredients are ethically sourced from countries like Ghana and Morocco, where they support local female farmers harvesting these ingredients. A brand by women who support women? Sign us up.

Top product pick: Hair Serum, $34,


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TOPICALS (@topicals)

At its core, Topicals is a skincare line that leaves no one by the sidelines. The two female founders, Claudia Teng and Olamide Olowe – who experienced their own skin issues growing up – wanted to create a space where people of color with real skin issues felt represented and seen. Topicals now carry a range of soothing skincare products fueled by medicated botanicals that are efficient, effective, and gentle on all skin types. We also love that their social and website imagery features real skin everywhere. Can we get a hallelujah?

Top product pick: Faded Brightening and Clearing Serum, $36

5. Bread Beauty Supply

First and foremost, we have to say that Bread may just be the coolest curly hair brand out there. Everything from their packaging to their product imagery is fire. Former L’Oréal brand manager, Maeva Heim, set out to create a brand that not only cares for curls – providing your locks the essential nutrients they need – but one that celebrates hair care as a whole. Kinda like bread and butter for your hair. The product line currently holds daily staples like Hair Oil, $24, and wash-day must-haves like the Hair Wash, $20, and Hair Mask, $28.

Top product pick: Hair Oil Everyday Gloss, $24

6. Epara Skincare

After years of struggling to find luxury skincare products tailored for women of color and their unique skincare needs, founder Ozohu Adoh formed Epara. A range of opulent formulations made with Africa’s most esteemed botanicals and essential oils to concoct hyperpigmentation and hydration saviors for a skin glow-up like no other.

Top product pick: Cleansing Lotion, $56. 

7. Sundree

Sundree is one of the latest skincare brands to make it big in the beauty bizz and despite its “newbie” status, celebs are already raving about the affordable line. Most notably, SJP used their Cooling Globes, $14, daily on the set of Just Like That… Triggering, we know. And TBH we totally get the hype: the skincare line is built upon a foundation of joy and optimism and delivers no-fuss formulas to enhance your glow game. It celebrates real skin and acknowledges that happy skin starts from within, but also that if you’re healthy on the inside, it radiates. It’s literally speaking our language.

Top product pick: Cooling Facial Globe, $14


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by KETISH™ (@ketish)

We couldn’t do a round-up of our fave up-and-coming brands and not mention KETISH. Founded by an ex-Huda Beauty hunny, Emaan Abbass, KETISH is bringing some much-needed self-love into your feminine wellness routine. Breaking down shame and stigma, KETISH delivers products to keep you feeling your best, at every stage of your cycle, and keeping you ready for whatever.

Top product pick: THE POTION Soothing Oil, $32

9. Shani Darden

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shani Darden (@shanidarden)

Celebrity aesthetician Shani Darden works with some of the most beautiful faces in Hollywood, keeping their skin in check year-round for everything from photoshoots to red carpets. And now she’s bringing her magic to our shelves through her raved-about skincare line. We predict big things for Shani Darden.

Top product pick: Shani Darden Skincare Retinol Reform, $88

10. Hello Klean

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hello Klean (@helloklean)

If you feel like no matter how many serums or $$ conditioners you invest in, your hair still isn’t bringing its a-game, Hello Klean has the ultimate solution. Founded by power couple Karlee and Omer Ozener, they noticed how the quality of water in certain regions and countries negatively impacted their hair and skin. So they came up with a solution: a quick-fit filter that purifies your water. And we can vouch it’s been a total gamechanger for our beauty routine. They’ve since expanded their haircare line, and with every drop, we become more and more invested in the brand. Check out their new, game-changing Clarifying Scalp Soak.

Top product pick: Hello Klean Shower Filter, $59

11. 54 Thrones

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 54 Thrones (@54thrones)

Last but by no means least: 54 Thrones. Seriously, their butter changed the game this year. As soon as we tried it, we quickly converted the entire HB fam, our real fam, and our squad. The clean beauty brand focuses on bringing all the beauty goodness of African ingredients. All of the key ingredients included in their indulgent face and body blends are homegrown, like Ghanian baobab and Moroccan argan oils, to create a collection of rich, sustainably harvested skin solutions that nourish, protect and heal, made in collaboration with African artisans. 

Top product pick: Egyptian Lavender + Moroccan Mint Beauty Butter, $24.

For more top 2021 picks, check out 13 masks, serums and moisturizers that dropped this year that we loved.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.