20 Female-Founded Indie Brands You'll Love To Support

Beauty News

20-Female-founded-BeautyB-3

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we wanted to shine a light on 20 incredible female-founded indie brands that deserve your attention, now and forever. Their brand stories are nothing short of inspiring; these women have persevered and created iconic brands in a space dominated by industry giants like Estée Lauder and L’Oréal. They’ve found gaps in the market to offer solutions with formulas that modern-day consumers actually want, with branding that speaks to them and represents them.

Whether you’re on the hunt for eco-conscious menstrual care, beautiful makeup, skincare, or haircare that caters to your curl pattern, somewhere on this list is a solution made by a woman with big dreams. So why not treat yourself this Internternational Women’s Day and support other women while you do. After all, it’s all about women supporting women!

1. Nyakio Beauty

If you’re looking for a clean and effective beauty brand, Nyakio is about to become your BFFL. Founded by Nyakio Grieco, Nyakio was inspired by memories of her grandmother’s natural beauty secrets, which included using crushed coffee beans applied with a piece of sugarcane as an exfoliator. Nyakio celebrates her Kenyan heritage with a collection of skincare products that use traditional African beauty ingredients like African coffee and shea butter, marula oil, and sweet almond oil. We’re obsessed with the Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil, $40, which is bursting with antioxidants and glow-getting vitamins to protect and restore your skin.

2. OUAI

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by OUAI (@theouai)

Celebrity hairstylist turned female entrepreneur, Jen Atkin created OUAI as she felt there was a serious lack of reality in the haircare world – it was all 90s blowouts, wind machines, and a lot of hair extensions. Instead, she founded a brand that provided everyone with simple, easy-to-use solutions for cool, everyday hair. The branding is incredibly chic, and anyone who has tried the products will tell you that they smell divine, so much so, they created fragrances out of their product scents.

Another great purchase we’d recommend this IWD is Jen’s memoir, Blowing My Way To The Top, $12, which explains her rise, struggle, and down-right hustle to the top, where she’ll undoubtedly stay for years to come.

3. Freck Beauty

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by (@freck)

There’s nothing we love more than discovering a brand that’s fierce AF and stands by its mission statement: “Freck Beauty is an attitude. We are the bold, clean beauty brand for anyone that cares about ingredients, respects the process, and doesn’t care about the rules.” Everything from the branding to their ingredient list feels authentic and empowering, just like their Founder, Remi. Our go-to product? It would have to be the Freck OG, $22, AKA the world’s first freckle pen.

4. Bread

Former L’Oréal brand manager, Maeva Heim, created Bread as she wanted a haircare brand that not only nourished but celebrated her curls. Offering everyday essentials, kinda like the bread and butter for your locks, the haircare line takes a simplified approach to wash day so you can spend more time on everything else. We’re currently obsessed with their rich, restorative Hair Oil, $24, which boasts Australian Kakadu Plum oil a potent Australian super-fruit that contains the highest concentration of Vitamin C. Also, can we just say how much we love their packaging?!

5. Ancient + Brave

When Founder Kate Prince met Hollywood naturopath Annelie Whitfield she embarked on a new journey to discover ways to improve wellbeing through lifestyle and nutrition. Dedicated to sourcing organic botanicals and innovative nutraceuticals, Ancient + Brave provides nutrient-rich supplements and blends to improve your overall wellbeing. Utilizing ingredients from environmentally conscious, sustainable, and organic suppliers wherever possible, sustainability, transparency, and wellness are at the heart of this brand. From collagen supplements to our fave. the True MCT Oil, $40, their products will help target a variety of health concerns from the gut to your bones, and of course, skin health.

6. Melt Cosmetics

Like so many great stories, Melt Cosmetics began with a girly catch-up over brunch. Founders Lora Arellano and Dana Bomar discussed their shared love of bold matte lipsticks and their disappointment when it came to finding a long-lasting, bright matte lipstick. Fast forward to 2020, and the line includes a wide range of popping shades like Last Kiss, $10, (a strawberry sorbet shade), and a wide range of eyeshadows, lip glosses, and highlighters.

7. Juvia’s Place

Juvia’s Place is another brand that was founded out of necessity after Chichi Eburu struggled to find makeup that catered to deeper skin tones. So (like any resourceful woman), she created her own product line and with just $2,000, launched Juvia’s Place from her two-bedroom apartment (while raising two children).

Since its inception, the brand has garnered a long list of devoted followers thanks to its beautiful shade selection and powerful pigments that cater to ALL skin tones. The brand also celebrates African culture in a major way, and the packaging is adorned with African queens like Cleopatra. We’ll forever be obsessed with their eye-popping highlighters, like the gold-toned Tribe (Vol 2) powder highlighter, $15.

8. Bomba Curls

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bomba Curls (@bombacurls)

Founder Lulu Cordero created Bomba Curls so that she could share her passion for the natural beauty ingredients from her native country; the Dominican Republic, which she turned to when suffering from traction alopecia. From pistachio to coffee seed oil, her haircare line is packed with superfoods that’ll restore and rejuvenate even the most damaged curls while stimulating healthy hair growth. Right now, the brand carries the Forbidden Oil, $22, and the creamy Forbidden Hair Mask, $28, as well as gummies and a range of silk hair accessories.

9. The Lip Bar

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by The Lip Bar (@thelipbar)

You’ll notice a pattern here: The Lip Bar is another brand born out of necessity when beauty-badass Melissa Butler realized there was a disappointing lack of non-toxic, cruelty-free lipsticks available. In an interview with Forbes, Melissa recalls her frustration, deeming the current “assortment of natural lip colors, frankly just boring!”

Taking matters into her own hands, she created a line of clean formulas from her kitchen. Fast-forward to 2021 and The Lip Bar offers a range of budget-friendly formulas in gorgeous colors that are anything but boring.

10. Black Girl Sunscreen

There’s a dangerous myth in the Black community that wearing sunscreen is not necessary. This is 100% not true and is one of the many reasons why Founder Shontay Lundy created a sunscreen line aptly named Black Girl Sunscreen. The other reason? She was tired of the heavy white residue that mineral sunscreens often leave behind. Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, $19, offers the ultimate solution; a fast-absorbing, natural formula with UVA and UVB protection, and no white residue. Can we get an Amen?

11. The Honey Pot Company

Founded by Bea Dixon, The Honey Pot is, in their own words: “Made by humans with vaginas for humans with vaginas.” A brand we can clearly get behind! The Honey Pot is one of the first plant-based feminine care brands on the market and carries a variety of toxic-free tampons, menstrual cups, wipes, and sensitive washes, and we’re so here for it.

12. Peach & Lily

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Peach & Lily (@peachandlily)

Founded by K-Beauty expert, Alicia Yoon, Peach and Lily deliver “100% worry-free skincare” with spa-grade, toxin-free formulas, which are bursting with K-Beauty goodness to deliver healthy, radiant skin. We love the tight range of hydrating products that are efficacious and easy to use. Just check out the before and after results of using a Peach and Lily skincare regimen for six weeks – our skin was glowing!

13. FORVR Mood

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FORVR MOOD (@forvrmood)

Created by YouTube icon, Jackie Aina, FORVR Mood aims to create a self-care space for Black women. Understanding that Black women are often defined as strong and resilient, Jackie knows that sometimes they might not prioritize giving themselves the love and nurturing they may need. FORVR Mood wants to spoil Black women with a little slice of luxury. The line currently holds a range of calming candles, as well as silk accessories to give your hair the TLC it needs. We’re obsessed with the candle, Caked Up, $38, which is infused with notes of vanilla, coconut, and jasmine, and fills the entire room with the most amazing, relaxing scent. #Obsessed

14. Undefined Beauty

Dorian Morris Founded Undefined Beauty to disrupt the beauty industry and create her own narrative that represented the world around her. Her products are non-toxic and non-irritating and her business model, from her supply chain to her labs, supports either female-founded, minority-owned, or LGBTQ communities – what she defines as conscious capitalism. Now that’s a brand we can get behind. We are obsessed with her Glow Elixir, $18 to $48, which is infused with CBD and made with rosehip oil, Kalahari melon oil, plum oil, meadowfoam oil, and more – and it smells divine!

15.  Golde

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by GOLDE (@golde)

Listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Co-Founder and CEO, Trinity Mouzon Wofford, is a straight-up trailblazer. Her range of natural beauty products and supplements have made waves over the past year and have even garnered a celeb following, including natural skincare lover Kourtney Kardashian. From face masks made with 100% pure, edible superfoods and superfood latte blends, like the Matcha Turmeric Latte Blend, $29, their products will make you feel good, inside and out.

16. Herla Beauty

Natural beauty brand Herla was Founded by a grandmother and granddaughter duo who came together to share the beauty secrets that have been passed down from previous generations. They take inspiration from local skincare secrets and source natural ingredients, which are formulated by female chemists in their family-owned lab in Poland. Created by women for women? Sign us up! In fact, we’ve already fallen in love with the DAMASK ROSE Moisture Retaining and Purifying Micellar Water, $32, as it gently wipes away makeup while feeling super nourishing.

17. The Gloe Company

As some of you may know, the Huda Beauty headquarters are in Dubai, so we wanted to take this opportunity to shoutout this up-and-coming Dubai-based beauty brand. Founded by Coral Atkins, the wellness brand creates crystal-infused soy candles that are hand-poured in the UAE. Not only do they look beautiful in your home but they smell divine and omit the most calming, restorative energy.

Our new fave candle is the Vanilla & Vetiver Candle, topped with raw pieces of Amethyst, which is believed to enhance and strengthen your intuition, calm your mind and even improve your sleep. It’s no secret that 2021 is all about self-care, and these just became our self-love staple.

18. Shani Darden

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shani Darden (@shanidarden)

Expert esthetician Shani Darden is responsible for some of the most glowing faces in Hollywood, think Rosie Huntington Whitely and Jessica Alba. Her passion for simple and efficacious formulas has earned her a spot as one of Hollywood’s most highly esteemed derms. Her beauty line was created after she was forced to create custom-made formulas for her A-Listers in-between visits. Naturally, her Retinol Reform, $88, rapidly gained a huge celebrity following, and for good reason!

19. Glow Recipe

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Glow Recipe (@glowrecipe)

Queen bees of K-Beauty, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang founded Glow Recipe back in 2014, and ever since it’s been our go-to K-Beauty brand thanks to its consistent stream of glow-getting, hydrating formulas. From their best-selling Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, $39, to our fave moisturizer to heal irritated skin, the Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, $39, their formulas never disappoint. Another reason to love the brand? They recently declared that they would no longer use the words “poreless” or “flawless,” as there’s no such thing as poreless skin, nor did they want to glorify a flawless beauty standard. We could not agree more!

20. Oui The People

Founder, Karen Young, created her brand with a clear goal; “Rather than pursuing flawlessness, we aim to build efficacious products, designed thoughtfully, that actually help you feel great in the skin you’re already in.” Originally launched in 2015 as Oui Shave, Karen changed the name to Oui The People to deepen the brand’s gender neutrality. The body line carries innovative products, from the Around The Bush Hydrating Bikini Sheet Mask, $38, to soothe, calm, and hydrate your bikini line, to the famous The Single Rose Gold Sensitive Skin Razor, $75, which delivers the closest shave possible.

For more amazing brands, check out these new and emerging Black-owned brands.

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.