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Yes, beauty has always been an icon, a legend and the moment, but something has felt different with the beauty industry lately. Between every other celebrity dropping their own beauty line, there’s been a boom of incredible indie beauty brands taking over the market — and our bathroom shelves.
Quick rundown: An “indie” brand is an independently-owned brand, aka no major corporate parent overlords. Basically, it’s new and does things differently than what we’ve come to expect from corporate-owned brands.
Other than shopping small, our favorite new indie beauty brands are all founded by women — and they’ve already amassed a cult following. From the celeb-loved eczema-approved Tower 28 Beauty to the innovative Dieux and its reusable eye mask, each brand has something unique and truly revolutionary to bring to the table. Also, the packaging and branding are just top-tier.
Shop our favorite new indie beauty brands below, and then you can say, “I knew them before they were huge” to every bandwagon fan.
Best indie beauty brands 2023
Tower 28 Beauty
Founded by beauty veteran Amy Liu in 2019, Tower 28 already has a wildly devoted fan base. From TikTok stars to celebrities like Hailey Bieber, beauty gurus can’t get enough of the brand. Specifically formulated for those with sensitive skin, all of Tower 28’s products are certified by the National Eczema Association.
With over a dozen makeup and skin care offerings, you can definitely expect to see more of the brand in 2023. Some notable products include the SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, $34 and MakeWaves Lengthening + Volumizing Mascara, $20.
Priyanka Ganjoo had two specific goals in mind when launching Kulfi Beauty in 2021: Create products for the South Asian community and celebrate the culture and beauty of all backgrounds. Another cornerstone of Kulfie Beauty? Mental health. Per the brand, self-expression is closely tied to mental health, including standards of beauty and identity, which is why the brand partners with organizations to provide greater access to mental health services.
The must-have Kulfi Beauty product is the practically perfect Kajal Eyeliner, $20. The ultra-smooth, waterproof, smudge-proof, drag-proof eyeliner features an intense, long-lasting color that seriously won’t budge.
The baby of co-founders Charlotte Palermino, Joyce de Lemos, and Marta Freedman, Dieux has created a close-knit community of customers with its data-driven, transparent and sustainable products. The brand first went viral on Instagram and TikTok thanks to its one-of-a-kind Forever Eye Mask, $25 (a favorite with In The Know editors!).
Over the last couple of years, the brand has expanded its portfolio to include a serum, moisturizer and eye gel. But it’s not just the products that have the fans coming back. The brand also focuses on creating educational skin care and social justice content.
Dealing with various skin issues all their lives with less-than-stellar products out there, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng decided to take matters into their own hands. Thus began Topicals, the fast-growing Gen Z brand and online community catering to those of us dealing with eczema, acne, hyperpigmentation, psoriasis, ingrown hairs and more.
The Topicals lineup has since expanded, but it’s the brand’s two hero products that will forever have users swiping Sephora shelves clean: The hyperpigmentation-zapping Faded Serum, $38 and the soothing Like Butter Mask, $34.
Still obsessed with Euphoria makeup? Same. Well, Half Magic is basically Euphoria in a brand. No, for real! Half Magic was founded by Donni Davy, the two-time Emmy Award-winning Euphoria makeup artist, along with A24. Embodying the eye-catching blasts of color and subtle pops of glitter that have defined the HBO show, Half Magic aims to help its customers embody every version of themselves.
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