If you haven’t noticed, we love our friends and community of creatives. We learn from and give support to each other. After all, sharing is caring…so when one of our fantastically talented friend told us about the Indie Beauty Expo she was working on (thanks @kedenning), we knew we had to go. If you missed out on this new (ish) expo don’t worry–they’re doing it again in the US in 2018. If you’re in London, you can check it out this October.
Indie Beauty Expo was designed to help independent brands connect to buyers, press and consumers and allow them the opportunity for commercial success. It takes place over three days with segments for brands, buyers, press and shoppers. The sheer number of brands present was admittedly a little overwhelming at first, but we managed to work our way through them right up until the end of the expo. The entire event was very wellness focused, with products made of primarily natural and plant-based ingredients. While we didn’t stop at every single booth, we did notice that the brands we encountered were cruelty free (woohoo!), and several companies were also environmentally conscious, using recycled materials/packaging, or centered on giving back to a community in need. Here are the indie brands we tried and loved...and can’t wait to buy.
Oy-L – “beauty without secrets” Right away we were drawn to their beautiful glass bottles and jars. The packaging is clean and simple and clearly states what the products are for. Oy-L Face Wash is enriched with the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial healing properties of manuka honey. It cleanses, purifies, soothes and restores. As humans with sensitive skin, we definitely noticed the soothing quality of this wash, but still felt like it left our skin refreshed and extremely clean. We also enjoyed the Manuka Latte Lip balm which made our lips super soft. Coffee and honey? DELICIOUS! (although we don’t recommend actually eating it.)
Founder Andrea Pierce-Naymon’s daughter was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) as a teenager, and Andrea became obsessed with keeping anything toxic away from her. When she realized how common harmful chemicals are in beauty products, Andrea left the fashion world to start Oy-L. They have zero chemicals in their formulation – that’s a pretty huge deal considering most beauty products have AT LEAST one chemical additive in them. 100% cruelty free, Oy-L’s products are environmentally conscious and also created with sustainable packaging when possible. What’s more, they donate 15% of the sales of bath salts and body scrubs to Dysautonomia International, which helps to find a cure for people suffering POTS. Definitely peep them on Insta.
The Seaweed Bath Co – “sea to skin” Most people obsessed with beauty have heard of seaweed wraps done in spas (and in movies), but this is the first company we have come across that uses seaweed in all of their products as a main ingredient. Needless to say, we were intrigued. We tried a couple different scents of the Detox Body Scrub, Purifying Detox Body Wash, and Firming Detox Cream. The products feel rich and thick in your hand and apply easily across the body. The Detox Scrub was gentle but exfoliating and left the skin feeling soft and clean. The Purifying Detox Body Wash lathered well but didn’t dry out the skin and still left us feeling squeaky clean. The Firming Detox Cream was creamy but thin enough to spread evenly without using the whole bottle.
With over 25,000+ seaweed species, the Seaweed Bath Co. has chosen to sustainably hand-harvest Maine bladderwrack seaweed for its powerful properties. They are driven by science-backed research and their desire to offer accessible beauty products that embody the healing powers of the ocean. They support the Whole Planet Foundation which helps give microentrepreneurs opportunities for a better life. Find them on the gram.
Milk + Honey – “Organic. Luxurious. Effective.” As a couple of smelly and sweaty humans we were enticed by Milk + Honey’s natural Cream Deodorant. Although the concept of natural deodorant sounds like a cruel joke, we can say for a fact that this stuff actually works. We tried out the Coconut Vanilla fragrance and it straight up smells like a cake. And even though it’s not an antiperspirant, we found that it kept us drier (and less stinky) than any aluminum-free drugstore brand we’ve tried.
Made with all natural ingredients, Milk + Honey is more than just another brand. They also offer a luxurious spa and resort experience at their Houston and Austin locations. Now until September 3rd 100% of their online purchases will go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief fund. Find all the latest products here.
Little Moon Essentials – “it’s what’s on the inside that matters” Any product with the name “Tired Old Ass” is worth trying to us. And after a long day of hustling at work we can say that we deserve a relaxing bath (if you didn’t how much Kathryn loves baths you can read about it here). Bath salts are generally always a pleasant experience but these smelled particularly calming and left our skin feeling clean and soft. Hand-made with 100% essential oils infused during the phases of the moon. It was originally created to solve a common problem within their customer base: eczema. Little Moon Essentials has evolved from aromatherapeutic bath salts into mists, lotions, massage oils, and body rubs. They’re considered a go-to brand for natural bath and body care, and we can see why. Find more of them here.
Botanic Farm – “energy from plant” To be honest, we love K-Beauty, and this brand is no exception. These products came to us at the perfect time. Right as the seasons have started changing and our skin has started freaking out Botanic Farm came to our rescue. The Mineral Pop Sparkling Foam left our skin super smooth and clean, with just a little going a long way. We went to sleep with the Black Soybean Milk Pudding Sleeping Pack (it smells so tasty) and woke up moisturized and tightened. In the morning we used the Rice Natural Energy Sheet Mask which fit on the face well and the remaining product soaked into the skin after a light massage.
Botanic Farm believes in sustainability and protecting the environment. They grow all the ingredients used in their products on their own farms. All of their sheet masks and patches use recycled fabrics and their marketing materials are printed using soy ink. With great quality and affordable pricing we highly recommend checking them out. See all the lovely things they’re doing on insta.
Sahara Rose – “all pure natural beauty” When we saw flowers floating around in these precious oils our first thought was “wow, that’s fancy.” And it’s no exaggeration to say these products feel like you’re really treating yoself. They smell like they’ve been taken straight from the ground and infused into luscious oils. We loved applying the Divine Body Oil right after the shower while our skin was still a little dewy. This oil absorbed into the skin and didn’t leave us feeling greasy. Designed by mixing ancient beauty rituals from the Mediterranean and Sahara Desert with modern technology, all products are 100% natural, free of harsh synthetic ingredients, parabens, and have never been tested on animals. Each Sahara Rose purchase helps support small scale agriculture and women’s groups. Check them out on the gram.
Clioadh Cosmetics – “a touch of divinity” If you’ve ever dreamed of evolving into a magical unicorn Clioadh Cosmetics has got the stuff for you. Their highly pigmented highlighters and blush toppers can be used on all skin tones and can be used on the eyes and the lips. Soooo, we basically used it all over our faces and evolved into our final form of fairy princesses. 100% cruelty free, 100% vegan, and made in-house by two badass sisters, we recommend picking up their new iridescent formulas so you too can glow up. See all their fabulous products and the looks you can create on Insta.
My Magic Mud – “change the way you brush” Okay so we know activated charcoal has been a trend for a while, and after trying My Magic Mud we can see what all the hype is about. Although admittedly a bit messier than regular toothpaste (it’s black, so we recommend brushing over the sink and keeping your mouth closed) we felt like it made our teeth extra clean and super smooth. Plus you get the added bonus of looking like a demon while you brush! (We’re into that.) Creator Jessica Arman’s daughter suffered repeated visits to the dentist due to a condition that left her susceptible to cavities and tooth sensitivity at a young age. After trying several at-home concoctions she eventually wound up with My Magic Mud and sparked the toothpaste revolution. Designed without fluoride, SLS, glycerin, triclosan, foaming agents, toxins, GMO, and gluten. See all the beautiful smiles they’re making here.
Electric Ink Tattoo Care – “stand out tattoo care” Their ornately illustrated boxes caught our eye initially and when we heard about the products we only wished we had more tats. Even though we aren’t fully tatted up, we still care about protecting our minimal ink. Considering how many people have tattoos now, it only makes sense for Electric Ink to step into the skincare world and give the people the long-term tattoo care they need. We tried the Daily Moisturiser which helps protect your skin and your ink while also keeping it defined and nourished. A little goes a long way and it soaks into the skin without leaving unwanted residue. Formulated by premium chemists and tattooists, Electric Ink Tattoo Care delivers this specialized range of products for ink lovers everywhere. Their products are natural and vegan-friendly. Find out how to keep your tattoos lookin’ fresh to death on their Insta.
~brands to watch~
There are a few companies we didn’t get the opportunity to take home and test, but we loved everything about their style and concept. Check out these brands to get excited for!
Everyday – “Personal care that actually cares” Everyday is actually so new that they’re still perfecting the blends of their products for their launch. But dang do their products smell good and sound rad! We honestly can’t wait to try their natural deodorant and sunscreens. Their concept is creating reliable and fresh, fuss-free bathroom essentials that are super effective and natural. Non-toxic, vegan friendly, cruelty free, with all natural ingredients, what’s not to love? Check out their style on Instagram.
Beneath your mask – “b. still l b. you l b. true What’s beneath your mask?” Dana, the founder of Beneath Your Mask, was diagnosed with a severe form of Lupus in 2011. While she suffered at first, she began to focus all her energy on healing, spiritually and physically, and Beneath Your Mask was born. By now you might realize we’re really obsessed with stuff that smells good…So let. Us. Tell. You. Their Whipped Body Soufflé smells freakin’ deliiiiiish! With all of their products sealed in dark violet Miron glass bottles to energetically activate the botanical formulas, the packaging itself exudes a sense of comfort and luxury. All their products are hand-crafted and made without water, phosphates, parabens, sulfates, gluten, toxins, GMOs, or synthetic colors and fragrances. See what they’re whipping up here.
Clove + Hallow – “We don’t throw shade, we create it.” Finding natural makeup with a range of shades has been nearly impossible until now. Clove + Hallow has the widest range of full coverage clean beauty products perfect for any complexion that we have ever seen. Professional makeup artist and founder Sarah Biggers set out to create aesthetically pleasing product that could perform like the classics but be held to a higher standard. Vegan, cruelty free, and EU clean standard approved, these products really deliver without all the typical nasties. Find all the newness on the gram.
Au Naturale Cosmetics – “Clean Beauty Revolution” As suckers for a good lippie we ended up swatching almost all of their colors. They were so pretty we actually couldn’t stop. They offer a full range of makeup products in a variety of colors and finishes. Dedicated to the Clean Beauty Revolution, they strive to open the consumer’s mind to the importance of transparency in the beauty industry and generating demand for continued change. Vegan, organic, paraben free and ethical, we think they’re pretty fabulous. Check out what else they’re crafting up here.
Have you already tried some of these brands and become obsessed? Are there any up-and-coming, indie or natural brands you love? Tell us about it! #beautydummy