One of the few brands catering to people of color, Black Opal started in 1994 with skincare in mind. This led to Black Opal being available in thirty countries, contributing money to scholarship funds and, in 2017, rebranding and releasing makeup products that are constantly praised.
With the rise of social media, companies have a wider reach and consumers are able to connect with their favorite brands. In some ways this means that makeup juggernauts and high-end brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, and MAC have huge followings while some like Wet N’ Wild, Colourpop, and Nyx are growing exponentially.
Then you have indie companies, meaning that these smaller businesses are independently owned and are not found in stores. Technically Colourpop is included as the brand meets the criteria for an indie brand but it has been mentioned in a previous article.
The shade range of the brand’s foundations, concealers and powders suit medium to deep skin tones. The prices are all “drugstore prices”, meaning that most items are $7-$15.
|Even True Deep Treatment Brightening Scrub $8.95|
If you are looking for inexpensive makeup with superb quality, look for Kleancolor. Established 17 years ago, Kleancolor has been overshadowed but I don’t understand how when most of the products cost between $1-$10!
Kleancolor sells all sorts of products for eyes, lips, face, brushes, and even nail polish. And the packaging is simple yet charming. I love the “Rosy Nudes” eyeshadow and the foundations are on my list to test and review.
|Rosy Nudes Palette- $3|
Lycheexo is a UK-based brand that has amassed an Instagram following of 52k with their glitter pigments. I love checking out Lycheexo’s Instagram because the featured looks are beautiful and the glitter is certainly worth the price due to the sparkle and luminosity. The brand is cruelty-free and the products are vegan.
Lycheexo ships worldwide and the prices are good; since it is a UK brand, you have to convert pounds to whatever currency your country uses. They also offer small or extra large jars of their pigments. Example being Lycheexo’s Premium Cosmetic Glitter Chunky Collection smal jar costing £4.99 per individual jar. Or you can grab an entire bundle for $40, which inludes 8 colors. The brand also sells liquid lipsticks, loose pigments, highlighters, and brushes.
One of the lesser known indie brands, Black Moon reached decent exposure with the lawsuit against beauty gurus Jeffree Star and Manny Mua. This brand began in 2015 and boasts its vegan products and cruelty-free approach to cosmetics. Some of the most popular products from Black Moon are their liquid lipsticks.
|Liquid to Matte Lipstick- Buried ($18)|
I know that many people have heard of Sugarpill but I still wanted to include it in this list because it meets the “requirements” of being an indie brand. Amy Doan started Sugarpill fifteen years ago but officially launched in 2010.
As far as pricing, Sugarpill is the higher end of the spending spectrum as the least expensive product is a pair of eyelashes that costs $7. But the quality of the products is good so it balances out. Plus you can create your own eyeshadow palettes with the single shadows.
|Pressed Eyeshadow- Frostine ($13)|
Famous for their high-quality eyeshadow palettes and packaging featuring African women, Juvia’s Place is making moves. The brand made its debut in select Ulta Beauty stores in August.
One of the more popular brands to be featured on Instagram, Juvia’s Place was started by Chichi Eburu in 2014 with the goal of presenting colorful eyeshadows and essential makeup tools. Fans are quick to give recommendations of eyeshadow palettes with the most popular one being the “Warrior” palette.
The only reason I even heard of Jcat Beauty is because of Instagram and I’m so glad I did! Jcat Beauty is one of the best brands to offer holographic eye products. Or for my highlighting queens, Jcat has a plethora of highlighting products to give you a shiny boost to any look
Jcat Beauty produces super affordable products that makeup lovers of any skill level will enjoy. The brand is also sold on Ulta’s site but I shop on Jcat’s site because there are far more options.
The fact that Marlena Stell was able to begin this cosmetic line through a blog and Youtube channel is inspiring. Makeup Geek began as a Youtube channel by Stell in 2008 before she started the Makeup Geek blog; the Youtube channel offered tutorials while the blog handed out tips. Fast forward a few years and Stell had amassed over 1 million subscribers and she was on her way to launching this makeup line. She wanted makeup to be accessible to the everyday woman and most of the single shadows cost $6.
The brand also has eyeshadow palettes created from combinations that Stell creates. The palettes cost $35 but only because the products are created in the US, meaning higher production costs but Marlena still tries to make her brand affordable for everyone. Makeup Geek launched in select Target stores earlier this year.
|All Thyme Favorite ($35)|
Starting from humble beginnings as an Etsy shop, Sparrow Cosmetics has steadily grow its fanbase through super pigmented and gorgeous shadows and highlighters. The brand provides a unique aspect to beauty industry through their celebrity inspired collections, like the Lana Del Ray collection. Currently offered products are highlighters, shadows, and glitters.
|Pressed Glitters- Buy The Stars ($3.25)|
Ultra cute packaging, quality products, and a loyal fanbase growing by the day. Beauty Bakerie is sweeping the hearts of makeup addicts. The brand is the fastest growing black-owned brand and the CEO Cashmere Nicole is such an inspiration. She is a breast cancer survivor and lives by the company’s motto “Better, not bitter.”
Fans are currently all about the Lip Whips and the Cake Mix foundation. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the foundation on my Instagram feed, but it does look great and the shade range is awesome (30 shades!). The neat thing about the products is that each product smells like a dessert. Now that Beauty Bakerie is now in 350 Ulta locations, I can grab the products I have been anxious to try!
|Cake Mix Demi-Matte Foundation ($28)|
Which brands have you tried? Share your favorites in the comments and let me know if I missed any. It is so important to support indie brands. I have found that some indie brands can produce better products than mainstream brands for much better prices.
Photo and info credits:
Beauty Bakerie website
Sparrow Cosmetics website
Makeup Geek website
Jcat Beauty website
Juvia’s Place website (google images for picture)
Sugarpill Cosmetics website
Black Moon website
Black Opal website
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