The Indie Beauty Expo in Los Angeles (IBELA) delivered an exciting lineup of innovative clean, green and cruelty-free brands — proving once again that independent brands are where to look for popular new trends. New brand launches, inventive ingredients and novel approaches were everywhere you looked. Some more established brands presented fresh product releases and rebrands to keep them ahead of the game.
Win clean, luxe favorites from the Indie Beauty Expo — worth nearly US$700!
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As marijuana gains legal ground and mainstream acceptance, all sizes of beauty company are starting to take advantage of the plant’s skincare benefits. In the indie-beauty world, cannabis derivatives have been commonplace for years but lately have become more varied and conspicuous.
Crave Skincare was ahead of the trend, and is now the top indie beauty brand starring cannabidiol (CBD). Their products also feature hemp oil and extracts, plus a long list of vitamins and hot botanical actives your skin will love. Having tried several oils and serums Crave gave me, this editor can attest to how nicely the line calms inflammation and leaves even maturish skin dewy. (Love it!)
Also California made, Cannabliss Organic offers face- and body-care basics with “full-spectrum hemp oil.” Their logo flies the weed leaf, yet the brand has a decidedly non-stoner vibe. Lua Skincare is more discreet about the hemp seed oil in their facial and body oils. Packaging is colorful and fun, seeming to celebrate the treat in store for your skin.
Interest in green beauty keeps growing. So do the size and IBELA-attendance of larger brands committed to staying clean, natural and cruelty free.
Pangea Organics offers a generous selection of organic essential oils and products for body care and face, including cute, moisturizing lip tints. A couple years back, I used several of their products — face and eye cream, hand cream, body wash and lotion — and was struck by how fresh and clean-feeling everything was. (Tip: first-time customers receive 20% off their order.)
In from Barcelona, APoEM makes a good range of all vegan and natural face and body products. They’re expanding this sweet-looking brand into hair care and home products like candles and air fresheners.
OSEA is an old Sagekat favorite with a sizeable list of face and body treats that feature active ingredients from the sea. The sleek, spa-ready packaging belies the natural and organic ingredients within.
Little Moon Essentials is a good brand for more budget-conscious, natural body care — everything from EO mists to stick deodorant to their Cooling Foot Bath (winner of Best Foot Care at IBE 2017).
Several brands at the Indie Beauty Expo are tapping Indian traditions to foster overall well-being through treatment of the body and senses.
“We believe wholeheartedly in the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection for optimal health and wellness,” Kailo explains on their website. Their Organic Chakra Therapy products are “high vibe” and “infused with five elements of powerful and effective energy work.” Having checked them out myself, I’m happy to report that their products are a rich and wonderfully aromatic approach to wellness.
From Molly with Love takes a similar chakra-focused approach to wellness with some of their products, and includes crystal infusions in a few. Meanwhile, Ranavat makes luxe, all-natural Ayurvedic skincare inspired by the beauty rituals of Indian Royalty.
Supplements are nothing new, but several companies at the expo are focused on enhancing beauty using targeted and innovative natural wellness ingredients.
Dope Naturally has been stirring a lot of buzz for their powders made of exciting organic superfood ingredients like fulvic acid, dragonfruit, beet concentrate and sprouted watermelon-seed protein. The fitness guru Sylwia Wiesenberg, creator of the Tonique workout method, founded this vegan, paleo, gluten-free brand.
La Sirène specializes in collagen supplements for healthy skin, hair and nails. Produced in Japan, their powders are made from the scales of sustainably caught deep-Pacific tilapia and come in natural fruit flavors. Vie Healing’s herbal supplements and teas promote external beauty by working internally to detox, calm and enable happiness.
If you prefer an easy-to-pop format, Hum Nutrition offers beauty pills and capsules for a wide range of beauty goals. They also make a yummy gummy candy for stronger hair and nails.
The idea of makeup colors for all skin shades went big in 2017 (thank you, Rihanna and Fenty Beauty!). Indie companies, however, were already all over it. IBELA 2018 hosted numerous clean makeup lines — some long established, others newer — with appeal for a broad spectrum of complexions.
Winner of Best in Show for Overall Color Cosmetic at Indie Beauty Expo 2017, Clove + Hallow is a reasonably priced yet clean and stylish line that works for a wide range of skin colors. In fact, their tagline is “We don’t throw shade, we create it.”
Veteran clean-cosmetics label Gabriel, founded in 1992, carries a wide selection of foundation colors. At IBELA this year, they an unveiled a couple deeper shades of concealer as well as some new products and a sleek brand facelift.
With fewer foundation shades overall — but spanning from light to quite deep — are Canadian Sappho New Paradigm, American Antonym Cosmetics and vegan, New Zealander The Organic Skin Co. Another clean brand out of Canada, Saint Cosmetics, offers makeup in a generous array of color shades and tones — from warm fair to cool deep!
How to cut down the number of products in your bathroom? Several indie green-beauty brands are making it easy. They offer multi-purpose products and a no-nonsense vibe that’s easy to share across personal styles and genders.
“I’ve always been minimalist in all aspects of my life, except the bathroom. I just couldn’t get rid of all the product clutter,” Lindsay Knaak-Stuart told me at the Indie Beauty Expo. “So I founded Meant!” Meant is a line of multi-taskers with a look as clean as their ingredients.
Made in small batches in Louisville, Kentucky, Beargrass offers a uni-sexy, shareable line with multi-talented products that will pare down your personal-care routine. They’re also (charming people) on an eco-social mission, donating 10% of profits to charity.
Ænon’s is another clean-looking brand that swings both ways to make cross-gender sharing easy — so you can chop down that duplicate product count!
There was a nice showing of clean, green products at IBELA for revealing new, brighter skin and a natural glow.
The Laguna Herbals line includes two natural and organic scrubs for body and five types of cleansing grains for face. Their herbalists have formulated versions to keep various skin types looking fresh all over.
With Sélia & Co and Dirty Lamb, you don’t need to choose between coffee or tea products to brighten and decongest skin naturally. Selia & Co serves up masks for face with black, green and rooibos teas, while Dirty Lamb offers luscious coffee scrubs for body and handmade matching scrubbies.
Remember a few years ago, when women were shaving their faces for skincare benefits? Dermaflash makes a gadget for scraping your face clean of peach fuzz and dead skin, without risking the nicks.
New Zealand and Australia in the house! IBELA was treated to a strong turnout of green-beauty companies from Australasia.
From New Zealand, Girl Undiscovered has a sophisticated brand look and wildcrafted ingredients, including local kanuka honey. It’s clear how this sophisticated brand won for Most Notable Newcomer at last year’s Indie Beauty Expo! The vegan, organic makeup from The Organic Skin Co was causing a traffic jam at the expo — especially their creamy, dreamy customizable palettes.
Australian The Divine Company offers a sizeable selection of luxe certified-organic face and body care products in sleek, monochrome unisex packaging. Pure Nut uses local Australian macadamia nut oil and manuka honey in their more affordably priced skincare line. The makeup from Melbourne-based Inika is not only beautiful, but also 100% natural with most products certified organic.
- Glo-Berry Glistening Skin Oil Serum
- 40 Winks Eye Serum
- Virgin Skin Serum
- Oil Cleanser + War Paint Remover
- Skincare Travel Kit for Dry to Sensitive Skin: Eye Cream (full size), Facial Cleanser, Facial Toner, Facial Cream, Facial Scrub, Facial Mask (+ Balancing Oil sample)
- 3 Organic Tip Tints: Let’s Dance, Raspberry Beret and A Thousand Kisses Deep
- Organic Essential Oil Roller, Lavender
- Organic Essential Oil, Lavender
- Hand Soap with Pyrenees Lavender and Cardamom
- Balancing Oil with Himalayan Geranium and Pomegranate
- Body Oil with Pyrenees Lavender and Cardamom
- Body Lotion with Pyrenees Lavender and Cardamom
- Organic Butter Butter for Crown Chakra
- Organic Essence for Heart Chakra
- Organic Body Oil for Root Chakra
What clean indie brands are your favorites? Have you tried any of these? Share your thoughts, advice or questions in the Comments section, below.
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