The Independent Rise of Indie Beauty

Full disclosure: I have a pretty extensive makeup collection--a four-foot tall trunk case full of it, to be exact. After attending events such as Beautycon, Simply LA, and POPSUGAR Playground this past year, I have developed quite the loot. Just when I thought I couldn’t add one more product to my stash, I had to make room last week for more than a few...because of Indie Beauty Expo.

In a world where even Amazon is establishing its own indie beauty marketplace, highlighting up and coming beauty brands that are at least 50% independently owned, it’s no wonder that an event was specifically dedicated to this new movement. Indie Beauty Expo, located at Pier 36 on NYC’s South Street, was a two-day event that allowed emerging makeup and skin care companies to expand their influence over a wider U.S. audience. At the press preview I attended, I received tons of products and samples, and the innovations I was exposed to did not fail to inspire.

One of the first brand booths I visited was a company called Kiss Your Cravings Goodbye, and their mission statement was downright genius. Formulated with essential oils and rare plant extracts, their lip moisturizers are crafted in order to prevent one’s temptation to reach for junk food. After you apply the product (the no-sin cinnamon one was my fave), the lip conditioner helps shift your focus toward reaching for water rather than your typical sugar cravings. #GameChanging…

Next, I stopped by Planted In Beauty, a company I was already familiar with from POPSUGAR Playground. I was thrilled to receive a container of my favorite product from their line: the Detox Exfoliant. Made with pineapple, raspberry, and root extract of Great Burdock, the natural exfoliator removes dulling surface cells without stripping the skin of its essential nutrients. I usually follow the cleanse with their ultra-hydrating Nourish + Protect Antioxidant Natural Moisturizer to leave my skin looking extra radiant.

The Shady Sun provided me with another skin superhero: their Charcoal Coconut Shady Polish, which scrubs away dead skin cells while releasing a burst of nourishing oils. Plus, the high protein content in the scrub’s fractionated coconut oil is proven to have long-lasting, moisturizing effects on your skin. Time to get scrubbing!

As a dancer, I am constantly looking for a product to soothe sore muscles after a lengthy workout sesh. At the Expo, Muscle Rehab presented me with the perfect solution: Bath Soak for Athletes. The USP Epsom Salt and arnica extract in the product work wonders in easing achey spots--not to mention, they helped relieve my tired feet after a long day of walking around at the event.

Frizz has always been an issue when it comes to styling my hair, so I was thrilled to have received an Ikoo E-Styler Hair Straightening Brush. The product is made with 37 high-quality individual ceramic plates to ensure that heat is evenly applied during the brushing process. There are also five different hair setting options to adjust to your strands’ individual needs, no matter what texture they are. Sounds like my morning hairstyling routine just got a whole lot shorter…

I was truly astonished by the number of beauty brands that had well-thought-out, creative, and visually stunning products to offer at this year’s Indie Beauty Expo. Although star-studded Beautycon still reigns superior in my mind, last week’s indie beauty festival surely came in a close second.