OPEN THREAD: The Best of the Indie Beauty Expo

Indie Beauty Expo-LOSION is more like it! Sorry.
Publish date:
August 28, 2015
open thread, indie brands, Indie Beauty Expo

I've never been a fan of going to trade shows and expos because talking to people is hard, but when I got a press pass to yesterday's Indie Beauty Expo, my inner hipster was like, Yeah! Indie beauty! Do it for the little brands!

Luckily, prettiest boomerang Sable was also going, so I knew we could take turns saying, "We're from xoVain," and, "Can I get your card?" and, "Oh. Face oil. Cool," and save ourselves the repetitive verbal exhaustion of going it alone.

Seriously, though, the Indie Beauty Expo could have been called the Indie Beauty Oil Expo, because there was SO MUCH OIL. If you're an indie brand, I think you're legally obligated to have at least one in your line.

But instead of showing you the best oils of the Indie Beauty Expo, I'm going to show you the lesser-known brands and products I'm the most excited about and that I think you'll get excited about, too. Unless you get really excited about oil, in which case, you will be disappointed.


I've been into hair brand Unwash for a while now; their Anti-Residue Rinse is as awesome as the bottle it comes in. But when their inordinately cool reps told us that a dry shampoo called Dry Cleaner will be launching soon and they promised us it would be our new favorite product, I believed them, no questions asked.

Violets are Blue

There are a few beauty brands out there that were created by women in response to having breast cancer; women who wanted to have complete control over the ingredients they used, out of concern that ingredients in mainstream products contributed to their diagnosis. Violets are Blue is one of these brands, and the founder is a badass.

I'm not really the paranoid-about-ingredients type that gets excited about brands like this, but the products—mostly face and body skincare—are lovely, and what they do with some of these products is even lovelier: they give them to women on their first day of chemo at Mt. Sinai hospital, to help make it a slightly less scary experience.

REQUEST TO "MEN'S" BRANDS: My dad is currently going through chemo, and dude is so bored and uncomfortable during treatments. Can someone please do something like this for men, too?


Pronounced like moon, Mun drew us over to their booth with lovely packaging and, according to Sable, "Potatoes!"

They, however, were not potatoes, but rather prickly pear, which is the keystone ingredient in Mun skincare products, developed by makeup artist Munemi Imai after an inspiring trip to Morocco.

They totally do look like potatoes, though.

Precious Skin Elixirs

Call something an elixir and I will immediately be more interested in it. Name your products after jewels and stones, and forget it, I'm an instant fan. And that's exactly the emotionally manipulative case with Precious Skin Elixirs.

It was at this point that I was distracted by the cool black triangles Sable had painted on her nails.

Isa's Restoratives

My only previous encounter with Isa's Restoratives was when I bought their Love Potion at Catbird a couple years ago, thinking it was a perfume when it was actually meant to be ingested. Oops.

Now that I'm aware of their wide, gorgeous range of skincare products that aren't made to be swallowed, I want to try them all—especially the Liquid Gold Facial Serum, which features all your favorite exotic ingredients that can't be spelled without at least one U: maracuja, murumuru, cupuaçu and babassu.

Bottega Organica

Although the vast majority of this line is made up of face and body products, I'm most interested in their color-specific hair mists.

The Hair Mist for Dark Hair helps boost shine, while the Hair Mist for Light Hair features mallow to naturally enhance blonde-ness.

Folium Medica

One of the coolest things about this brand, aside from their really well-thought-out marriage of science and nature, is that they tell you the name of the scientist who formulated each product in the super-detailed descriptions on their website.

You can thanks Carl Robinson for your firmer boobs.


If you want to bring a mask with you while traveling but sheet masks give you the creeps, nügg's single-serving masks are made for you. And they are super-affordable at around three bucks each.

Also, their founders are friends with makeup artist and butter LONDON global color ambassador Katie Jane Hughes, who Sable and I met for the first time after over a year of Instagram following. She's the best!


OK, I lied, I'm going to include one oil in this. Eu2Be's Enrich + Radiate Oil is a pretty awesome blend of 15 different conditioning, soothing oils—a modern mix of ancient favorites. The only thing in their line I'm even more excited about is their Nurture + Nourish Lotion, because they gave me a hand massage with it and it was sooooooo niiiiiiice.

Anyway, then Sable and I went to Sephora.

  • What are you favorite indie beauty brands?
  • Do you prefer indie over bigger brands?
  • What else do you feel like talking about, m'dears?