When it comes to buzzy makeup brands, NARS, MAC and Urban Decay generally dominate the mainstream beauty conversation. However, there are a ton of indie beauty labels out there that may not be popular by conventional standards, but are — kind of like the various bloggers and vloggers who discovered or founded them — Internet famous.
This past weekend, while skulking around the Generation Beauty conference, I had the chance to speak to four beauty vloggers, all of whom are Ipsy stylists. Christen Dominique, Desi Perkins, Chrisspy and LustreLux (above) sat down with me to talk trends, and they all agree on a couple of things: eyebrows are getting "softer," and over-lining the lips à la Kylie Jenner is only growing in popularity. (Pro tip: Just over-line a bit in the middle of the lips, not the corners, or else it will look "clownish," warns Chrisspy.) I was especially interested to hear about what makeup brands they are all loving now, including the four I profiled below, which are all over beauty gurus' social media.
"They are just blowing up right now," says Perkins. Indeed, the brand has amassed one million Instagram followers, and there's even a ColourPopCult account with 42,500 followers. It's not entirely clear who founded the brand, and there was an uproar on Reddit several months ago about this. (Update/correction: The brand was founded by brother/sister duo John and Laura Nelson, under the umbrella of Seed Beauty.) Seed Beauty describes itself thusly: "The goal is to bring a rapidly accelerated brand to market as quickly as possible to get 'real' customer feedback and to take that feedback and either accelerate, pivot, or kill." Clearly ColourPop is accelerating.
ColourPop offers tons of pigments and products at ridiculously low prices. The most beloved items — the Ultra Matte liquid lipsticks — cost a mere $6, which is the same price as Nyx's liquid matte lipsticks. Super Shock eye shadows (above) are $5. Right now the brand is limited to shadows, lipsticks and a few cheek products — no eyeliner, foundation, or mascara. But it's a playground for color junkies.
Dose of Colors
This brand, founded by makeup artist MakeupByAnna, has 911,000 Instagram followers. (Anna herself has 1.5 million.) The jewels of this small range are the lip products, particularly the matte lipsticks. In addition to that, only two other items are available, but they're arguably the stars of any makeup blogger's kit: highlighter and fake lashes. Lip products range from $15-$18 and the highlighters, which come in three different shades, are the most expensive at $28.
Makeup Geek, aka Marlena (beauty vloggers like to remain on a first-name-only basis, I'm discovering), has a robust 1.2 million YouTube subscribers and 706,000 Instagram followers. Via her online store, you can buy an assortment of established brands like Nyx and Ardell lashes, in addition to her own Makeup Geek products. The standouts here are the eye shadows, particularly the Foiled Eye Shadows and the really cool ombré Duochrome colors. Individual shadow pans cost $6, and Marlena sells palettes so that you can customize; a complete shadow palette goes for $160. "It's extremely affordable and great quality, with high quality control," says LustreLux.
Melt Cosmetics (which boasts 1.5 million Instagram followers) was started by friends Dana and Lora, who claim to have "many years [of experience] in the makeup and entertainment business." Crazy matte lip colors — think green, blue, purple and grey in addition to the usual suspects — are the draws here, although neutrals are also abundant. A lipstick costs $19, and the brand also offers four-pack eye shadow bundles, one neutral and one colorful, for $48 each.