It wasn't too long ago that unless you lived in some cool area of Brooklyn or were lucky enough to stumble upon some tiny, eco-friendly boutique, finding natural and indie beauty brands was a bit of a struggle. But as smaller retailers gain traction on the internet and through social media, access to small-batch, handmade, natural, insert-hippie-sounding-adjective-here products has become a whole lot easier. Here, 11 of the best online retailers for scouting the coolest indie beauty brands of the moment.
Though this "online retail studio" sells a variety of clothing, jewelry, accessories and one-of-a-kind gift items, it also offers an impressive (and expanding) range of beauty products. Anyone well-versed in natural beauty brands will be familiar with some of Kindred Black's lineup (Soul Sunday, Earth Tu Face, Vintner's Daughter, Herbivore Botanicals), but it's also a trove of lesser-known discoveries, like essential oils from aromatherapy company Vitruvi and the prettiest bar soaps ever from Pelle.
This Los Angeles-based e-retailer has focused on fashion since its launch three years ago — but this month, it debuted a well-rounded beauty section, spanning bath and body, fragrance, hair care, skin care and makeup from brands like Grown Alchemist (a personal favorite), MUN, David Mallett, Agent Nateur and Ilia.
Based in New York, The Stell is an online purveyor of elevated, luxurious (a.k.a. not granola-ish) natural beauty brands, like Context, Cocovit and Sachajuan. Bonus: $5 shipping and returns.
Shocking: Another retailer with a natural focus. Le Vert vets each of its products to cull "only the most elite roundup of options proven to work" within the green beauty realm, resulting in a wide array of offerings from well-known eco-conscious brands like RGB, Rahua, Suntegrity, Indie Lee and Vapour.
Shen Beauty is a boutique located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn — but if you're not on the East Coast, you can shop its offerings online. With more than 100 different brands across beauty and wellness categories, Shen makes it easy to stock up on everything from Amanda Lacey's fragrance line to Verb's killer hair product range to nutritional supplement powders from The Beauty Chef.
Plenty of the beauty brands available through Spring, a mobile-first shopping startup that debuted in August 2014, can't exactly be considered "indie." ('Sup, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Laura Mercier and Charlotte Tilbury?) But the cool thing is that mixed in amongst those bigger labels are much smaller ones, like Floss Gloss nail polish, Herbivore Botanicals, MCMC fragrances and Harlow Skin Co.
Australia is an epicenter of up-and-coming natural and indie beauty brands, and you can find most of the standout ones on this site. A few recommendations: Anything from Grown Alchemist, Musq or Babescrub (how good is their packaging, shown above?). Natural Supply Co now ships internationally to the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Score.
Based in the Florida Keys (who says chicness can't come out of Florida?), this natural cosmetics store sells a wide range of what it refers to as "healthy" and "cruelty-free" items. You'll find products from RMS, P.F. Candle Co., Ursa Major, Meow Meow Tweet and Lurk fragrances.
A K-beauty startup you may recognize from the TV show "Shark Tank" (yep, they got funding!), Glow Recipe is a go-to online resource for anyone keeping an eye on Asian beauty trends. The site's founders, Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, regularly travel to Korea to stay current on the latest natural beauty innovations (Artichoke Essence, anyone?), then make them easily available to customers stateside through their e-commerce site.
Not to be confused with Le Vert mentioned above, Vert Beauty is based out of Denver, Colorado. In addition to offering facials and waxing, the store sells natural beauty products from brands like Tata Harper, One Love Organics, Jane Iredale and May Lindstrom. (The products are available in their online store, too.)
When you think Catbird, you think... tiny, delicate jewelry. Not beauty products. But you might want to adjust that mindset. The Brooklyn-based boutique has expanded its beauty offerings recently, creating its own solid perfumes and collaborating with Mullein & Sparrow for an exclusive bath soak. So while you're impulse-purchasing another Little Secret Stud, might I suggest throwing a few beauty items into your cart as well?
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