15 Indie Beauty Brands That Should Be On Your Radar In 2023

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With every passing year, the beauty market gets increasingly concentrated with brand-new brands. From celebrity brands to sister brands, there is always something new on the horizon. But one genre of beauty that tends to often get overshadowed is indie beauty brands. Fortunately, beauty fans have come to realize that these emerging, lesser-known brands are actually worth paying closer attention to. 


Indie beauty brands offer a more intimate and carefully thought-out range of products. For instance, some only enter the market with a couple of products to their name, but once the beauty community catches on to just how impressive that one standout product can be, what was once indie can become a completely viral holy grail product overnight. Of course, with this theme emerging, the indie beauty brand market is now getting over-condensed. It's becoming more and more difficult to discern those hidden gems from products that are understandably lesser known. Thus, we've gathered some of the best indie beauty brands that you need to pay close attention to.

Tower 28 Beauty

When AAPI-owned brand Tower 28 Beauty first entered the scene with its nostalgic roller Shine On Lip Jelly and one or two cream base products, it gained traction pretty quickly. The clean beauty brand is inspired by a Santa Monica beach tower, which represents the brand's entire vision. "We like our beauty products the way we like our beaches: clean, full of sunshine, and for everyone," Tower 28 Beauty's website explains.


Founder Amy Liu has always struggled to find beauty products that work for her sensitive skin, so Tower 28 Beauty seeks to offer fun and playful makeup products that are gentle and dermatologist-tested to avoid irritating your skin. The range of products has now expanded into skincare products, including the popular Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen. But what the brand remains infamous for is the Shine On Lip Jelly, which gives your lips an insanely juicy wet look while hydrating them like a lip balm. Hailey Bieber is even a member of the Tower 28 Beauty fan club, as seen in her raving about the SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray on TikTok.

Kulfi Beauty

Kulfi Beauty is more under the radar, but the small brand has a lot to offer. Launched by Priyanka Ganjoo in 2021, Kulfi Beauty aims to create products targeting the South Asian community. Named after a popular colorful South Asian ice cream, Kulfi Beauty's goal is to be "a celebration of culture and beauty." This is one of those indie beauty brands that only have a few products to its name, but when the products work as well as these do, it's worth making a big deal over. 


For now, the range consists of some adorable merch products but the stars of the show are the Kajal Eyeliners and its blush tubes, although a concealer has recently been added to the collection. The Allure Best of Beauty Award-Winning Kajal Eyeliners are super creamy liners that are budge-proof and waterproof while being super blendable. The blushes are even reminiscent of Glossier's popular Cloud Paints, providing intense pigmentation and color that seamlessly blends onto your cheeks.


One of the best things about indie beauty brands is how aesthetically pleasing and unique their packaging and product ranges can be. No mainstream mass-produced junk, just uniquely thought-out effective products. Skincare brand Dieux definitely delivers on that expectation, and it's all done while using sustainable packaging to house clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products. 


Dieux initially became a fan favorite thanks to the brand's Forever Eye Mask. This beautifully packaged eye mask in a metal tin is actually reusable, so instead of tossing it out and having to repurchase, you simply return the eye masks to their tin and store them in the fridge for another round the next morning. The Eye Mask was so successful that Dieux has now branched out into creating Angel, which is a skin-restoring moisturizer, and Deliverance, which is a soothing face serum. The brand even recently launched an eye gel. It's not only the brand's aesthetic branding that won fans over; these few simple and clean products are actually effective.


If you spend any time in the online skincare community, you've likely already come across and attempted multiple times to purchase Topicals' products. When Topicals was first launched by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, it consisted of two simple products that the founders hoped would be scientifically-backed products that actually delivered results. 


Once the skincare community caught wind of Faded and Like Butter, the serum and mask were constantly sold out and impossible to purchase. Faded, the brightening and clearing serum, was an immediate hit that shoppers claimed worked miracles on dark spots and hyperpigmentation, a concern that both POC founders sought to treat. 

Now, Topicals provides a vast range of products backed by a scientific advisory board of chemists and dermatologists, including the award-winning High Roller ingrown tonic. Topicals does all of this while giving back. The brand places heavy emphasis on the importance of acknowledging that skin conditions can be linked to depression and anxiety, so Topicals donates a percentage of profits to mental health organizations. Beauty with a conscience!


Half Magic

Who could forget the "Euphoria"-inspired era of the makeup scene? The hit HBO show inspired everyone in the makeup community to get a lot more playful and creative with makeup, creating gem and glitter-fueled looks and taking things back to playing with your mom's makeup as a child. All of these magical looks were brought to us by visionary Emmy award-winning makeup artist Donni Davy. In 2022, Davy launched Half Magic, her own makeup brand to give fans of her looks the products with which to recreate them.


The colorful and glitter-filled range of products is all clean and cruelty-free and even includes the first-ever compostable makeup compact. Davy even gave the fans what they wanted by launching Face Gems and Studs for people to recreate Maddy's infamous eye looks. One of the stars of the collection is the Magic Flik Eyeliner, a unique liquid liner calligraphy pen with a paddle-shaped tip designed to help you create graphic liner looks with ease.

PYT Beauty

Lipsticks might be the number one makeup product we work through at an alarming rate. Constantly tossing one out for a new one, PYT Beauty co-founder Mary Schulman decided to do something about providing sustainable, clean, cruelty-free, and recyclable lipsticks. Of course, the brand's range of products now extends to the fan-favorite Upcycle Eyeshadow Palette and even a setting spray.


PYT Beauty is a playful colorful indie makeup brand with the goal of providing cleaner planet-conscious beauty products that work. Made from recycled and pre-degraded plastic as well as sugarcane-based plastic, it doesn't get any cleaner than this. But the focus on sustainability didn't take the spotlight away from how effective the products are. The Sorry Not Sorry Lipsticks are the brand's most popular product, with a creamy blendable formula that is hypoallergenic and gives a soft satin finish. One PYT Beauty reviewer raves about how impressive the lipsticks are, saying, "I am loving this lipstick, the color payoff is so rich, weightless, and the color lasts. Most other lipstick brands dry my lips out but this keeps my lips nourished!!"



Continuing on the trend of makeup that's as good for you as it is for the planet, you have the indie beauty brand Youthforia. Targeting a younger audience with its fun packaging, Youthforia's main goal is to provide makeup that's clean and safe enough to sleep in. Of course, you still definitely shouldn't sleep in it, but the small range of unique products is definitely super clean and sustainable, as every product is made using plant-based synthetics and is composed of at least 90% naturally derived ingredients. 


What earned Youthforia viral-dom was initially the BYO Blush, a color-changing blush oil — as unique as it gets. The oil adjusts to your skin's pH to create a universally flattering shade that looks different on everyone's skin. Youthforia's Dewy Glosses are also a fan favorite, as the range of shimmery glosses apply more like a hydrating lip oil to keep your lips nourished while looking as glossy as it gets.

Refy Beauty

When a celebrity or influencer decides to launch their own beauty brand, people are often skeptical — and rightfully so. It generally ends up being a half-attempt that doesn't actually include any good products. But when influencer Jess Hunt launched Refy Beauty, the brand became such a fan favorite that her fame from founding it actually superseded her prior ventures. 


If Hunt was known for anything it was her killer brows that followers always wanted to know the secret behind, so Hunt gave them what they were asking for and launched her brow brand: Refy Beauty. The minimalist and chic brand has produced the viral holy grail Brow Sculpt and Brow Pomade. Together, the products give you that laminated-looking, slick-ed back brow with visibly separated hairs. Refy Beauty has since expanded into body products. After all, that glistening all-over shimmer is the thing Hunt's Instagram feed is full of.

Danessa Myricks Beauty

An indie beauty brand category much less frowned upon is those launched by professional makeup artists. When a makeup artist is closely followed for tips and tricks on how they create their looks, it's always promising when they decide to launch their own range of products to help give us the actual tools to recreate them. Self-taught artist Danessa Myricks is known for her bold use of glitters and colors to create unique makeup looks, and her brand, Danessa Myricks, is filled with products inspired by them. 


Danessa Myricks Beauty has been around for quite some time, and OG makeup fans will remember lusting after her Colorfix Tubes, but the brand has recently gone TikTok viral due to the visibly magical effect of its Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder. The unique product was bound to end up viral, as where else on the beauty market do you see a setting powder in balm form? The powder visibly blurs the skin and leaves an airbrushed flawless finish, which can be seen in countless TikTok videos.

Crown Affair

Don't worry, makeup and skincare aren't the only categories where indie beauty brands are thriving this year. Crown Affair is definitely a big indie beauty haircare brand worth investing in. Founder Dianna Cohen put it best when she explained, "I decided to create a new kind of haircare brand — one with clean ingredients, effective formulations, and beautiful handmade tools you'll look forward to using every day." 


Crown Affair has gotten more and more popular recently as the simple and straightforward Ritual haircare collection won fans over. What's so great about the brand is its simplicity; there's no confusion, and the range is designed to be universally suitable for all hair types. It gives your hair the right amount of deep cleaning while leaving it hydrated and repaired. The brand also offers exciting unique products like the Dry Shampoo Powder, which comes in a makeup-like tub with an award-winning formula. 

Fable & Mane

Hair growth is one of those haircare demands that are often left to household names like Rogaine or Nioxin, so it's refreshing to see an indie beauty brand hit that market and come out on top. Fable & Mane was co-founded by sibling duo Akash and Nikita Mehta when Nikita was drawn to her Indian roots' age-old tradition of hair oiling. When the brother and sister decided to launch the HoliRoots Hair Oil, they never could have predicted it to become such a TikTok popular hit that the brand would end up being sold in Sephora today. 


While the HoliRoots collection has since expanded into shampoos and conditioners as well as scalp serums, the HoliRoots Hair Oil remains the star of the show that keeps winning fans over due to its impressive hair growth results. Using a unique combination of Ashwagandha and Dashmool, the oil encourages scalp circulation to aid healthy hair growth, and the countless TikToks dedicated to reviewing it are proof of why you need to get your hands on this indie beauty brand.

The 7 Virtues

Taking a turn onto a completely different beauty avenue, there's also room for indie beauty brands to dive into the pool of fragrance. Sure, it's generally the bigger beauty conglomerates that run the perfume game, but more and more we're seeing indie beauty brands offer up such unique approaches to scent that they're practically more popular than the classics. The 7 Virtues is definitely providing unmatched scents, and the brand does it all while remaining completely clean, vegan, and sustainable. 


The beautiful picturesque packaging might be the first thing to draw you to this indie beauty brand, but once you get a whiff of the richly transporting scents, you'll understand the hype. The perfumes are all made with natural, organic, and fair trade essential oils, and The 7 Virtues is committed to making sure each and every bottle tells you exactly where the fragrance oils were sourced from.

ILIA Beauty

ILIA Beauty probably should have been on your radar for quite some time now, but if you've yet to delve into the indie beauty brand, then this is definitely a top one to give a try. ILIA Beauty's product range has consistently provided products that have become cult beauty favorites. The obsession all started with the Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oils and Liquid Powder Eye Tints. Both of these products have sold out repeatedly, as shoppers can't get enough of the lightweight and breathable formulations, and the brand has kept that up with every release since. 


Focused on creating clean and sustainable beauty that offers lightweight coverage and allows your skin to breathe is ILIA Beauty's main goal. If you're a full-beat kind of makeup lover, this is not the brand for you. Each and every product is super breathable and allows you to curate the perfect no-makeup-makeup look. The makeup products are all powered by skincare to help treat your skin rather than simply mask it. 

Kjaer Weis

Some beauty brands are all about loud, playful, and unique makeup products, while others keep things minimalist, simple, and to the point. Kjaer Weis is definitely the latter. Birthed out of a combination of Scandinavian and New York inspirations, Danish makeup artist and founder Kirsten Kjaer Weis's vision was to combine New York's fierce boldness with Scandinavian minimalism — and she did just that.


Kjaer Weis has become a standout indie beauty brand with its unique trademark silver metal packaging. The Cream Blush is definitely what earned Kjaer Weis a fan base. What stands out is how easy the award-winning cream products are to use, the Cream Foundation included, and how simply using your fingers allows them to melt seamlessly into your skin. But if the suggested finger application doesn't work for you, Kjaer Weis' product range also includes brushes and tools now, so you'll be set up for success from the jump.


It's only right to end this roundup with the most standout indie beauty brand to have emerged recently with the most innovative technology the haircare scene has seen in a while. Step aside, Olaplex, as K18 is the new scientifically backed hair-healing powerhouse and the brand is just getting started. 


The award-winning K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask immediately won celebrities and beauty lovers over. Using the brand's patented peptide technology the hair mask promises to repair your hair from heat and coloring damage while restoring strength and bounce, and the millions of TikTok reviews back the brand's claims. The 4.6 star-rated product was just the beginning, as the brand has since launched a matching shampoo and conditioner to the range. One K18 reviewer was immediately wowed by how well this mask actually worked, writing, "I decided to give this a chance, and let me tell you, after the first application I noticed a tremendous difference. My hair was smooth and soft to the touch."