The Smaller Beauty Brands You Don’t Support, But Should

Smaller beauty brands need love too.

Consider this: could we even have a discussion about beauty without uttering the word ‘brand’? In the age of influencers and online sales, we’re bombarded by advertisements and product placements all day, every day. While we still have love for big-name brands, the advertising and marketing capabilities of brands like KKW Beauty, Glossier, and Fenty are no match for smaller beauty brands. So, we have to wonder, are we missing out on amazing products from lesser-known brands?

…The answer is yes. With a myriad of options to choose from, smaller beauty brands are often overlooked in favor of recognizable brands. While the latter may offer a sense of comfort and familiarity, it’s important not to put yourself in a box with your beauty products. Whether you’re looking to address niche skincare concerns, or just want to expand your beauty horizons, this list of smaller beauty brands is the perfect place to start.



If you love all things that sparkle and shine, you absolutely must try some of Lemonhead.LA.’s products. Based out of Los Angeles (…duh!), the company prides themselves on being the “creators of the worlds first glitter for adults™”… and seriously, Lemonhead.LA. is not messing around with their glitter. Get ready to create all of the glittery, shimmery, highlighted looks you’ve been dreaming of (without the mess!). If you’re not already convinced, all of their products are certified vegan and cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA. You can’t get more LA than that!


Smolder Cosmetics

Brainchild of two San Francisco-based cousins, Smolder Cosmetics gained a bit of traction back in 2016, when their mesmerizing makeup swatch videos went viral. Dedicated to the safety and health of their customers, all Smolder products are 100% vegan, while still delivering maximum impact. Seriously, their Loose Glam Dust is unreal and perfect for festival season! Whether your makeup style is attention-grabbing and bold, or minimalist and casual, Smolder Cosmetics has you covered. With the motto, “We don’t define beauty; YOU do,” their versatile products are perfect for experimental and creative makeup lovers and artists alike.



Knours has an innovative approach to skincare. Instead of focusing on your skin type, this smaller beauty brand prefers to tune-in to what your body actually needs, when it needs it. Their skincare regimens are beyond personalized; designed to fluctuate with the constantly changing needs of your skin to keep you balanced and beautiful. Knours takes a holistic approach to beauty by considering the effects your period cycle, stress levels, diet, sleep, etc. have on your skin. With every product tailored for a specific need, your skincare routine will adapt and adjust to your body’s natural changes. Plus, they make no-rinse required makeup wipes (meaning yes, you can take your makeup off in bed! You’re welcome).


Mint Skin

Based in Sydney, Australia, Mint Skin has struck a chord with millennials. The cute packaging might draw you in, but the quality ingredients will keep you coming back. Each product is 100% non-toxic, cruelty-free, and made in Australia, with natural ingredients like rosehip oil to improve a variety of skin problems. Their MUD Rosa Hydrating Clay Mask will brighten and illuminate your skin in 15 minutes flat! Even better, this smaller beauty brand won’t break the bank. Affordable and effective skincare? Yes, please.


Sacha Cosmetics

Sacha Cosmetics began operations out of Trinidad and Tobago back in 1979. Since then, they’ve remained dedicated to creating advanced cosmetics for multicultural women. Now, they are one of the top beauty brands developed for women of color. So, we must admit that Sacha Cosmetics is not technically a smaller beauty brand, based on their dedicated customers and industry achievements thus far. However, their full feature line of high-performance products is so impressive that we truly don’t understand how Sacha Cosmetics isn’t up their with the Fenty Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics of the world. One of their most famous products is the Sacha Buttercup Setting Powder. Many beauty YouTubers swear it’s the key to avoiding “flashback” makeup mishaps (and who could forget James Charles’ infamous Flashback Mary scandal?).


Complex Beauty

Beauty isn’t just about how you look, but how you feel too. One of our fave smaller beauty brands, Complex Beauty, fully embraces that sentiment. Their motto is “Look good. Feel great. Spread Love.” – and we couldn’t ask for anything more! If you’re not into adhering to society’s beauty standards, this feel-good brand is perfect for you. Not only are they all about empowering yourself and those around you, they actually care about what goes into each product. Everything from Complex Beauty is toxin free, as it should be.




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