This week I went along to the second Independent Beauty Expo event – a trade show type of event, featuring a huge selection of independent beauty brands. Across everything from male grooming, to cosmetics, skincare or hair care.
I’ll be totally honest and say that in general, I am more drawn to those big name brands and products I have heard of before and recognise. However, whilst I know that’s my habit – I want to give more space on the blog and my beautyjunkie instagram to smaller, new and independent brands. Behind the scenes I’ve worked with a few small, new start up brands on their social strategies and know how hard it can be to get attention in a pretty crowded market. So I was keen to go to IEB2018 to see what there was to see and share a bit of what caught my eye.
With that in mind, this is an edit of many of the brands I saw at the show this week. Selecting some of those that I felt really caught my eye and think have something special to offer so might be worth checking out for yourself.
Popband (thepopband.com) – I’ll start with this brand you might recognise. A simple idea but simple is often effective. Elasticated fabric hair ties that are wider than traditional bands. They can be comfortably worn and come in endless colour and design option. I was excited to see these as they’re a style of hair band I’ve used loads since having Ella. Having my hair tied back has been more day to day than it’s ever been in the past for me and having an elastic band on my wrist is the norm. The thing love about these is that they’re simple and comfortable. No metal snag bits that might catch Ella’s skin whilst I hold her. Plus they don’t leave marks on my wrist either. So yeah, simple but effective!
Olverum (olverum.com) – I have the Dry Body oil but I’ve tried the bath oil before and it smells amazing. If the body oil is similar then I know I’ll love it. The branding on Olverum really caught my eye too. The leaf design reminds me a little of the watercolour style of Bluebell Grey (a home brand I absolutely love).
Verdant Alchemy (verdantalchemy.co.uk) & Milu* (meetmilu.com) – Both brands that caught my eye for their cool and fun branding. Very different brands and not connected (other than that they’re both part of the Feel Unique Spark ‘Clean Beauty’ Edit. Where a selection of very cool new brands have launched on the site (FYI Olverum is also part of the edit this time around). Verdant Alchemy is a bath brand with a collection of scents of bath oil and bath salts. My favourite of the fragrances I had a good sniff of was the ‘Breathe In’ one. Like a burst of fresh air that would clear even the most bunged up nose. Then there’s Milu* which is a selection of sheet mask products with a mix of mud, hydrogel or foaming sheet masks. For face and eyes. I love the look of the eye gels in particular but also, the idea of a mud mask without the mess is always a win.
*Milu not pictured in shots – but there are image over on my highlights on Instagram (check out my Indie Beauty highlights on my profile).
Laneways (lanewayscosmetics.com) – A lipstick brand that caught my eye as I had a browse around the stands. A compact selection of lipstick shades in stand out packaging. The brand is from Thailand and talking to a couple of the team behind it they told me about how the range is all designed to flatter multiple skintones. In Thailand there’s an association between paler skin as being the most desirable skin tone to have and they’re keen to challenge this with lip colours that flatter all to embrace a variety of skin colours and empower the person wearing it to feel confident in their own skin. The lipsticks are a ‘modern matte’, also known as a matte that is shine free but not mega drying. The colours have fun names too – my favourite is called ‘Smitten Kitten’ which is a lovely brick red shade that really would suit so many skin colours. The shade in the photo is a deep berry called Beetlejuice that’s great for this time of year too.
Two cosmetics brands got my attention too. One being Catrice Cosmetics (catrice.eu). With some really great palettes but it was actually the peel off glitter polish that made me excited. The idea of easy to remove glitter… yes please. Then there’s the German brand L.O.V. (lov.eu) who had a few lovely pieces but the palette in the photos here was a definite heart-eyes emoji situation. This is the Rose x Copper palette and if you like the Naked Heat or Naked Cherry palettes then this is like a mini version, so perhaps their love child?! Warm shades with some shimmer and some sparkle. Wearable but bold all at the same time. Packaging feels good quality too. The palette is 16.99 euros on their website, so good value for the 12 shades of good quality shadows.
S5 Skincare (s5skincare.com)- There were a few customisable products that caught my eye. With S5 being a skincare offering. Based around 5 key serums as the core of your routine. Each one targeted to help with certain issues or skin types. The range also has cleansers and moisturisers but the main focus is the skin serums that I feel really lovely and light. Not at all heavy on the skin. With one for blemishes, ageing, hydration, hyper pigmentation & sensitivity.
Lastly (but by no means least) there’s Pretty Athletic (prettyathletic.com) -a skin and body-care brand designed for people who workout. Essentially, for that immediately post-exercise skin or body-care type of situation. So moisturiser that helps calm redness or a body lotion that absorbs and doesn’t leave skin sticky. Back when I was much better at juggling everything I would go to the gym in my lunch break and can definitely say I’d have loved a moisturiser for calming post-out-of-breath red skin or something that makes pulling on jeans less of a clammy/sticky affair.
Of course, there are endless independent brands that I’d love to shout out but as a starting point there’s a good selection of ones I think are well worth a look and perhaps even spending some of your hard earned cash on.
Products shown provided as PR samples.