Introducing Indie Beauty Brands
I was lucky enough to go check out the LA Indie Beauty Expo this year. For those of you who haven’t heard about it until now, IBE is one of the fastest growing beauty expos. It was created by celebrity esthetician Jillian Wright and Nader Naeymi-Rad, an entrepreneur and management expert. This expo is driven by beauty brands who choose to create their own products and package them in small batches. Buyers who are looking to expand their retail or incorporate new brands into their stores are also welcome to join and network with the founders and creators of the brands. Most of the brands who attend the Indie Beauty Expo are completely organic, all of them so far have been cruelty free, and some completely vegan.
So, you can see the direction of influence that this expo is taking on. While indeed most of the brands who exhibit are organic brands, there are also brands who are not organic. It was certainly good to see those brands as well because not every independent beauty consumer, guru, and boutique are organic! There are some fantastic non- organic indie brands like Control Corrective who don’t get the props they deserve.
Most indie brands that I have come across use only oils and or dry ingredients so not to add preservatives that may be harmful. A lot of the oils and dry ingredients preserve themselves naturally which is cool, plus it cuts down on ingredients and time consuming formulations. But this isn’t to say that formulating with only oils and herbs isn’t expensive. Believe me I have seen what it cost to obtain the purist organic ingredients and special packaging and that investment is hefty.
I have used and still use some of the natural oil products. Some people really love them and it’s all they use. And it goes well with their lifestyle. My reservation about 100% oil based organic product is that it mostly sits on the skin. While indeed oils have special conditioning and some healing properties it doesn’t penetrate the skin to deliver all Its benefits. The skin needs water. While I also understand that several organic skincare creators are conserving h20 due to our planets drought, I also know that skincare products with active or performance ingredients need the help of water to deliver results.
Oil’s do not hydrate the skin, better yet they seal in the hydration. So, if your skin isn’t hydrated, this means your skin needs water. If you are experiencing dry skin, then you are experiencing a lack of oil. It is very easy to confuse the two. Dehydrated skin is certainly more of a skin condition but, dry skin can be both a condition and or a skin type. As an esthetician, I sometimes hear my clients saying that they bought a great organic oil with amazing benefits, but their skin feels dry after using it. So, I explain that either they aren’t using the product properly, or that their skin is dehydrated. Most people don’t like to use a moisturizer underneath an oil because they are too afraid that it will leave their skin oily. But I find that the oil skincare works better with the hydration of a moisturizer, or a hydrating serum.
Organic beauty products that use hydrosols, or water/water based additives like aloe, or water soluble additives, which NEED water, need a preservative if it’s going to be shelved and used over a period. While there are natural water soluble preservatives like aspen bark, lacto bacilli, coconut bacilli, and many more, several of these natural preservatives need to be used, and properly dispensed along with other preservatives. There are many types of bacteria and fungi that grow in water based product and this is exactly why a preservative is needed.
Organic oil in water, or water in oil beauty products do exist, as does completely water based organic product. Laurel Skin, happens to be one of my favorite indie beauty brands, and they make amazing organic hydrosol based hydrating/toning elixir’s. Flynn & King Is another great indie brand, they make an organic aloe leaf juice and geranium hydrosol toner. Behind The Seen Organics, created and founded by Pamela Hackeman MUA and Esthetician makes a brilliant HD pigmented skin serum with aloe, arnica and many more beneficial liquid ingredients in 7 shades. Although the brands I just mentioned were not at the expo this year I did discover a brand called ULIV who was at the expo! Lishawn the creator and founder has created this gorgeous golden facial cream. The aloe allows this facial cream to deliver hydration, and the hydration pulls in all the important properties of the ingredients. This is an oil based product in addition to the aloe, so if you guessed that the oils penetrate the skin then seal in the benefits of the ingredients you guessed right.
A Little Bit More
The Indie Beauty Expo wasn’t just about the brands; it was also about education. The show gave it’s guests the opportunity to hear from a few panels of beauty experts. Each panel was incredible. But my favorite was “Latest Trends in Indie Beauty”. The panel was led by Brandie Gilliam, the founder of thoughtfully magazine, A magazine that inspires being mindful of what foods you put into your body, and which cosmetics you let your body absorb. The panels participants were Organic beauty experts like Paige Padgett, makeup artist, and author of “The Green Beauty Rules”, Tara Sowalty and Jessie De Lowe, Creators of how You Glow a blog dedicated to green beauty, Romain Gaillard, Founder of Detox Market, A green beauty shopping guide and online store. And lastly Deddeh Howard, Model and co-creator of Black Mirror Project which exposes the modeling world for lack of diversity and opportunity for black models.
Brandi asked each expert a cache of thought provoking questions. And each expert was given the chance to answer the same questions individually. This was great because each participant plays a different but very important role in the beauty industry. Page Padgett had a lot of wisdom to share in response. One of my favorite quotes was “consider your beauty routine a diet”- Paige Padgett and she is absolutely right. So many of us put so many things on our skin without even reading the ingredients and often time by doing this we are creating unwanted skin conditions which will eventually need to be zealously treated. And we all know how costly that can be.
I can’t give away everything that I took away from the “Latest Trends in Beauty” But I do know that each expert collectively agreed on a few key things when it comes to beauty trends.
So many people are so caught up in green beauty because it is a huge trend right now. And if this makes any sense people aren’t caring about the ingredients, so long as its organic. The panel agreed that “green beauty falls short because of its trends”- Page Padgett And in comparison to conventional beauty, the panel feels that “smaller brands are more audacious” – Romain Gaillard. But lack in little details like travel size product, great fragrance lines, and mascara that delivers great results.
In closing, our educators wanted their guests to walk away with the knowledge that with green beauty being such a huge trend It’s not about a complete clean beauty regiment. It’s about incorporating or transitioning into “better for you” skin care. Guests were also left with a forecast of what’s to come in the world of beauty. Keep an eye out for skincare with CBD, Probiotics and advanced DNA technology. I can’t wait to go to the next Indie Beauty Expo, it was the best experience I have ever had at a beauty trade show. And I’m looking forward to seeing more great skincare created by brands who deserve the exposure.
Honorable IBE Mentions