The Beauty-Full Week: Five indie brands on our radar

The New Year makes us think about the novel, and crave newness. That’s why this January, I’m pinpointing a select few lesser-known beauty brands that will kick your 2016 regime off to a refreshing start. These indie brands – as in no giant conglomerate owns them and their ingredients are more natural than most – get the seal of approval thanks to innovative packaging designs, handy tricks and a sense of newness in an otherwise saturated market.

1. Little Ondine

I discovered this little gem at a recent QVC press day and was instantly transfixed by the polishes’ ability to peel clean off the nail without leaving residue or causing damage. Composed of natural resin, organic colourants and water (that’s it!) this is an odour free formula that hydrates the nails, dries quickly and comes in a dazzling array of professional colours. The handy twin bundles tap into today’s nail art savvy consumer by offering two smaller colours in one easy pot.

2. Youth to the People

Youth to the People is a skincare brand very much ‘of the moment.’ Inspired by the health conscious consumer of today, the brand fuses the benefits of superfoods with science for a collection that puts the properties of kale, spinach and green tea to good use. Housed in delectably minimal bottles designed to look like juices, Youth to the People simply offers three key products – a cleanser, a cream and a serum – for a skincare routine that is both easy and natural.

3.Milk MakeUp

Set to launch on February 8th, Milk Makeup is a much-anticipated collection from Milk Studios. Described as, “High concept, low maintenance beauty essentials,” this is a vegan-friendly, eco-conscious, paraben-free line that includes everything from a Hydrating Oil and natural deodorant to mascara, liner, lip colour and blush oil. With little info released, it’s hard to tell exactly who the target audience might be, but the cool minimal packaging and a website dedicated to the carefree and uncaring tells me it’s not intended for my Grandma.


Designed to heal the mind, body and spirit, Benshen skincare is inspired by its founder’s journey and experience with Chinese medicine and Kundalini yoga, pursued in an attempt to rid her of chronic-fatigue, cystic acne and hormonal imbalance. A natural, small-batch, organic line, Benshen utilizes the natural world’s finest ingredients of essential oils, floral and herbal elements, combined in such a way to nourish, rejuvenate and heal the skin and body. Invested in the idea that beauty begins from within, Benshen’s serum, hydrosols and crystals come housed in plain, frosted bottles illustrated with a simple gold circle – and are currently sold out, so we know it’s got to be good.

5. Drunk Elephant

Apparently when elephants eat the fruit of a Marula tree they become drunk – a myth that inspired the name behind this non-toxic, ingredient focused brand that features virgin Marula oil throughout. Made without parabens, controversial synthetics or irritants Drunk Elephant doesn’t prescribe to the idea that all natural is best, instead carefully studying its ingredients to find the least hazardous and least irritating regardless of origin. The result? The only multi-product brand to receive 5* for 5 products on Paula’s Choice Beautypedia – a bible for the industry based on scientific research. Brightly coloured packaging, Aztec prints and a cute elephant logo don’t hurt either.

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