In a world full of Revlons and MACs, many smaller companies of the cosmetic world tend to fall through the cracks. I’ve compiled a list of makeup brands that have yet to hit the shelves of any major US convenience or department store. These hidden gems are fantastic quality and would be a great asset to any makeup collection.
1. Coastal Scents
I stumbled upon this South Florida brand a few years ago while searching for a dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked eyeshadow line. As someone who was just starting makeup, I could not make sense of paying over $50 for 12 shadows. The Coastal Scents Revealed palettes are under $20 and come with 20 shadows (not to mention that they regularly have huge sales…). I took a gamble, ordered a palette, and was happy to see it in my mailbox less than 24 hours later! I was surprised and happy with what I had ordered, which was a palette from their Revealed line. Here’s a side by side comparison on swatches of Urban Decay’s Naked Palette and Coastal Scents’ Revealed Palette, as done by blogger Rachel Harlow.
Top Row: Naked Palette / Bottom Row: Revealed Palette
Limecrime is quickly gaining popularity with quirky and fun merchandise and marketing! Originally loved for their amazing matte lipsticks, this Los Angeles company has been branching out lately with new products such as their Diamond Crushers lipsticks, Hi-Lites, and Unicorn hair dye. They are cruelty-free, vegan, and certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny. They also give a student discount!
3. Beauty Bakerie
Another California company loved for their lippies, Beauty Bakerie is especially awesome because their high quality products are designed to be not only ultra-wearable but ultra-beautiful on any skin tone. The hype is so real and so well deserved. Even Beyonce is a fan!
An all-time personal favorite, I cannot go anywhere without my Morphe 35O palette. Perfect for the fall, winter, and totally transitional for spring and summer, I have found so many uses for my purchase from this budget-friendly professional grade brand. On Morphe’s website, they sell makeup and makeup tools from a variety of stores but the real jewels are from Morphe itself. They first gained traction from their brushes but I can attest to the quality of their concealer, eyeliner, and eyeshadows. There is no glitz and glam in the packaging but none of that matters once you swatch their products and see the beauty!
Another accidental find, I stumbled upon Revolution cosmetics inside of an Ulta store. Not every Ulta carries their products and many that do only carry a very limited number of products. This London-based drug-store tier brand will make your inner makeup guru (and your wallet) very happy! They carry a variety of products—personally I’d recommend their Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquers and Vivid Baked Highlighters. The extremely low price tags (mostly under $10!) made me a skeptic but I was pleasantly surprised!
These five smaller-scale companies are quickly growing well-deserved hype. Looking beyond the large scale companies that dominate CVS and Macy’s everywhere, it is so nice to find smaller-scale cosmetic brands that make quality products. It is such a plus that most of them have practices you can support (yay, cruelty-free!) and amazing price tags.