Indie Makeup | What You Need to Know about this New Beauty Trend

A Selection of the Best Indie Makeup Brands You Absolutely Have to Try In 2021

At the beginning of 2021, a report was published that predicted which beauty trends would be at their peak in the coming year. Indie makeup companies are one of them. What is the essence of the new trend? And what is indie makeup?

Indie beauty is really rapidly gaining popularity, and it’s not just about makeup trends, but also about the culture of consumption of products from the best indie makeup brands, which do often release worthwhile and effective products.

People started talking about the best indie makeup back in 2016, but for a long time, this niche remained unclear to the consumer. Good indie makeup brands are independent, fairly small, most often do not enter the big retail and profess the principle of “pure beauty”.

They are creative and progressive, and do not depend on large corporations (although there are several examples of mergers, for example, Shiseido acquired the indie brand Drunk Elephant). And they’re also very close to their consumers, largely because they originated and evolved through Instagram.=

The Features of Indie Makeup

Bright Accents In the Corners of the Eyes

violet and green eyehadow makeup
makeup indie

One of the “chips” of the best indie makeup is colorful accents in the inner corners of the eyes. They can be put in yellow, orange, blue, and purple shades, and combined with both “bare” eyes and with creative arrows. There has been a 45% increase in interest in this technique on Pinterest lately.

Neon Lines

blue eyeliner
bright eyeshadows pink and blue
green eyeshadow
sunny makeup

Contrasting lines in rich neon shades continue to be at the height of popularity in 2021. The most devoted fans of indie makeup, the jezzers, are especially fond of drawing lines in floating liner style, including thin arcs above the crease of the upper eyelid and under the lower eyelid.

Face Stickers

indie makeup flowers
flowers makeup on eyes
cloudy makeup

Applications and stickers on the face are another indie makeup trick that is especially relevant during creative photoshoots and video shoots. Pick up the trend and play it up in your own way, decorating the models’ faces with flowers, patches, nail stickers or other bright elements.

Butterfly Wings

rainbow makeup
purple eyeshadow makeup
purple wings

Eye alt-indie makeup with butterfly wings sounds unusual, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, even on Google, the request for butterfly eye makeup has grown by hundreds of percent, let alone on Pinterest. The essence of the new trend is to draw butterfly wings around the eyes, taking over the eyelids, outer corners of the eyes, temples, and even cheekbones.

Stones and Rhinestones

indie eyes makeup
glitters on eyes

The indie makeup style can also be embellished with stones and rhinestones on the face. Such indie makeup looks luxurious, beautiful, and fresh, especially if you perform it in your own individual style. Large stones or small, classic or colored rhinestones, budget stickers, or precious jewelry – the choice is yours.

Best Indie Makeup Brands

The fact is that indie makeup brands absolutely deserve your attention just as much as those iconic brands that everyone holds so dear. And if you’re looking for something to add to your collection, we can help. We’ve rounded up 15 of the best indie makeup brands in 2021, some of which you may already know and some of which you don’t. But all of them are sure to come in handy for you.


ilia brand

One of the most well-known in the list of indie makeup brands, Ilia is the pure brand you turn to when you want to achieve natural, -looking skin. Combining long-lasting formulas and easy-to-apply shades, each product contains organic and mostly vegan ingredients that help nourish and protect the skin, so it can look and feel its best. Our personal favorites are Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tint and Clean Line Liquid Liner to create the perfect “cat eye”.



Another popular indie cosmetics brand, Kosas is the newest popular label from California that editors and beauty industry professionals can’t help but love. Known for their easy-to-use but super sophisticated color cosmetics, Kosas products also contain pure ingredients in indie makeup palettes. We’re big fans of the Color & Light Palette and the new Brow Pop Clean Dual – Action Defining Eyebrow Pencil, which fills and conditions brows in one easy step.



If you haven’t heard of Saie yet, get ready to meet one of the high-profile but cheap indie makeup brands in pure beauty. Since its launch in late 2019, Saie has quickly gained a cult level of enthusiasm with its affordable, luxurious skincare and makeup offerings that deliver naturally glowing skin, shiny lips, and long, voluminous lashes without any questionable ingredients. Gwyneth Paltrow even became one of the first investors, which only confirms the status of this promising company. Some of our favorite products include Dew Balm Bouncy Marshmallow Highlighter and Brow Butter Styling and Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, which transforms sparse brows into full, fluffy arcs in just a few swipes.

Jillian Dempsey

jill dempsey cream blushers

You may know Jillian Dempsey as the legendary makeup artist who created some of the most iconic looks for Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Kristen Stewart, but did you know she has her own cruelty-free indie makeup brands? Launched in 2014, the collection includes five makeup products that are also vegan, cruelty-free, and made with organic and natural ingredients. These are exactly the type of high-performance products you reach for when you only have five minutes to apply your makeup and get away on business.

Cle Cosmetics

cle cosmetics skincare makeup products

Inspired by the latest Korean beauty technology, Cle Cosmetics is an up-and-coming makeup and skincare brand that creates simple, everyday products. Founded by Lauren Jin in 2015, Cle Cosmetics creates its products using only pure, vegan, and responsibly sourced ingredients that provide a healthy dose of skin benefits with every use.


espressoh eyeshadow palette-simple-makeup-chiara-cascella monochrome colors

When beauty industry ambassador Chiara Cascella first launched Espressoh in Italy in 2018, she hoped to create something bold, fast, effective, and simple in her makeup line. Like a serving of espresso.

The idea became a success and made Espressoh one of the most popular affordable indie makeup brands on the market. The collection was originally launched with a face gloss, but has since expanded to include lipstick, mascara, concealer, eye shadow and most recently, a clear brow gel called Hey Broh. All of the products are vegan, cruelty-free and made in Italy. And yes, you can find real caffeine in the ingredient list.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis

Founded by Danish-born, New York-based makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, Kjaer Weis is one of the indie makeup companies for those who value natural, high-quality ingredients and superior color transfer. Built on a collection of eco-friendly essentials including eye shadows, lip products, and concealers, the brand is perhaps best known for its line of luscious cream foundations and blushes that truly enhance the look and condition of the skin.

Kulfi Beauty

Kulfi Beauty

Introduced earlier this year, this indie cosmetics brand aims to celebrate the beauty and traditions of South Asia. The brand’s first product, a moisturizing eyeliner with aloe vera and safflower seed oil, is based on the South Asian culture of Ganjoo. Available in five pigmented and ultra-creamy shades, Kulfi Beauty uses the centuries-old eye product as a tool for self-expression, encouraging women to explore new ways to use its multipurpose formula.

Uoma Beauty

UOMA Beauty

Uoma Beauty is a renowned cosmetics collection founded by Sharon Chuter, a Nigerian native living in Los Angeles and London. As CEO and creative director of Uoma Beauty, Chuter draws inspiration from Africa’s rich ethnic diversity to create a wide range of high-performance products, all with an extensive line of shades to suit different skin tones. With Insta-friendly packaging, skin-friendly formulas, and intense color indie makeup palettes, Uoma Beauty has something for everyone, whether it’s a contour pencil that really brings out a deeper complexion or a cream concealer that minimizes redness.

Tower 28

tower 28 brand

Tower 28 is still a relative newcomer to the beauty industry and small indie makeup brands, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from quickly becoming a favorite for its clean products. The result is a collection of effortless, everyday products that are safe to use on even the most sensitive skin and require only clean fingertips to apply.

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