9 Indie Makeup Brands That Are Way Cooler Than Mainstream Ones

by Kathryn Hensch


Makeup can be really expensive. Like, $53 for a tube of lipstick expensive. Unless it applies itself, I can’t justify spending that much money for it. Drugstore options are fine, but most of those brands don’t carry the cool colors high end brands have. Will there ever be a compromise in this age old battle? 

Enter: indie makeup. Thanks to the good ‘ol internet, people can start their own brands relatively easily. Whether they sell their products on Etsy or an independent website, several of these brands have amassed quite a cult following in the makeup world.


1. Melt Cosmetics

This brand originally just sold lipsticks. They’re creamy, pigmented, and they carry unique shades. Melt recently introduced two eye shadow “stacks,” which are definitely worth checking out as well.

Image via Melt Cosmetics

2. BH Cosmetics

BH Cosmetics became popular because of their absurdly cheap/amazing quality eye shadow palletes, but pretty much everything they carry is amazing. Their newest lipstick collection is called Pop Art. Just one swipe provides amazing color payoff. 

Image via BH Cosmetics

3. Portland Black Lipstick Company

As the name suggests, they have pretty kick ass black lipstick. Other shades are gorgeous as well and have cool names like “Bug’s Blood” and “Undead Red.”

Image via Good Morning Angel


4. Sugarpill

If you’ve ever wanted an absurdly pigmented yellow eye shadow, you can find it here. Every shadow Sugarpill make will give you bold, but not cheesy, lids.

Image via Krasey Beauty

5. SauceBox Cosmetics

Many of the eye shadow colors SauceBox makes are high end brand duplicates. Though the prices of their palettes seem steep, they’re much more economical than buying individual eyeshadows from an expensive collection. 

Image via Nikki Tutorials

6. ColourPop

Super, super affordable (FIVE DOLLARS EACH!!!) shadows with a unique texture – many call them “fluffy.” ColourPop’s lipsticks are also #amaze. And their blush. Just buy everything and trust me on this one.

7. Makeup Geek

Most of their shadows run $6 each, which is ten dollars less than one single eyeshadow from MAC Cosmetics. I’ve heard several YouTube beauty gurus say they prefer these to MAC’s shadows because they are less chalky.

Image via Miss Natty's Beauty Diary 


8. Cult Cosmetics 

Whether it be glittery, holographic, or solid, Cult’s nail polish will have people asking where you go it.

Image via Cult Cosmetics

9. Floss Gloss

UGH. Every single color is beautiful and I want them all. Their zodiac gift sets are adorbz.

Image via Floss Gloss

Published August 27, 2015

Read more on BUST.com:

BUST Tests Vegan Makeup

10 High End Lipsticks For Darker Skinned Women

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