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Knowing a secret is fun – and when it's a beauty secret, even better. There's just something about knowing about the hidden places to find amazing products that makes you feel special. Discovering the new indie brands is one thing. Rediscovering the cosmetics companies you thought you knew is another!
This post is an insider's look at the some of the best brands you've probably forgotten about or never knew about in the first place. Keep them under wraps and exclusive or share and share alike.
1. BH Cosmetics
Beloved by the top beauty gurus on YouTube and featured in InStyle and Lucky, BH Cosmetics is hardly top secret. But did you know they make more than just amazing eye shadow palettes? The full beauty line includes everything from contouring colors to lip products to nail care. If nothing else check out their brush sets, which have earned rave reviews.
2. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
For animal lovers there is Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – also known as OCC, makers of cruelty-free, 100% vegan makeup that is still flying under the radar but has a growing following among beauty editors and makeup artists. The brand's crunchy values don't translate into muddy earth tones; the line is populated with intense, long-lasting pigments and fashion-forward hues. Try the lip tars for a powerful burst of color.
This Amway offshoot ranks among the world’s top five premium skincare brands and the world’s top ten premium cosmetics brands. With a focus on the science of beauty, Artistry employs not only trend seekers focused on color and texture but also scientists and engineers to develop an evolving line that includes everything from high-tech shadow quads to dewy anti-aging balms.
4. Coastal Scents
This budget-friendly brand is another low-profile, high-quality player in the cruelty-free category. Coastal Scents has seriously gorgeous lippy shades for under four dollars, a full range of all-natural products, ingredients to create your own handmade makeup and best of all, custom shadow palettes that you can build by buying individual "hot pots" in the shades you love.
The name no doubt rings a bright bell but the image conjured will likely be of salon fronts and skin care. Know, however, that the signature earthy green of Aveda's logo belies beautiful palettes of vibrantly colored makeup for every skin tone. The coolest part is that like their hair and skin products, Aveda's makeup lines are derived from natural, plant-based sources that are skin- as well as animal-friendly.
When it comes to choosing the best skincare products and makeup lines, it's easy to reach for familiar names because there are no surprises. But experimenting with lesser-known labels like these is a great way to discover what works for you and your skin.
Even better, once you've broadened your makeup knowledge you can become the go-to beauty guru in your social circle. So don't think of it as work! Think of expanding your cosmetics brand awareness as a public service.
Samantha Rivers is a wannabe fashionista, freelance journalist and contributing editor to the lifestyle blog UpwardOnward.