Editor's Spotlight

3 inspiring indie beauty packaging ideas

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

3 inspiring indie beauty packaging ideas
Everyone knows now that it’s wise to watch indie brands and to pay careful enough attention to identify scalable ideas and innovations coming out of the indie space--ideas that have resonance with consumers and potential in the global market. Here Cosmetics Design looks at three, rather nuanced twists on conventional packaging that demonstrate the brilliance of indie thinking.

The following 3 products come from 3 different categories and none are, admittedly, new inventions; but they each do illustrate how a simple twist can make a brand and beauty product memorable and functional in an entirely new way.

Deo in a tube

Type:A Brands deodorant comes in what might look like at a lotion or sun care tube. It’s chubby, it’s short, and it’s not the sort of ridged plastic container that so commonly houses antiperspirant and deodorant products—in fact, it’s readily squeezable.

The product formula is liquid enough to ooze out of the three or four slots on the smooth top of the tube and then be spread easily on the underarm area.

It’s a very clever application method that is hardly new at all when it comes to the consumer experience and gesture of applying an underarm product. (Read more about the brand in this recent installment of the Indie Beauty Profile column​.)

Oil in a bottle

The Swiss brand Instytutum is a project of Dr Nataliia Derkach. Her next-generation retinoid facial oil (as it’s being called) is formally branded as Powerful Retinoil.

Many of the products from her brand come in lovely but not unexpected packages. The facial oil is bottled like a fine fragrance—albeit with a dropper. 

The weight and style of this packaging call attention to luxury bent of the oil. It’s a messaging that intentional aligns neatly with the product’s benefit claims: “this luxury golden oil will deliver exceptional results. Instantly creates an astonishingly smooth, dewy, plumped and luminous-looking complexion.  Miraculously reduces fine lines and wrinkles, spots, pores, blemishes, and renews dull, rough looking skin,” ​as the product page boasts.

(At the time of this writing, Cosmetic Design could not confirm or deny that Instytutum is an indie brand, per se; but the packaging idea here is certainly in line with the sort of conceptual nuance that comes out of the indie space.)

Lip balm with a twist

A basic lip balm product from the indie natural brand Osmia Organics is called The Lip Doctor—it’s a claim within a name, that is a sort of benefits claim without exactly making a claim. The lip balm is formulated with natural inputs: olive oil, avocado oil, cocoa seed butter (which imparts a recognizable scent), candelilla wax, beeswax, and argan nut oil. And, while that all sounds simple enough, the tube is slightly larger in diameter than conventional lipbalm tubes. And the dial-up  function is at the top rather than at the bottom.

These nuances of design are distinctive enough that the lip balm feels and function differently in the consumers’ hand. They are precisely the kind of changes of gesture that imprint on a consumer’s mind and call attention to the Osmia product in a memorable and often subconscious way when the consumer is using The Lip Doctor (and are noticeably absent when using a competitor’s balm). They are the packaging details that signal what product the consumer is holding even before any product benefits have a chance to materialize.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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