Over the years, the Indie Beauty Expo has grown to be one of the top global events where buyers, bloggers, influencers, and media discover and explore the best and the newest in independent beauty, fragrance, and wellness.
Ahead of the 5th annual Los Angeles, California, edition of IBE, Cosmetics Design has identified a few trends and several brands that won’t be as noticeable among the booths as, say, the CBD trend will be.
Lash Care is becoming an important beauty category
The popularity of brow color and care as well as lash extensions and false lashes has drawn consumers’ attention to the eye area in a whole new way. And as a result, brands in every category that touches the eye area have a new opportunity to communicate with curious consumers about product formula, safety, and benefits.
At IBE LA, Revival Body Care will be showing its Bloom Brow and Lash serum, a product made with castor oil, aloe, coconut oil, and both lavender and lemon essential oils that promises to “[promote] healthy follicles and [soften] brittle lashes and brows to improve elasticity. It supports lashes and brows in becoming more flexible and less prone to breakage,” according to the brand’s product page. (Nicole Dzurko founded Revival Body Care in 2015.)
We Love Eyes is a brand, founded by optometrist Tanya Gill in 2014, that’s all about safe care and grooming products for the eye area. In LA, We Love Eyes will be showing (among other products) a Hypochlorous Eyelid Cleansing Spray and a Tea Tree Eyelid Foaming Cleanser. The We Love Eyes product portfolio is meant for a wide range of consumers but is quite popular with people looking to care for lash extensions, and makeup wearers looking for cleansing products that don’t aggravate dry eye, red eyes, or eye irritation.
Also at IBE LA this month, Jayne Chen’s vegan lash brand Lashes in Box will be showcasing its collection of strip and cluster lashes.
Wellness goes well beyond skin care
The wellness trend is no secret and any number of clean beauty brands rightly fit in this new beauty category. But the lifestyle brands that hover on the periphery of wellness have a lot to say about what wellness consumers are really seeking, for starters: sleep, sound, scent, and stress relief.
Kitsch, a global apparel and lifestyle brand founded in 2011 and led by CEO Cassandra Morales, will be at IBE this month showing satin pillow slips. “Unlike cotton, satin doesn't absorb moisture from your skin, allowing your skin to stay hydrated while you sleep for a more youthful complexion,” explains the brand site. “Satin is said to prevent sleep lines on your face, decrease bedhead and helps to prevent split ends. Your eyelashes will also benefit from the lack of friction standard cotton pillowcases may cause.”
Sound Selfcare (Hess Klangkonzepte) will be returning to IBE LA this year with its collection of metal singing bowls that can be used for sound massage and relaxation.
Dazey, the CBD brand founded by Tori Bodin and Chris Tarello in 2018, will be at IBE featuring full spectrum CBD oil that can be used both topically and orally as well as CBD skin care.
Also at IBE LA this year will be a personal care brand called Pirette that is centered in surf culture and has a distinctive approach to both brand and fragrance that speaks to the lifestyle and identity of Pirette’s wellness consumer: “Our core is a unique artisanal scent that embodies the surf culture with notes inspired by fresh coconut, surf wax and sunscreen,” explains the brand’s vison page.
There will always be a market for small-batch and hand-made beauty and personal care
Brand founders and suppliers and certainly investors get caught up in the promise of a next Drunk Elephant (the beauty startup Shiseido bought in 2019 for $845m). The possibility of scaling an indie brand to be a industrial-sized, multinational venture is enchanting but isn’t the best option for every business owner and isn’t the sort of brand every consumer wants to support.
At IBE LA, brands like evanhealy, Salud, and ayr skin care will be showing the power and potential of small-batch and hand-made beauty. evanhealy is an organic brand that creates stylishly handsome hand-made skin care. According to the brand site: “Each step of our production is done by hand. From the fields and forests where the plants that become our hydrosols, oils, and butters are harvested. To our production facility where we hand-blend our formulas and hand-package each bottle. Maintaining this intimate connection with plants elevates the efficacy and therapeutic benefits they provide. It keeps the profound prana of the plant alive and well, so that by the time the bottle is in your hand, it’s still bursting with vitality. A vitality you can smell, feel and see on the skin.”
Salud is another brand dedicated to hand-made organic skincare. The Salud product portfolio is small but spans skin care, body care, fragrance, deodorant, and a multi-use product called Madre Oil.
ayr skin care will also be at IBE this month. The small-batch skin care brand is led by Kirsten Thomas who has moved from being a disappointed consumer to a trained chemist and in 2017 an indie beauty brand founder. Besides being small-batch, ayr skin care products are also menopause friendly, a distinction that has huge potential for the brand as women 40+ are looking for and launching the beauty brands they actually want.
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.