If you love discovering new beauty brands as much as I do, then you’ll really dig today’s post. I haven’t written specifically about brands in quite a while, but if you’ve been a long-time reader here you may remember that I published a post last year on brands that excite me (i.e make me want to buy their products), and brands that don’t. I think it’s time for an updated discussion on the matter, but with a twist this time: I’m just going to call out three new beauty brands to watch. They are all newly launched (less than one year), and to be clear, I haven’t yet tried anything from them.
Now, why do I think you should keep your eye on these up-and-comers? In my opinion they provide a unique snapshot of what’s currently going on in beauty in 2020. So if you want a cheat-sheet, here you go! Like many new brands to be born digital nowadays, these companies are hyper-focused on creating multi-functional products with “clean”*, high-performing ingredients. But they also strive to be socially and environmentally conscious, whether it be about their carbon footprint, the inclusivity of their product offerings or challenging the very idea of what beauty is.
Let’s dive into the discussion!
(NOTE: Definitions of “clean” vary in the industry – hence the air quotes – but it usually refers to products made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, or other known irritants. It’s usually associated with being cruelty-free and sometimes vegan as well; so, no animal-testing or animal-derived ingredients like lanolin or carmine.)
WE ARE NARROWING THE GENERATIONAL BEAUTY GAP
How we look at beauty is changing. What is appropriate for our age, our position, or status, is in flux. We might have as much in common with our mothers as with our younger sisters (or fathers and younger brothers). We deserve a more open and multi-generational dialogue about what beauty looks like at all stages of our lives, from ages 19 to 99.
We create unprescribed beauty essentials for building, blending, buffing, smudging, and doing what you want. Makeup is an embellishment, an accessory, and above all, temporary. We embrace and find beauty in the smears, strokes, creases, and the time spent with ourselves to ‘touch up’.
19/99 makes high-performance, multipurpose products designed for those who want to define their own beauty and aren’t concerned about what is considered appropriate.
19-99 Beauty is a Canadian cosmetics company that I became acquainted with first on Instagram. Another blogger account I follow was raving about their multi-functional pencils, which can be used on lips, cheeks, or eyes. Their current product offerings are quite small but keep in mind, they only launched in late 2019; in addition to the aforementioned pencils (in 2 shades), they also offer a clear gloss and a pencil sharpener. To be honest, I became much more intrigued by their brand statement.
19-99 is not only their name, but a spectrum of ages that represents the brand’s multi-generational view of beauty. They are all about throwing beauty standards to the wind, and rejecting what is considered appropriate at what age. This is reflected in their marketing imagery where you see a whole range of ages and races represented. In a time where most beauty brands target Gen Z’ers and/or Miliennals, how refreshing is it for a new indie to recognize and show 40 – 50+ women wearing their products?? I absolutely love this ethos, and I think it makes them stand out in a very saturated community.
Grantas aims to set a new standard in beauty, as a net-carbon negative cosmetics company. The beauty industry needs a no-plastic makeover. While many companies are making commitments to go zero-waste and zero-net emissions, we believe that the climate crisis demands further action from businesses.
Using Biodegradable Packaging: Our packaging is completely biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. By using biodegradable packaging and saying no to plastic, Grantas reduces emissions throughout its product life-cycle – from sourcing to disposal.
Planting Trees: Taking green steps further, Grantas partners with One Tree Planted to plant a tree in North America for each product that is purchased to help replenish our natural resources. One Tree Planted is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that works with a global network of partners who are knowledgeable about local ecology to plant tree species local to their regional projects.
I first heard about Grantas Cosmetics through this Beauty Independent article. (By the way, if you like learning about the business behind new beauty brands, I fully recommend checking out Beauty Independent.) Sustainability is a huge movement now in beauty, and where I think all the innovation is going to happen in the next few years. There’s a big push to eliminate as much plastic and as much unnecessary packaging as possible. The birth of a brand like Grantas is indicative of this shift.
They just launched this summer with five multi-functional lip and cheek products in 100% biodegradable paperboard packaging. So when you are done with the product, you can simply throw it in the compost bin to fully decompose. That’s really cool! As someone who’s become very conscious of cutting down on waste, this really speaks to me and makes me want to throw my money behind this brand.
More cosmetics including eco-friendly eyeshadows, highlighters, eye pencils and foundations will be forthcoming starting in 2021.
At Vesca Beauty, we’re building a community-driven beauty brand centred around high-quality products and thoughtful ingredients. We bring a fresh perspective to the industry by paving the way for inclusivity, diversity and transparency while challenging generations-old standards that no longer resonate with today’s beauty lovers.
Again, I learned about Vesca Beauty through this Beauty Independent article (I’m telling you, you need to read them!). They launched in late 2019 with seven very diverse shades of their Kissed By Soft Matte Bronzing Powder (just one shade shy of Fenty Beauty). I was so impressed by what I saw in this collection. Rarely do you see bronzer ranges with more than three or four shades available; even more rare do you find bronzers that go this deep and dark. As a first launch I think this is a big statement, especially as the movement towards more inclusivity in beauty takes on a deepened urgency.
But it doesn’t just stop at bronzers. Vesca believes diversity transcends product categories. Their newest launch is their Stargaze Luminous Glow, a 4-shade powder highlighter collection that ranges from soft champagne for fair skins all the way to rich bronzes for deep skins. So if you’re interested in supporting brands that keep inclusion at heart, not just in words but in actions, then I suggest checking them out.
Would you buy from any of the brands mentioned here? What new beauty brands are on your “watch” list? I’d love to know!
xo, and be well,
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