Sephora is a wonderful place full of magical toys for us to rub on our faces, but there is a whole world of beauty outside the mainstream retailers. In fact, you could wear indie beauty products exclusively and still look amazing, probably while spending a whole lot less money. Also, indie brands frequently produce colors you won’t find anywhere else. So if you have yet to branch out into independent makeup companies, check out these 11 lipsticks from indie makeup brands you should be looking at right now.
1. Cobra Lily by Shien Cosmetics
Shien Cosmetics was founded by Shien Lee, the devastatingly glamorous founder of New York’s Dances of Vice events. This first collection of bold, matte lipsticks includes “white camellia oil, green tea, red algae, and essential vitamins” and, according to the website, was designed specifically “with gold and olive-toned Asian skin in mind,” but they’ll flatter a wide range of skin tones. There are a lot of flattering colors, from golds to pinks, and if you need a bold red, she probably has one for you.
2. Red Velvet by Besame
This is the exact shade of red worn by Hayley Atwell on Agent Carter, which is definitely the most fashionable new TV show of 2015. Check this one out for the perfect Old Hollywood red lip.
3. Who Swallowed a Star tinted lip balm by Shiro cosmetics
This moisturizing lip balm is bright coral orange in the tube but applies as a really bright, energizing pinky-orange coral lip stain. Somehow it’s sheer and bold at the same time, and it’s just lovely.
4. Love Spell by My Beauty Addiction
My Beauty Addiction’s heavily pigmented, color-rich lipsticks are famed among indie makeup lovers for their wide range of colors and heavy, full-coverage pigment. This pink is a deep, vibrant berry shade, but if you’re looking for gold, green, navy, or pretty much any color lipstick, MBA will have it.
5. Terre Rouge lip tint by French Girl Organics
These organic, moisturizing lip balms get their color from mineral pigments and offer a lip gloss-like shine in addition to their moisturizing properties. This one has a shimmery, terra cotta color, and it smells like rose and peppermint. You’ll want to put it on all day.
6. Affluent Metallux lipstick by Impulse Cosmetics
Want gold lips that are actually gold? Affluent by Impulse Cosmetics is a metallic gold shade that will make you look like a fashion-forward sexy robot from the future. Hedonism Bot would be proud.
7. Pewter Cauldron by Portland Black Lipstick Company
This company has the best tagline: “All-Natural Makeup for that Un-natural Look.” If you ever need that dark, gothy look, they will hook you up. Their namesake black lipstick is wonderful, but also make sure to check out “Pewter,” a dark lipstick the color of duct tape with bluish undertones. Chances are you’ll be the only one in the room with lips the color of duct tape, and that’s a good thing.
8. Romantique Lip Lustre by Fyrinnae Cosmetics
Romantique is a semi-sheer shade of warm pink with a gold shimmer that looks romantic and pretty and nearly universally flattering. Best of all, this is not a goopy lip gloss that your hair will get stuck in. Fyrinnae’s lip lusters are a non-sticky lip color that is shiny and moisturizing but is almost as hard as lipstick, which means you can wear them even when it’s windy without having flyaways drag them across your face.
9. Dragonberry lipstick by Amphigory
This dark pink magenta lipstick is dramatic and sexy and will look good on basically everybody.
10. Apoptosis Lip Theory by Life’s Entropy
This science-theme brand allows you to mix and match their products as you see fit, which is great fun even if you run the risk of winding up with a swamp-colored goop. This medium coral looks perfect for spring, and I’m ready for spring even if our cars are still under 20 feet of snow.
11. Metallurgy mineral lipstick by BLSoaps
Rose gold makeup is my everything right now, and this is one of the best metallic lipsticks I’ve ever seen. It’s a blend of gold, bronze, and copper that will look amazing on its own or layered over a different color. I don’t know about you, but I kind of just want to rub this all over my whole face and see what would happen. (I’d probably look like a sexy C3PO, but it’d be worth it.)