Indie Beauty Brands

Here at The Lifestyle Edit, we’re pretty lucky to have access to a whole host of contributors and experts to tap for our content. It’s pretty rare though, that we give up an entire feature to them (usually we like to nab at least half the copy for ourselves.)

This was not the case when we started putting together this guide. We wanted to bring together the ultimate edit of under-the-radar favourites from the editors and experts in the field who really knew their facts. Every beauty cupboard needs a little shake up, and with such enthusiasm from the girls, this guide is all about giving brands the limelight. Our sole piece of advice? Make room for them in your bathroom cabinet – these are the new names to know.



Jessica Diner, Editorial Director at Birchbox


Dr Jackson’s Natural Skincare is a brand that’s been beloved to me since it first launched. Even though it has grown in popularity, it still remains an ‘indie favourite’, for its beautiful, simple packaging, the fact that there are still only seven SKUs in the range and that everything is still bottled at home in Dr. Jackson’s farm in Bristol. The ingredients are incredible and the oil is a staple in my skincare regime.”

“A new-to-Birchbox brand is Huygens. I first came across it on a recent recce trip we did to our Paris office, when we visited their boutique in the hip Marais area. This brand – and the facial exfoliator in particular – is a French Beauty Editor favourite. Given how discerning the French are about their skincare, that was a good enough recommendation for me. This scrub makes skin radiate luminosity. I was hooked immediately.”

“Finally is Beauty Protector. This brand defines Birchbox for me – it’s the ultimate discovery. Exclusive to Birchbox in the UK, it’s arrived from our office in the States and is the one brand people go crazy for. At least one of the products in the range will be consistently in our top 10 bestsellers, which speaks volumes. For me, the shampoo is the ultimate (it’s moisturising but doesn’t weigh down hair) but the Protect & Detangle spray is also a winner.”



Rana Haddad, Beauty Press Officer at Liberty



“I’m also a big fan of Dr. Jackson’s, but on my list are Surrat and Vilhelm Parfumerie. Surrat was created by A-List make-up artist Troy Surratt, and the collection is an exhaustive, professional standard line. Think bold shades and face-saving essentials. They are beautifully pigmented and also all really great handbag and travel sizes, which I just adore!”

“Vilhelm Parfumerie is a collection of eight beautiful fragrances for men and women. The brainchild of the Swedish former Chanel model Jan Ahlgren, these beautiful fragrances come in a bottle that is a work of art in its own right.”



Cassie Powney, Acting Beauty Editor at Cosmopolitan



“With so many indulgent and complex fragrances on the market, I often seek solitude in The Library Of Fragrance. This quirky collection of singular scents manages to capture every day smells so authentically. Every time I get a noseful of one, it reminds me never to underestimate the emotion-stirring power of our olfactory sense.”

Make Up Forever is the brainchild of Parisian artist and body painter Dany Sanz. The HD Foundation has a cult following, but for me, the immense colour and high-shine of the Artist Plexi-Gloss Lip Lacquer puts it in a league of its own.”

“These days, most British beauty launches are inspired by an existing Korean one. Erborian Skincare is a satisfying fusion of South Korean beauty remedies and French luxury. Yes, the back-of the-bottle blurbs don’t always make sense, but the Sleeping BB Mask I recently tried turned out to be the best hydrating complexion booster I’ve tried in a while.”



Holly Davies, Senior Beauty Press Officer at Harvey Nichols



“I really love Klairs, especially their Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum. I am susceptible to hyperpigmentation during the summer months, and this serum is such a good find. There’s a good reason Korean skincare is having such a moment – their Honey Mask is another favourite of mine.”

“I discovered NUXE some years ago in Paris and have been a devotee of the range ever since. Their shimmering dry Huile Prodigieuse Or Oil can be used in so many ways – I mix it with my foundation, smooth the tiniest amount through the lengths of my hair or use alone on my cheekbones to brighten. It smells delicious too!”

“As I’ve gotten older and more knowledgeable about fragrance, I’ve stepped away from wearing the more well-known brands. Harvey Nichols have always championed bespoke fragrances and Manhattan-based MiN New York is the latest range. They only produce a single batch of each scent per year and each bottle is hand crafted, signed and numbered so you know you are wearing something really special.”



Jessica Lacey, Freelance Beauty Editor and Founder of



“You know everyone has that one beauty brand that they lust after every single product in existence? Well, Aesop is mine. I’m addicted. The apothecary style packaging is super cool and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want those timeless big brown glass bottles on their bathroom shelf. I have even been known to refill them with lesser products once I’ve used them all up, sssshhh don’t tell!”

“I am yet to come across a piece of make-up from LA brand Hourglass that I don’t love. It all began when I stumbled across their incredible Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil – now I’m a huge fan of both the Ambient Lighting Palette and the Liquid Lipsticks (you can eat and drink all day – they just don’t budge). The products are the perfect combination of luxurious textures and innovative formulas.”

Nailberry sparked my interest as a brand that prioritised creating nail polishes that were good to your nails. Their formulations allow both water and air to pass through, and don’t contain any of the chemicals you find in most big nail brands. Even if you don’t care about the health aspects, the colours speak for themselves. Easy to apply and lasting for days, if I could only wear one nail brand for the rest of my life, Nailberry would happily be it.”

Portraits of Birchbox editorial director, Jessica Diner by David Nyanzi with art direction by Naomi Mdudu