Indie brands continue to reveal their power in the personal care marketplace, bringing unique concepts, customized solutions and exotic ingredients to the forefront of product development. And, according to Yann Pencole, vice president, consumer products at Kline, retail sales of independent beauty brands in the US are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14% by 2027.
So, what are the key success factors behind these game-changing brands?
According Kline’s recent “Beauty Indies: Analysis of Brands to Watch” report, the company founders are often ambassadors promoting a brand in the marketplace.
“All relationships in which they are linked or associated with help them gain access to retailers, investors, contract manufacturers, formulators and more,” Pencole said.
Read on to learn more about rising indie beauty brands. Each is primed to grow in the year ahead thanks to their founder’s unique talents and personal stories.
Medical esthetician and former beauty editor Hillary Clark says that beauty consumers are “overserved and underserviced.” Therefore, she created Beauty HAC’s 6-in-1 “skin-tech” solutions to simplify skin care and amplify results reducing inflamm-aging while improving cellular health. Her products include the popular roller applicators for both face and body alongside anti-aging formulas.
Year Founded: 2021
Names To Know: Hillary Clark, founder
Major Products: Neck/Face Treatment Roller, Eye Treatment Roller
Hero Product: Beauty HAC Duo
Brand Story: Hillary Clark has spent more than two decades working in both skin care and makeup. As a third-generation beauty entrepreneur, celebrity makeup artist and medical esthetician, Clark was the youngest beauty director in Nordstrom’s history and its first personal shopper for beauty.
When Sephora.com entered the US, the retailer recruited Clark as its West Coast beauty editor where she trailblazed a new path and launched the first online beauty marketplace for the retailer.
Both positions presented opportunities to collaborate with some of the beauty industry’s biggest names including Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Dr. Kathy Fields, Dr. Howard Sobel and Carol Shaw. And, Clark’s makeup artistry has graced the runways of major fashion shows and celebrities.
Clark was inspired her to open her own by-appointment beauty atelier, Blush Beauty, on Union Street in San Francisco. Women from around the world clamored to meet Clark and brought suitcases full of products for her to evaluate and curate. Blush Beauty is recognized as the first to provide “edited collections of must-have products” in a boutique setting. Allure regularly featured Blush Beauty in its national directory and her services were covered in the New York Times’ Style section.
Over time, Clark was tapped to lead product development for color brands carried at Sephora which inspired her to seek out expert chemists to begin work on her first love, skin care.
Ever the client advocate, Clark was on a mission to develop streamlined, efficacious solutions that did not require cocktailing a complex multi-step protocol for one’s daily skin care practice, she told Happi. Such was the origin of Beauty HAC, a skin care brand combining holistic bioactives, with cosmeceuticals applied with ergonomically designed rollers to stimulate lymphatic drainage, said Clark.
Not only is “HAC” her initials, it stands for “Holistic And Clinical”—evoking the philosophy of the brand. Free of cosmetic fillers, each of the more than 40 specialty ingredients is hand selected by Clark for bioavailability, compatibility and are powered to compliment and boost the results of her cosmeceuticals.
Ultimately, Clark says she developed Beauty HAC’s products to make the skin act younger longer.
Why We’re Watching: It’s no secret that inflamm-aging is a serious skin care concern for today’s beauty consumers. Beauty HAC is looking to solve this quandary with its multi-tasking products.
The brand launched with two products which feature medical grade stainless steel rollers, helping to effectively aid in lymphatic cleansing to detox and de-puff and stimulate circulation for an immediate glow.
Beauty HAC’s holistic and clinical ingredients are biocompatible and are immediately absorbed and utilized to nourish the skin, said Clark.
“These two SKUs are the perfect addition to any existing regime, by amplifying the effects and benefits of your existing skin care routine,” she told Happi.
What’s Next: According to Clark, “You won’t see Beauty HAC following the pack with traditional brand extensions…get excited for products that will make you wonder ‘why hasn’t someone thought of this before?’”
Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned cosmetics company known for bringing an Anishinaabe tribe worldview into the natural beauty space with its vegan, sustainable and cruelty-free clean color cosmetics. Products are “made for every human and bring boldness to the clean category,” said CEO Jenn Harper.
Year Founded: 2016
Names to Know: Jenn Harper, CEO; Cory Boisselle, CFO; Amanda Lowry, operations manager; Alexandra Griffith, lead chemist
Major Products: Lips, eyes and face makeup
Hero Product: Sustain Complexion Pencils
Stocked At: Online at www.cheekbonebeauty.com, Sephora Canada, and soon, in 600 JC Penney doors in the Thirteen Lune Shop.
Newest Launch: Starlight Illuminating Primer
Brand Story: In line with her Anishinaabe roots (a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples present in the Great Lakes region of Canada and the US), beauty entrepreneur Jenn Harper launched a “less-waste” line of lipsticks in 2020, Sustain Lipstick. According to Harper, Cheekbone Beauty’s aim is to make a difference in the lives of Indigenous youth through donations that support educational opportunities and to create a space in the beauty industry where Indigenous people feel represented and seen.
“Giving back to our community is the centerpiece of Cheekbone Beauty’s mission. Our streams of giving include product donations, monetary donations or project-focused donations,” said Harper.
To date, Cheekbone Beauty has partnered with a wide variety of causes. These include Shannen’s Dream and the FNCFCS, the Navajo Water Project, One Tree Planted and a variety of non-profit organizations across North America.
“As Cheekbone Beauty grows, so do our charitable goals. True to our roots, Cheekbone Beauty’s definition of success is not based on what you attain for yourself, but instead in what you give back to your community,” said Harper.
She continued, “The true impact of our brand is felt through the communications we receive from our shoppers; the emails, DMSs and conversation with Indigenous youth that signify the fulfillment of our mission of representation.”
Cheekbone Beauty is helping Indigenous youth see themselves in a beauty brand. Throughout her life, Harper struggled to accept her Indigenous roots. She was estranged from her Indigenous family for much of her child and adult life.
Harper was in the food and hospitality industry for her whole career, specifically in sales and marketing, before starting Cheekbone Beauty. In 2015, she popped out of bed at 2am, after dreaming of native little girls covered in lipgloss. They had made a huge mess of themselves, but the joy and laughter are what resonated with her, said Harper. At that moment in her life, she was just learning about her grandmother’s experience at Residential school or Indian Boarding school. Learning about the truth and their experiences were very traumatic for First people and their families, she told Happi.
“To this day, many are still affected by generational trauma,” said Harper.
With the information and that dream, Harper was and still is, determined to change the narrative, to show Indigenous people thriving.
Today, the indie beauty entrepreneur works on product development and innovation with a chemist and sustainability experts to reimagine beauty products from the heart.
Why We’re Watching: The Cheekbone Beauty brand is based on an Indigenous worldview, according to the company.
Harper explained, “Our customers are our community and we gather in circles to share what we have. Social media allows us to learn as much as we can about the kinds of products our community would like to see in the world. If we look at nature, it is perfect, everything is used, recycled and repurposed. This is the vison for the Cheekbone Beauty brand, Indigenous roots and sustainable by nature.”
What’s Next: Cheekbone Beauty is working on bringing its products to all beauty shops around the world, starting with more Sephora Canada doors in 2023 and 600 JC Penney doors. In its “Indigenous Innovation Lab,” the company is working on the “Niagara Project,” the extraction of active ingredients for a future foundation. The company is also launching its “Refillable is the new Recyclable” campaign in 2023.
Game Beauty was founded with the dream of bridging the two worlds—playing video games (gaming) and beauty. According to Jamie Battista, CEO and founder, “We create and provide high-performance makeup products inspired by the elements from our favorite video games. We want you to slay in real life while slaying in the virtual world.”
Year Founded: 2019
Names To Know: Jamie Batttista
Major Products: Elemental Pearl Highlighters, Eyeshadow Palettes, Liquid Eyeliner Pens
Hero Product: Harbinger Palette
Stocked At: https://gamebeauty.com
Newest Launch: Game Beauty x Persona 5 Royal limited-edition collection
Brand Story: Battista founded Game Beauty in October 2019 while at a crossroads in her career. She was torn between continuing to work for an international technology company or to practice real estate full time.
She chose neither.
After a timeout from the working world and, like most folks, spending some time on social media posting about her hobbies, Battista realized gaming and makeup are her favorite things—why not combine them?
However, without any physical goods or design concepts ready for presentation, friends and family around her were confused by the concept. She was constantly challenged by questions and comments like “I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve” and “what’re you trying to sell?”
Due to previous job opportunities, Battista attended a few trade shows such as World Dairy Expo, American Library Association Conference, and RFID Journal Live demonstrating products, generating leads and assisting in event organization.
To get Game Beauty started, she went to the place where all the leads would be at the ready: a color cosmetics industry tradeshow. She booked a trip to the very next makeup expo—Makeup in LA—and started sourcing products from global suppliers she met at the event.
While securing a few color makeup providers, she wanted to ensure game-like packaging design. She spent months convincing a professional computer graphics artist to have faith in her new brand and offer some insight.
“It’s always challenging for a new brand to find a reliable supplier. Everyone wanted high minimum order quantity (MOQ) and to work with big names,” said Battista. “But I was able to find a kind and reliable factory from Italy that takes smaller MOQ to start.”
And, just like that, Game Beauty’s first makeup product—the Adventure Palette—was launched into the color cosmetics marketplace.
Why We’re Watching: According to Battista, Game Beauty is the only makeup brand on the market that’s inspired by modern gaming.
What’s Next: At press time, the company launched the Game Beauty x Persona 5 Royal limited-edition collection in partnership with Atlus, a subsidiary of Sega known for delivering “unforgettable, story-driven gameplay experiences,” according to the company. The Persona 5 Royal range includes two makeup palettes, six liquid eyeliner pens, six liquid lipsticks, four single blushes and four eyeshadows making it the brand’s biggest collection to date.
Good Molecules offers products that target various skin issues such as acne, redness, dryness and hyperpigmentation at an affordable price. In an attempt to make results-driven beauty accessible to all, prices start at just $6.
Year Founded: 2019
Names To Know: Nils Johnson, founder
Major Products: Niacinamide Brightening Toner, Yerba Mate Wake Up Eye Gel
Hero Product: Discoloration Correcting Serum
Stocked At: Ulta, Beautylish, goodmolecules.com
Newest Launch: Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Brand Story: Good Molecules was created by longtime beauty industry veteran Nils Johnson, founder of online shopping hub Beautyish.com. According to Johnson, the goal of Good Molecules is to offer consumers products that solve an array of skin concerns using simple formulas with innovative and clean active ingredients.
“The idea behind Good Molecules is simple: it’s skin care that actually works at a fair price. The market is saturated with enough products that do very little and cost too much, so there was a real desire to change this,” he told Happi. “This prompted a team of beauty industry veterans from within Beautylish to come up with the concept for Good Molecules.”
According to Johnson, the company formulates with the same science-backed ingredients used by luxury beauty brands sold at high-end retailers and e-commerce platforms.
“Think galactomyces ferment filtrate or cetyl tranexamate mesylate,” he explained.
Products are also vegan and fragrance-free, and span from serums to toners to eye treatments.
In 2021, Ulta contacted Good Molecules to learn more about the brand. After further research and extensive product testing, Ulta entered into a partnership with the company to carry the brand in more than 1,300 stores nationwide, said Johnson.
Why We’re Watching: According to Johnson, transparency matters at Good Molecules.
“Confusing ingredient labels can mislead customers, that’s why the brand has created unique ‘Nothing to Hide’ Ingredient Lists on its packaging to share how much of each ingredient is used in every product,” he told Happi. “The ‘Nothing to Hide’ Ingredient Lists include every ingredient percentage, large or small in an easy-to-read table from highest to lowest on the side of each product box, so beauty consumers get the most transparent skin care experience possible!”
What’s Next: Look for Good Molecules to introduce new skin care products based on innovative active ingredients that address an even larger range of skin concerns. Introductions will include anti-aging and acne-specific products.
ESW Beauty is a clean beauty skin care brand inspired by wellness. Its sheet masks take their cue from raw juices and plant-based milks. According to brand founders, the product formulations are clean, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable. And, the sheet masks are made of a unique compostable fabric called Cupra. The company recently expanded its retail distribution at Wegmans.
Year Founded: 2019
Names To Know: Elina Sofia Wang, co-founder and CEO; John Hu, co-founder and COO
Major Products: Raw Juice Cleanse Mask Set, Plant-Based Milk Mask Set
Hero Product: The Pink Dream Moisturizing Raw Juice Sheet Mask
Stocked At: Many retailers across North America including Whole Foods Market, Free People, Anthropologie, Eataly, Wegmans, Cost Plus World Market as well as online at www.eswbeauty.com
Newest Launch: Plant-Based Milk Mask Set
Brand Story: Having struggled with stomach ulcers for many years, ESW Founder Elina Sofia Wang began living a cleaner lifestyle in 2018. She paid more attention to the ingredients she cooked, focusing on a more wholesome meal plan. Instead of drinking beverages that were overly sugary and had lots of chemicals, she transitioned to raw juices and teas. At the same time, she began to transition her beauty vanity to clean skin care products. Wang found that there wasn’t a sheet mask line on the market with healthy ingredients.
Wang she set out to create her own personal care collection, tapping into her experience in the beauty category. She told Happi, “Before starting ESW Beauty in 2019 when I was only 22, I worked behind the scenes with family who had a B2B distribution company that focused on K-Beauty. I worked for my mom for over five years there and spent a lot of time researching skin care products, visiting Korea to negotiate distribution agreements with various brands and pitching to retailers such as Costco, Forever 21 and Harmon Face Values.”
The goal was to create beauty products that mix clean ingredients and “good-for-you” foods with a playful flair in packaging. According to Wang, her priority was to build a brand with clean and vegan ingredients, is cruelty free and made with sustainable packaging.
“ESW Beauty’s formula is guaranteed to be non-toxic and will never contain toxic ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde and sulfate detergents,” Wang told Happi. “I chose raw juices as the theme for the first line because they were a huge part of my clean-living journey and are one of my favorite drinks.
“To me, it’s not just about creating products but to tell a story with each line around the foods and drinks that led me through this lifestyle change,” said Wang.
ESW Beauty is a women-founded and owned company with a team that is about 70% female.
According to Wang, female and women empowerment is a “huge factor” behind the brand as it continues to support women by spreading awareness and helping women subjected to domestic violence in a partnership with Women Aware, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization that promotes the safety and self-sufficiency of individuals and families affected by domestic violence. ESW Beauty’s promise is to donate 10% of the profits from eswbeauty.com to Women Aware every month.
Why We’re Watching: Wellness is a key driver of the skin care marketplace right now, as seen in the pages of Happi. ESW Beauty is highlighting its unique formulation of raw juices and teas. The brand’s sheet masks are packaged in juice bottles and milk carton-inspired pouches and its facial tools are packaged in a unique tea-tube design.
Both lines of sheet masks are made from a compostable fabric, Cupra, with recyclable packaging. According to Wang, the Cupra mask fabric is certified compostable in home and industrial environments, and biodegradable in soil and marine environments.
The brand’s facial tools packaging is made from post-consumer recycled paper and printed with soy ink, too.
What’s Next: In the future, ESW Beauty plans to diversify and develop more clean skin care products and lines inspired by Wang’s healthy living journey. It also plans to expand its US retail distribution.
“A healthy lifestyle has always been and will continue to be at the center of the brand and we expect to continue to create high quality skin care products without leaving out the fun,” said Wang. “ESW Beauty wants our customers to feel good about what they are purchasing and putting on their skin.”
This one’s for the influencers with a dream who want to create their own products.
Monique Rodriguez founded Mielle in 2014 after her healthy hair care regimen for her tailbone-length hair went viral. Since then, Mielle has expanded to 11 collections and is distributed in nearly 90 countries. In 2021, Rodriguez became the first Black woman to raise a non-controlling nine-figure investment in a deal with Berkshire Partners.
Year Founded: 2014
Names To Know: Monique Rodriguez, CEO; Melvin Rodriguez, COO
Major Products: Mielle Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil, Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo, Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque; Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Leave-In Conditioner, Pomegranate & Honey Curl Smoothie, Pomegranate & Honey Curling Custard; Mielle White Peony Leave-In; Mielle Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner
Hero Product: Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil
Stocked At: Online mielleorganics.com as well as more than 100,000 stores across the US including Target, Walmart, Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens and Sally Beauty.
Newest Launches: Rosemary Mint Strengthening Conditioner, Pomegranate & Honey Maximum Hold Gel Styler, Rice Water & Aloe Vera Braid Set Foam, Rice Water & Aloe Vera Braid & Scalp Moisturizer
Brand Story: Mielle Organics was founded in Merrillville, IN on “uniquely authentic intentions”—a woman with a healthcare background as a nurse applying her own knowledge and innovation to create the product she didn’t find in the marketplace. Monique Rodriguez’s ingredient experimentation struck a chord with tens of thousands of women, many of whom started asking to purchase her homemade products after seeing them on social media.
Eight years and 11 product line extensions later, Mielle Organics is the fastest growing Black-owned and woman-led beauty brand. The brand’s performance, potential and visionary leadership culminated in a nine-figure investment in April 2021 by Berkshire Partners, making the Mielle CEO the first Black woman to raise a non-controlling nine-figure deal.
“I built this brand so that women can look to Mielle as the brand where they will see a positive and aspirational reflection of themselves. It has been a blessing to create a brand for a new generation of women embracing their natural textures,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has a “highly unique, familial bond” with the fans of the brand and users of the products, she contends. She connects with her consumers directly by going live on social media, responding to comments, reading reviews and attending consumer events for face-to-face interaction.
“As a company, Mielle is deeply dedicated to understanding the lived experiences, needs and motivations of consumers—learning and responding to what they feel is missing in the marketplace,” she told Happi.
Why We’re Watching: Despite not having a business background, Rodriguez has led Mielle through tremendous growth in just eight years. Just this month, the company announced that it now claims the #1 best-selling product across the entire textured hair care category and the top-selling hair oil—Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil.
With one bottle sold every 15 seconds, this product has become a fan favorite among editors and consumers and is a TikTok sensation.
Mielle’s success is a testament to its high-performance products made with an ingredient-first approach and the founder’s active connection with consumers.
What’s Next: Mielle has consistently focused on three tenets—innovation, education and service to the community, said Rodriguez. These will continue to be the guiding principles for the brand.
“So, you can expect to see more by way of pioneering product; regular and useful guidance on textured hair care; and continued investment in supporting health equity initiatives, underserved communities and education/entrepreneurship programming for Black women,” she told Happi.
A women-and family-owned company, Nature’s Beauty is a clean, plant-based and vegan line of cruelty-free bath and body care products, purposefully crafted with “ingredient-centric experiences” sold in the mass market for an accessible price point, according to Founder Melinda Rubin.
Year Founded: 2015
Names To Know: Melinda Rubin, president and founder
Major Products: Cinnamon Coffee Energy Body Scrub, Squalane Kakadu Plum Recovery Bath + Body Oil, Lavender Chamomile Sleep Spray, Lavender Chamomile Sleep Bath Bomb Gift Set
Hero Product: Lavender Chamomile Sleep Spray
Brand Story: Nature’s Beauty is a plant-based line of cruelty-free and vegan bath and body care that transforms the mood and invigorates the body with the clean it deserves, according to Founder Melinda Rubin. She told Happi, “From its start, Nature’s Beauty has focused on bringing consumers high-quality, luxurious products that elevate the bath and shower experience at an affordable and accessible pricing.
We use naturally-derived ingredients and strive to limit the use of harsh chemicals when natural alternatives are available with over 100 ingredients that have been banned so far.”
Rubin has some industry experience in regards to beauty in wellness; she previously worked with naturals pioneer Rachel Perry Cosmetics in product development and marketing.
Taking this angle into current times and conscious of the part companies play in the health of the environment, Nature’s Beauty’s mission statement includes the commitment to being an environmentally-responsible brand focused on evolving past landfill-bound packaging in favor of materials with a net neutral or positive impact on the Earth, making use of PCR components and Avery Dennison’s CleanFlake label technology as standard practice, said Rubin.
CleanFlake technology is billed as “the next-generation film label for rigid packaging, with recyclability built in,” according to the company. It ensures that labels and adhesive separate from PET every time, increasing the yields of pure PET flakes—hence, it is sustainable.
Why We’re Watching: Consumers are shifting priorities toward self-care and creating spa-like environments at home in an effort to capture a sense of normalcy and balance. Research has shown 72% of employees claim they have experienced burnout and a 5% increase in coffee consumption. Nature’s Beauty wanted to address those concerns by developing aromatic-experience body and skin care collections that focus on invigorating, restoring and replenishing the senses.
With over five years of consistent growth, Nature’s Beauty continues to expand its offerings of plant-based bath and body products.
“Each collection is purposefully crafted with ingredients derived from nature to target specific needs with aroma profiles that transform your mood while invigorating the body with the clean it deserves,” Rubin told Happi.
What’s Next: Nature’s Beauty will continue to expand its retail and e-commerce presence by expanding its footprint in Walgreens and Walmart as well as expanding its offerings on Amazon.
“Nature’s Beauty is expected to keep growing in 2023,” said Rubin. “Expect to see expanded luxury shower and bath experiences that are designed to help consumers decompress and turn your ‘me time’ into an escape.”
Noughty is an affordable, high-performance natural and sustainable hair care brand. According to Co-Founder Rachel Parsonage, the company is “committed to creating products that bring consumers joy and confidence as well as exemplifying our values in responsible, ethical sourcing and sustainability. We are vegan and leaping-bunny approved and eco-conscious.”
Year Founded: 2016
Names to Know: Founders Rachel Parsonage and Lorna Mitchell
Major Products: To The Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner, Wave Hello Shampoo & Conditioner, Wave Hello Curl Primer, Wave Hello Curl Jelly
Hero Product: To The Rescue Treatment Mask
Newest Launch: Get Set Grow Collection which includes shampoo, conditioner and tonic.
Brand Story: Noughty was founded in 2016 by Rachel Parsonage and Lorna Mitchell— two women whose friendship dates back over 20 years when Sun-In highlights, terrible perms and frizzy fringes were the hairstyles of the day. Both went on to become beauty industry experts, working for some of the most-beloved natural brands in the world. Armed with passion and knowledge, they were inspired to create an accessible naturals brand centered around high performance.
And so, Noughty was born.
With a background in global sales and operations within the beauty industry for more than 25 years, Parsonage began her career in the hotel and amenity supply industry, licensing brands and developing markets with British icons including Elemis skin care and Penhaligon’s fragrance. In her move to retail, she teamed up with This Works, a luxury aromatherapy-based brand. Mitchell has 20 years of beauty industry experience creating, growing and developing British personal care brands. Before launching Noughty, she worked at Liz Earle as head of color brand and Elemis as head of new product development.
She is well-known in the beauty industry as a creative beauty consultant and strategist leading end-to-end beauty product, brand and marketing development across all categories.
According to Parsonage, “We recognized that the naturals world could be a confusing and a slightly dull place, so our aim was to keep Noughty simple, transparent and looking great on your bathroom shelf.
Every Noughty product is rooted in the science of plant power and we aim to give open and transparent information about the science, ingredients and every formulation decision that powers product performance.”
Why We’re Watching: Noughty says it provides natural hair care that exceeds the performance of any premium, conventional hair or body care brand with a more affordable, natural alternative. In March 2021, the brand began working with Cleanhub to meet a sustainability pledge to become plastic neutral.
“Cleanhub is dedicated to keeping oceans plastic-free and by partnering up, Noughty commits to helping protect our oceans with every product you buy. For every product we produce, we will be removing the plastic equivalent from the ocean,” Parsonage told Happi. “Cleanhub focuses on the most critical regions where the highest possible impact on preventing marine plastic pollution can be realized. South (East) Asia is the gateway for more than 80% of all plastic that enters our oceans. With Noughty’s contribution, we can reduce the mismanagement of plastic waste in these regions to eventually stop this environmental crisis.”
She added, “We always try our hardest to make our product packaging curbside recyclable and we now include PCR (post-consumer recycled) packaging as one of our core materials used.”
What’s Next: Noughty says it is in the planning process for new product launches for 2023.
Celebrity Lisa Rinna is best known for her perky pout. So why not create a successful color cosmetics line to accentuate her best feature? Beauty consumers are clamoring for Rinna Beauty’s lip care products and the brand recently expanded into eye color cosmetics.
Year Founded: 2020
Names to Know: Lisa Rinna, founder; Cheryl Krakow, founder and president, S.E.L. Beauty, Inc.
Major Products: Icon Collection Lip Kits, Iconic Eye Kits
Hero Products: Larger Than Life Plumping Glosses, Lash Out Mascara
Brand Story: With one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood, it seemed obvious for Lisa Rinna to launch her own beauty brand. But even with her entrepreneurial successes—including a retail store and creating a clothing line for QVC—cosmetics was a business she spent years researching before taking the leap with Rinna Beauty in 2020.
“Rinna Beauty is me,” said Rinna. “It’s taken everything that I’ve ever known and learned in my life, on or off-camera. I see Rinna Beauty as a true lifestyle brand. There’s no mold I have to conform to. There’s nothing holding me back from creating exactly what I love and what works for me.”
Rinna is intimately involved with the development of every product, personally trying samples, tweaking formulas, testing colors, textures and long-wear attributes. She has embraced every aspect of the brand since launch, from ingredients to packaging and marketing.
“Rinna Beauty products go beyond nailing a look. There’s a specific focus on lip care with its formulas designed specifically to leave lips healthy and not dried out. What’s more, all Rinna Beauty products are 100% vegan, phthalate- and paraben-free, and PETA-certified cruelty-free,” said Rinna.
In 2022, the brand was also certified cruelty-free by industry watchdog Cruelty-Free Kitty. What’s more, Rinna Beauty is inclusive of female and male customers of all skin tones.
“I envisioned this to be the most inclusive beauty line ever. And I’m talking across the board, every single human on the planet could use Rinna Beauty. We don’t worry about our differences, we celebrate them,” she said.
The product line has grown to include an ever-expanding range of Icon Lip Kits containing a color-coordinated lipstick, liner and gloss. Each kit bears a name for their look, some based on Rinna’s “alter egos” and two popular kits designed and named for her daughters Amelia and Delilah.
Lip Enhancers and Lip Plumping Glosses were recently added to the brand’s repertoire. Fall 2022 saw the launch of the Iconic Eye Kits, three eye quads sold separately in a kit that also includes a double-ended brush, eye crayon, and newly-formulated Lash Out Mascara.
Why We’re Watching: The impressive growth trend for this indie underscores its expansion into other categories. But that’s no surprise as Rinna is best-known for her signature pout. So why not create a beauty line to show them off?
What’s Next: In early 2023, Rinna Beauty will make its foray into body scent products. In addition, retail expansion will be a focus. The company plans to expand from online sales at www.rinnabeauty.com and Amazon with the goal to become a brick and mortar beauty destination.
Rinna Beauty mobile beauty pop up hit NYC coinciding with BravoCon in Fall 2022. The fully-branded truck, created by NY-based marketing agency Sweeter, was stationed near the Javits Center and then SoHo. The celebrity appeared both days to talk about Rinna Beauty’s full product line.
TreCeuticals is touted as the first medical grade skin care brand to include full spectrum CBD throughout all of its products. The comprehensive anti-aging line includes cleansers, moisturizers, facial pads, specialty serums and targeted creams that are said to noticeably reduce the signs of aging in just 30 days.
Year Founded: 2019
Names To Know: Sharon Skaar, co-founder and CEO; Erin Dodd, co-founder and president
Major Products: Priming Cleanser, Infusing Hydrator, Sunday Peel, Everyday But Sunday, Damage Control Tinted Sunscreen, Eye Love, More Hydration Please! Brighten Me
Hero Product: Priming Cleanser, Infusing Hydrator, Sunday Peel, Everyday But Sunday, and Mist Me Baby!
Stocked At: https://treceuticals.com
Newest Launch: TreLift Body Collection
Brand Story: TreCeuticals was founded in late 2019 by Sharon Skaar and Erin Dodd, two retired businesswomen based in Scottsdale, AZ. Both are extremely passionate about inclusiveness, their community, the environment and giving back.
Born on the back of a cocktail napkin sitting around a fire pit, the two friends had a conversation that changed their lives overnight. Skaar and Dodd grew tired of trying different skin care brands that didn’t live up to their promise and were determined to create simplified solutions for all skin types that actually work, Skaar told Happi.
A 25-year Wall Street executive, Skaar cut her teeth in executive management at the nation’s largest financial institution, JP Morgan & Chase. Recognized for her leadership and innovative approach to value-driven solutions, she navigated a male-dominated industry to manage sales teams of hundreds of people across the Western Hemisphere, with a portfolio representing over half a billion dollars. She retired in 2007 to travel the world and get involved with local organizations such as Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. In 2019 Skaar came out of retirement to launch TreCeuticals with Dodd.
Dodd is known in the luxury fashion space for her award-winning approach to engineering cross-functional teams that leverage the power of human connectivity. From opening her first retail store at 19 years old, she forged her own path and rose to the top of the luxury fashion retail world to work within LVMH, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. With more than 45 years of management experience, Dodd worked with leading retailers such as Escada, Neiman Marcus and Fendi. Her journey in the business of skin care was ignited in a partnership with Beverly Sassoon and Stephanie McAnly, for a beauty line with over 80,000 distributors. After a 10-year journey together, the business was acquired by a publicly-traded company.
Dodd and Skaar teamed in 2019 to launch TreCeuticals. In early 2020, the company faced an unprecedented challenge with the covid-19 pandemic. But “quitting was not an option,” said Skaar.
“It was clear we could push through the daily obstacles because of our commitment to the journey,” she told Happi. “From packing orders in the garage, to weighing postage on a Weight Watchers scale and business meetings at the kitchen table, we gathered the right resources to launch a game-changing brand at the forefront of clinically-proven anti-aging ingredients and the aesthetic movement.”
TreCeuticals uses active ingredients—retinol, hydroxy acids and antioxidants—combined with Full Spectrum CBD. All are formulated at pharmaceutical grade levels to give customers the results they want in just three simple steps, three minutes a day, said Skaar.
“Coined ‘The Power of Three,’ we believe that taking care of your skin should be easy and designed the line with simplicity at its core,” said Skaar.
Why We’re Watching: Along with being the first patent-pending line of medical grade full spectrum skin care, TreCeuticals is woman-owned, vegan, naturally-derived, non-GMO, gluten-free, Leaping Bunny-certified (cruelty-free) and proudly made in the US. Each month, a portion of TreCeuticals’ sales is donated to various female-focused foundations.
What’s Next: In 2023, TreCeuticals is focusing on self-care. Along with the recently launched TreLift Body Collection, wellness is at the forefront of the brand’s expansion, said Skaar.