When it comes to makeup, most of us are willing to plunk down a pretty penny for high-quality.  I am becoming increasingly more careful about the products that touch my skin as I get older, but I have also learned that expensive does not always mean better. In a time when small businesses, artisan products and support-your-local-company trends are capturing our attentions, it seems wrong not to give indie makeup brands a try.


Image via Pixabay under license CC0

Indie makeup is made by small, independently-run companies, and many of them are vegan. In addition, none of the brands listed here have been tested on animals. As the internet continues to make the world seem smaller, more of these companies are popping out of the woodwork, helping to set a green example.

Have you ever needed an extra hint of brightness from your eye shadow or lipstick, but your normally trusted brand just didn’t pull through? Try an indie product! Many of these shadows, lipsticks and liners boast vibrant, eclectic and artistic shades that you may be hard-pressed to find in most stores. They  are also void of fillers or other cringe-worthy ingredients. Now that’s something to smile about.

Glamour Doll Eyes

This company has been around since 2008, bringing lustful eye shadow color to the world from Sin City itself, Las Vegas. Now Glamour Doll Eyes sells other products including lip gloss and blush, but eye shadow continues to be their specialty. With ingredients like beeswax and carmine, they are not vegan, but their eye shadows are FDA approved. Purchase eye shadow for $6 a piece, or experiment with their sample-sized collections which come with three to 10 different shades, many under $10.

flowers and makeup

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

OCC are seasoned professionals in the indie makeup world. They have been in business for 12 years and boast success as a choice of professional makeup artists for TV, advertising and film.

At first fans were, yes, obsessed with their original two lip balms, but now OCC sells a wide range of cosmetics, makeup brushes and nail polish for us to fall in love with. This brand is 100% vegan and has been given the PETA stamp of approval.

Are you in the biz? OCC gives 40% discounts to professional makeup artists, hairstylists, models, and photographers, to name a few.


Shiro Cosmetics

“Making nerds sparkle since 2010” is Shiro’s motto, and it’s clear to see why. The inspiration for their colors and collections stems from all the things these handcrafting makeup masterminds enjoy, from music to food to even books, and all in between.

Their company is run from indie-friendly Portland, Oregon, but they ship to most locations (nationwide and international). In addition to sending you quality makeup made by hand, they offer goodies like free shipping domestically (on orders over $50) and free samples.

Shiro Cosmetics are also 100% vegan.

shiro cosmetics

Image courtesy of Shiro Cosmetics


Makeup Geek

Founded by makeup vlogger Marlena, Makeup Geek educates people on proper makeup application, in addition to selling their own products. Their company, including labs and manufacturers, do not test on animals, making them yet another cruelty-free organization. The hot products on their makeup palette are the foiled and duochrome eyeshadows, which run around $10 and $6 per color, respectively.
full spectrum ten pack makeup geek

Full Spectrum Eye Liner Pencil Set | Image courtesy of Makeup Geek

To get one of their many inspired looks, eyeshadow starter packs and bundles are available starting at $28 for the most basic and reaching $160 for the 27-color pans.
makeup geek eye shadow

Duochrome Pigment in Wildfire | Image courtesy of Makeup Geek

The next time you have a party or event, highlight your appearance with one of these, or other, indie makeup brands. Save some money, support a small company, and feel good knowing that you’re contributing to green, world-friendly efforts.