top of page

Indie Beauty Brands are Bringing Design Innovation to Market

Design innovation is very much at work in the beauty industry. It has become almost cliché to say that innovation comes from indie brands and beauty startups. But many of the more novel and practical product formats I’ve seen in recent years have indeed come from new brands.

Do It Yourself Personal Care Products are in Demand

Indie beauty brands like Dabble & Dollop in the kids’ space and LOLI Beauty in skincare have made mix-it-yourself products familiar. And a Canada-based startup called Make This Universe is putting truly DIY personal care product formulation into the hands of consumers.

Waterless Beauty is Going Mainstream

Brianne West made plastic-free beauty and personal care a reality with her Ethique brand of solid, bar-format products including hair care, skincare, and body care. In fact, solid and waterless products are becoming more commonplace. And larger brands like Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet now have shampoo and conditioner bars in their product portfolios.

Oral Care Innovators are Quite Common

There are innovative product formats in oral care too. Numerous brands, including Lush, By Human Kind, and Listerine make dissolvable or chewable mouthwash tablets. While a German-made product called One Drop Only is concentrated mouthwash that consumers add to water before using. And brands like Bite and Hello have toothpaste tablets in their product portfolios.

Hair care, Bar Soap, and Skincare Brands have New Ideas Too

Last year, in the hair care category, a new indie brand called OWA launched Moondust Hair Wash, a powdered shampoo. A luxury soap brand called Senteurs D’Orient sells thinly sliced single-use bar soap called soap leafs that work well for travel or for guests. Mary Kay has an innovative skin care product format with its Timewise Vitamin C Activating Squares, thin pieces of film that deliver pure vitamin C to the skin once dissolved in water or serum.

The Makeup Revolution will be Led by Indie Inventors

Vike Beauty launched in 2019 with a makeup remover spray that replaces makeup removal wipes, creams, and balms. And the startup Yubi Beauty has reimaged makeup brushes. This brand makes handle-less makeup applicators that are worn, almost like jewelry on the hand, and allow for a very intuitive gesture when applying makeup and skincare.

LiLu Lip Care sells small pearls of lip color and lip balm that fit discretely in elegant necklaces. While Bésame has brought back mascara cakes.

And this is really just a quick list of design innovation to be seen in beauty today.

Want to stay up to date on the latest news and trends?

Subscribe to Beauty Insights from Deanna Utroske today!

this DUviews item was originally posted to LinkedIn and now appears on


bottom of page