5 Alternative Beauty Brands to Watch

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette

Photo of the Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette from MishMreow

One of KITSCH.inc’s longest standing clients is CutECOsmetics, the small but perfectly formed online retailer of “cosmetics with a conscience” they specialise in cruelty free, vegan, organic and vegetarian make-up and skincare stocking some of the world’s coolest alternative brands. Naturally, as a beauty and make up nerd I love celebrating their awesome ethos and selection of kick-ass brands. We’re going to interview those guys soon for a blog post, but in the meantime here’s my guide to 5 of my current fave alt beauty brands and why you should be adding them to your daily routine, pronto!


1. Sugarpill Cosmetics

I’ve been a fangirl of Sugarpill founder, Amy aka Shrinkle since the days of MySpace, she’s just the most adorable and eccentric doll like lady with such fantastic style and personality heavily inspired by Japanese street style, if you don’t already follow her on Instagram you need to correct that ASAP as I promise she’ll make your stream a million times more inspiring. Sugarpill’s been in my daily use make up routine for years, they specialise in high quality BRIGHT coloured pressed eyeshadows and a variety of finishes in their pigments aka Chromalust. This year they’ve also launched their first lip products which I’m dying to get my hands on and last year they launched nail polish too. The packaging is the perfect balance of playful girliness and punk rock and the cruelty free (and mostly vegan) selection will keep you creative with you look for days. They have a gorgeous online presence to boot, always responding to as many people as physically possible and sharing top notch visuals often created by collaborating with some of the best alternative talent (Amelia Arsenic, Kerli and Pennold are frequent Sugarpill collaborators) in the world to inspire your creativity. If you’re looking for a UK stockist our pals at CutECOsmetics stock a good selection.


Lunatick Cosmetics Lab Photo from our coverage for CutECOsmetics on Beauty’s Bad Habit

2. Lunatick Labs Cosmetics

A newer discovery for me and one I found via our client CutECOsmetics, Lunatick Labs is another stateside indie make up company but this time, they’ve gone for a gothic, horror inspired aesthetic. We worked with CutECOsmetics on a blogger PR campaign when they launched this brand in the UK for the first time and it’s been a best-seller for them since the start. Lunatick Labs create loose glitter, liquid lipsticks, lipstick and eyeshadow palettes all inspired by old Hammer horror imagery. Their palettes are their most unique offering assembled in coffin shaped containers with ouija board designs, the colour offerings vary from neutrals to neons so despite their rather gothic appearance they really do have something for everyone. The brand started off entirely handmade but have recently grown enough to professionally manufacture some of their items. Their online presence is heavily driven by the support of make up gurus on Instagram gathering the support of such Insta-icons as Rose Shock, Tori Biohazard and whole host of others than you can peruse on their Instagram channel. As an added bonus this brand is also cruelty free, talc free and entirely vegan.


3. Crazy Rumors

Everyone uses lip balm right? Well, why not make it fun as well as doing good at the same time. Although not alternative in the same way as some of the others on this list, Crazy Rumors fights the mainstream lip balm offerings with something natural, vegan and certified cruelty free with a sense of fun and simple, bold design. At less than £3.50 a pop you can easily build up a collection of tasty flavours from cinnamon bun to bubblegum. I don’t even want to know how many of these little beauties lurk in my many bags, make up kits and drawers. Another American brand, these little cuties have previously been a bit tricky to get hold of in the UK but you can not get them from places like CutECOsmetics, Holland & Barrett and little randomly, American Apparel. Cheap and cheerful, I like how this brand powers through their ethical beauty message with a sense of fun and no nonsense branding and design.


4. Kat Von D Beauty

My current beauty obsession. I’ve lusted after Kat Von D Beauty for YEARS online, but until very recently the range was only available in Sephora in Canada and America making it expensive and complicated to get hold of outside of those regions. Unlike other brands on the list this one is a lot bigger in scale, owned by the same company as Sephora and brands like Marc Jacobs Beauty and Ole Henricksen. Kendo Holdings were smart to team up with celebrity tattooist Kat Von D for the ultimate alternative beauty brand with mass appeal. The design and personality is through and through alt, but the Sephora partnership and diverse range of textures and colours means this brand reaches the eyes and pockets of a extremely diverse fanbase. Right now I’m totally digging their liquid lipsticks, the best formula I’ve tried in a long time and I heart their coloured coded Instagram stream that they have going on at the moment. The brand recently launched in Sephora Spain, so that’s where I picked up my first haul, but there are rumours of a UK launch in Boots, exciting! I can’t fault this brand and that’s probs due to the massive amount of expertise and money they have behind them from such a long standing partnership with a brand as big and epic as Sephora.


Photo of Little Ondine from my blog Jayne Kitsch

5. Little Ondine

A newcomer to the UK beauty world and recently picked up by QVC this brand is another offbeat, alternative brand their ethos is all about natural, odourless, non-toxic nail polish that is fast drying and easy to peel off to remove meaning you can have all the fashion colours and textures when it comes to nails but without the harsh chemicals and odours associated with conventional nail polish. What makes these guys alternative is that their concept is completely new and fighting the mainstream connections with the product category. At first I wasn’t sold, as the performance wasn’t as long lasting as conventional polish but once you pick up their base/top coat and learn the best way to apply and kind of re-educate yourself with what nail polish is about you’ll quickly convert. I adore how quickly they dry and how quick it is to remove should you need to re-touch a mess up and my boyfriend loves that he doesn’t have to suffocate in a cloud of toxic fumes everytime I fancy a DIY manicure. In addition to this unique product, their design is modern, clean and I just love that too, a very good place to start. If you fancy giving them a go you can get 10% off with my code AJR10. 

Hope you enjoyed reading about some of these brands and I hope you discovered something new to check out, if you’ve got an alternative or offbeat beauty brand that needs a hand, be sure to check out our Services to find out how we could work together.

Written by Jayne Robinson

Co-Creator @wearefoodscouts & @KitschInc. Digital Marketing & Creative Direction. Illustration, writing, creativity & style. Fan of films, TV, cartoons, colourful hair & clean beauty. Blogger since 2009.

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