- Advertisement information: this post discusses items gifted to me with no obligation to share them (marked *). In addition I have / have had a brand relationship with Deciem / the Ordinary, Beauty Bay, REN, Beauty Pie, Bybi Beauty, Paula's Choice and Cult Beauty (gifting). My blog has Skimlinks and RewardStyle installed to automatically monetise purchases of products I link on my blog, therefore this post may contain affiliate links. All opinions remain my own and please refer to my Disclosure Page for further detail -
Today I thought it would be fun to spotlight some brands I think are doing really cool things in the beauty industry, who either have, are or I think will change the way we view and purchase skincare...
In terms of pricing - the brand I have to talk about is the Ordinary! I'm sure that's no surprise to you. I think before the Ordinary, we were definitely more in the mindset of looking at purported benefits of a product over looking into the ingredients themselves. For example, if a moisturiser was called 'deep hydration day cream', we kind of assumed that the product must deeply hydrate the skin, as opposed to looking at whether it contains hyaluronic acid or shea butter or glycerin or whatever else could be considered a moisturising agent. I think that's actually really powerful and has led us as consumers to dig a little deeper into what it is we're putting on our faces. Not only that, but the big thing was that an ingredient like retinol would no longer set you back £50+. The products were basic, functional and, above all, very accessible in their price, opening up a whole new group of people to the wonders of skincare actives. Since the launch of the Ordinary, dozens of brands have tried to replicate their central concept, but none of them would have existed without Deciem taking that first step!
Find out moreReviews of products from the Ordinary are here
My standouts from the Ordinary:
Squalane Cleanser | £5.50 | full review
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% | £5 | full review
Pycnogenol 5%* | £8.50 | full review
AHA 10% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution | £6.25 | full review
- CUSTOMER FEEDBACK = NEW PRODUCTS -Volition Beauty only recently launched in the UK, and I've only tried a handful of their products, but so far I'm impressed. The concept behind this prettily-packaged brand is 'your wish is our command'! They invite customers to submit ideas for products, then everyone gets to vote on them and the most popular products are brought to market. I think this is such an innovative way to do product development right now. Social media has given the consumer a voice in a way they never had one before; there's a constant feedback loop that some brands listen to and some brands ignore! Volition Beauty has totally embraced this concept and taken it a step further.
Find out moreReviews of products from Volition Beauty are here
- FRAGRANCE-FREE LUXURY -I think sometimes it's taken for granted that Drunk Elephant was one of the first (and is still one of only a small handful of) brands to say 'hey we're luxury but we're focused on effective ingredients and eliminating potentially harmful ones'. There was definitely a time at which, if you had the money to spend on luxury products, you'd go exclusively to the likes of La Mer and Sisley, which are obviously packed full of fragrance and have lots of question marks over the efficacy of their contents. If you wanted fragrance-free products, you'd have to head to a pharmacy and pick yourself up something from a brand like Cerave or Cetaphil. Drunk Elephant slipped into the gap in the market that was somewhere in-between, bringing us great active ingredients and luxury formulas without fragrance, drying alcohols or essential oils.
Find out moreReviews of products from Drunk Elephant here
My standouts from Drunk Elephant:
T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum* | £76 | full review
C-Firma Day Serum* | £67 | full review
Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil | £34 | full review
F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial | £44 | full review
- THE BEAUTY MEMBERS CLUB -A brand that emerged a few years back but kind of came into its element recently (both in terms of its products and its business model) is Beauty Pie. When they first launched it was with makeup and I was a little iffy on both the products and on the way in which the membership worked, however they later adjusted this and launched skincare. As a result I've become a big fan! Beauty Pie's own brand makeup and skincare is available at very affordable prices for members, though obviously you do have to pay to become a member. You choose a tier of membership (starting at £5 per month with a minimum term of 3 months) and based on this you get a monthly spending allowance. Overall I've been so impressed with their products and, for me, a membership for a few months was well worth it because the formulas are high-quality and the prices incredibly good. I'm actually surprised more brands haven't latched onto this concept, to be honest! Even mainstream brands could use this idea to offer better prices to their big fans who want to become members.
Find out moreReviews of products from Beauty Pie here
My standouts from Beauty Pie:
Superactive Capsules Ceramides + | £7.64 | full review
Triple Hyaluronic Peptide Serum | £13.72 | full review
Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser | £6.02 | review coming soon
Uber Youth Complexion Overhaul Multi-Action Ampoules | £14.46 | review coming soon
- PACKAGING INNOVATION -One of the most important things going on in the beauty world right now revolves around sustainability and I have not one, but two brands that are really paving the way and introducing innovations that I hope other brands will follow suit on. Let's talk about the vegan, cruelty-free indie brand Bybi Beauty first; not only do they ensure that the ingredients used in their products can be sustainably sourced without interrupting the ecosystem of where they come from, but they minimise how far those ingredients travel and are making huge strides in terms of packaging. Most of their products are in glass packaging and those that can't be are in bioplastic packaging, made through a carbon neutral process using sugarcane. Additionally, instead of wood pulp they use grass paper to send out their products, which has a significantly lower carbon footprint. And they do it all at a purse-friendly price! I also wanted to talk about REN Clean Skincare, which is a brand I go way back with - they formulate with proven ingredients, their range is easy to navigate and it's not unaffordable. Their packaging uses post-consumer recycled plastic and can be recycled again once you're done with the product in question. They've also pledged to be Zero Waste by 2021. I'm really excited to see brands innovate in this space and hope more brands take on more sustainable business models like these.
Find out moreReviews of products from Bybi Beauty here
My standouts from Bybi Beauty:
CBD Booster | £12 | full review
Night Nutrition Protein Night Cream | £26 | full review
Reviews of products from REN here
My standouts from REN:
Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask | £36 | full review
Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser* | £25 | full review
Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream* | £36 | full review coming soon
- PROVEN INGREDIENTS ONLY -Paula Begoun is one of the OG beauty voices and has been cutting through product claims and analysing ingredient lists on skincare for decades. So, it only seemed right that she founded Paula's Choice, to show how it should be done! This brand was founded on the idea of proven ingredients that will give you results, formulated without fragrance or other known irritants. It's goal is to be the skincare line that you can trust and one that puts science first. All of the ingredients in this line are backed with many, many studies; there are no mysterious copyrighted ingredients, added extras without proven skin benefits or anything that might be harmful to the skin. I think this line really paved the way for brands like the Ordinary and hopefully this approach to skincare will come to dominate the beauty industry.
Reviews of products from Paula's Choice here
My standouts from Paula's Choice:
Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant* | £28 | full review
Clinical Ceramide-Enriched Moisturiser* | £55 | full review
Which skincare brands do you think have changed the industry?