Our Favorites From the World’s Leading Independent Beauty Marketplace.
In just five years, Indie Beauty Expo has gone from art-house indie to the beauty world’s foremost beauty showcase to see and be seen by media, retailers, buyers, and consumers. Many brands that made their debut at IBE now stock the shelves at major retailers and are at the forefront of current trends.
While it remains true to its original concept as a platform for emerging brands and entrepreneurs, iBE has grown to include packed retail pop-ups at and an organization to assist entrepreneurs with marketing and business strategies.
The Emerging Trends
Just when you thought every beauty trend has had its moment in the sun, fresh ones seem to emerge. We didn’t know what to expect this year, but we spotted some consistent trends shortly after arriving at the Downtown LA showroom. During our promenade through the labyrinth of vendors, we repeatedly noticed luxury organic, globally-inspired, minimal ingredients, and cosmetically elegant CBD brands, plus a few novelty products appearing in the mix.
With more choices than ever, it wasn’t easy narrowing our list down to just a few standouts, but we’re always up to the task of evaluating great products.
Favorite CBD Brand
From headshop to Haute, CBD-infused products have come a long way in just a couple of years. We had a lot to look over and our conscience wouldn’t let us pick just one – plus we’re feeling generous.
Green Stem CBD – The UK-based company makes a tincture with an unheard of 6000mg of CBD. Add to that a decadent bath bomb, flavored tonic water, and irresistible prohibition-era packaging, it’s no wonder they have won numerous awards across the pond.
La La Leaf – The brand’s urban aesthetic is world’s away from your local dispensary. High-quality and organic meets urban chic.
Favorite Ethically Sourced Beauty
Earth Harbor – Another category with several worthy contenders. Lovingly crafted in micro-batches by skilled artisans to maintain quality, purity, and freshness with active marine ingredients and zero fillers. Earth Harbor goes beyond non-toxic and plant-based and is formulated to heal and soothe the mind, body, and spirit.
Favorite Ayurvedic Skincare
Soma Ayurveda – Ayurveda is the world’s most ancient wellness system. While it’s been available in skin products for some time, this the first time it’s been well represented at IBE. All Soma products are sourced in Kerala, the home of Ayurveda, with potent adaptogenic herbs and extracts to meet the standards of a discerning customer. In addition, for every purchase, Soma donates school supplies to orphanages and a hygiene kit to a woman who lacks such necessities.
Favorite Lifestyle Brand
Jolie Maroc – For centuries the women of Morocco have preserved their beauty with homemade masks and oils of botanicals native to the country. Referred to as “liquid gold” argan oil is the key ingredient for their supple skin and hair. Based on this ancient tradition, Jolie Maroc products are handmade by a women’s cooperative in the Anti-Atlas Mountain region. In addition to opulent oils, Jolie Maroc includes a range of masks, soaps, and solid perfume bars.
Vike Beauty – Toss away the cleansing towelettes and start spraying. Makeup Melt is a spray-on makeup remover that frees you from tugging and pulling on delicate facial skin. A few targeted sprays will instantly dissolve even stubborn mascara and lip color and washes clean with a splash of water. Infused with floral and fruit extracts, the skin is left hydrated, soothed, and refreshed.
Favorite Sheet Masks
Midflower -Usually associated with K-beauty trends, sheet masks are now mainstream and an integral part of an effective beauty routine. Midlfower infuses each mask with pure floral water for increased effectiveness, gentleness, and care.
LAPCOS was created for today’s blended and experimental beauty culture. Luxuriously affordable, the brand’s sleek packaging has made it popular across all demographics.
Favorite Intimacy Enhancer
O-Shot – Intimate products and toys were quite copious at the expo. O-Shot is a CBD arousal oil for women that gives that coveted tingly sensation. Sensual and edible, it promises the big “O” on a grand scale.
NipLips –Why second guess your skin undertones when a phone app will do it for you? Download the app, find a private spot, and take a close-up np pick, and presto, your perfect shade is revealed. Plus, the formulas are creamy and nutrient-rich in on-trend shades.
Favorite Body Product
Trademark Dry Body Oil – Easily absorbed and completely customizable, each bottle is formulated with more than 10 precious oils to treat cellulite, stretch marks, tone, texture, and hydration. Start with a base oil and then choose your boost to target your personal skin concern. Then select an aroma of pure essential oils followed by a signature enhancement such as a floral extract, mineral, or crystal.
Favorite Nail Care
Manucruist Green Flash – This very French company wants to save you from damaging gels. Bio-sourced ingredients up to 84% and without any endocrine disruptor, it is easily removed with an acetone-free solution. Use the special Green Flash base and top coats and cure under a LED lamp and voila, you have two weeks of a beautiful, toxin-free manicure.
Favorite Brand from Poland
Sylveco –No jokes, please. Poland is a major manufacturer of cosmetics in Europe. We spotted no less than three, and family-owned Sylveco (Sylva-Natura-Ecologica) could top a list in any category. Using only raw materials without chemical processing and formulated with dermo-cosmetic science and traditional herbs. Sylveco has an entire catalog of skin and body care to target every concern from aging to acne. The retractable Exfoliating Lip Balm is simply the bomb. Their new Gentle BB Cream SPF 15 contains natural pigments and nutrient properties for an all-in-one morning skin routine.
Zatik Natual – Solar Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is the only non-chemical sunscreen we have tried that leaves no white residue. Super light and blendable, USDA Organic and Leaping Bunny certified.
Favorite Beauty Supplements
Hech® – Admittedly, the Euro-chic packaging is what tempted our eye. But we all know inner beauty is what counts, and Hech® has it in spades. The German-based company is owned and backed by women scientists and is a pioneer in the European market. The Pure Woman Collagen Collection promotes beauty from the inside out with formulations far and above vitamin store standard.
Favorite Unisex Brand
Normalife – Created by fashion designer Norma Kamali, Normalife is a democratic and inclusive concept in skincare. Suitable for men and women of all ages, colors, and skin types and based on the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle – sleep, diet, and exercise. Simple and pure, it’s an ethos whose time has arrived.
Favorite Veteran Brand
evanhealy – In a showroom full of newbies, a few veterans popped in to remind us who got the organic beauty trend started. Anyone who has ever stepped inside a Whole Foods Market has seen evanhealy at one point. An architect of the holistic beauty movement, All their products are still handcrafted and based on ancient rituals that treat the skin and lifecycle as nature’s gift rather than something to be conquered.