What is Indie Beauty?

Posted by Megan Stratford on

What is indie beauty? Little Indie Beauty

What is Indie Beauty? 

Everything you need to know about indie beauty

By 2025, it’s predicted that beauty will be a $716 billion industry. Whoa now! But, what if we told you that indie beauty brands are changing the entire beauty industry? Even despite the zillions of shiny products out in the world. Yep, it’s true! Let’s explore exactly what indie beauty is, why you should care and why having it in your cart could help change the world.

Picture this – You’re sipping your morning cuppa joe and scrolling on Instagram as usual – 

When – out of nowhere – a fresh beauty product fills your screen.

“OoOo what’s this? I haven’t seen THIS before!”

Well, beauty – you’ve just discovered a new indie beauty brand!

Maybe you’ve stumbled across indie beauty before (online, in ads and on your lunch break with Steph). But you’re still confused about what actually makes a beauty brand indie and all you want to do is ask someone –  

“Seriously. What is indie beauty?!”

Demystifying Indie Beauty

If you’ve ever questioned the true meaning of indie beauty, you’re not alone. And with so much conflicting information out there, you just want a straight answer! Don’t worry, beauty – you’re about to find out. 

Here we’ll unbox why shopping indie matters and how to find indie beauty brands that make your heart skip a beat. Better yet, we’ll explore the types of social good indie beauty brands are doing and how you can help shape the future with your next purchase!

What is Indie Beauty?

If we’re taking a truly factual standpoint, here’s the definition of indie beauty.


The definition of indie beauty is:

Indie beauty

/ˈɪndi/ /ˈbjuːti/



1. Independently owned beauty brands and retailers.


But to us at Little Indie Beauty, it’s so much more than that! Along with being independently owned, indie beauty creators are passionate and have big missions. They’re people making real change in the world. And with a goal to create clean skincare that actually works!


On the flip side, here’s what indie beauty is NOT:


  • Unreliable, homemade goop 
  • Guessing what works
  • Just playin’ around!



Indie Beauty is:


  • Professionally formulated – No dodgy kitchen concoctions around here! Indie beauty products are science-backed formulations made following national skincare regulations. For example, here’s more information about Australia’s and here’s New Zealand’s


  • A new wave of green chemistry – Performance-focussed clean products that work.  FYI: Here at Little Indie Beauty, all our brands jump through important hoops and tick boxes to make their way into our store.


  • Supported by a creative, purposeful community – Cultivating a strong culture around innovative products designed to fulfill a purpose is a huge element of the indie beauty movement. Creators cut through misleading marketing info and are genuinely on a mission to do good in the world! 


What is Indie Beauty to Indie Beauty Creators?


When questioning ‘what is indie beauty,’  we thought, who better to ask than the indie beauty creators themselves! Here’s three of our beauty heroes and their thoughts on what makes an indie beauty brand. 

“To us, indie beauty means a small skincare business. Usually an indie brand is motivated by a movement, like clean, eco-friendly and animal-friendly [practices]. For us it’s all about responsible, effective skincare.”  - Chemist Confessions




“The essence of an indie beauty brand is that they’re refreshing, innovative and daring. Working with far less resources than a beauty corporation forces us to be significantly more creative and adaptive.” - Speak




“An indie beauty brand’s identity goes beyond simply being independently owned and operated. It encompasses an attitude, a lifestyle, and ideals that consumers can relate to and feel part of.”  - Naya



Interesting, right? So, now that you know exactly what indie beauty is, let’s zoom in on why shopping indie beauty matters. And explore why it’s the way of the future, beauty!


The Indie Beauty Market

It's a super exciting time for indie skincare brands, for us (and the world!). Actually, indie startups are reshaping the beauty industry for consumers, the planet and faces on a global scale. 

Did you know: By 2024, the indie beauty market alone will be a whopping $21 billion industry (yes, really!). So, it’s no surprise that big beauty companies are interested in (and snapping up!) indie brands. 

Consumers are leading change, baby!

Turns out, conscious beauty lovers (like us!) are creating a demand for diverse and clean skincare products. And guess what? It’s making real change in the beauty industry. 

From ingredients and manufacturing through to packaging and your experience as a customer, indie beauty’s stepping up in the *clean* space. But here’s a question you might be asking – what exactly is clean beauty?


Clean beauty in the indie beauty market


Generally speaking, clean beauty products are considered those formulated thoughtfully, and without harmful or irritating ingredients. Some stores even have requirements around the maximum and minimum ingredients a clean product must have! 

Clean beauty comes in many forms for indie beauty brands. For us? We keep our stocked brands clean by ensuring their products have:

  • No parabens
  • No sulphites
  • Minimal preservatives 
  • Sustainable packaging where possible.

Check out our clean credentials here.


Huge brands are choosing indie


Indie brand turned high-profile company,  Drunk Elephant was recently bought in 2018 by Shideido for $845 million.  Likewise, NZ indie beauty brand Snowberry was bought by multi-million dollar company, Procter & Gamble (P&G). 

Meaning? High performing indie brands are a huge deal! Large corporations are following indie beauty’s lead on going clean. Quite often this is influencing their product formulations too.  

By beginning to embrace the diversity that comes with indie beauty products, its style and marketing, this has led to a whole new perspective on creating beauty products.


What is indie beauty? How indie beauty is changing the skincare world infographic


Why shop Indie?


You might be thinking “ladies, I am picking up what you’re putting down! But why should I shop indie over the brands I’ve known, loved and splashed my face with for years?” Good question, and we’ve totally got you.

1. Indie beauty is for consumers, by consumers

One of our favourite things about indie beauty brands is that their creators are totally empathetic. And a lot of them have actually created their products because they couldn’t find what their skin craved! Brands like Chemist Confessions wanted simple skincare – without all the marketing smoke and mirrors around ingredients! So the indie lovers formulated skincare for savvy women on the go just like them – maybe even just like you!

2. Supporting diversity in beauty

Since indie beauty is hugely focused on the consumer (thanks!), a lot of their products solve problems that existing products never could. For example, people with eczema-prone skin now have dreamy products specifically formulated for their skin type. Yes, you can have eczema and cute skincare!  A wider range of skin tones are being met with the perfect product and essentially, a wider variety of people are benefiting from the diversity that indie beauty skin care offers. 

2. No mystical ingredients 

Indie beauty creators have full control of their ingredient list. How cool is that?! Sure, some products need chemicals (to preserve and bind ingredients). But indie brands are open about this – About their process and the why behind their need for these ingredients. Think about it, right now could you read the back of your cleanser and understand what each ingredient means? With indie brands like NAYA, they’re super transparent about their seed to skin philosophy, so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.

3. Sustainable, planet-happy practices

We think it’s pretty cool to support small – a dream, a creator and a business! An added bonus of shopping small is that sustainable practices are more attainable. Some eco-lovin’ indie brands, like NAYA, even work directly with farms, agriculture research firms or universities to improve ingredient sustainability, support local communities and develop new ingredients! Innovation at its sparkliest!

4. Support brands who align with your values

Do you think looking after the planet is important? Love feeling empowered by your beauty routines? When you buy from an indie beauty brand, you’re instantly part of something bigger than just that product. You’re a part of serious social good and change! So you can feel good, about doing good. We love Speak’s brand values – self-love, environment and community. It guides everything they create and we’re all about supporting their vision!

The Future of Indie Beauty

The next chapter for indie beauty is filled with excitement! And there’s no slowing down in sight. The more consumers push for greener, planet-friendly products, the more creators we’ll see doing something about it! Here’s some things you can expect on the horizon:

1. Responding to your needs

Indie beauty brands are fast moving and create according to what the market wants! No barriers. No limits. Just your problems and their solutions. AKA they respond to what you need. We see indie beauty continuing to formulate based on what you want – and better yet, since you’re supporting small, you can get in touch with indie creators with your questions, feedback and more.

2. Sharing social good

Indie beauty is leading social and eco-change in the beauty industry. This is a huge movement which has influenced the beauty industry as a whole. Indie beauty will continue minimising the carbon footprint of beauty brands and consumers, while working to improve the lives of local communities in third-world countries.

3. Connecting communities

When you support an indie beauty brand, you become part of something bigger. For the creator and the consumer. You connect with likeminded people who share your values… You become an indie beauty warrior! 

Discover your new beauty heroes today


Ready to join the indie beauty movement? Don’t know where to start? With so many indie beauty brands on the market, it’s hard to know which ones to choose! 


At Little Indie Beauty, we’re here to unlock the world of indie beauty, share stories about the products, the real people who’ve created them and be your go-to when looking for the very best in indie beauty!


Discover your new beauty heroes today!