9 Under-the-Radar Beauty Brands We're So Impressed By

When it comes to curating your beauty bag, it's important to consider its contents carefully. Of course, it's absolutely okay to include products from incredibly iconic beauty brands in your edit (hundreds upon thousands of people contributing to making, marketing and selling them after all). Still, now more than ever, it's crucial to balance out those conglomerates with businesses that operate on a significantly smaller scale, and that will directly benefit from any money you decide to spend with them.

Owing to the sheer excellence of the independent beauty scene right now, smaller brands are producing potent, high-performing products that give the latest multi-million-pound launches from beauty's big names a run for their money.


(Image credit: @claire_most)

That said, making the leap from a household name to a little-known isn't necessarily easy, especially when we're all being more considerate when it comes to our spending. We get it, it's a risk, and you want the beauty you invest into work, not let you down. Which is why we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some of our favourite independent beauty brands. 

From skincare and hair to makeup and nails, with some wellness thrown in for good self-love measure, below you'll find a selection of the independent beauty brands our editors' love, plus the products they regularly use from each. 


Best friends Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan had a shared-vision create natural beauty products inspired by their African roots, for which we're grateful as, without it, Liha wouldn't exist. A curated edit of hardworking products, each item is handmade in small batches from vegan and ethically-sourced ingredients, our favourites include the Idan oil and the corresponding, zen-inducing candle. 


Born out of a need to create gorgeous makeup that was transparently and sustainably made, Kjaer Weis's high-performing and organic-ingredient-packed face, eye and lip products are just waiting to become essentials in your beauty routine. With packaging as gorgeous as this, you'll also be pleased to hear the collection also boasts refill products, meaning you can top up as you use whilst reducing waste.


After becoming frustrated at the lack of hair products made specifically with curls in mind, Bouclème founder Michele Scott-Lynch, set about making her own. Using all-natural ingredients, Bouclème is home to intensely replenishing products that penetrate hair to condition coils, waves, ringlets or kinks. 


While there's no denying that Neighbourhood Botanicals' products are beautifully packaged, they're far from purely decorative. The potent formulations are packed with ingredients that'll enrich your skin, leaving it looking glowier than ever before. The range is vegan and cruelty-free, and all the packaging is recyclable. Tick, tick, tick. 


Kure Bazaar is a complete game-changer within the beauty industry. The brand was founded by a former model who, when pregnant, was concerned about how little she knew about the chemicals that were being painted onto her nails via polish. So, she decided to create her own. The eco-friendly formulas are made up of 90% of natural ingredients (based on wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes, corn, bamboo and vitamin E), and are free of the harmful substances usually found in nail lacquers. Now, Kure Bazaar has also unveiled a new product lineup of gorgeous lip colours to match. 


We've long been professing the benefits of sleeping on a silk pillowcase, and Teya creates one of our favourites. Essential for maintaining healthy hair with unbelievable shine, silk is less likely to snag and pull your strands, meaning less breakage. Switch out your elastic bobbles in favour of its silk-covered scrunchies, and you'll soon see the difference.


Born in London in 2017, Vanderohe was first created by Olivia Thorpe after she developed severe allergic dermatitis and couldn’t find natural products that got along with her newly sensitised skin. The rest, they say, is history. Now stocked at Net-a-Porter, which should be considered a major coup, the products are all handcrafted by Thorpe herself, and blend certified organic ingredients cherry-picked from around the world. Try the No.1 Nourishing Face Serum, and you'll instantly understand how special this brand is.


On a mission to elevate every woman's bath-time ritual to a luxury experience, Sister & Co's sublimely scented products feel premium but have accessible price tags. The beyond-pretty packaging also makes Sister & Co the ideal gift for anyone who values their downtime. What's more, Sister & Co give £1 back to Solace Women’s Aid from each sale. 


Meaning good skin in Latin, Bonum Pellis delivers exactly that. The collection of hand and body washes and creams is perfectly formulated to nourish and restore the skin's health. Made in the UK, and housed in recyclable glass, every product is vegan and cruelty-free and will look seriously chic as can be sitting on your sink or on the edge of your tub.

Next Up: I Practically Collect Candles—Here Are the 8 Brands I'm Currently Burning

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.