As regular readers know, I've been devoting a lot of time and energy to my online indie makeup store, Beauty Bohemia. If you already know all about indie makeup and why it's awesome, then you might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of people, I'm learning, who don't really know what indie makeup is, much less why they'd be interested in it. So - here I go, attempting a bit of an explanation. You can consider this an Indie Makeup 101!
Indie Makeup is makeup that's handmade by small businesses. Most of the cosmetics in the stores are made in big factories by huge companies. Indie Makeup is made in small sterile workshops, and the operations are usually run by young women.
So why would you buy Indie Makeup instead of heading to your local department store makeup counter? Here's some of the reasons I love indie makeup:
1. It's Handmade.
The "handmade revolution" has gained huge popularity amongst people who are seeking to be a bit more mindful and ethical in their consumption - by supporting artisans and buying handmade, you get goods of better quality, that have been ethically produced, rather than increasing the profits of a big company who might be employing sweatshop labour, you're instead putting your money right into the hands of the person who made the item from scratch. A lot of people though, who support handmade with their fashion and homewear purchases haven't yet fully embraced the idea that you can do this with makeup, too!
2. The Quality is Amazing
In the highly competitive world of indie makeup, only the best survive - the colours are are meticulously blended, and because they are made in small batches, the makers can create all sorts of amazing colour blends. From subtle mattes and neutrals to the most sparkly iridescent duochrome pigments you've ever seen, you can expect high pigmentation, long lasting formulations and a dazzling variety of shades to choose from. Because the makers are in direct contact with their customers, they are constantly monitoring feedback from their customer group, so the quality stays really high. The packaging is handmade and might not be as glossy as a high-end product, but what really counts is what's inside - people that get accustomed to indie pigments often find it really hard to go back to other mass manufactured brands.
2. It's Individual and Fun
A lot of indie makeup makers create collections in various themes. Whether it's your favourite TV show or movie fandom (be it Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter) or even themes from a certain era of history, Internet memes or computer games. Indie Makeup is full of quirky, fun names and themes that let you celebrate your personality and what you love in a way that can be as subtle or bold as you like. You'd probably raise a few eyebrows if you showed up to work in cosplay, but with indie makeup, you can participate in your fandom in a fun way, and no one else need know, unless you tell them.
4. It's much cheaper than you'd believe.
Unlike other "handmade pledges" you might make, this one could really save you money. With eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushes all clocking in at under $10 a pop, you can save a lot of money. Many people are very pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the prices are.
While there are some Aussie indie makeup makers, the majority of the most popular brands are in the US or UK - when they do ship to Australia, the shipping costs can be dire, erasing the savings made in the makeup. Organising a group order or freight forwarding can be a real pain. That's the main reason I decided to take the plunge to bring in the best indie makeup brands into Australia in bulk - and I also decided to match the price of the makers on Beauty Bohemia as well. I'm hoping a lot more people get into the indie makeup!
If you've got any questions or want to know more, let me know in the comments!