Makeup

13 Groundbreaking Beauty and Wellness Brands Disrupting the Industry


It's 2018. We've made huge strides-leaps and bounds, even-in technology, science, and data, so we can expect that to reflect in our beauty and wellness products, right? Not always. Toxic, overpriced items with misleading labels are still placed on shelves and into the hands of un- or misinformed consumers, and considering these products are going on (or inside) our bodies, we can't really afford to take risks.

And even though it's 2018 and inclusivity should always be at the forefront of brand strategy, it isn't. However, for the brands that are acknowledging the gray area in beauty and have answered the call for change, we wanted to give them a proper hat tip. Thankfully, there are a number of companies championing better quality all around, so we couldn't highlight all of them, but below, we're calling out a mix of beauty and wellness brands that have and continue to disrupt a saturated space.

Beauty Pie

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Daily Vitamin Defense Serum $12Shop

Marcia Kilgore, Beauty Pie's founder,В doesn't hold back. "The beauty industry is broken," she tellsВ Forbes, noting that she feels mostВ prestigious brands sell their products at 10 times the factory cost, an ever-rising inflation trendВ consumers areВ suckered into paying. But Kilgore was determined to turn the market on its head and produce top-quality products at an affordable price by creating the "Netflix of skincare and cosmetics." By purchasing a Beauty Pie membership (not a subscription, as the brand so adamantly clarifies), individuals have a spending allowance of $100 each month. A lipstick will typically cost $25 without a membership, but with a membership, it'll only cost $3.57. The reason the company is able to sell products for so little is because Beauty Pie directly sources, edits,В packages, and managesВ its products, so even with your $10-per-month membership fee, you're only spending around 20 cents to the dollar onВ products made in the same laboratories as expensive brands.В

Vernon François

Vernon François Moisture Spray $26Shop

Shopping for the right shampoo for your hair type can be a mission. Hydrating, gentle, frizz-taming,(*shudder*) it's all a bunch of industry jargon that doesn't necessarily translate in your bathroom at home. That's why celebrity hairstylist Vernon François sought to create easy packaging specifically useful for natural hair. Each of his products contains one or more of six different icons he's created so you can easily identify which product is right for your hair type (coily, kinky, wavy, straight, curly, and damaged).

Circumference

Circumference Pure Balancing Botanical Face Oil $100Shop

JinaВ L. Kim and her husband, Chris, were fed up with the toxicity of skincare, bothВ with the contents inside the bottles and tubes and with the packaging itself. As a result, they created Circumference, a 100% toxin-free brand of sustainably sourced, nutrient-rich, indigenous ingredients, all wrapped up in easily recyclable or biodegradable packaging. The formulation is so meticulous that they use state-of-the-art testing to ensure only the purest andВ safest ingredients are being used, all while maintaining utmost efficacy.В

Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation $34Shop

This list wouldn't be complete without Rihanna's already-iconic Fenty Beauty line. The launch created a mass conversation around inclusivity in the beauty space that was already taking placeВ marginally but magnified tenfold. Fenty's zero-tolerance stance onВ the lack of shade inclusivity in the industry has actually influenced other brands to increase their own shade ranges, whether it's been directly attributed to the brand or not.В

While brands like MAC and Make Up For EverВ have boasted a 40+ shade range before Fenty, Byrdie assistant editor Maya Allen says it's Rihanna's direct influence that's sparked a movement. "It's because a black woman we've all loved for years was behind the brand and driving the message of diversity," she says.В "The fact that it's Rihanna's brand made a world of a difference because she was so unapologetic about representation when introducing 40 shades. That's why the response from consumers was so crazy amazing and Fenty has sparked this foundation war nowВ where other brands are coming out with 40+ shades."

Function of Beauty

Function of Beauty 16-Oz. Set of Shampoo and Conditioner $36Shop

You don't have to dream of the perfect shampoo and conditioner. Function of Beauty lets you custom-create your own formula right down to the color and fragrance (or no fragrance if you so choose) so you can get all the good stuff in one place. Just takeВ a survey online based on your hair type, scalp type, and hair goals, and the brand will ship your own bespoke formula right to your door. You can even have your name printed right on the label so everyone in your house knows it's hands-off. WatchВ this video of us visiting the NYC HQ with FoB's founder to learn more.

Beauty Bioscience

Beauty Bioscience GloPro $199Shop

Beauty Bioscience founder Jamie O'Banion worked at herВ dad'sВ company in Dallas creating ingredients for some of the world's leading beauty companies. But she noticed that the same brands using their ingredients were misusing them by only offering customers trace amounts of actives. That's where Beauty Bioscience came in: O'Banion decided to create her own line of skincare products where clients are "getting what they're paying for." Her runaway hit, the GloPro, an infrared-light microneedling device, sold $4 million in 24 hours on HSN, a home away from home for O'Banion that earned her several nights of sold-out television spots.В

Lola

Lola Box of Tampons $10Shop

After studying the ingredient lists on tampon boxes, Lola founders Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman realized there's aВ huge problem with the way feminine hygiene products are manufactured. Not all of the ingredients are listed, and most times, they're full of unregulated toxins that we're unknowingly putting inside our bodies. That's why they founded Lola, a natural, organic subscription-based tampon and pad service that allows women to purchase affordable, safeВ products that comeВ right to your doorstep (because who wants to run out to the store when you're cramping and bloated?). The brand also recently launched Sex by Lola, a line of condoms, cleansing wipes, and lubricant sans scary toxins. But our favorite part about Lola has to beВ its philanthropy. To date, the company donated over 100,000В feminine-careВ items to women in need, a product categoryВ amongВ the most requested in homeless shelters.

Scentbird

Scentbird The Thrill of New Scents $15Shop

Fragrance is possibly the most difficult beauty product to shop for,В especially online (when will the scratch-and-sniff function be available on mobile and desktop?), but Scentbird decided to take the guessing game out of the hunt. For just $15 a month, you can takeВ prestigious fragrances from over 450 brands for a test drive in a reusable eight-milliliter spray vile delivered straight to you. Considering some bottles can cost you upward of $200 or $300, it's a small fee for ensuring you really love it before purchasing, especially since spraying once in a department store doesn't give the scent a true test.В

Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Lust: Lip Gloss Aliengelic $28Shop

Two things are almost certain to happen when Pat McGrath launches a new product: 1) The internet collectivelyВ goes bonkers, and 2) the product eventually sells out. McGrath is a legendary runway and celebrity makeup artist known for using just her fingers to apply products seamlessly on her clients. She has no formal makeup training yet an incredibly keen eye for colors, textures, and formulas. British VogueВ Editor in ChiefВ Edward Enninful says she's artfully mastered the ability to do looks that range from "couture to club kid," which makes her line of color cosmetics so fun to use whether you're headed to family dinner or dancing with friends. Plus, the iconic packaging with carefully handpicked sequins makes every purchase that much more enticing.В

Knours

Knours Skin Meditation Gel Cream $36Shop

Our skin goes through major ebbs and flows throughout the month, something along the lines of broken out toward the end when our periods hit, in the healing phase toward the beginning of the next month, and fairly clear throughout the middle. But what if we could be in control of how our skin is affected by our hormones, without the use of prescription medication? That's the goal of Knours, a clean line of skincareВ in which each product is designed to be tailored to various points of a woman's cycle for maximum efficacy. Items like cleanser, wipes, gel cream, and mists are numbered and correspond with a chart so you know when to start using them. So long, hormonal acne.

Care/of

Care/Of

"We built Care/of with a focus on personalization-you get what you need to feel great without overdoing it on other supplements," co-founder and CEO Craig Elbert told us. It's like having a one-on-one with a nutritionist without having to leave your home." With Care/of, you can take a quiz to find your own proprietary mix of FDA-regulated, sustainably sourced, and extensively tested supplements based on yourВ diet, lifestyle, and health concerns. The best part is you aren't committed to whatever supplements they assign to you. You can take a look at their suggestion, and then review theirВ research and studies before ultimately choosing what's best for you. Then, each month, you're sent a 30-pack of vitamins with inspirational quotes, cool facts, and your name printed right on top. They're making vitamins fun (and way more transparent) again.В

Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays Jet Leg Mask $48Shop

It's clear that Instagram is aВ hot-ticketВ space to sell products (the Kardashians are proof) and a genius marketing tool considering it's totally free. Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores know the power of Instagram (combined, they have 871,000 followers), so they used the power of their platform to create a skincare line with chic packaging and a catchy name-Instagram bait at its finest. But aside from the aesthetics, the duo worked hard to find a formula thatВ was efficacious and free of all the bad stuff (noВ parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, sulfates, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, or silicones). Gores was also pregnant during the formulation process, so it's safe to use during pregnancy (not to mention cruelty-free and vegan). For their next products, Hewitt and Gores plan to (once again) use Instagram toВ crowdsource from their followers, which makes sense considering they're the consumers.В

Sana Jardin

Sana Jardin Berber Blonde $225Shop

The first-ever socially conscious luxury fragrance house, Sana Jardin, manufactures intoxicating scents with exotic, high-poweredВ essential oils. The brand also gives back to women in Morocco throughВ The Beyond Sustainability Movement by providing skills and jobs for underprivileged women, helping them use the remnants of the fragrance ingredients to make candles and orange blossom water to sell back nationally.

Next up, check out these beauty brands that stand for inclusivity.