Don’t get me wrong – I’m a girl who loves her some Sephora. There’s nothing like stepping through those gilded doors and seeing beautiful little pots of color and sparkle all neatly lined up for your perusing and play. But sometimes, I like to get out of the mainstream and browse all the indie beauty products Etsy has to offer.
I have some paranoia about being the millionth person the barista at Starbucks has seen today who has clearly stepped up her eye shadow game with a predetermined quartet of gold tones from the Nak3d Palette (though it is fabulous…) And do I even have to go into the fear that those brightly lit, scrutinizing mirrors, and intimidating salesgirls with their perfectly arched eyebrows strike into my poor, little heart? And the fact that so many makeup counter products are way too expensive and much too irritating (what is in all that crap, anyway?), sends many guys and gals on the hunt for a more natural – and unique – alternative. Thats where Etsy comes in for me.
Don’t knock ‘em till ya try ‘em. Trust me, with offerings like totally unique nail colors, natural perfumes you can’t find anywhere else, soaps yummy enough to eat, crazy lipstick colors, and super pigmented eye shadows, it’s like Ulta: The Underground Edition.
Many of Etsy’s cosmetics are all natural, vegan, and mineral-based. And you would be hard-pressed to find any tested on animals. Have an allergy that makes makeup shopping difficult? With customer service that would put any department store to shame, many sellers are great about omitting certain ingredients and personalizing their products to perfectly fit their customers’ needs. And the best part? These pretty potions and beautiful cosmetics with their loyal cult followings are totally unique.
Since Etsy’s beauty realm is lush and infinite, I narrowed it down to a few of my absolute favorites to get you started. Happy shopping!
This 100 percent natural perfume shop offers organic potions that conquer up Victorian times and plant essences. With seriously distinctive scents and perfume solids delivered in luxurious lockets, ForStrangeWomen is a stroll down sensory memory lane. My faves are Violin in the Attic and Sand Dollar.
2. Sweetbody Soaps
The crazy indulgent bath line, Sweetbody Soaps, offers kitschy bath goodies that look good enough to eat — and smell delicious enough to bring a smile to your face in the shower after even the toughest day. The Jasmine Dreams soap with aloe and jasmine petals is the stuff of dreams, while the Pumpkin Spice, Spiced Apple Cider, and Cinnamon Bun soaps are perfect for fall.
For the best, out-of-this-world shimmery, iridescent nail polishes, ModLacquer is the place to be. Some of the shades are unprecedented (think 3D holographic) and the glitter comes in a massive, varied range of sparkles. I've been going crazy over Sideshow, Atomic Age, and Streamlined.
The products from the EightBitCosmetics line are fun, sparkly, and gorgeously pigmented. Think the color punch of MakeUp Forever, but with a much cooler price. EightBitCosmetics specializes in lush, loose eye shadows and the Ooo Shiny line has got me saying just that.
5. Borne Cosmetics
For organic mineral foundations that could rival BareMinerals, Borne Cosmetics is heaven sent. Without any synthetic chemicals, fillers, or preservatives that those mainstream brands slip in, their makeup is instead formulated with organic ingredients like silk, crushed pearls, kaolin clay, and jojoba oil for a foundation that's actually healthy for your skin. They even offer vegan options. A portion of all proceeds are donated to Life Outreach and the American Red Cross, so you can feel good about your beautiful self, too.
MyBeautyAddiction is your one stop shop for all of your artistic mineral makeup needs. Seriously, this shop has everything — from colorful mineral eye shadows, luxurious body scrubs and butters, and lipsticks with the most brilliant, opaque, smooth finishes I've seen yet. With rainbow colors and such bold coverage, they're a must-have.
7. French Girl Organics
French Girl Organics offers French-inspired organic and indulgent skincare that's all 100% vegan and "tested on French girls, never on animals!" The liptints have my lips silky soft, but what's really special here is the skincare line. The Cleansing Grains with activated charcoal and rhassoul clay uses exfoliating botanicals to polish your skin, and can be made into a masque by mixing it with plain yogurt in your own kitchen.
8. Garden Apothecary
Bath bombs are so last year... The bath teas from Garden Apothecary are going to be the next big thing in extravagant skincare, trust me. With all natural recipes, whole botanicals, and gorgeous packaging, the bath teas are truly lovely. Make soaking in a hot, Garden Apothecary-infused bath while wearing one of their luxe, organic mud masks part of your new beauty ritual.