Everyone knows big-name beauty brands like Maybelline and Kylie Cosmetics, but thanks to the over saturation of the beauty market it's not always easy to discover indie makeup brands. But Ulta's new Sparked program aims to help with that.
There are many emerging brands with inspiring brand stories behind them. Take The Lip Bar for example, which wanted to create clean, budget-friendly beauty that lower income folks could afford. Or there is Thrive Causemetics, which donates to help a woman thrive after every purchase.
But the messages often get lost in the shuffle of Instagram accounts and social media likes, where having too many brands to pay attention to often makes people zone out. Ulta's Sparked program is meant to be a platform to share meaningful brand stories, and have shoppers zero back into the messages behind some of these exceptional companies.
"What makes the brands in this collection so special are their founders, who all share a deep passion for beauty and saw an opportunity to evolve the industry," Shelley Haus, Senior Vice President Brand Marketing at Ulta Beauty, tells Refinery29. "Their stories are empowering and share a message with our guests that goes beyond skin deep."
The Sparked tab can be found on the sidebar of Ulta Beauty, towards the bottom of the navigation bar. "A spark is the start of something new, exciting and alive. That's what we see in these brands: stories and products sure to ignite your curiosity," Ulta writes.
Each month, Ulta chooses a select number of brands that will receive mentorship and support from the store. The brands will be featured on the Sparked tab of Ulta's website, and have a special in-store display starting Sept. 22. This will make discovering new, underground brands all the easier.
The first batch of brands that will be highlighted are UOMA Beauty, Elcie, ZOEVA, and Love Wellness. UOMA Beauty is founded by Nigerian born, LA and London based former beauty executive Sharon Chuter. The brand's Say What?! Foundation is its claim to fame, which addresses the fact that different skin tones have different skin concerns.
Elcie is founded by makeup artist and educator Lilit Caradanian, and the brand focuses on universal skin perfection. ZOEVA began as a brand that made high quality but affordable makeup brushes after noticing a gap in the market, but it also has an inspirational charity aspect. ZOEVA aims to support and advocate for women affected by domestic abuse and cancer.
And Love Wellness takes out the stigma from intimate self-care for women, offering women with natural, organic, OB/GYN-recommended solutions for vaginal health.
If you scroll further down the Sparked page, you will also see a secondary level of brands highlighted. To name a few, there is the hair care brand Coco & Eve, the essential oil based beauty brand Terra Beauty Bars, and the color refreshing brand Color Mask.
The next Sparked batch will be revealed in Dec., and then again in Jan., with more brands announced throughout the year. If you want an easier way to find interesting emerging beauty brands without all the work, then Sparked by Ulta Beauty is here to help.