What’s Your Favorite Small Makeup or Beauty Brand and Why?

Published in: Just For Fun

What's your favorite small makeup or beauty brand?
Wearing Sunday Riley Eyeshadows in French Press, Siberian Sable and Little Black Dress on my eyes, and Sunday Riley Blush in Intimate on my cheeks

Favorite? I couldn’t pick just one because I’ve been into a few lately. πŸ™‚


For makeup — Sunday Riley. It’s a smaller luxury line, currently only carried at Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman stores. They make both skin care and cosmetics, but it’s their color products, in particular their shadows and blushes, that I really like.

Sunday’s $26 Prismasilk Eye Colors remind me of NARS. They’re super pigmented, a breeze to blend and stay put all day long.

sunday riley prismasilk eye color

And the blush? Sonnets could be written in its honor. In almost all of my pics lately, I’m wearing Sunday’s Intimate Blush ($30).

Something about it just glows.

I also gotta give props to a couple of my indie faves, Becca and Hourglass.

Great textures, pretty packaging, and their products are consistently elegant and approachable.

BECCA Cosmetics balearic love
The new Becca Balearic Love collection is so hot!

As for smaller skin care lines, I’m currently crushing on Tata Harper. The Vermont-based luxury line makes one of my new favorite all-natural products (they’re also cruelty free), Hydrating Floral Essence, a $65 (!) moisturizing mist.

Last, but certainly not least, there’s Caudalie, although I’m not sure if they can still be considered small as they’re carried at Sephora.

Their $19 hand cream changed the way I look at hand creams forever.

Okay, well, that’s a bit much…but I do think it’s great. πŸ™‚

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream Review

How about you? What’s your favorite small makeup or beauty brand and why?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 32 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lisa says:

    Urban Decay! I super respect the woman who started the brand– her and her husband also created Cisco.

    I have a lot of admiration for strong women that kick ass at math AND beauty!

    Nerding aside, I really think they create the best, most fun makeup for the buck. They’re eyeshadows are fantastic!

  2. AliciaMLay says:

    CARGO is mine! They always have high quality formulas. I consider them small even though they’re at Ulta. We rarely see ads or huge campaigns for this tiny Canadian brand. Started by an awesome business woman and Mom.

    Also, LOVE Nouba. So hard to find though!

  3. GenesisCal says:

    Hey Karen, I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the foundation liquid, powder that you have been wearing lately? I am Mexican and my skin is I guess olive with yellow lol I also have dry, discolarated skin and I have been using MUF HD foundation but I feel like I need more coverage I was think Estee Lauder?

    • Wendy A. says:

      Querida Mexicana:
      Try revlon photoready for drugstore, bourjois healthy mix serum liquid foundation al ulta and please try cover fx they are a mineral company and you can get it in sephora and nordstrom the coverage is excellent and it’s mineral so your dry skin will thank you.
      Saludos and hope it helps.

  4. jen. says:

    Those eyeshadows are so pretty! I’ve never heard of the brand (don’t do much shopping at Bergdorf, haha), but I like the name.

  5. AngieH says:

    I love Edward Bess. His lipsticks and glosses are really gorgeous and worth collecting.

  6. Wendy says:

    I love the mineral makep e-tailers like Silk Naturals, Aromaleigh, Lucy, and my current foundation fave, Lumiere

  7. Annaham says:

    Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; they are an online perfume company with some AMAZING scents.

  8. Sam says:

    Glitter Gal – nail polish brand here in AUS. Great colors, with cool finishes and they last well on me!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Lipstick Queen – their lip products are perfection – lipstick are the perfect finish and stay on for hours and their lipglosses are non-sticky and have the most beautiful finish

  10. Nina says:

    i really love what ive bought from Caudalie …. the smell of the products are perfect for my sensitive schnozz. πŸ™‚

  11. Small brands from Jordan, that feature Dead Sea products! They are great, natural, with special benefits for your skin (since they use Dead Sea minerals and mud). And of course – by buying them, you support the local production and local economies in the Dead Sea valley!

  12. Stef says:

    Agreed, Hourglass is the business! I’ve also got crazy love for OCC. Their lip tars are game changers.
    Stef recently posted … Swag Alert! Win the latest from Crabtree & Evelyn from our friends at Beauty Undercover

  13. Gwen says:

    I think it is NYX for me! Their eye shadows really give MAC a good run and its so so so affordable!

    Please visit my blog at http://www.makeuptoys.com!

  14. Chris25 says:

    I like Altered Ego Cosmetics. The names and colors are really cool. I used to buy Manic Panic when I was 18, and apart from the waxy lipstick smell, their l/s shades were awesome.

  15. NeenaJ says:

    Wallet Love: I love eyeshadows from Shiro Cosmetics and Darling Girl. Both lines are very buttery, have gorgeous colors as well as nuanced neutrals and metallics.

    Wallet Hate: I’ve recently dipped into Edward Bess and the line is so well edited and gorgeous!
    NeenaJ recently posted … Aromaleigh Startle – A Dupe for Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant?

  16. candice barr says:

    I’m having a serious love affair with MakeupGeek eyeshadows! I just wish they carried more colors πŸ™

  17. Kim says:

    Does Tarte count? I love them. πŸ™‚ I’ve wanted to try Becca for a long time because their ads are beautiful – I wish they were at Sephora so I could do all my online beauty buying in one place!

    I actually just got a facial moisturizer from a company called Sibu that I’m really enjoying. It’s weird that I’ve never heard of Tata Harper because they are literally a hop, skip and jump away from me. They’re on the VT side of the Champlain Valley and I’m on the NY side. I’ll have to check them out!

    Have a blast at the Hunger Games tonight. I’m not going to check in tomorrow because I want you to be able to share your thoughts, but don’t want to read anything about the movie before I see it tomorrow night. πŸ™‚

  18. Kali says:

    I love Mally Roncal’s cosmetics line. I think it’s only available on QVC. I think she is beautiful and spunky and her mascara is the best I’ve ever used!

  19. Sarah S. says:

    What qualifies as small? Small distribution or limited selection? I love Too Faced, Hourglass, Fresh, NYX, theBalm… I just don’t know what qualifies!

  20. Dominique says:

    Hi Karen,

    What do you mean by ” small “, is it budget ? Budget ? Revlon maybe, otherwise, none !

  21. Katherine G says:

    For small budgets, I like Rimmel Scandalous Eyes Mascara (and any eyeshadows by them), Milani (most things by them but I love their eye stuff), Maybelline (mascaras and eyeshadows), and Cover Girl (mostly mascaras).

    For small makeup companies, I prefer Urban Decay, and Becca. I’ve tried Napoleon Perdis and that was ok (available at Ulta Stores), and Elizabeth Arden has some good stuff, like the 8 hour cream.

  22. Patty says:

    I love Paul & Joe and Vapour!

  23. This is kind of hard to answer, just because I’m not sure what qualifies small!

    I’ve been a fan of Caudalie for about 8 years now. I love it because I haven’t tried one thing from this brand that fails me, and I have tried my fair share! I also adore L’Occitane. Again, the majority of the products I’ve tried are just intoxicating πŸ™‚
    Sunny @ Mostly Sunny recently posted … FOTD: First Day of Spring Featuring Urban Decay Naked2, MAC Added Goodness, Dior Riviera & NOTD Riviera + Hunger Games

  24. Esther says:

    It’s gotta be Fyrinnae! Have you checked them out? Their items are amazing! πŸ™‚

  25. Denise says:

    Karen, you look amazing in this picture – the makeup is perfect and your hair looks really pretty up!

  26. J.Q. says:

    oh my goodness, so many favorites, but the brands that come to mind are Lipstick Mixtapes for their amazing lipsticks that seem to flatter a wide range of skin tones & are very reasonably priced and Graftobian for their HD glamour foundation/concealer palettes because the quality and color selection is awesome, I think anyone could find their shade and the foundation makes your skin look flawless in photos or videos!

  27. Phyrra says:

    I love too many small makeup brands.
    Cult Nails – awesome nail polish & Maria is a doll.
    Fyrinnae – complex colors
    Evil Shades – fun colors and lipsticks & Andrea is a sweety
    BftE Cosmetics – so many colors! great formula & Crystal is awesome.
    (just to name a few)
    Phyrra recently posted … Beauty Blog Link Love

  28. Alison says:

    I’m so envious of your Sunday Riley! I live in Australia, and we don’t have them here – but the brand and their shades have so much appeal, especially the eyeshadows I saw you wearing earlier. <3 Loved them!

  29. Ana says:

    Too Faced, UD, Wet n Wild, Tarte

  30. yael says:

    how do you feel the Sunday Riley eyeshadows stack against Edward Bess and/or Burberry? i can’t seem to find the perfect cool, dark colors in those lines; almost there, just a tad off, and was hoping RIley’s line might be it!

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