Though they might be lesser known than their national counterparts, there are a plethora of smaller, local beauty brands that are becoming more popular. Their products—which are often handmade in smaller batches—really deliver on their promises. Why? We've found that most of these small, local brands were started by founders who couldn't find a product to address a specific health or skincare concern, so they made a solution themselves. So, when you're developing a pre-wedding beauty regimen, local beauty can be just what you need to get results. As an added bonus, you're supporting a small business owner.
Whether you're shopping for yourself or hunting for a thoughtful gift for a bridesmaid, consider some of our favorite lesser-known brands that are making beauty waves across the U.S.
Have you heard of Ursa Major, a natural skincare company based in Vermont? Their Fantastic Face Wash is a pH-balancing, non-drying, gel foaming cleanser that gently exfoliates dead skin, and it's become a staple in our bathrooms. If you have oily, combo, or acneic skin, you, too, will be obsessed. The 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic is another must-buy. As the name suggests, it serves four important purposes, working as a cleanser, exfoliator, and hydrator. Sorry, tired brides! You now have no excuse not to take your makeup off before bed.
This city is changing rapidly, which makes it the perfect spot for natural, local beauty brands to pop up. Detroit Rose, which specializes in oils, candles, and bath soaks (the ultimate beauty luxuries) is one of our new favorites. Their Aphrodite Face Oil, which was inspired by the goddess of beauty, delivers plump skin, tons of hydration, and an increased glow, all thanks to Vitamin C-packed rosehip.
This brand, based out of Napa Valley, makes just one product: Active Botanical Serum. It comes with a hefty price tag—$185—but that's because it works. We have yet to find someone who's tried it and hasn't completely raved about the skin-changing benefits, from clearing cystic acne to evening the complexion and adding youthful radiance to the skin. We're not joking. We even saw a radiant difference in our skin after the first use.
Wellhouse Bath Collection
If you've been to Blackberry Farm outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, you won't be surprised that we included their in-house beauty products on this list. And if you haven't been there, buy their products online. Everything is infused with their signature scent of bourbon and lavender, and includes sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, body butter, body oil, a scrub, and body lotion.
Who knew we'd love a bar soap so much? Until we tried the Black Clay Facial Soap from Osmia Organics, we had no idea. It's not drying—it contains olive oil, coconut milk, a variety of other essential oils—but the main ingredient, black clay, helps tone the skin and remove impurities.
Rituel de Fille
Good, naturally pigmented makeup is something that's hard to find. Los Angeles' Rituel de Fille has filled that requirement with rich blushes, lip tints, and eye shadows. One of our favorite products is the Inner Glow Creme Pigment in Envious, which you can use on your cheeks and lips for the prettiest flush.
We are truly impressed with the mineral foundations (liquids and powders) and concealers that Portland-based Alima Pure makes. They look natural, they last a long time, and they come in a range of shades to suit all skin tones.
One Love Organics
Brooklyn-based One Love Organics won us over with their Skin Dew, a coconut water cream that feels light but really works to moisturize and prevent dry skin. The Skin Savior is also a convenient essential, as you can use it as a makeup remover, a moisturizing mask, or blend it with mineral powder foundation to create the prettiest base.
We stopped questioning the mental benefits of aromatherapy after discovering Soul Sunday, a Boston brand that's making rollerballs of essential oils that help to calm, energize, and inspire. Try the lavender "Even Keel" if you need to relax; "Bloom," which contains neroli and peach nectar, if you need your spirits lifted; or "Midnight Oil" if you've been burning the candle at both ends. (Wedding planning, anyone?)
Olive + M
All of Austin-based Olive + M's products contain olive oil, so the serums, cleansers, and moisturizers are especially great for anyone with dry skin. We are partial to the body polish, because it's difficult to find one that exfoliates while still being soft and moisturizing. (Plus, we're obsessed with the sweet orange and geranium scent—the perfect pick-me-up when you're getting ready in the morning.)