Head to the cosmetics area of Neiman Marcus NorthPark today and tomorrow (Oct. 20-21) and you’ll find 15 off-the-radar beauty brands rounded up by Indie Beauty Expo (IBE). Now, I’m pretty dedicated to my “coconut-oil legs and once-a-week charcoal mask” routine, but because I’m a fan of smaller indie brands (they’re passionate believers in their products and don’t spend most of their time creating new ones just for marketing reasons) and because IBE sent me a big fat box of samples, I decided to try a few ahead of the event. Here are my notes:
Purlisse Blue Lotus See Mud Mask + Exfoliant
Ingredients include: bamboo, white clay, ginger, mushroom extract, white tea, and rice bran water. Find it here.
At first the mask burned, then it felt so icy I put on a sweater, and then I went down a Zillow rabbit hole and internally debated whether I could give up easy access to White Rock Lake and Cultivar Coffee for a house in the country where we could have some land and maybe even a pond. I mean, I sure wouldn’t miss my new neighbors who have, strangely, kept an oven on their porch for more than a month now. This is important to mention because I forgot about the mask and kept it on for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 10-15. And yet, it didn’t irritate my incredibly sensitive skin. In fact, my skin felt like velvet. I recommend applying this mask and getting lost online for a while.
Milk + Honey Cream Deodorant in Coconut Vanilla Scent
Ingredients include: coconut oil, shea fruit butter, baking soda, arrowroot powder, beeswax, and vanilla oil (most organic). Find it here.
I’ve tried many a natural deodorant and not one has worked. To my great surprise, this Austin-made product did. This is also the first deodorant I’ve ever used that required scooping out and applying with fingers. So, was that weird? I tell you what. Four years ago I survived a daylong natural childbirth that ended in me pushing for two hours in front of a crowd of 10 or so nurses. That was weird. Nothing else fazes me now. Not even placenta pills. So, no, I have no problem touching my own pits.
Beneath Your Mask Whipped Skin Soufflé
Ingredients include: shea butter, vitamin E, and a ton of oils—grapeseed, lemongrass, jojoba, and pure emu, to name a few. Find it here.
The name “Beneath Your Mask” should have tipped me off, but the directions aren’t completely clear on where to apply the soufflé. It just says “massage into skin.” I gave my legs a good schmear. A post-application online rabbit hole revealed that this was in fact for the face. Still, my legs felt great. Maybe it was the emu oil. My only issue was with the strong citrus scent that, mixed with the Milk + Honey deodorant’s vanilla notes, meant I had to walk around smelling like my entire 5th grade clique when we all wore different Teen Spirit scents.
BioRepublic Skincare Lost Baggage Undereye Emergency Repair Masks
Ingredients include: hyaluronic acid, citric acid, rose extract, and a bunch of other long words I didn’t recognize. Find it here.
The directions say to “wear mask and relax for 15-20 minutes.” 15 to 20 minutes?! Surely anyone using an undereye mask will be doing so in the morning when eyes are most puffy, and when they’re getting ready to be in the presence of people who will see their most puffy eyes. And who has 15 to 20 minutes to spare in the morning? I put the masks on anyway then went down an ironing, hair fixing, child rearing rabbit hole and forgot about the masks for 30 minutes. My eyes ended up so plumped and puffy that they didn’t look puffy anymore, if that makes any sense.
The final takeaway: I either need to stay offline or start setting timers while beautifying. Also, my beauty routine can use a shakeup. I’ll definitely be using these products in the future. Check out these and more this weekend.