“It’s on the thirteenth floor. Go all the way up to the penthouse,” said the volunteer as she handed me my press pass. I’d arrived ten minutes early to the press sneak peak of the Indie Beauty Expo, and I was itching to get explore the offerings before the crowds rolled in so I could hopefully make it through the whole show in under an hour.
Housed in the California Market Center building in downtown L.A., the Indie Beauty Expo (IBE) is a must-go event for beauty insiders. The convention focuses mostly on showcasing up-and-coming natural and organic beauty and skincare brands, an industry that’s grown greatly in the last few years and is only becoming more popular among consumers.
With a little over 90 booths, I expected to be in and out. Three-and-a-half hours later, I walked out of the CMC with glowing skin, shiny hair, overly moisturized hands, and a dead cell phone. It was worth it, though, because I found some of the most amazing clean beauty products I’ve ever tried! Calling it now: These are the products that you’re going to be obsessed with in 2017.
Full Brow Serum, Province Apothecary
I was instantly sold by Province Apothecary’s super-chic packaging—think bright blue hues and bright images of botanicals—when we stumbled across its booth at IBE. Started by a holistic aesthetician (who, of course, had beyond perfect skin and was wearing zero makeup), the company has quite a few products on its roster. Most of the products are oil- and aromatherapy-based, but our favorite find was the Full Brow Serum. It’s easy to apply to sparse brows and uses castor oil to stimulate follicle growth.
Check out Province Apothecary online or in Canadian stores.
Lavender Prebiotic Body Cleanse, Aleavia
“Beneficial bacteria” was a buzz term at this year’s IBE, and I saw quite a few products that boasted probiotic bacteria on the label. It’s smart—research shows that balancing the skin’s microbiome is a crucial aspect of treating problems like acne, rosacea, and even eczema. But Aleavia was the only product touting a prebiotic formula that uses sea kelp to encourage the growth and recovery of beneficial bacteria on the skin. Ever the minimalist, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Aleavia’s products all have less than seven ingredients—a true rarity in beauty! Plus, the gel cleansers are like a Swiss Army knife of soaps: You can use them to wash your face, body, hair, and hands. One product to get rid of pimples and give you voluminous, shiny hair? We’re sold.
You can find Aleavia’s products online.
ACV is a staple item in most natural beauty arsenals—it’s an effective anti-acne toner, lightens up dark spots, and even has a bit of a chemical exfoliant quality. It’s also famously used to clarify the scalp and banish grease and excess product from tresses. This Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse is like an upgraded version of the ACV wash you might DIY at home; it smells great and leaves roots squeaky clean. And unlike regular ACV, it’s safe for color-treated hair!
Find dp HUE’s products online, and at Ulta and Sephora stores.
Mineral Face Peel, O.R.G. Skincare
MY OBSESSION!!! I literally cannot with this mineral spray. Here’s how it works: Spray the gummy bear-scented formula on your face, wait 5-10 seconds, and then gently scrub your complexion with a washcloth. You’ll literally see your skin come off in dirty little strips … and it’s straight up magical. Truly, it makes you glow!
You can shop for O.R.G.’s entire line (I also trialed the Oxygen Cleanser and loved it) online.
Fresh Cleanse Masks, Smoothie Beauty
The whole idea is that because the products are made of fresh fruits and veggies, Smoothie Beauty’s face masks work better than the prepackaged stuff. Personally, I just love that these are totally organic and all natural—and really pretty!
Smoothie Beauty delivers to the Tri-County area of New York.
Salvation CBD Oil Serum, Crave Beauty
Write this down—CBD oil is, without a doubt, the next big thing to happen in the health and wellness space. It doesn’t contain THC (the chemical compound in cannabis that results in a “high” feeling) so it won’t get you stoned, but CBD oil is an incredible anti-inflammatory compound that works well topically and when ingested. I took home a sample of the Salvation CBD Oil Serum and noticed a huge difference in my skin after sleeping in it through the night—I’ll definitely be stocking up on Crave Beauty to get my complexion safely through the winter months!
Shop Crave Beauty’s products online.
Matte Vegan Lipstick, Spela Cosmetics
There were certainly fewer cosmetics companies at the Indie Beauty Expo, but I stumbled up Spela Cosmetics’ vegan liquid lipsticks and had to give them a try. The stay-put formula reminds me of my favorite NYX-brand liquid lipstick—it leaves lips feeling soft and pillowy, not sticky or dry.
Find Spela Cosmetics (and all of their colors!) online and in some Canadian stores.
AO+ Mist, Mother Dirt
I was completely fascinated by the science behind Mother Dirt’s AO+ Mist. Basically, the formula helps bacteria feed off the ammonia in your sweat to improve your skin’s microbiome, which results in a clearer complexion and less body odor. Give yourself a spritz after a sweat sesh to stop breakouts in their tracks, improve skin’s look and feel, and stay fresh!
You can find Mother Dirt online and in retailers throughout the U.S.
Eye Conquered, Rutz Skincare
Weird and wonderful, Rutz Skincare boasts “Reiki-infused,” all-natural formulas for everything from room sprays to body lotion. According to the founder, certified Reiki masters infuse all ingredients and finished products with positive energy … I’m calling it now, Reiki-infused products will be the new crystal water bottles!
Shop Rutz Skincare online here.
Bio-Cleansing Conditioner, Unwash
Remember how Wen, the co-washing product with its own infomercials, made everyone’s hair fall out because it blocked their hair follicles? Well, Unwash is basically the opposite of that! It has zero sulfates, so it won’t strip hair follicles, but still does a great job of detoxifying and cleansing the scalp. No greasy build up, no weird residue, and definitely no hair loss!
You can find Unwash online and in retailers throughout the U.S.
Redwood Leaves Scent, Ojai Wild
Ojai Wild’s booth was tucked away in a little corner of the IBE showroom floor—but the gorgeous merchandising and packaging caught my eye at the every end of my three-hour exploration. I’m glad I stopped by—the Redwood Leaves scent, which is made with completely natural and plant-derived botanicals, instantly transported me back in time to my happiest memories of climbing rocks and hiking through the Redwoods in the winter. And the aesthetically pleasing fogged glass bottle doesn’t hurt, either!
You can find Ojai Wild in select retailers, or order online starting in February.
Volcanic Revitalizing Mask, Ayuna
Based on what I saw at IBE, minimalist beauty routines will be big in 2017—and Ayuna’s products confirmed my suspicions. With just four products in the line (and no plans to expand), the company’s tagline is “Beauty is less.” Honestly, I love it. I tried the Volcanic Revitalizing Mask after a long day downtown (think: smog, dirt, and pollution) and was instantly hooked. Keep your eyes peeled for this Spanish skincare company!
Shop Ayuna’s products online.