Recent market figures show that the U.S. beauty retail market – including the categories of cosmetics, skincare and hair – accounts for $56.4 billion in annual sales.1 Danziger, Pamela N. Sephora, Ulta And The Battle For The $56B U.S. Beauty Retail Market. Forbes. August 6, 2018. Yet within this massive market, the clear emerging trend is that small is big.


Independent beauty brands are popular, as consumers enjoy the thrill of discovering great new products and brands. Younger consumers in particular seek locally made, artisanal, and natural products.2 Kestenbaum, Richard. The Biggest Trends In The Beauty Industry. Forbes. September 9, 2018. Even Amazon has launched an Indie Beauty Shop on its e-commerce site in recognition of this powerful consumer trend toward smaller brands.3 Brown, Rachel. Amazon Launches Indie Beauty Shop Dedicated To Emerging Brands Within Its Marketplace. Beauty Independent. June 18, 2018.

“Being small and nimble … allows the brand to adapt to its customers in a way the larger players simply can’t.”

~ Robert Schaeffler, CEO, DevaCurl

To showcase the variety and innovation among small beauty brands, the Indie Beauty Expo, held May 15 and 16 in Dallas, Texas, celebrated independent beauty brands to  support the growth and success of the entrepreneurs behind them.

Retail buyers and consumers in attendance gained insights into indie brands, which are growing quickly as most retailers are expanding their assortment with unique products from smaller suppliers.

The event highlighted in-demand trends, which can help both beauty brands and retailers stay competitive and drive business.

For instance, key trends within the beauty industry include:

  • Organic: Consumers are more discerning about what they buy, opting for products containing fewer chemicals, allergens and other potential irritants.

  • CBD-infused products: The compound cannabidiol, found in cannabis and hemp, is now an increasingly popular ingredient in beauty products ranging from moisturizers to mascaras.

  • Diversity: Since people come in a rainbow of complexions and reflect a range of beauty needs, more consumers now seek personalized product experiences that fit their unique needs as opposed to  mass market, one-size-fits-all products.

  • The power of now: Younger consumers prefer products that deliver immediate results, such as beauty masks, rather than rich skin creams that protect their complexion over the long term.4 Terlep, Sharon. Millennials Change the Complexion of the Beauty Business. The Wall Street Journal. May 3, 2016.

Events like the Indie Beauty Expo can help small beauty brands stand out, connect directly with consumers and retail buyers, and showcase their unique products. In case you missed the Dallas event, the next Indie Beauty Expo will take place in New York City on August 21-22, 2019.

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1. Danziger, Pamela N. Sephora, Ulta And The Battle For The $56B U.S. Beauty Retail Market. Forbes. August 6, 2018.
2. Kestenbaum, Richard. The Biggest Trends In The Beauty Industry. Forbes. September 9, 2018.
3. Brown, Rachel. Amazon Launches Indie Beauty Shop Dedicated To Emerging Brands Within Its Marketplace. Beauty Independent. June 18, 2018.
4. Terlep, Sharon. Millennials Change the Complexion of the Beauty Business. The Wall Street Journal. May 3, 2016.

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