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Dear Beauty Junkies: Explore These Products From Under The Radar Companies

Dear Beauty Junkies: Explore These Products From Under The Radar Companies

Whether you’re a certified beauty junkie or have never set foot in a Sephora, today’s beauty selection is nearly infinite, sometimes overwhelming. The Internet and sites like Etsy ignited the rise of independent makeup and beauty companies, such as Portland Black Lipstick Company and the equally beloved and controversial LimeCrime. Some of the three companies below may not have been on your radar, but they can stand alongside the best of the most familiar beauty titans.

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Kahina Giving Beauty, founded in 2008 by Katharine L’Heureux and inspired by her expedition through the Moroccan desert, concentrates on argan-oil based products. The name of the line is in homage to a Berber Queen and priestess, a friendship or at least admiration from afar presumably cultivated from L’Heureux’s numerous trips back to Morocco. Additionally, the beauty line donates a percentage of profits to charities and organizations that empower Berber women.

I received the Kahina 100% Argan Oil ($36 for 30ml) and the Fez Hand & Body Balm ($48 for 1 oz). The argan oil acts a universal moisturizer and fix-it-all. Packed with Vitamin E and antioxidants, it can be used on your body, face, hands, and hair. I used the oil as a substitute moisturizer for my face and hands. After showering, I applied the oil to my hair in order to fight frizz and dryness. The product worked so well that I’m almost inclined to label it a beauty miracle worker.

Similarly, the Fez Hand & Body Balm more than delivered. Ingredients include but are not limited to: argan oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and mango nut butter. The formula is certified 100% natural and 97% organic according to ECOCERT standards. Unlike the argan oil, it’s not recommended for your face but can be used in small amounts to tame and/or condition frizzy hair. Surprisingly, the balm can be applied to pulse points and worn as a fragrance. The perfume part may not be for everyone, but this balm works on all other accounts. With winter approaching and the threat of snow, I know my hands will stay moisturized with this balm.     

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Brooklyn based Mullein & Sparrow was founded by Anit Hora. Born in India and raised as a New Yorker, Hora decided to get into the skincare business after a lengthy and eye-opening backpacking trip in South America. She encountered a variety of people on her travels, including some who reignited her interest in plant-based medicine. Hora, who grew up learning about the ancient Indian system of traditional medicine called Ayurveda, later became a holistic esthetician and herbalist.

I received the 100% Pure Squalane Oil ($28 for .5 oz). Admittedly, I’d never heard of squalane oil until I discovered Mullein & Sparrow. The company says that the oil “is a known antioxidant which revitalizes the skin and promotes oxygenation and cell regeneration.” India Lee, founder of India Lee skincare, told Refinery 29 that the oil “is produced naturally by the human body.” So why use it as a skincare method? Companies such as Mullein & Sparrow are vegan, which means they use oil derived from olives. Byrdie, an all things beauty and skincare blog, says that the oil is a natural lipid that the body produces to protect your skin. The oil went on without making my face feel greasy; when applied under makeup, it was undetectable.

All Mullein & Sparrow products are cruelty-free and vegan.




Officially debuted in 1979, this Barcelona-based skincare company has an assortment of products for just about any skin type, ranging from dry skin, dehydrated skin, dull skin, and dark spots. I received the paraben-free Lip Recovery Balm ($65 for 10 ml). I’m always in search of anything that claims to moisturize my lips, from chapsticks to exfoliating treatments. Natura Bissé’s balm can be applied as many times as needed throughout the day. A soft pink in color, the balm has the consistency of marshmallows. Ingredients include: biological aloe vera, mango and shea butter, Vitamin F (an essential fatty acid), and Opuntia Ficus extract (a species of cactus). The easy-to-apply balm went on light and even worked as a primer for lipsticks and lipstains.

To find out where the list of products are available, please check their stockists for your nearest location:

Vanessa Willoughby

Vanessa Willoughby is a writer and an editor. Her work has been featured on The Toast, Vice, Book Riot, The Hairpin, Thought Catalog, and Bitch Media. She is also Creative Director at Winter Tangerine Review.
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