Call it the Instagram effect, but it’s a little hard to ignore the recent rise of Instagram beauty brands – independent makeup companies built entirely on amassing giant social media followings. Not too shabby a marketing technique, given the reduced costs of having to stock in brick-and-mortar stores; Instagram is free, after all. With Instagram beauty success stories like Colourpop, Morphe Brushes, and even Anastasia Beverly Hills paving the way, there’s more reason than ever to start paying attention to some lesser-known brands circulating the makeup community. And who knows? At the rate some of these are growing, the day they do become popular you can say you “liked it first”.
If there’s one Instagram beauty trend that’s blowing up the industry, it’s definitely liquid lipstick. The demand for luscious, pouty matte lips (courtesy of Kylie Jenner) has prompted many makeup companies to start releasing their own liquid lipsticks – and inspired the rise of smaller, independent beauty brands catering solely to lip products. Lipland is one such brand, with a full range of liquid lipstick, lip glosses, crème glosses, and newly released matte lip crayons. Rationale is telling us “no” but our hearts are screaming yes.
Known for their highly pigmented eye shadows, Violet Voss quickly shot into the spotlight with their collaboration palette with beauty YouTuber Laura Lee – a gorgeous, 20-colour, warm-toned palette. Their Instagram is filled with flatlays of palettes, eyeshadow swatches, dramatic eye looks, and the occasional relatable makeup meme – thoughtfully geared towards customer engagement, we’re guessing. The brand also sells handmade lashes and shimmery highlighters, and has even begun their foray into liquid lipstick (of course).
My Make-Up Brush Set
An efficient dupe for the Kardashian-popularised Artis Brush, My Make-Up Brush Set is quickly gaining popularity with the Instagram community for their oval brushes – and with good reason. We aren’t sure if CEO of Artis Brush Matthew Waitesmith, former vice president of MAC Cosmetics, was aware that US$75 is a lot to drop on a brush – regardless of how airbrushed it makes your makeup look – but in any case, budget-friendly brands like MMUBS are always welcome. The oval brushes work with everything from foundation to powders to eyeshadow; so if you’re ever in the mood to try this newfangled toilet brush-lookalike, you know where to go.
It’s back with the liquid lippies – but this time in a shocking array of bold and dramatic colours. Not for the faint-hearted, Coloured Raine is all about serving up the most intense colours for those who like a little more fun in their makeup play. Case in point: beauty YouTuber @Nikkietutorials, who ranks their Matte Lip Paint among her top favourite liquid lipsticks. Shop Coloured Raine also for their deeply pigmented eyeshadows – which of course also comes in a range of unique and daring colours.
With a following like that, it’s surprising that Melt Cosmetics hasn’t made more waves on our sunny shores yet. No matter; your first foray into the brand’s colourful products won’t be your last. Think highly pigmented formulas in an extensive range of colours – everything from safe neutrals to “radioactive” neons (their words; not ours). In fact, a browse through their Instagram feed will reveal just how much focus they place on vibrant colours (with such a dedicated themed feed as well!) The ultra-matte lipsticks are definitely pretty, but we’ll have to give props to Melt’s star product – stackable single eyeshadows too cute not to collect.