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8 Inspiring and Creative Cosmetics Companies

The beauty business is a huge industry, and with a seemingly endless supply of brands large and small covering hair, nails, makeup and skin care, it can be hard to stand out. But some companies find a way to make a name for themselves or do what no one else has done before. Whether they’re taking products typically laden with chemicals and turning them all natural, putting a scientific spin on skin care or creating products more colorful than you’ve ever seen, these eight creative beauty businesses are sure to inspire you.

Manicure lovers know that most nail polishes contain some not-so-natural ingredients. Habit aims to change that so you can enjoy beautiful nails without all the toxic ingredients. According to the company’s website, Habit’s polishes are vegan, cruelty-free and free of toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and camphor. The polishes are made with myrrh, an extract that helps strengthen nails, and the bottles are made with a bamboo overcap to be more sustainable.

Science nerds will love NER:D Skincare, a company that grows — yes, grows — bio cellulose face masks. Bio cellulose is a thin woven structure of polysaccharides (aka sugars) that develops from acetic acid bacteria (AAB), which can be found naturally and in products like balsamic vinegar. NER:D Skincare’s masks use an AAB family called Acetobacter xylinum, and the company has bred this strain to create a smooth, even pattern of microfibrils, or fiberlike strands that adhere easily to the skin. The masks have a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) rating by the Food and Drug Administration and are marketed by the company as having hydrating, soothing and anti-aging effects.

Many cosmetics come in containers that are too big to travel with, and expire before you can use up all the product inside. Stowaway Cosmetics is a brand looking to change that. With essential makeup products ranging from beauty balm and concealer to mascara and lipstick, Stowaway Cosmetics has everything you need in minimalist containers, all of which are small enough to travel with and use up before the expiration date, so you never have to toss out a half-empty bottle again.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a perfume company that creates handcrafted scents with a dark, romantic, Gothic tone. According to the company’s website, the company specializes in scents that are inspired by pagan and mythological blends, as well as medieval, Renaissance and Victorian formulas. All of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s perfumes are hand-blended and cruelty-free, and though some products are honey-based, the rest are completely vegan. All of their products use essential oils that are safe, therapeutic and as natural as possible. The company also works with charity programs like Green Power for a Green LA, the Red Cross and the Humane Society.

Your favorite bath products might smell good enough to eat, but what if you had soap that looked as delicious as it smelled? Soapopotamus — an Etsy shop that sells soaps, body lotions, perfumes and other handmade skin care products — can help. Soapopotamus is known for its incredibly realistic food-shaped soaps, with bath products in everything from cinnamon rolls and donuts to sushi and pizza. You can even buy mini soaps that look like roasted chickens, carrot cake, toast with jam, macarons, Rice Krispies treats, fortune cookies and gummy bears.

Shaving creams and other hair-removal products can contain a lot of chemicals, but Pacific Shaving Co. is all about keeping things natural and sustainable. The company makes affordable shaving essentials that are all-natural, eco-friendly and good for the skin. Pacific Shaving Co. has products for men and women made with ingredients like avocado oil, aloe, shea butter and green tea, and sells everything from shaving creams and postshave moisturizers to exfoliating scrubs and blade oil for razors.

Looking for makeup to express your personality beyond the usual red lipstick and black mascara? Lime Crime is the brand for you. With unapologetically colorful makeup options that are highly pigmented for the lips, eyes and nails, Lime Crime has a shade for everyone. (That even includes mint-green lipstick!) According to the company’s website, Lime Crime is run by an independent team of makeup lovers from Los Angeles, and all of their products are true-to-color and cruelty-free. Lime Crime also makes it a point to give back some of their proceeds to charity.

Melbourne, Australia-based Frank Body harnesses the power of coffee to create skin care products that target stretch marks, scars, cellulite and skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis. All of the brand’s products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, mineral oils, glycols or other additives. Rather, the products are made using natural and naturally derived ingredients like coconut oil, mint extract and cinnamon — along with coffee, of course. According to the company’s website, because coffee has the same PH as your skin, it won’t dry it out — plus, ground coffee is a natural exfoliator, and caffeine helps stimulate blood flow when applied topically to the skin, which aids in the treatment of many of the aforementioned skin conditions.