One thing stood out to our team as we walked the show floor at Cosmoprof North America last week—there were so many brands we had never seen before! As a firm that has been tracking the beauty industry for nearly 60 years, we had once prided ourselves on being in the know on every single brand. Those days are long gone, as the sheer number of unknown brands seems to increase exponentially each year, not only on the show floor but also in the digital beauty space, as identified by Amalgam, Kline’s new digital beauty tracker. Clearly entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well.
Many of this new breed of indies have been in business for less than five years and feature a natural or clean positioning. Context, a clean beauty and skin care focused brand that surged in Amalgam during Q2, exhibited at the show. Context finished Q2 with six hair care items on the charts, compared to one in April. The brand, established in 2015 with a minimal aesthetic approach and luxe-affordable pricing, added hair care to its line-up in 2017. Items from the line have been found at Revolve, Amazon, Anthropologie, and Bloomingdale’s. Its top hair item ranks #217 in Sprays and appears in the top 600 of the Hair Styling Products and Sprays segment in June.
Other nature-inspired brands include Acure and As I Am. Acure, a vegan and cruelty-free collection of hair, skin, and body products, was present in the Discover Green section with a small but bustling booth. In Amalgam, we noted Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub climbed to the #2 spot in the Facial Skin Care category in June. As I Am, a natural hair care brand targeting women of color, also had a booth. As I Am was flagged as one of Amalgam’s hair care “winners” in Q2, as its Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner entered the top 500 in for the first time, ending the quarter at #352 in Hair Care and #11 in Cleansing Conditioners.
NeedCrystals is another indie that caught our eye in Amalgam earlier this year, as its Microdermabrasion Crystals climbed into the top five in the Facial Skin Care category and now ranks #1 in Exfoliators. This item promises to reduce the appearance of acne scars, blackheads, wrinkles, stretch marks, fine lines, sun spots, and age spots. Among the sites Amalgam monitors, it has consistently been found among Amazon’s best sellers. NeedCrystals had a small booth at Cosmoprof in the Professional Beauty Section.
JB Cosmetics is another indie firm bubbling up both at the show and in Amalgam. It had a large booth adjacent to the Discover Beauty section featuring its LashFood brand. LashFood is a collection of lash and brow enhancers formulated with herb extracts and other natural ingredients. Originally available only at salons and spas, it can now be found at leading specialty retailers including Sephora and Ulta. It now has nine items present in Amalgam, with its highest scored item among the top 15 lash enhancers.
With the influx of new, independent, and young brands appearing en masse, it’s important for the industry at large to pay attention. Undoubtedly, some of these rising indies will become the next big thing, and with the fire power of social media and influencers will be able to rise much more quickly than ever before.
Based on the continuous collection, aggregation, and blending of data from approximately 15 leading retailer websites, this new interactive online service uses a proprietary algorithm to score beauty products based on their ranking among best-selling product listings, customer ratings, prevalence, and duration on the charts. For more details, visit Amalgam.