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12 Indie Beauty Brands Gen Z & Millennial Women Want To Try

We asked young females what up-and-coming new beauty brands they’re excited to try, and these are the top 12 on their list…

Beauty and personal care brands have been experiencing a boom, thanks in part to young consumers’ desire for escapes and moments of self-care. For Millennial and Gen Z females, makeup and skincare are manageable, mini luxuries. Our trend Treat Yo’Self found that beauty/cosmetics were second on the list of things that young females had recently treated themselves to, and our research shows that 33% of 13-36-year-old females say they have increased their spending on skin care in the last 12 months. In fact, over half of young females tell YPulse their skincare routine has become more elaborate in the last year. With the focus on beauty products intensifying, competition to get in their carts (digital or physical) is, of course, fierce. We’ve seen that though big name brands might still be at the top of “will use/buy” lists, newer competition is eclipsing them as brands young females “pay attention to”—a vital score that can help make or break a brand’s standing with young consumers. We’re seeing more beauty brands launch by targeting specific groups with unique offerings to get that attention, and the Wall Street Journal has reported that established beauty brands are struggling to compete with indie upstarts.

Gen Z and Millennial females are looking for new, exciting beauty brands to try. Almost three in five tell us they love trying new makeup brands, and one in five say they’ve bought a beauty/personal care product after seeing it first on Instagram. To find out what new brands are catching their eyes, in our most recent health and beauty survey, we asked young consumers, “What new or up-and-coming beauty brand are you excited to try?” Here are the top 12 that Gen Z and Millennial females named:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of up-and-coming beauty brands that Gen Z and Millennial females are excited to try—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most concerning. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

The Up-and-Coming Beauty Brands They’re Excited to Try
13-36-year-old females
  1. Glossier
  2. Fenty Beauty
  3. Kylie Cosmetics
  4. Jeffree Star
  5. The Ordinary
  6. Love Beauty and Planet
  7. Tarte
  8. Morphe
  9. K-Beauty
  10. Drunk Elephant
  11. Tatcha
  12. Juvia’s Place

Though the numbers were close, Glossier was the most mentioned brand by both Gen Z and Millennial females. The brand that started with crowd-sourcing ideas for a perfect cleanser has continued to find success by listening to and tapping into their followers. We’ve written about the hot beauty brand for their Millennial-friendly marketing tactics, like Instagrammable packaging and experiential stores. And Vox reports that one of Glossier’s keys to success is letting fans act as their influencers. They regularly tap into their Brandom by reposting fans’ content, and have built an army of over 500 brand representatives, and countless more individuals who are more than willing to share their posts with Glossier—for free. They’ve also invested in becoming a lifestyle brand, selling and giving away merch (stickers and sweatshirts) that let young fans broadcast their love of the brand and building a flagship store that CEO Emily Weiss explains is all about creating a physical version of the brand’s personality.

We aren’t surprised to see Fenty and Kylie cosmetics at number two and three on the ranking respectively, with our brand tracker identifying the celebrity-helmed brands as two of the hottest beauty names in the eyes of young female shoppers.

It’s worth calling out that this list contains some signifiers of some of the larger beauty trends appealing to them right now. K-beauty products continue to be of interest, with several respondents telling us they are interested in any K-beauty, regardless of brand. And Love Beauty and Planet is an example of low-waste beauty, which was one of the big trends we spotted at Beautycon this year.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.