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(Photo: Giphy)

Of course with any popular brand, you can just head into your local Sephora or Ulta and test them out, swatch them and get the opinions of the sales associates. When you’re dealing with a more under-the-radar beauty brand, the situation is a little different and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start.

With under-the-radar brands, you aren’t constantly seeing one product shoved in your face through every social media outlet, so you may truly not know what to try first. I’ve gone ahead and tried out as many of the products from these up and coming brands and found a great starting place for anyone interested.

Here’s what I found out:

Dose of Colors: Dose of Colors Liquid Lipsticks

Dose of Colors

Of all the under the radar brands out there, Dose of Colors has to be my favorite. I really hate to play favorites, but if you’ve tried their products before, you’ll understand. Out of their entire collection (which is expanding soon!), their liquid lipsticks are by far my favorite product. They’re easily the most comfortable liquid lipsticks out there and come in a great range of shades. Not to mention, these liquid lipsticks could seriously withstand anything. They’re without a doubt my favorite liquid lipsticks on the market right now. This is the perfect place to start when trying out Dose of Colors! My favorite shades are “Kiss of Fire”, “Truffle” and “Stone”!


Lunatick Cosmetic Labs: Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Contour Palette


I had first seen this brand on Kayla Hagey’s YouTube channel and was instantly intrigued for a few reasons: a) the packaging was to die for and b) she’s super light-skinned like me and all the products were perfect for her skintone. As much as I literally loved all the products from Lunatick (so no matter which product you choose to start off with, you’ll be in love), the Contour Palette had to be my favorite. I think this is truly one of the most unique contour palettes out there. It seems that every contour palette on the market right now comes with 6 colors (3 highlights and 3 contours) and they’re supposed to just work for every skintone. With this palette, you receive cool and warm tone contour shades, some great blushes and even a couple contour colors. They all blend like butter and are super, super pigmented. No matter what your skintone looks like, this contour palette will surely cut those cheekbones.


The Matte: The Matte

The Matte

I’m not quite sure why I haven’t thought of this myself, but I’m so happy that someone did! As a freelance makeup artist and hoarder of all things beauty, I’m constantly trying to find room in my bathroom to get ready. I always end up just tossing things inside the actual sink and praying that I don’t accidentally turn the water on. With The Matte, my messy girl problems are solved. The Matte is a travel-size, foldable flat surface that you can put right over your sink to create a surface that you can actually work on instead of tossing all your crap in the sink like I was. Oh and since you’re so awesome, the Matte is offering The Gloss readers a Free Travel Bag when you purchase The Matte.*


(Related: All the Best Lash Primers for Gals Who Struggle With Lame Lashes)

Pixi: Glow Tonic


Sometimes I really feel like toners are a waste of time. I mean, does anyone really see the difference between using one and not? Those were my thoughts until I tried this Glow Tonic by Pixi. This tonic—which is safe for all skin types—is alcohol free and contains ingredients that will help to exfoliate the skin and leave it glowing. It helps to tone, firm and tighten the skin and does wonders to remove dead skin cells. I have to say even after the first use, I couldn’t believe how soft my skin felt. Plus, with this product a little goes a long way, so you don’t have to worry about constantly rebuying. Just trust me on this one, you all need to try this elixir at least once.


Mehron: ​Mehron Eye Creams


Mehron is a brand that’s mostly used by professional makeup artists, but luckily you don’t have to have a professional license to purchase their products. Most of their products are great for those makeup artists who are interested in theatre or production makeup, but there are some gems in the collection that can easily be used for everyday or special occasion looks. I’d have to say that from all the products that I tried, the Eye Creams were my favorite. They’re cream eyeshadows that have the most serious pigmentation to them. You don’t need to dig into the pot at all, just a little rub will do and you can instantly swipe on some serious color. They’re incredibly creamy and come off super easily when you’re washing your face. Even the more shimmery/glittery colors don’t need to be scrubbed off!


Honest Beauty: Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Mist

Honest Beauty

This winter my skin has been straight playing me. I’m still oily in my t-zone but instead of being normal on the outer perimeter of my face, my skin is legit flaking off. I’ve found myself grabbing for this hydration mist basically everytime I pass by it since it instantly cools, calms and hydrates my Sahara-esque skin. This formula contains chamomile and calendula to help calm and soothe, aloe vera to condition the skin and hyaluronic acid that will attract moisture and lock in hydration. You can use this after cleansing or anytime you need a pick-me-up throughout the day!


Glossier: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser


​​I can’t tell you how many cleansers I’ve tried that claim to remove makeup and just don’t. Of all the Glossier products I got to try, this was the first that I used and remained my favorite through testing all the other products. While their Balm Dotcom came in a close second, I really just can’t get enough of this cleanser. It’s not one that suds up and I thought that would turn me off to it, but when you feel your skin after it’s done working it’s magic, you’ll be in awe. Like I said, my skin has been acting up this winter due to a new skincare treatment I’m testing, so the fact that this baby is packed with antioxidants and natural emollients that help to nourish and repair dry, irritated skin make me want to give this cleanser a permanent spot in my skincare routine.

Click through for more under-the-radar beauty products you need to try ASAP.

Zoeva: Rose Golden Complete Set Vol. 1


I am an absolute brush junkie, I have to admit. For some reason, 17 blending brushes just isn’t enough for me. Zoeva was a brand that I heard a lot about from Instagram and YouTube but never got around to trying. Finally, I ended up grabbing this Rose Golden full set because it’s a) beautiful packaging and b) great reviews. This brush set is amazing, you guys. The bristles are incredibly soft and luxurious, and the handles are super sturdy. These brushes are actually not as long as most brushes but that’s one thing that I really dig since it makes them a lot easier to travel with. Not to mention, the set comes with an adorable little clutch so you can easily cart these beauties around!


Gerard: Lipsticks


It all started one night when I was binge watching Jaclyn Hill videos and she mentioned the “1995” lipstick from Gerard and you know that when Jaclyn mentions something, I have to get my hands on it. I really loved the lipstick in terms of the shade, it’s longevity and how comfortable it was to wear. Usually, I’m someone who opts for liquid lipsticks just because I don’t usually have time or patience to reapply throughout the day, but the Gerard lipsticks are my one and only acception to that. My favorite shades are “Enchante” and “Vintage Rose”.


Eve Lom: Brightening Line

Eve Lom

For those of us who love a little luxury in their lives, Eve Lom is a great brand to start with. I first tried their cleanser and thought that it couldn’t get better than that. Then, I tried their brightening line and fell in love. I use the Brightening Cream at night because of how seriously hydrating it is then I opt for the Brightening Lotion in the morning before I apply my makeup. The combination of the two have seriously helped brighten and even my skintone like crazy. It’s also been helping a lot with old acne scars that wouldn’t budge with other products that I’ve tried. The secret is Eve Lom’s ingredient called Dermapep which is a brightening peptide that is clinically proven to be 20 times more effective at lightening pigmentation than other common brightening ingredients like kojic acid, arbutin, and hydroquinone. Sounds like a dream to me, no?


Violet Voss: Liquid Lipsticks

Violet Voss

Violet Voss is not a brand for basics, I’m just gonna put that out there. It takes a really badass person to pull off a lot of Violet Voss’ products. Yes, they have incredible glitters and lashes, but the liquid lipsticks, you guys, the liquid lipsticks. These were just recently released and I am so happy that they exist. These liquid lipsticks literally feel like nothing. All you can feel is your normal lips and no cakey, dry, sticky lipstick feels like many other liquid lipsticks give you. But, what I truly dig about these liquid lipsticks is the color range. From pale nudes to chocolate brown, the unique shades are anything but basic.”Lust” and “Excessive” are easily my favs.


Natasha Denona: Face Glow Foundation

Natasha Denona

If you’re someone who is interested in hopping on the strobing wagon, Natasha Denona is the place to start. As Anastasia is the Queen of Brows, Natasha Denona is the Queen of Highlighters. Any product you try from the brand is going to leave with you a beautiful, natural glow, but I was a huge fan of the Face Glow Foundation. Since my skin is usually a bit oily, I’m usually not one to grab a glowy foundation to wear, but this one is my one and only exception. I love the way the glow looks soooo natural. This foundation gives a great medium coverage and stays on really well. Don’t tell, but I even wore it when I went to the gym straight from work and it stayed on throughout my entire Zumba class.


Ofra: Long-Lasting Liquid Lipsticks


Alright, I know that I’m featuring a lot of liquid lipsticks in this article, but trust me on this one.. the ones I’m mentioning are seriously the best. So, I heard a ton of great things about these liquid lipsticks and once I swiped one on my lips I know what all the hype was about. These incredibly creamy and soft liquid lipsticks literally last all day. I even put the shade “Mocha” (which is one of my favorites) through the Spaghetti-O’s challenge. I ate the whole bowl and it was still perfectly applied! Though with this formula I would stay away from oily food because it did not agree with the truffle macaroni and cheese I ate the other day while wearing it.


Physicians Formula: Bronzers

Physician's Formula

At literally half the price of a typical bronzer you’d find at, say, Sephora these Physician’s Formula bronzers have a special place in my heart. While Physician’s Formula isn’t technically an under the radar brand, they’re one of those drugstore brands that many people forget about since they don’t usually have displays as large as Covergirl or Revlon. Their bronzer was actually one of the first bronzers I ever purchased and it’s still one that I use almost daily. I’m really loving the new BB bronzers they created (which is linked above) because of the great pigmentation, amazing color and natural look they give off.


Appriya: Mineral Complex Serum


After working at LUSH, I’ve been more aware about using products that feature more natural ingredients and Appriya does just that. Their Mineral Complex Serum does wonders to hydrate your skin using water from the water from the Thai Mountains. Since this water is rich in restorative natural nanoparticles, they can dissolve into the skin which will help enhance the efficiency of each product’s active ingredients. Best part is that it diminishes wrinkles, calms irritation and creates a brighter, more balanced skin tone.


Simplehuman: 8 inch Sensor Mirror 5x Magnification


I’m sure I’m not the only one with this issue: In the morning when you’re doing your makeup right in front of your window it all looks great since your makeup area is lit with natural light, but as soon as the sun goes down doing your makeup becomes a serious challenge since you’re left with only the shitty room lights. I had this issue and was searching for a solution and found so many lit mirrors but none that actually mimicked natural sunlight. This mirror that gives you 5x magnification automatically lights up whenever your face gets close to it. The light bulb in this mirror is super long-lasting and doesn’t diminish even after years. Plus, it’s cordless. So you’ll plug it in, let it charge and then have up to 5 weeks of light!

* To get your free travel bag with your purchase of The Matte, add the travel bag in your cart, enter promo code “thematte16” and $4.99 will be deducted from your order!