The majority of makeup brands you find commercially can be traced back to just a handful of umbrella companies. Makeup tends to use the same ingredients so it’s not unusual to notice similar results and ideas across brands.
An alternative to this is to seek out small independent cosmetics companies. The indies are taking off in this culture of easy online marketing and social media. They occasionally have a small presence in shop displays or sell at craft or trade fairs, but the majority of indie business is done online.
These cosmetics are often handmade—not made in mass batches—and are always cruelty-free. Small companies can’t afford the expense of animal testing anyway. Many indie companies are vegan or offer information about any animal ingredients they may contain.
It’s a requirement for all U.S. cosmetics that they have their ingredients listed somewhere—often on their website. If they don’t, beware.
It’s nice to support a small business instead of a big corporation, and the people in the indie cosmetics world tend to be a community of people who have a real passion for makeup and beauty. If you worry about the accountability and quality of these products, look up reviews. They should be easy to find on social media, blogs, and review sites. These companies are also relatively easy to personally contact with any questions through email or social media.
Often beauty blogs are a good resource to find hidden gems. Etsy can be a great place to find these businesses as are Pinterest and Instagram. Indie makeup can be a lot of fun and open up a whole new world beyond the usual cosmetics counter.