The Best Beauty Brands You’ve Never Heard Of

By Erin Donnelly

Was it Confucius or Sheryl Crow who wisely opined, “A change would do you good”? While we wouldn’t suggest shaving your head Britney-style or showing up to the office with black lipstick, making some updates to your beauty routine is never a bad idea. So allow us to introduce you to a few new friends, i.e. fresh brands that have recently emerged on the beauty scene. From advanced skincare to luxury hair products, these new kids on the block may be young, but they bring with them a wealth of professional beauty expertise (perhaps John Barrett and Calvin Klein ring a bell?). You don’t have to give up your longtime loves like Bobbi Brown or Neutrogena…but you may find room in your heart (or makeup bag, at least) for a new beauty crush. 

Meet the new class: 

My Blend (shown)

Forget snowflakes—no two pores were created the same. That’s why the My Blend concept—the brainchild of French skin expert Dr. Olivier Courtin and sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue—offers high-quality skincare according to each individual’s specific dermal demands. To create your dream cream (or lotion—your pick), choose from eight essential formulas infused with a Cell Synergy Complex—including Stress Management, Potent Age Antidote, and Oil Crisis Control. Need reinforcements? Throw in a concentrated pure active skin booster (Redness Rescue, Speedy Recovery, Moisture Immersion, Anti-Oxidant Surge or Radiant Burst), or add something from the Specifics collection—Time Resistant Eye Crème or the Light & Luminous Skin Brightener, perhaps? Overall, there are about 500 possible combinations ready to cater to your oh-so-unique skin, whether it’s young and dewy or old and ew-wy. (Oh, and lest you doubt Dr. Courtin’s creds, it might help to know that his family created a little skincare brand called Clarins.) 

ck Calvin Klein beauty (shown) Okay, so you may have heard the name “Calvin Klein” before—but not like this. Though the CK name has been stamped on practically every product under the sun—apparel, fragrance, undies, etc.—there hasn’t been a proper beauty line until recently. Dubbing itself “an innovative fusion of fashion and beauty,” the line seeks to translate runway trends into luxurious, but wearable, makeup. Standout products include the Electric Edge Liquid Eyeliner Marker Pen (crucial for creating a smoky eye), the vitamin-rich Infinite Balance Crème to Powder Foundation, and the Delicious Truth Sheer Lipstick, available in a bouquet of pretty pinks. It wouldn’t be a Calvin Klein project if everything weren’t classic and chic, so look elsewhere for your glittery eye shadows. 


From his salon’s perch on the penthouse floor at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, A-list hairstylist John Barrett has handled the tresses of just about every starlet and socialite within a 10-mile radius. Thankfully, those of us who can’t afford to shell out $450+ for Barrett’s styling fee can still benefit from the master’s hair knowledge. Barrett has created the Elementage hair care line to protect hair from harmful elements and the effects of aging. None of the vitamin-rich products cost more than $38, which makes them all the more tempting. There’s the nourishing Be Healed hair treatment, the Be Hold styling balm to control hair, and shampoos and conditioners designed for daily or weekly use. For a designer brand, it’s surprisingly simple and easy to use—but that doesn’t mean you won’t still feel like a pampered heiress sitting in Barrett’s styling chair. 


Want to feel like a natural woman? Look no further than the new holistic skincare line from Nishi Joshi, one of the UK’s leading holistic and wellness gurus. This all-natural assortment of nourishing products for the face and hands builds upon Joshi’s wellness background and ancient Indian healing therapies to provide the ultimate in good-for-you beauty bliss. It’s hard to resist these Mother-Nature-provided ingredients, too: the toning Face and Neck Serum banishes wobbly necks with an ingredient derived from shitake mushrooms, the soothing, firming Eye Care Cream contains borage oil rich in omega 6, and the Intensive Hand Treatment uses Japanese mandarin extracts to help fade age spots. You may never go back to chemicals and parabens again.  


Sally Hershberger Supreme Head

Celebrity hair stylist and “Shear Genius” personality Sally Hershberger likely surprised fans a few years back when she came out with a product line…for skin. Now, Hershberger-famed for giving Meg Ryan her choppy shag and charging around $800 for a cut-is proving that she knows where her bread is buttered by launching the Supreme Head line, a hair care collection priced at $15 and less (guess Sally is as good at slashing prices as she is at slashing hair). Sold at Walgreens, the Supreme Head line features shampoos, conditioners, styling products, shine boosters and more, and they’re conveniently categorized according by hair type. Need a little extra guidance? Go to to see video styling tips that give you the 411 on creating everything from flowing waves to a sexy textured punk-style bob. 


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