5 Brands that Crushed The New York City Makeup Show This Year

In a sea of makeup sameness, it can be hard to source newer brands and products that stand out. Every year, I get excited for The Makeup Show because it’s one of the best places I explore makeup innovation and get a sense of all of the upcoming trends we should be on top of over the next season. 

What Is The Makeup Show?


The Makeup Show is one of the largest professional makeup events in the US and basically the stuff that beauty-lovers’ dreams are made of. Over 120 brands, including some awesome smaller, indie companies gather together for a few days of experience, education, and artistry. Aside from the networking and training opportunities,  professional artists and industry experts can buy all the things, often using the show as an opportunity to stock up on their favorite products and try out new additions for their client kits. 

I wait for this weekend like a kid waits for Christmas. Well in fairness, like a nerdy kid waits for Christmas. This show goes best for me when I do some homework and get to know the incredible business leaders building brands and inventive products coming on the market. In short, I take this weekend seriously. Did I make an excel sheet of the eyeshadows I already own to avoid repurchasing them as I have in years’ past? Nods wordlessly…..

I am always most interested in the brands that fly slightly under the radar, but are so smart with their product development, marketing, and solving old beauty problems with new ideas. This year, five brands stood out to me that are getting the smaller beauty biz so right.


Rebels & Outlaws

Rebels & Outlaws is founded by celebrity makeup artist and overall beauty mogul badass James Vincent. (Think runways and Rihanna and you’re part of the way there.) The candles in this line are a work of art, with gorgeous stones and baubbles tucked away in them that emerge as you burn. The real standout product for me, however, is the dry spritz makeup brush cleaner.

I love that as a makeup artist James knew that sometimes you need a little freshening between brushes without always having the ability to do the whole shebang on the cleaning front. (But when you are ready for that, he’s got a lush deep cleanser as well.) I particularly appreciate that both work using natural ingredients like sage and sea salt, avoiding some of that sketchy chemical smell that comes with many other professional or high end brush cleaners. 


Veil Cosmetics

Veil’s Sunset Light Primer is going to be a summer staple for me to lighten up my normal foundation routine and transition it through spring. This product does pretty impressive triple duty—working as a primer, serum, and mixing base. If you’re familiar with all of those but the latter, a mixing base works by swirling into any of your other cream products to lighten them up and give them even more effective spreadability. Packed with anti-aging peptides and other plumpers, I’ve liked adding a pump of it to my favorite CC cream to get that just-right level of coverage for weekend wear. 


MASK Skincare 

CBD is one of the biggest things happening in skincare right now but I wasn’t entirely clear on how to add it to my skincare routine. MASK’s latest addition is “Spotless” - a full-spectrum CBD-infused sheet mask that did a great job of quickly settling down my skin. Known for its ultra-calming properties, the CBD noticeably pulled some red out of my face pre-makeup application. While these are a bit of an investment, they’re markedly cheaper than a special event facial, with comparable results. 


Breakups to Makeup

Female-founded Breakups to Makeup is one of my favorite stops at The Makeup Show. Their cheeky clutches make perfect gifts (especially when stocked up with some product loves!) Pictured above, their classic mantra is my personal fave, but you’ll no doubt find something that speaks to your own lipstick-loving soul. CEO Angelique absolutely embodies the vibe of the brand, and I love that the brand is a reminder that makeup is more than facepaint. Instead, it’s artistry that affects the way we face the world. 


Lippie Book

If your makeup drawer had watched Marie Kondo on Netflix it would have marched right out and bought the Lippie Book. While the Lippie Book is quite clearly for makeup artists, its slick storage and organized layout is just as appealing for recreational product junkies like me. You can fit 92 lipsticks in here. Just let that sink in for a minute. NINETY TWO. Or like, 60, and 32 mascaras. OR, 50 lipsticks, 20 lip glosses, and 22 mascaras. OR…. well, ok. You get it.

It also has slots for pencils and sharpeners that don’t even eat into this space count. If that’s not enough storage joy for you, it zips into a slick tote that ends up vaguely reminiscent of the way you kept 500 CDs in your car in your high school days. Browns from the early 2000’s are optional. 

Have you tried any of these brands? Any indie favorites I should know about? 

*Photos via The Makeup Show or their respective brands. All opinions are my own reviews and no financial benefit was generated from this post. The primer in this piece was gifted as a generous surprise from visiting with the brand at the show.