Top Ten Indie Products of 2015

Hello readers and happy new year! Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday. Today I'm going to be sharing my favorite products of 2015. Some of these products have been reviewed here previously, but for any that haven't been, I've provided swatches below. 

These are products that I've used frequently throughout and would recommend to anyone! Some were later discoveries in the year but have made their way to my favorites list and will continue to get plenty of use in the next year.

This product has become an absolute essential for me. Previously I had been using a Skin79 BB cream but I wanted something with lighter coverage. I have fairly clear skin aside from some texture and redness so I don't need much coverage when combined with a good concealer. I ordered some foundation samples earlier this year and found a perfect match for my NC15 skintone. This foundation leaves me with the most natural finish of any foundation I've tried. I would say it gives light to medium buildable coverage. It typically wears around 6-7 hours on my combo skin. I also like that it's fast and easy to apply, and clings to dry patches a lot less than liquid formulas I've tried. 

Availability: The shop has been closed through 2015 but the owner announced very recently that she plans on reopening sometime in early 2016. In the meantime, she is taking foundation requests through her email. You can reach her at Full size foundations are $24.50. Halfings are $14.25 and samples go for $2.25.

Lip Theories are pigmented liquid lipsticks similar to OCC Lip Tars. They were originally packaged in squeeze tubes but are now sold in doefoot wand lipgloss tubes. There are currently 36 colors available, ranging from bright hues to MLBB shades and basic primary colors as well. I have several of them but my favorites are Chaos and PkA. Like the Lip Tars, these can be easily mixed to custom create colors. 

These have a vanilla scent upon application. Unlike a lot of liquid lipsticks on the market, Lip Theories don't dry down to a completely matte finish. I find them neither moisturizing or drying. They are very lightweight though. If you like bold, opaque colors but don't like the feeling of matte formulas or heavy products on your lips, you would love these. The deeper shades are pretty long-wearing and leave behind a nice stain. I will have swatches and individual shade reviews on these up soon. 

Availability - Currently in stock. Full sizes retail for $8. Older shades are available in sample size for $2, while the new collection samples will be available sometime in 2016. Samples are pretty generous but don't come with applicators so make sure you have a lip brush. 

Blackbird is one of only a handful of indie companies who offer pressed matte shadows. They're lineup was originally available in a loose formulation but that's been recently discontinued. If you're a regular visitor to my blog, you'll have seen me use these shades countless times. I own Thirteen, Dog Days, Vintage, Fire Pledge, Lucid, and Half Full. Dog Days, Fire Pledge (!), and Lucid are my favorites. 

When I first made my order for Blackbird mattes, I received a few that had some damage so I emailed the owner who sent me replacements of the broken shades, as well as a full size Lucid which was kind of her. It's actually turned out to be one of my favorites! It's a softer black than say, Makeup Geek Corrupt but it's great for adding depth to the crease or outer corner. Black can be a hard color to blend out so I think Lucid is great for beginners because it's easier to work with. Fire Pledge, Dog Days, and Thirteen all make great transition shades for blending. 

Blackbird's formula is very opaque and smooth, and I personally find them easy to blend out. The exception to this is Half-Full, which I originally bought to use as a base shadow color to help blend colors over. When applied over primer, this is slightly chalky and hard to blend. I find this color actually works much better without primer, so I use it on my no-makeup makeup days to cover up some minor lid darkness. The only negative about this product is that it's very fragile. I have lost small chunks of the pan from dropping the palette that houses them a small distance, so I wouldn't recommend these for travel. 

Availability: In stock. Pressed Shadows retail for $8. If you're interested in purchasing complete sets of Volume 1 and 2, they're on sale for $68 right now. 

Skin Walker is what I wanted Blackbird  Half Full to be. It's my perfect base shadow. The purpose of a base shadow is to have a powdered surface to apply colors and do your blending overtop. Prior to discovering Skin Walker, I had been using Urban Decay Foxy and WOS from the Naked Basics palette, both which I've hit pan on. Skin Walker is a matte, peachy toned nude which matches my eyelid color pretty well. No matter what brands or colors I'm using on a particular day, I always start off with Skin Walker as a base.

Availability: In stock. A full size jar retails for $6.00. Skin Walker is part of the Cryptozoology collection which is available until the end of February. Remaining stock will be sold and liquidated until the collection returns in August. 

Darling Girl Cosmetics There Is No Dana + Bronze Dawn Eyeshadows

2015 was the year of warm tones for me. While I still thought I was neutral toned, I bought lots of cooler purples and blues and steered clear of warmer shades. These two eyeshadows, along with Blackbird Fire Pledge, have well and truly converted me into a warm tone lover. 

There is No Dana is a bright orange copper with a gold shift with pink sparkles. It makes a gorgeous lid shade and pairs well with other warm colors. Bronze Dawn is a reddish golden bronze with pink undertones. Although it has a shimmery finish, I use this a lot in the crease and most of the shimmer blends away. I've used these paired together and separately many times [1] [2]. Pigmentation on both shadows is great and I highly recommend them if you're planning on making a DG order soon! 

Availability: In stock. Mini jars retail for $2.50 and full size jars are $6.00. 

This was one of my later discoveries but it has quickly become a staple when doing eyeshadow for me. The name isn't exactly the most appealing but the product itself is awesome. If you're a frequent indie buyer, you'll know that to get maximum color payoff and intensity from some shadows, a sticky base is needed. For a lot of people, dealing with the muss and fuss of say, Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy or Darling Girl's Glitter Glue is too much work or too time consuming. Well, meet the lazy girl's sticky base. 

It comes packaged in a matte black compact with the wax in the center. You rub your finger into the wax until you get a decent amount built up, then dab all over your lid. It'll leave it slightly tacky. I usually find that one layer of application is enough. Occasionally I'll add just a little in lid areas that I feel didn't get enough wax down on the first pass. With this product, less is more or you might get creasing if you over apply. Once you've applied, you can go ahead and put your eyeshadows over top. 

The best thing about this product and why I think it's so user friendly is that there's no waiting period for it to dry like other sticky bases. With PE for example, you have to wait until the product is slightly tacky and has dried down a bit. With the Adhesive wax, you can go straight in and apply your shadows. I also find it easier to blend over than traditional sticky bases. My friend Megan has an excellent review comparing the Adhesive Wax to other popular bases that you can see here.

The only thing I'm not really fond of is the name and packaging of this product. I wish there was a more hygienic style of packaging because I don't love dipping my finger into it constantly but for how well it works, I can deal! 

Availability: In stock. This product retails for $7.50. 

Alright so I know this one is super recent but how could I not?! If you're not aware, Hello Waffle does a collection every Black Friday comprised of user-submitted selections of their pets. A portion of the earnings is then given to a local animal shelter in the owner's area (this year I believe the total donation was around $1300!) I submitted my rescue dog Emma and she was chosen to be in this year's collection! 

I decided to go with a highlighter concept because I firmly believe HW excels in their highlighters and I've been wanting a warm highlighter with the pigmentation of HW Lavender Cream. Emma is a warm-champagne with a coppery pink iridescence to it. It can be applied lighting for a subtle look or packed on for a more intense effect. It came with this picture of her on the label! <3. I've worn it pretty much nonstop as a cheek and inner corner highlighter. It's really a stunning color and I couldn't be happier with it. 

Availability: This was a limited edition product and is not currently available. I do believe that the remaining stock from this year's Kitty Kingdom collection will be available when the shop reopens in January so keep an eye out for that! 

If there's been one hobby I've picked up in 2015, it's definitely been pressing my loose shadows. I have a pressed series that goes into my collection, how to press, and the various palettes available to house pressed shadows. While I still use other types of palettes, MiniMint has become my go-to shop for new ones.They offer small (3x3, $5.50), medium (4x4, $7.00), and large (4x6, $10.00) empty palettes with one of a kind designs. All of their palettes are water resistant and orders typically include label stickers. 

They have a custom option which allows you to choose the designs of your palettes, which I discussed in my palette comparison post and highly recommend. Another great thing they do is a rewards program. If you buy ten of their palettes, they give you a medium one for free. Pricing is affordable, quality is good, and I've received some of the best customer service from this shop. I honestly can't say enough good stuff about them and will continue to purchase there. 

Availability: The shop appears to be currently closed. It doesn't have a reopening date listed so I would just keep checking back if you're interested in checking them out. 

Prior to finding indies and makeup in general, I had a brief obsession with nail polish. The evidence can still be found on hanging on my wall shelves. This was mostly relegated to mainstream brands like OPI, China Glaze, and Zoya, but I also tried out some indie brands like A-England, KBShimmer, and Dollish Polish. This year, thanks to my lovely group of friends online, I fell in love with Femme Fatale polishes. Earlier this year, FF had been doing limited edition collection releases inspired by Grimm tales. They do a lot of crelly glitter mixes as well as duochromes, which are all right up my alley. My favorites definitely have to be Who is Fairest of Them All and Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, although I have a bunch of decants I haven't tried yet! 

Availability: These were limited releases and are no longer available through FF, although Shiro Cosmetics has a few of them listed here. If you're interested in their upcoming releases, I'd suggest following their Facebook group to receive sale info and swatches. There are often group buys going on that make it easier to purchase. It's become quite difficult and expensive to get polishes shipped directly from them, so you may also want to follow Shiro's Facebook page as well so you can receive updates on when they're restocking polishes. 

My hubby has a goatee that he keeps at around an inch in length. It can get a little scratchy and dry at times. Back in March I made a purchase at BathSabbath for their Odin Beard Oil. James really liked the scent (spiced mead) and has been using it on the ever since! The scent clings on for hours and it really has helped soften his goatee. 

The smell is pleasant, not overpowering or anything. He still has over half a bottle after nearly a year of daily use. I recently ordered the Cernunnos Beard Oil for my brother in law as a Christmas gift and the scent on that one is great too! 

Availability: Odin isn't in stock but Cernunnos is, along with some holiday beard oils. The store will be reopening on Saturday. They retail for $12 for a 1 oz bottle. The seasonal ones are $15 and feature custom label art on the bottles. 

That wraps up my favorites for 2015. Were any of these your favorites as well? Let me in the comments what your favorites were! 

Share this:



  1. hi how would i purchase emma (as in the dog) please thanks