When you're looking for cool new beauty products to fill your bathroom cabinet and impress your friends, where do you look? Of course, Cult Beauty is a great first port of call, plus Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie often have interesting and largely unknown brands to get acquainted with. But do you ever think to look at Free People?
Us either. We love the store's boho style floaty dresses and dainty jewellery, but it turns out it's also home to around a gazillion incredible beauty products from brands hailing from all corners of the globe. From California-based skincare lines to Parisian makeup ranges, this is where we're looking to find "the next big thing" in beauty, and we're more than happy to let you in on the secret too.
Click through to discover the most unusual indie beauty products we've been ordering at Free People.
A brown glass dropper bottle has the power to make any cluster of skincare products a whole lot chicer, and luckily this one does pretty good things to your face too. It isn't even a tad greasy, and it imparts the kind of dewy sheen we thought was only possible via a clinical facial.
A good all-rounder balm is the cornerstone of any bathroom cabinet and this one contains shea butter, rose hip oil, coconut oil and white tea, making it the ideal antidote to ravaged cuticles, sore lips, wayward brows and stingy grazes. Keep one to hand at all times.
Hip Brooklyn-based brand Love + Sage use only nontoxic plant-based ingredients for its beauty range. This is lip balm without any of the bad stuff: just pure botanical oils and a hint of natural colour.
This one takes a little getting used to: The colour comes out as a powder, but as soon as it touches the lips (and the moisture they possess), it emulsifies into a creamy lip stain with plenty of colour clout. It's by a laid-back Californian brand, CLE, which celebrates lo-fi beauty.
Another marvel from CLE, this CCC (note the extra C) cream needs to be seen to be believed. Every one of the five shades squirts out of the tube pure white, but the pressure of your fingertips (or foundation brush) is enough to break the shells of the encapsulated pigment particles, and the true shade is revealed. It might seem like a gimmick, but it actually means the colour goes on really rather sheer, like a negligee of coverage for the face.
Everything Stowaway makes is tiny it'll fit in even the smallest crossbody or clutch. These miniature lipsticks are buttery, smooth and come in three cheery colours.
If you struggle with body scrubs (it can be all too easy to accidentally rinse all the grains down the plug hole before they've even touched your shins), this clever towel could be the answer. Like a less abrasive brillo pad, the woven fabric buffs flaky skin into oblivion. Plus, it's made from charcoal (I mean, what isn't these days?), so it'll also draw out impurities while it exfoliates.
Juice Beauty has thrown itself wholeheartedly into the organic skincare sphere, with good results too. This green apple peel is powered by alpha-hydroxy acids that nibble away at dead skin cells on the skin's surface and do a good job at fading dark spots too. It's addictive.
Free People is also big on wellness, and it has plenty of capsules, candles and crystals to feed your body's energy. These supplements take the tang out of a daily spoonful of apple cider vinegar (famed for its anti-inflammatory properties).