With a flurry of acquisitions punctuating 2021, and new brands popping up at every turn, which ones are worthy of our attention and defining beauty’s new frontier? Here, a list of brands to keep on the radar for 2022 as selected by CEW’s editorial team.

Dazzle Dry

Dazzle Dry: Nail care was one of the categories that never faltered during the pandemic and there is no letup in sight. What is shifting is demand for effective, non-toxic products. Enter Dazzle Dry, the brainchild of scientist and researcher Dr. Vivian Valenty. Her nail polish system checks off all the boxes: dries in under five minutes without fans or lights, chip-free nails for two weeks, no harsh chemicals, can be removed with any remover. Dazzle Dry is available DTC, at professional beauty salons (the products are used in the spas at Lifetime Fitness), and at prestige beauty retailers including Amazon Pro Beauty.

Monika Blunder

Monika Blunder:

Monika Blunder Beauty: Celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder, known for her work with stars such as Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Megan Fox, created her own clean makeup line with Sandi Ateser in November of 2020. She was inspired by the natural ingredients from her roots growing up in Austria, such as arnica and edelweiss. The line’s debut products, a foundation/concealer hybrid called Blunder Cover, and a companion Hybrid Cream Brush, play upon her signature “flawless canvas” makeup applications. She’s since expanded the range to 20 shades and several complementary tools. She just launched two new brushes: Call Your Buff Angled Brush, a custom-sculpted buffing brush for quick, all-over base applications and Tulip Blending Brush, perfect for contouring hard-to-reach places. Monika Blunder Beauty is sold at Neiman Marcus and online retailers, as well as MonikaBlunderBeauty.com.


AVYA: The benefits of Ayurvedic ingredients are secret no more thanks to Deepika Vyas, Founder and CEO of AVYA Skincare. Deepika couldn’t find products for her sensitive, darker skin tone so she turned to her roots (she was born in Kenya of Indian descent) to incorporate Ayurvedic ingredients such as turmeric, neem, and peony into her skin care brand. The ingredients’ anti-inflammatory and healing properties are combined with a proprietary technique of microencapsulation that allow them to become bioavailable to the skin. AVYA is a brisk seller at Macy’s and is also available at Soft Surroundings, Amazon, derms, spas and @avyaskincare.com.


Saie: Laney Crowell, Founder and CEO of Saie Beauty, knows that listening to consumers is tantamount to success. The former content executive launched her brand in November 2019 with the mission of creating safe, high-performing products. Rather than adhere to traditional seasonal launches, Laney releases new items at the request of her loyal Saie community. The name Saie, in fact, comes from her fans “saying” what they want in new items. Her Slip Tint tinted moisturizer, glow kits, lip glosses and cheek flushes are among her brand’s fan favorites. Saie is backed with financial support from Unilever Ventures and Gwyneth Paltrow. Lanie branched out into vintage apparel late last year, also as part of her game plan to make beauty and fashion more sustainable.


BeautyStat: The discovery of a stabilized form of vitamin C convinced veteran cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson, famous for innovations with brands including Clinique, Estée Lauder, Revlon and Avon, to branch out beyond his BeautyStat blog into his own brand. His timing couldn’t have been better. Interest in vitamin C has hit a fevered pitch: according to Google, vitamin C has been among the most searched ingredients over the past two years. His hero product, a multiple-award winner called Universal C Skin Refiner, is formulated with 20 percent pure vitamin C. Ron broadened his line with a Universal C eye protector, a Universal Microbiome Barrier Balancing Cleanser, a Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream and a Universal Moisture Essence. The essence is unique, according to Ron, as it uses squalene, a plant-drive and sustainable ingredient. Once again, he was ahead of the curve with the launch of his Microbiome Barrier Balancing Cleanser: “microbiome” is emerging one of the biggest beauty terms for 2022. Distribution has grown from DTC to include Saks Fifth Avenue,  Macy’s, Bluemercury, Bloomingdale’s, Cos Bar, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, QVC, dermstore.com, and skinstore.com.

Olaplex Daily Cleanse & Condition Duo

Olaplex: Last year was a breakout year for this cult favorite hair care brand. Under the direction of industry wizard JuE Wong, who assumed the role of CEO in 2020, the patented hair bond-builder went public on the NASDAQ in September with a valuation of more than $15 billion. JuE said the brand hits the sweet spot of skinification, premiumization, and ritualization all of which are driving sales in the prestige hair care category. Growth in doors and products are on the checklist to keep the momentum going. Ulta Beauty just expanded beyond its Olaplex services in its salons to offer the brand at retail. There is also a robust pipeline of new products, JuE promised. International growth is also on the front burner.

Love Wellness

Love Wellness: Lauren “Lo” Bosworth launched Love Wellness in 2016 after noticing white space in personal care products that were formulated with natural, safe ingredients. Too many products, she said, had scents and chemicals that she didn’t want to use, so she crafted her brand on the advice of doctors from her living room. The brand was picked up by Ulta Beauty in 2019 to highlight up and coming brands, and ever since Love Wellness has been kindling sales fueled by consumer interest in female wellness. The product range includes probiotics, vitamins, cleansers, wipes and supplements like fiber targeting everything from bloat to vaginal health.


Briogeo: Briogeo founder Nancy Twine was promoting clean ingredients and the skinification of hair almost a decade before those ideals became industry standards. Now she’s innovating again, tapping into social listening to discover consumer pain points. “We learned that there’s a portion of our community that suffers from extremely dry, broken and damaged hair that is beyond what a typical mask can repair. Our customers have been asking us for something more professional grade that will up the ante,” Nancy said. Her latest solution is Don’t Despair, Repair! MegaStrength+Rice Water Protein+Moisture Strengthening Treatment inspired by her mom’s home-grown solution to helping Nancy regain hair health after damage. “A lot of our growth will be fueled by world class innovation that will take Briogeo to the next level. We have two professional strength innovations that will be headlining our assortment for next year. There are also some great extensions from our existing product lines. We’ll be bringing our Scalp Revival Collection to Ulta Beauty,” Nancy said.

Shea Yeleen

Shea Yeleen: Shea Yeleen’s founder, Rahama Wright, a former Peace Corps volunteer, set out to not only sell products but build a social impact company. Established in 2005, her nonprofit social enterprise was designed to empower women in West Africa and the United States through the product, sale and use of shea butter products. “My vision is to bring light to the supply chain issues facing women in rural villages of West Africa, and to bring hope through creating living-wage jobs. Our company makes it easy for consumers to see that how a product is made is equally as important as how that product is ultimately used for body care,” she said. Through a business model used in Ghana, Rahama illustrates that women in its cooperatives generate five times their country’s minimum wage. That opens up opportunity to invest in other income-generating activities, send kids to school and afford access health care services. Rahama offers opportunities for women who produce the ingredients through the fair pricing of her brand. Her lineup includes body balms, butters, soap and lip balm, ranging from $4 for a soap to $39.95 for a gift set of Batik-printed bags filled with a body cream and a lip balm. She was recently recognized by the Meredith Corporation as one of five  businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and/or LGBTQIA individuals as winners of its Good Impressions program. “Winning the Good Impressions pro-bono media and marketing award will enable Shea Yeleen to amplify our brand, build meaningful relationships with new customers, boost direct-to-consumer sales, and continue uplifting our producers in Ghana,” said Rahama. “This investment in our business will have ripple effects on our suppliers creating living wage jobs and contributing to sustainability within our supply chain.”