M&A activity in the beauty industry has been strong in the first half of 2015 and there are no signs the market is slowing down any time soon. In just the past two months we’ve seen Frederic Fekkai, Kate Somerville, Too Faced, Rochas, Bourjois and This Works snapped up by either multi-national companies or investment firms. Indeed, all eyes are on Indie brands, who are being favored by consumers for their transparency, unique social savvy and access to founders. Here, CEW has identified three Indie brands we think have the innovation and staying power to become the next Glamglow.


Founded by chemical engineer Jenny Frankel, NUDESTIX aims to embody the effortless lifestyle trend consumers are beginning to seek, especially Millennials. In order to speak to the needs of the younger consumer, Jenny partnered with her daughters, Ally and Taylor, to launch a line of streamlined makeup crayons designed to provide quick and easy nude looks that work for all faces.

“NUDESTIX is a brand that a beauty executive with 20 years of experience would typically not create, because we don’t think they have insights to the up and coming generation,” said Jenny. “This consumer has been influenced by technology, has access to curated lifestyles and needs her makeup to be cool, effortless, fast and fun. Most importantly, it has to be mobile.”

Skin Inc, Skin Supplement Bar

Customized, hyper-personalized beauty is where forecasters say beauty is headed, and Singapore-based Skin Inc aims to deliver just that with the world’s first Customized Serum Bar. Consumers can create their very own custom-blended serum after filling out a questionnaire to identify their individual skin’s needs on the brand’s site, iloveskin.com. Created in 2007, Skin Inc also operates flagships in Singapore and throughout Asia and Europe.

“The brand was inspired by my personal frustration with complex skin care regimens which seemed to be one size fits all rather than being custom fit to me,” said Founder Sabrina Tan. “After all, your skin is unique, and so should your skin care to get effective results without the fuss.”


Companies that are thinking bigger and finding new ways of using products and techniques to improve well-being through beauty will be sought after by beauty consumers, experts say. To meet this need, Dr. Roshini Raj, a gastroenterologist, developed Tula, a skin care line completely based on probiotic technology.

“As a gastroenterologist I’m fascinated with probiotics and wanted to create a skin care line that was innovative and effective and spoke to the concept of inside/outside beauty, while offering women optimal skin health,” said Dr. Raj.

Tula, which means “balance” in Sanskrit, was co-founded by Dr. Raj, Ken Landis—one of the co-founders of Bobbi Brown—and Dan Reich, and launched in July 2014. With headquarters and labs based in New York, Tula took only one year from concept to being retail ready. Sold exclusively on QVC.com, they released five products, including a serum, a day and night moisturizer, an eye cream, a cleanser and a collection of travel-sized items.

All three entrepreneurs will take part in a panel at CEW’s upcoming Newsmaker event, Beauty Disruptors: Indies, to be held Wednesday, June 24 at the Harmonie Club in Midtown Manhattan. They will discuss how they’re staying one step ahead of the industry by innovating for tomorrow’s beauty consumers; key drivers of their success; and growth plans for their brands.

Keynote speaker Vennette Ho, Managing Director, Financo, will discuss the M&A activity in beauty and the factors that make a brand attractive for acquisition. Additionally, event attendees will receive two exclusive reports – one from Financo and one from social media brand experts Tribe Dynamics – on beauty industry insights.

The event kicks off with a cocktail networking session at 5 p.m., followed by the program at 6:00 p.m. Individual CEW member tickets are $175; non-member tickets are $275. To register to attend this event, click here.