6 Cult Beauty Brands That Are Totally Worth the Hype

You know when you see a product (whether a beauty product or pair of boots or fancy green juice) all over Instagram and wonder, OK…is it really worth all the attention? Yeah, we thought that about the following cult-favorite beauty brands. Then we tried them. And yes, they’re absolutely deserving of all the praising posts. Check ’em out.

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Since 2010, the beauty blog Into the Gloss has amassed a devoted following of skin-care and makeup obsessives. Then, a few years ago, the site’s founder, Emily Weiss, went beyond writing about other companies’ products and created her own. Glossier was born with the goal of making beauty “fun, easy, imperfect and personal.” The line started with skin care obsessives but has since branched out into makeup, both of which you will see on, like, six out of ten Instagram accounts.

What to buy: Boy Brow ($16)

The Ordinary

With a focus on advanced functional beauty, The Ordinary strives to provide "Clinical Formulations with Integrity.” That means it brings advanced skin-care technology to consumers without charging an arm and a leg. How popular is the brand really? We’ll put it this way: Its serums regularly sell out and amass huge wait lists. Plus, since it is so affordable, trying it out is pretty low-risk, financially.

What to buy: Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion ($10)

Drunk Elephant

Having struggled with skin issues, Drunk Elephant’s founder identified six ingredients she thought were at the root of her issues. When she couldn't find products without one or more of those ingredients, she decided to make them herself, thus creating Drunk Elephant. In addition to striking the perfect balance between gentle and effective, Drunk Elephant products are beyond cute, and the brand’s Instagram is really funny.

What to buy: C-Firma Day Serum ($80)


You know the color millennial pink? Yeah, Herbivore is pretty much the brand embodiment of it—in the best way possible. Created by a husband-wife duo out of their Seattle kitchen, Herbivore’s main focus is ingredients. As in, every one is there for a specific therapeutic reason. Without fillers, almost every ingredient is an “active” ingredient, meaning the formulas are highly concentrated and effective. They’re also, like, really pretty.

What to buy: Coco Rose Body Polish ($36)

Milk Makeup

Speaking of millennials, ask any cool young person about their beauty routine and we’re willing to bet they’ll mention Milk Makeup at least once. This buzzy brand is all about multi-use products designed for on-the-go lifestyles. All Milk Makeup products are also cruelty-free and made with the best possible ingredients (like jojoba, coconut, orange peel and grape-seed oils) and sold in packaging that allows for minimal to no preservatives.

What to buy: Blur Stick ($36)

Vintner's Daughter

OK, so this brand technically has only one product, but Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum has built such a devoted following that we couldn’t not mention it. Created by a winery owner searching for toxin-free alternatives to her favorite products, Vintner’s Daughter was in development for two years before it hit the market. With 22 active ingredients, this serum aims to fight the signs of aging and create clear, even-toned, firm and radiant skin. Yes, it’s on the splurgier side of things, but we’re telling you, one scroll through some of its reviews and you’ll be reaching for your credit card.

What to buy: Active Botanical Serum ($185)

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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