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6 Underrated Beauty Brands You Should Try This Year

Start the new year looking ~fresh~.

by ,
Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

Hey guys! It's Essence and Dani, and we write about style and beauty stuff here at BuzzFeed. We get put onto all these amazing brands every day, so we thought we'd share some of our fave products that aren't super mainstream yet.

@theessenceof_ / Via, @danichain / Via

1. Bésame Brightening Setting Face Powder

Essence Gant

Because I clearly did something wrong in a past life, my forehead gets REALLY shiny, as you can see in this before pic. A few dabs of Bésame's Brightening Setting Face Powder, however, completely absorbs the oil and gives me that matte, but still radiant look I like. It's a loose powder, and a cute little powder puff is included for application. The formula has four colors: Vanilla, French Vanilla, Vanilla Chai, and Vanilla Rose. I didn't realize that I actually had Vanilla, which is made for light to medium skin tones, and should have probably gone with French Vanilla, made for medium skin tones. But even still with a shade too light, it works incredibly well. I mean, just look at my forehead in the before and after pics. The glow-up is REAL! I def recommend trying it if you find yourself getting oily throughout the day like I do.

Get it here for $22.

2. Reina Rebelde's Bold Lip Color Stick

I read about Reina Rebelde (Rebel Queen) not long ago, and I was intrigued by this beauty brand that celebrates multicultural people like me. Its founder, Regina Merson, is a badass Mexican-American who's slaying the beauty industry without sacrificing who she really is.

There's nothing more I love than a good girlboss success story, and I was so proud to see that someone created an authentic brand in an industry in which Latinas are constantly misrepresented. Discovering this brand kind of made me feel the same way the MAC x Selena collection did. They both gave me something I didn't even know I needed.

Only one question remained: Are the products actually good? In short: HELL YES! My absolute favorite is the Bold Lip Color Stick. The Brava shade is now my go-to red. It goes on smoothly and it gives lips long-lasting wear and high-pigment color. I really love this lipstick even though I usually gravitate toward mattes, and this one has more of a satin finish. Cons: It transfers a bit, but nothing major. You won't need to reapply every five minutes.

You can buy it here for $16.

3. Ginger + Liz Nail Lacquer

Essence Gant

I rarely paint my nails, but when I do, I use Ginger + Liz. It's a vegan-friendly and toxin-free nail lacquer brand started by two brilliant girlfriends. I love that it doesn't have all the bad stuff in it often used in cosmetics, and the colors are still super rich and pigmented. After just one coat, the color shows up just as rich as it looks in the bottle. My horrible painting skills aside (stop judging), you can see just how pigmented the lacquer is. I'm wearing the color Chase Me, by the way. It also dries pretty fast, so you're not walking around with fan hands for too long after you apply. Vegan-friendly, toxin-free, AND owned by two smart women? YES, PLEASE!

Shop all the colors here for $12 each.

4. Alma Aromatherapy Healing Clay Mask

Daniela Cadena
Daniela Cadena
Daniela Cadena

Alma is a skin care company founded by two sisters who turned their interest in sustainable agriculture into a brand that uses only 100% organic ingredients and naturally soothing essential oils. A friend turned me on to them since she knows I LOVE a good face mask, and I am so glad she did! I tried their Healing Clay Mask with little to no expectations since I wasn't really familiar with the brand, but I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. It smells amazing and feels very gentle on the skin. When you rinse it off, you can literally feel the difference in your skin. My face felt smoother than a baby's butt and looked so much brighter.

Buy it on their website for $22.

5. Makeup For Melanin Girls

Essence Gant

Makeup For Melanin Girls is a new cosmetics brand with bomb shades of liquid lipsticks. The packaging is a cute tube with metallic lettering, which makes you even more hype to pull it out. Like, look at me with my lipstick with fancy lettering, and it's made especially for brown girls! The color is on point and true-to-tube, and the wear is pretty good. I had to do only a slight touch-up after eating and drinking. It dries matte, but it doesn't make your lips feel like cement. Makeup For Melanin Girls has a good color range, too. I'm wearing Dutty Wine, and they also have cool shades like this standout purple, this classic red, and this futuristic tin silver.

Check out all the shades here for $17 each.

6. Gaby Espino Lipsticks

If you grew up in Latin America or have access to Telemundo, you probably know who Gaby Espino is. To most, she's a successful novela actress who ventured into the beauty industry, but I grew up watching her teenage novelas after school, so to me, she's goals all around. Putting my admiration for her aside, I tried her matte lipstick and her lipgloss to see what her products were all about. To my surprise, I LOVED the lipgloss (even though I'm not typically a gloss girl) and could do without the matte.

The gloss has impressive color and coverage, and it's totally shiny and smooth. I tried the shade Golden Whisper, and it's probably my favorite nude to date. It also smells fantastic. As for the matte color, it's not buildable at all, so even if you reapply, it looks spotty. That being said, I did run into Nick Jonas the night I wore it for the first time. Lucky lipstick, perhaps?

You can get them both here for $24.99.