Sparked at Ulta Beauty is Making It Easier to Discover the Indie Darlings of Beauty

Sparked at Ulta Beauty is Making It Easier to Discover the Indie Darlings of Beauty
Photo: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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I can only imagine how difficult it is to make noise in a store as big as Ulta when you’re a newbie brand trying to climb the ranks and get actual face time with customers. Thankfully, someone at Ulta Beauty recognized the struggle too because now we have Sparked at Ulta Beauty, a curated hub that will be routinely refreshed to showcase emerging names with products you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Personally, some of my favorite products come from indie brands that I literally have to beg and plead my group chats to pay attention to. This type of effort only helps my cause.

The Sparked at Ulta Beauty hub is always available on Ulta Beauty’s website and can be viewed in select physical stores. The first wave of featured brands is a nice hodge-podge of product ranges that touch almost every part of the typical routine: fragrance, makeup, and wellness. The one I’m most familiar with is Love Wellness, created by Laguna Beach and The Hills alum Lo Bosworth, who parlayed her reality TV stardom into a line of health and self-care-conscious supplements. For instance, there’s good girl probiotics for keeping your gut in check, the new sex stuff (aka sexy time lube) and do-it-all wipes that, well, do it all.

I got the chance to quickly pow-wow with the other Sparked at Ulta Beauty foundersmost of which are women, BTWand in addition to getting their fave picks, they also shared advice for other up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Keep reading for the insider scoop and don’t forget to bookmark the Sparked at Ulta Beauty homepage so you can stay updated on future underrated indie darlings.

ulta sparked lake sky Sparked at Ulta Beauty is Making It Easier to Discover the Indie Darlings of Beauty

Lake & Skye.

Courtney Somer, Founder of Lake & Skye

Lake & Skye is….

Conscious. As an indie beauty brand, we make our ingredients a priority using natural whenever possible including organic, sugar cane alcohol in our eau de parfum and a soy base in our candle. Our products are vegan and cruelty-free, and contain no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or palm oil. As the founder, I’ve studied various forms of wellness including kundalini yoga, meditation and nutrition. The inspiration of these various modalities have been infused into the products, including the packaging, naming, formulations and scents.

My favorite product is…

The 11 11 fragrance oil. This unisex blend is a favorite because of its unique, mysterious scent and we hear from customers all the time about being stopped to find out what they are wearing. People also really relate to the 11 11 name whether they were born on this day, got married or just love the idea of making a wish whenever they see these numbers. It speaks to the joy and personal touch we aim to bring through the products.

My advice for budding entrepreneurs is…

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Being a business owner can feel like a roller coaster at times, you need to be able to handle the good as much as the challenges that come your way. The lessons you learn are invaluable, it is great to be able to pick up, dust off and keep going.

ulta sparked petite n pretty Sparked at Ulta Beauty is Making It Easier to Discover the Indie Darlings of Beauty

Petite ‘n Pretty.

Sam Cutler, Founder of Petite ‘n Pretty

Petite ‘n Pretty is….

The future.  I would choose the word “future” to describe Petite ‘n Pretty because everything that we do and stand for is forward-thinking. We are inclusive, we are innovative in our formulas, product ideation and how we connect with our consumer. And, most importantly, the very DNA of our brand exists for all future generations. We are here to give the best first experience in beauty and be a part of that forever journey.

My favorite product is…

Gen Glitter as a must-try product. Not only does it have the most beautiful sparkle on the skin, but it contains our signature scent, Cloud Mine. When I was creating the brand, I felt that a signature scent was critical to weave throughout our formulas. Smell is the most closely linked sense to memory. Smells evoke particular memories in people. I wanted to create products that ensure people will always remember which brand they started their beauty journey with, and have a positive and fun association with it. The formula is water-based and weightless on the skin, as well as, pediatrician- and dermatologist-approved. In addition, we call our loyal consumers and fans our ‘Sparkle Squad’ and this formula is exactly that in a bottle.

My advice for budding entrepreneurs is…

There are so many things I wish I had known two years ago that I now know… but, the biggest piece of advice I wish I had received is to understand that every brand is different. I have worked in beauty for 18 years. What I have learned over the years has helped me, but the landscape is constantly changing and evolving. I have learned it’s best to test things before fully committing or investing first.

ulta sparked nabla Sparked at Ulta Beauty is Making It Easier to Discover the Indie Darlings of Beauty

Nabla Cosmetics.

Cristiano De Simone and Serena Senise, Founders of NABLA

NABLA is….

Passion because it’s the leitmotif of our work, as a reflection of our continuous research of quality and trends in a creative process that starts truly from the heart.

Our favorite product is…

Our eyeshadow palettes because they summarize our research on beauty and the way we promote creativity itself, representing a form of self-expression and freedom of choice.

Our advice for budding entrepreneurs is…

It is more important WHY are you doing something than WHAT you are doing. Your vision must embrace every detail of your business, with courage and freedom, ‘God is in the Details,’ as Mies Van der Rohe said.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.