You Tell Me: What is a niche make up brand?

Ladies…someone asked me the question today…

What is your favourite niche make up brand?

Niche make up brand…first thing that popped to mind was the number of Japanese brands I buy – Lavshuca, Canmake, KATE etc. but do these really count as a “niche” brands?

sphynxface.jpg (JPEG Image, 250x226 pixels).jpg

Let’s say that we know for sure that the large, international brands aren’t niche brands. This is your:

Estee Lauder Brands: MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, La Mer, Estee Lauder etc.

L’oreal Brands: Garnier, Lancome, Shu Uemura, YSL, L’oreal Paris, Maybelline, Armani etc.

Then there are brands that are sold around the world like Chanel, Dior, Clarins, Shiseido that are also not “niche” brands.

What does this leave us with?

Thinking about products that are sold in the UK, there are brands like Barry M, GOSH, My Face, Pixi – do these brands count as Niche because they aren’t sold on the same large global scale as the top Estee Lauder/L’oreal brands?

How about a brand like Illamasqua? A year ago I may have said it was a niche brand but given the rate of expansion, the fact that the brand is now sold in Sephora in the US can it really count as “niche”?

At the same time the brand seems to play on the idea of appealing to people who have a unique and unusual style – does this then make it niche regardless of how big the brand has expanded?

Then there are the Japanese brands that I mentioned at the start of this post, that I love using the most – a lot of these small brands are actually owned by big brands like Kanebo, Shiseido, Kose, Albion, Sofina….can a brand truly be “niche” if it is owned by a global giant like Shiseido?

Its niche to me because I don’t have easy access to it, but if I were in Japan Majolica Majorca could be like my L’oreal.

I am trying to get a clearer idea of this in my head – let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. innerbelle says

    I would have thought a niche brand is a brand that targets a niche market, something that hasnt been done before, something different and new and something that targets an area in makeup which hasnt been catered before, so to me a niche brand would have been bare minerals when they first came out, but of course now you see minerals everywhere so they no longer are niche brands, atm a niche brand would be perhaps a makeup brand that does entire natural products (if that exists) lol because thats where everyone is heading, all this paraben free malarky.

    I could actually go on forever, perhaps if it was a proper discussion rather than typing lol so i dont want to bore ya

    hopefully i havnt confused you with my take on this x

  2. says

    My take on Niche brands is that they are the hard to find ones that are intended for a limited market…I would call Jelly Pong Pong niche purely because it is in limited availability and doesn’t have hundreds of skus…it also has a profound point of difference to other brands in terms of packaging. I would also, though, still call Illamasqua a niche range because it crosses a bridge between professional and consumer make up in a way that no other range has done; again, it has a huge point of difference in style and substance compared to other like brands. And, I would call Le Metier de Beaute niche because it is again in limited supply and limited skus. So, I can see that hasn’t helped! Maybe ‘niche’ is fluid and means different things to different people.

  3. innerbelle says

    interesting point british beauty blogger, and even so maybe a niche brand changes through time??

  4. Alix says

    Three Custom Color Specialists. Julie Hewitt. Vapour.

    I remember back in the day when Bobbi Brown was a niche brand! I called the company (this is pre-Web, mind you) asking whether they had a catalog. They didn’t so they sent me a list of products; next to every name they had *hand-swatched* the color for reference. I wish I still had it!

  5. says

    I’d say brands that target a specific market niche; like Besame and Julie Hewett for retro/vintage style looks, or rms Beauty and Vapour for organic/clean make-up lines.

  6. liloo says

    I don’t understand the topic and the word niche
    Niche in french means dog kennel first and foremost
    I hate dogs