Look Good

You’ll love these beauty brands we’ve discovered on Insta

We’ve been using our spare time to uncover Instagram’s hidden beauty gems. Keep reading to find out which under-the-radar brands you should be hitting the follow button for.

Written by High Life North
Published 21.04.2020

By Jenny Brownlees

Ah Instagram, where would we be in this lockdown without your live entertainment and glimpses into other people’s isolation routines?

Social media can get a bad rap, but we’ve long loved this app for its sense of community and power to bring new discoveries into our lives. Case in point – finding great beauty brands and products in-app. If like us your feed is full of endlessly beautiful imagery, it takes something really special to stop and save a post. Thankfully following top beauty insiders, make-up artists, influencers and celebs has its perks – like spotting a previously unknown-to-you gem on their bedside table and with one tap, finding it to buy.

Instagram has undoubtedly changed the way we shop – giving brands an immersive storefront on the previously photo-only app. It’s estimated there were 23 million people on Instagram in the UK as of December 2019, with users spending an average of 58 minutes a day on the app. As well being able to buy products via the checkout service, the photos and video content means we can see a beauty product in use, hear how the user rates it and read further reviews in the comment section. This may be dangerous for our bank accounts, but great for our beauty routines, as we’ve found some of our favourite new buys within those 4×4 squares. To join us on this journey of discovery, we encourage you to visit the app’s explore page, find the shopping bag symbol within the top titles and browse away. Sure, with many finds we may have been initially drawn in by the aesthetically pleasing packaging, but since trying the following buys, we can attest that these nine brands products are as purposeful as they are pretty.

We’ve been #influenced, and we aren’t mad about it.


Versed makes our skin look as good as its products do on our bathroom shelfie. The non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free skincare brand has a simple mission – to make clean, effective beauty products for everyone. Each product from the range contains no artificial colours, parabens, sulfates or micro-beads and are made with proven, high-performance ingredients.

Versed doesn’t do fussy packaging or mark-ups that are usually added to most brand’s bill – meaning nothing in the range costs over £20.

There are no confusing need-to-Google ingredients; instead, each of Versed buys is a ‘hero’ product – to help you build an effective skincare routine with minimal effort, but visible results.

No matter your skin concern, there’s a product and regime that’s right for you. It’s also an immersive brand for the social-media generation – Versed want to hear from you; ask and they will answer. Plus, we love that they vow only show unretouched skin in their imagery. There’s no fakery or filters here.

Yes, we were drawn in by the brands pleasing aesthetic and luxe-looking packaging, but we were even more impressed when we got to know the ethos behind the brand, and how well each product works.

Versed is guaranteed to leave your skin sparkling.

Instagram: @versed

Elementary Scents

When we discovered Elementary Scents on the ‘gram we had one thought, “perfume just got cooler.”

Beautifully illustrated bottles aside, The Natural Craft Perfumery makes its bold, unisex fragrances right here in the UK.

It’s a zero-waste, vegan & cruelty-free brand that uses art to communicate the experience of each of their scents in a brilliantly unique way.

Reusable and recyclable, (we’ll be repurposing our bottle as a mini vase, thank you.)

Elementary’s goal is to reconnect buyers with nature via their potent botanical scents, made with absolutely no synthetics, unlike regular perfumes. Sold!

Instagram: @elementaryscents

J Hannah

LA-based jewellery brand J Hannah has a tribe of 250k strong Instagram followers, so we can’t exactly brag that we ‘discovered’ this chic brand.

However, without previously following them, we stumbled across their shoppable nail polishes during one of our (many) Instagram beauty shop browsing sessions.

Inspired by artists’ palettes and natural elements, we can’t get enough of these sleek-looking polishes. All colours are non-toxic, cruelty-free and made in the USA.

We adore the muted tones of their collection, and every time the polishes pop up on our Insta we’re inspired to paint our talons immediately.

We’ll be using these trending colours to add an update to our wardrobe for spring. Luckily, they’re available to buy online from COS here in the UK.

Instagram: @j.hannah

Batch 001

BATCH #001® is an ode to the magical power and skin-soothing properties of beeswax. An afternoon scroll led us to their Instagram, where we learnt more about the delightfully simple, all-organic brand.

Batch 001 founder Paula Warwick started the company after witnessing her two daughter’s struggles with allergies and eczema, as well as her own experiences with dry skin and psoriasis.

She wanted to create a range of products to soothe and repair inflamed and irritated skin using 100% natural ingredients – something that wasn’t previously available on the market. Craving products that would lock in moisture, (crucial for eczema suffers) without the chemical-filled ingredient list, she visited a friend who worked as a beekeeper, who explained the many topical benefits of beeswax on the skin. As well as being edible, the all-natural ingredient is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.

And so, BATCH #001 was born – with every product entirely ethically sourced and cruelty-free. Their soothing skincare includes hero ingredients Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Organic Apricot Kernel Oil and Unrefined Shea Butter to moisturise, hydrate and rejuvenate. 

Each provides a mega-dose of moisture to combat super dry skin, packed with vitamin E, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin K and collagen-boosting properties. Ideal for those with parched skin, who struggle with sensitivities to over-the-counter creams.

We’re feeling pretty smug that we have discovered this brand on the ‘gram.

Instagram: @batch_001


The bold, bright packaging and straight-talking descriptions of Faace’s innovative masks first caught our eye on Instagram, standing out in a colourful display.

The just-launched brand has developed masks which offer solutions to three common skincare problems: Period faace, Tired faace, and Sweaty faace.

PMT, anxiety, under-sleeping; it all affects our skin, as we think every woman reading this can attest to. There’s nothing complicated here; each mask helps combat each specific problem.

You can leave a mask on for 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or overnight – wonderfully simple! Faace is all about uncomplicated, results-driven skincare done right. If you don’t have time for a twelve, or heck-even three-step skincare routine, this is the product for you.

As if that wasn’t enough, Faace is operating a buy one mask give one sanitary product initiative with the charity Hey Girls – to help support the 1 in 10 females in the UK suffering from period poverty.

Instagram: @wearefaace


We are unsure if we would have come across Bolt’s incredible skincare offerings were it not for seeing them on Instagram, and that would have been a real shame.

Bolt make single-dose, 100% biodegradable seaweed capsules full of potent skincare. When you finish one, simply dissolve it in hot water, (boiling works best) and it disappears right in front of your eyes. Great skincare with zero-waste packaging – that’s a win-win.

Bolt’s four hero products consist of a cleanser, two vitamin serums and a moisturiser, with each jar housing 100 capsules.

Better yet, you can combine capsules in a travel stack carrier, perfect for space-saving, using post-gym or when you’re packing light.

Plus, applying your skincare from a capsule means you use exactly the right amount of product every time – genius.

Instagram: @bolt.beauty


From the founders of organic body care brand, Sister & Co, comes Tandem, a high-performance skincare brand that keeps prices down by deliberately avoiding selling through retailers.

This means there are no middle-men or mark-ups, and you pay less – always a bonus! Each of Tandem’s products is a daily staple, created with using only the best, scientifically proven ingredients. The brand avoids comedogenic (pore-blocking) ingredients, and each product is suitable for all skin types – oily, dry, combination and sensitive. 

Rather than splitting out active ingredients across multiple formulations, Tandem has worked to combine key ingredients into a small, manageable range of products which gives you a skincare routine that’s easy to stick to while still meeting all your skin’s needs.

Doing their bit for the environment, all products are packaged in glass (the most easily and commonly recycled material) or recyclable (and industrially compostable) sugar cane derived bioplastic tubes.

Tandem ship products in recyclable cardboard, using woven paper protection – no bubble wrap in sight.

Instagram: @tandem_skincare

Summer Fridays

Bloggers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores were on the hunt for beauty products that used good-for-you ingredients to give skin an instant, selfie-worthy glow.

Despite trying an abundance of beauty products for work, they were left dissatisfied. Along with a team of industry experts, the pair created beauty brand Summer Fridays, consisting of nourishing skincare that relies on simple, understandable ingredients proven to purify, balance and plump up skin cells.

The brand is all about making you feel confident in clear, beautiful skin, plus each of their offerings is vegan, cruelty and paraben-free.

Summer Fridays started with masks, (we love their Jet Lag mask for instant hydration) and now includes a super-amino cleanser and CC serum. Aesthetically pleasing but with the goods to back it up, this brand has become a staple in our beauty bag. Thanks, Instagram.

Instagram: @summerfridays

Von Norten

We were taken with the stunning simplicity of Von Norten when we spotted it on our Instagram explore page, but even more taken with the products themselves.

Founder Cayla’s focus was to create products with powerful ingredients inspired by nature. She explains: “Natural fragrances from plants are very powerful, memory-driven and allow us to express ourselves. The first scents I remember are from our garden on a late summer night,” she says of her childhood between the beaches of Rio De Janeiro and the mountains of Norway.

Von Norton’s body care products include lusciously aromatic shower gels, hand creams, soaps and moisturisers made with Almond Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Avocado and Argan Oils.

Each product is filled with antioxidants, and vitamins A and E to leave skin nourished and glowing. Van Norten doesn’t just do body care; its deluxe candles are just as beautifully potent, despite using only ethical-sourced ingredients that (unlike most other candles on the market) are Alcohol, Glycol and Paraffin-free. 

Each candle is an indulgent treat that will fill your home with fragrances derived from nature, in delicate scents ranging from relaxing lavender to invigorating Morrocan rose.

Instagram: @vonnorton

You might be interested in...

Published 19.03.2020

Pair hand washing with these nourishing products

High Life North
Published 10.04.2020

How to indulge in a boujie beautifying bath

High Life North
Published 14.04.2020

The best newsletters to subscribe to now

High Life North
Other stories by High Life North
The Crown: Shop the style of Princess Diana’s iconic looks

The Crown: Shop the style of Princess Diana’s iconic looks

High Life North
Laura Kingston editor High Life North autumn style staples

The autumn staples our editor is buying right now

High Life North
The Watcher Naomi Watts fashion style

The Watcher: Shop the style of Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock

High Life North

How flowers are being used to tell stories of inspirational women and Durham’s history

High Life North

Touch the rainbow, wear the rainbow! Colourful outfits perfect for holidays

High Life North

Looking for summer nails ideas? Check out these six Newcastle nail salons (and beyond) for some inspo

High Life North