NEW YORK — Despite tough times for the beauty industry, the indie movement is alive and kicking.

New brands are continually launching into the market —?and Henri Bendel is continuing to serve as an incubator. The retailer holds a semi-annual Beauty Breakfast to introduce the fledgling brands to editors. At the latest edition, held in June, 100 vendors convened to showcase their latest launches to 80 newspaper and magazine editors at what has become a mecca for the newest brands, products, and colors.

According to Ed Burstell, vice president and general manager for Henri Bendel, the breakfast’s personal and laid-back format makes it easy for little brands to connect with editors, creating an opportunity for independent brands to outshine the presence of well-established names. Some of the favorites from the latest breakfast included new brands such as Femme Fatale and Clean, and the well-anticipated launch of Diane Von Furstenberg’s cosmetics line. In fact, Burstell called Von Furstenberg’s line the highlight of the breakfast. “She’s hit it,” he said.

Independent brands polled at the event predict that this fall’s trends will include easy-traveling products, shine items and products that embody delicate yet fun femininity.Makeup has become portable and compact. With miniature perfume oil by Monyette Paris; magnetic lip, cheek, and eye stackables by Vincent Longo, and Von Furstenberg’s full palette compact and vanity bag, traveling is made easy.

Size is not the only thing that matters. Tarte’s glistening powder, Sprinkle Me Lola’s built-in brush, and Giella’s Illuminous light switch highlighter make it easy to glow on the go.

The latest products also provide a chance for women to get in touch with their sexy and feminine selves. Pout’s “Disco Girl” lipslick gloss, “Eye Fancy You” eye pencil, and “Flushed Pink” flush blush all indulge the woman inside, while Luscious Cosmetics’ nail lacquers scream femininity with their flirty colors and eye-catching crystals. Femme Fatale’s collection brings the elegance and grace of old-fashioned glamour through its line of bath and body products.

Pictured and outlined below: some of the most interesting brands you might not have heard of — yet.
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG BEAUTY

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ew York-based DVF Beauty launches a cosmetics line this month that includes makeup, accessories, and Von Furstenberg’s first fragrance, “D” ($75-$100). The mood-based color schemes in Stop Traffic Reds, Follow Me Pinks, Sun Goddess Golds and New Wave Neutrals come in an all-inclusive Glamour Compact ($75), and individual lipsticks ($18), lip gloss duets ($18), lip and eye pencils ($17), cheeksticks ($25), and cheek powder ($25). Her line also includes eye color ($18-$45), face products ($22-$60), brushes ($18-$150) and cosmetic bags ($25-$110).

GIELLA

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hese custom-blend cosmetics eliminate the search for the perfect colors. Giella’s newest Smoothie cream liners ($20) can be mixed to match at the counter in minutes, in the latest fall shades. The colors mixed with metallic mica powders create products such as the Illuminous light switch highlighter ($20) to create ICE Extraordinaire, the sleek look for the fall-winter 2003-2004 Season. Also new to Giella is Custom Blend Nail Polish ($20).

MONYETTE PARIS

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he exotic floral scent of the perfume essential oil is the first fragrance in the haute voyage collection of California-based Monyette Paris. Available for $45 in a convenient roll-on bottle, Monyette Paris will be available at Henri Bendel. A second fragrance in the line is expected to launch in November for spring 2004.

VINCENT LONGO

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he established brand brings innovation to the compact. Vincent Longo’s Spectralite, a stackable, magnetic mirror-top compact ($18) for lips, eyes and cheeks is offered in 12 colors. Also available is the Spectralite Tool Box ($18) that includes mini lip and eye shadow brushes.

LUSCIOUS COSMETICS

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he California-based company that launched in September 2002 extends its Luxe Collection with three new fall colors.The new Crystal Nail Lacquers ($16.50) come in Topanga, Carmel, and Santorini each including about 80 genuine Austrian crystals. Lips will also be Luscious with the introduction of Pout Polish ($15) and GlossSticks ($12.50) that include anti-aging benefits.POUT

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aunched in the United States in February, Pout is already extending its line with new products and colors available in September for the fall season.Eye, cheek and lip colors and gloss come in fun and flirty new shades like Bee & Swing eyeslicks ($22), Be My Baby lip gloss ($16), and Disco Girl lipslick ($16).

FEMME FATALE

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wo Australian sisters bring bath and body back to the boudoir with their line of Body Lustre ($32), Satin Soak ($28), Crème Cakes ($25), and Sweet Knickers ($12). Launching this month, the line is available in five dainty scents: Powdery Boudoir Kisses, French Vanilla Fling, Sultry Tangerine Tango, Agent Green Tea and Foxy Frangipani.

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