This Stunning Natural Beauty Shop Just Opened in Graduate Hospital

The Indie Shelf features a variety of independent brands, from makeup and skincare to fragrances and even pet care.

clean beauty shop

Natural beauty shop the Indie Shelf just opened in Graduate Hospital. / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia

Philly is home to all kinds of high-end indie boutiques*, but the city’s got a surprising dearth of natural beauty shops. Sure, plenty of local skincare lines exist, but most of them don’t have brick-and-mortar stores where you can go in and try the moisturizer or the lipstick. And there are salons that sell beauty products, but that’s not typically their primary mission. Heck, we have so few natural beauty shops that a grocery store has been the best place to buy makeup in the city.

Until now, that is. On Friday, Sabeen Zia opened the Indie Shelf in Graduate Hospital. The small yet stunning store is stocked with independent brands, with products ranging from shampoo and perfume to soap and toothpaste. Many of the companies are based in other countries. For instance, one of the store’s deodorants, Axilla Natural Deodorant Paste, comes from Australia’s Black Chicken Remedies, while the massage oil Zia’s highlighting for Valentine’s Day is made by Canada’s Province Apothecary. Born in Pakistan, Zia makes a habit of traveling internationally and says she wants to showcase indie companies that Americans aren’t typically exposed to as well as those that give back to the community (planting trees for every product sold or donating a percentage of revenue to charity, for instance).

We trust her: She’s a cosmetic chemist who has formulated products for L’oreal and recently launched her own cruelty-free makeup brand, Muskaan Makeup (Muskaan translates to “smile” in Urdu), available at the Indie Shelf. Muskaan is also halal-certified, which means its ingredients follow the rules set by Islamic law — generally no animal products and no alcohols. And hey, that just happens to make it better for your skin, no matter what beliefs you ascribe to.

clean beauty shop

The Indie Shelf stocks a wide variety of natural beauty products. / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia


clean beauty shop

Sabeen Zia’s halal-certified makeup brand, Muskaan Makeup, is available at the Indie Shelf. / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia


clean beauty shop

Rock Bottom Soap Company is just one of the natural brands the Indie Shelf showcases. / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia


clean beauty shop

Zia has an adorable little fridge in the shop to show customers which products they might want to refrigerate. / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia


clean beauty shop

Even the door is cute! / Photograph courtesy Sabeen Zia

*See the Scout section in our monthly print edition for insider updates on local shops and trends.

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