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Everyone and their mother lusts after iconic, high-end cosmetics. But just like snagging a one-of-a-kind vintage bag or a custom, hand-beaded frock, one of our favorite things in life (and at Total Beauty) is to discover awesome and unique handmade beauty products -- best kept secrets, if you will -- that will have all your friends asking, "Where on earth did you find this stuff? It's amazing."

Where do we find this stuff, you ask? Etsy -- it's an absolute goldmine. No, for real. If you think Etsy is the exclusive domain of felt, feather and glue gun-wielding "crafters" (why so many owls, people?), you'll be as shocked as we were to find incredible, high-quality and ultra-unique homemade beauty products. Of course, for every luxe beauty peddler we found on Etsy, there were at least 20 who were a little too made-it-in-my-bathtub DIY for us.

So we spent weeks combing through more of the Etsy Beauty section than we ever knew existed. We met some fascinating characters along the way: a registered nurse who thought there weren't enough unique nail polishes on the market and decided to make her own; a crafty New Yorker with a sweet tooth who turned her hobby of making yummy lip balms into a full time job; a practitioner of traditional Indian medicine who wanted to share the Ayurvedic Principals through her holistic, chemical-free skincare. Amazing crafters, amazing stories.

But beyond these lovely Etsy vendors, who were each a hundred times more pleasant than any of the intimidating attendants who work in high-end makeup boutiques, so many of their products truly impressed us. After sampling mountains of DIY makeup, from mineral powders to moisturizers, we've picked our eleven favorites. Many of them are paraben-free, cruelty-free or organic (unlike most mainstream products), and all of them are fabulous.

Best of all: these products are totally below the radar (for now). Like your favorite hole-in-the-wall dive bar or obscure rock band, you can say you "discovered" these underground beauty products before they hit the mainstream.

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