As a native Brit, I’ll admit I get the fuzzy-wuzzies every time people latch on to one of my country’s fabulous exports: One Direction, Cara Delevigne, Cadbury’s chocolate. That said, I’m definitely guilty of having a barnet full of secrets when it comes to my beauty routine, which is chock full of British brands that I’ve been trying to keep on the DL for the better part of four years. Alas, my friends! The time has come to shed the ruse of mystery and unveil some of the finest beauty lines that wear their “Made In Britain” stamp with pride. And—bless our cottons—for your convenience, we curated a list of ten brands that’ll kickstart your British bathroom invasion.
1. Neal’s Yard
The NYO mission statement is all about promoting natural ingredients, presenting holistic solutions, and empowering people to make informed choices about their health and beauty. They were the first UK company to be certified CarbonNeutral, and focus on organic, wild ingredients to create the best products. Oh, and their products are fabulous, too. All those in favor, say “aye!”
Where to buy: You can order through a local representative in the U.S. Just enter your ZIP code and shop!
What to buy: The Rehydrating Rose skincare collection is made from distilled damask roses, and smells like an English country garden. It soothes, refreshes and cleanses—so, basically, it’s your summer skincare must-have.
2. Lee Stafford
Lee Stafford is a celebrity hairdresser by day, and probably a wizard by night. He opened a wee brand of his own for British drugstore chain, Boots, and I was immediately hooked after using his MoroccanOil products from the line, and to this day I resolutely use no other hair serum than the Nourishing Miracle Oil. Used on wet or dry hair, it’s like a good hair day in a bottle.
What to buy: I solemnly swear that the ArganOil Nourishing Miracle Oil does exactly what the title suggests—miracles.
You’ve probably heard of Topshop, the holy grail of British fashion, but did you know they have a line of makeup, too? When the beauty brand made its debut in 2010, the public went crazy for it, and justifiably so: It’s affordably priced, durable, and the colors might have been mixed by an angel. Also, the adorable packaging will look simply darling on your dressing table.
Where to buy: Thankfully, you can order directly from Topshop.com.
What to buy: At $12, the lipstick collection gives beauty vultures the most bang for their buck. We’re loving Ohh La La, because it’s basically summer in a tube.
Beauty editors were positively clamoring to get the word out about Nourish, a vegan-certified, ethically sourced brand whose website claims, “there’s a little happiness in everything we make.” They mean it, though: Not only are their products entirely guilt-free in every way, they also work better than Iggy Azalea in a sweatshop. You’ll feel a little bit more beautiful after using a Nourish product, inside and out.
Where to buy: Naturisimo.com ships worldwide, and has the full range on their site.
What to buy: The Illuminating Face Shimmer will quickly become a staple in your summer skincare routine; it balances skin tone and gives a soft, golden glow.
If you’ve been into a Target any time in the past few years, you’ll almost certainly recognize this brand. But if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. My mother’s makeup box was bursting with their products when I was a child, so my foray into the world of makeup was almost exclusively guided by this brand. The sleek packaging isn’t immediately eye-catching, but don’t be fooled: what’s inside is what counts, and the silky textures, deep colors, and long-lasting effect make this line worth returning to again and again.
What to buy: The Stay Perfect Metallic Eyes Pencil is a rich, creamy eye pencil that will stay put all night long. It comes with a built-in smudger so you can easily achieve a smoky effect, even if you’re applying it in the bathroom before happy hour.
6. Mason Pearson
The iconic Mason Pearson rubber-cushion brush has been on dressing tables of British women for decades, and with good reason. It’s pricey, at $150, but it’ll easily last you for ten years; the transformation to your hair is entirely worth an investment of what would be $15 a year! The brushes are designed to be gentle and distribute natural scalp oils through your hair; they also come in different styles and sizes for different hair types. Also, the old-fashioned charm is practically a decorative piece for your beauty table.
Where to buy: Nordstrom has a very complete collection.
What to buy: My hair is very thick, but not very coarse, so I bought a “handy mix” brush of boar and nylon bristles. It depends on your hair type, so it’s worth browsing.
7. Percy & Reed
Percy & Reed is a London haircare line that boasts excellent products and a genius packaging designer. The vintage-inspired bottles will look chic in your shower, yes, but also you’re in for a series of really good hair days. After discovering the Totally TLC Hydrating Mask free with my monthly issue of Glamour, I was hooked. Once again, buy these products according to your hair type and let the “Pantene advert” moments commence.
What to buy: It’s got to be the universally excellent Totally TLC Hydrating Mask. My hair craves it.
8. Soap & Glory
The Soap & Glory motto is “fun, fresh, fearless, fantastic,” and that summarizes everything quite perfectly. Their retro themed packaging — all exclamation marks and fifties swimsuit models — is definitely attention-grabbing, but by no means is S&G all bark and no bite; what these products promise to do, they do. Think of Soap & Glory as the Winston Churchill of beauty brands. If Mr C had a really great lip plumper tucked away in his pocket.
What to buy: The Sexy Mother Pucker XXL lip plumper has undoubtedly achieved iconic status among the women of Britain. Who needs injections?
After an enormously successful ongoing ad campaign with Kate Moss, Rimmel London catapulted into the hearts of every woman in the UK and across the pond. You’ve seen it everywhere already, of course, but for a budget makeup line it packs a lot of punch. Also, “The Kate Collection” is perfect: good for your wallet, good for your lips, and excellent for your lipstick game.
Where to buy: Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target … the usual suspects. Also, Ulta has the full collection.
What to buy: The Kate Collection lipstick in 01 is the ideal red lip for your best screen-siren look.
Founded in 1998, Cowshed literally grew from a cowshed at Babington House, Somerset, and the company has since expanded its little empire to include skincare, makeup, and even home products. Mood-boosting scents, luxurious textures and organic, fair-trade ingredients make this growing brand a unanimous hit with customers. Even if you can’t make it to their spa across the pond, get on the hype: treat yo’self at home and upgrade your shower with their blissful, botanical aromas. All together now: ahhhh.
Where to buy: Thank goodness for their U.S. site! You can order directly from here.
What to buy: Try Cowshed’s Cheeky Nail Paint for vibrant, on-trend colors and a long-lasting finish. We love Tongue N Cheek, a orange-pink that is shamelessly attention-seeking.
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