I am visiting London, what beauty brands should I check out?

A dear reader, Ines, emailed me to ask what cosmetic brands she should look out for whilst she was visiting the UK (London). Although I am not a Londoner, I managed to come up with a few suggestions…I am a encourager, after all!  If anyone else can think of places she could look for British brands or hard to find ranges, do leave a comment! 

1. Barry M

Although I don’t really use Barry M much, I appreciate how fun and affordable their products are. The Nail Polish range and especially their effects polishes (crackles, jewels, belly etc.) are popular, as well as the pigments. I have a think for their black gel eyeliner pencil which is very soft (a bit like Milanis’).  The products are usually on some kind of offer, like 2 polishes for £6 or sometimes 3 for 2. 

Nail Paints

Where to buy: Superdrug and selected Boots Stores. I think Superdrug’s range is usually bigger. Superdrug and Boots are all over the place and easy to find, although here is the Superdrug Store Finder if you want to be prepared. 

Price Range: Affordable

2. No 7

A Boots own brand, with a huge amount of skincare and cosmetic products.  Protect & Perfect is one of their classic skincare serums if anti-ageing is your thang. As Boots quite often give out £5 discount vouchers for No. 7, it might be worth buying something first so you get the voucher at the till, then buy your cosmetics!

No7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum 30ml Boots

Where to buy: Boots

Price Range: Medium

3.  No 17

Boots No 17 is No 7’s little sister and quite a fun range.  Their nail polish is pretty good, as are their lipsticks – I like the Mirror Shine on range.

17 Mirror Shine On Lipstick Boots

Where to buy: Boots – Boots is EVERYWHERE although some of the stores are only small. Store Finder is here.

Price Range: Affordable

4. Sleek

Sleek Makeup was originally created for darker skin tones but there’s plenty in their range for everyone.  I find it hard to keep up with their products and you must always check what you buy from a Sleek stand because the chances are it’s crumbled or has been opened and tampered with by some 15 year old chav. 

I love their blush by 3 palettes and the eyeshadow palettes are of course, legendary.

Blush by 3 Blusher FACE

Where to buy: Superdrug.

Price Range: Affordable, pushing to medium

5. Fashionista, MUA

Superdrug actually houses many many unusual new British brands these days, too many here for me to mention but two that I think are the better ones is Fashionista and MUA. Both are very affordable ranges and offer palettes with different colours and lipsticks.  I have swatched a number of MUA palettes – not as pigmented or special as Sleek mind you but still decent.


MUA Pro Pallette Undressed at Superdrug

Where to buy: Superdrug.

Price Range: Affordable

6. Mii

Mii is a fairly new range with some more high end, elegant cosmetics.  I like their eyeshadow palette and foundation.  They have counters in various salons and spas, stockists can be found here. 

Mii Cosmetics | Press

Where to buy: Various locations, visit the Mii website for the store finder.

Price Range: Medium to Expensive

7. Wild About Beauty

A fairly new but interesting beauty range that is paraben free and really nice to use. The products are very wearable and elegant colours. I like the Multi Use Tint (below):

Multi Purpose Tint Highlighters Make up Beauty

Where to buy: Selected Debenhams stores – store finder here. 

Price Range: Medium to Expensive

8. Burberry 

Burberry Beauty is absolutely gorgeous, although it does have high prices to match. I love their eyeshadows, lipstick, base…I  definitely think that the range is worth checking out in person if you want to buy since it is expensive.

Buy Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow 2 5g online at JohnLewis com John Lewis


Where to buy: Harrods, nearest tube is Knightsbridge (87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 0NA)

Price Range: Expensive

9. Soap & Glory

You can’t beat S&G for some cheerful skincare (face and body) and cosmetic products.  If you are visiting soon, you can catch some of the 50% gift sets left over from Christmas.

I like their Flake Away scrub and their cosmetics are worth a look too.10055427 280×343

Where to buy: Boots

Price Range: Affordable

10. Topshop Beauty

I never thought I would be obsessed with a make up range from a High Street fashion store, but I do love Topshop Make up, especially the nail polishes and the lipsticks too. It’s not that cheap though, but it is nice stuff.

Topshop makeup 5 jpg 400×516

Where to buy: Topshop – store finder is on the bottom of the page. I always go to the one of Oxford Street as it’s HUGE

Price Range: Affordable to Medium

11. Lush

Lush has lots of interesting skincare for people who like that kind of thing; crumbly soaps and massage bars etc. There are in various locations in London, once again you may be able to catch a bargain left over from Christmas.

Each Peach Massage Bar


Where to buy: Lush Stores – store finder.

Price Range: Affordable to Medium

12. Jo Malone

Perhaps you can buy Jo Malone in your country but if not, you should stop by Jo Malone for a sniff – I’ve become quite obsessed with their lovely scents and candles. They also offer complimentary hand treatments on the counter (scrub, moisturise then fragrance matching) which gives you a chance to get a bit of water, wash your hands and pick a scent!

Jo malone

Where to buy: Harrods, Selfridges, closest tube Bond Street (400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB), Jo Malone Boutiques

Price Range: Expensive

13. Mary Quant

Mary Quant is sold in some Asian countries and also in London where they have a store in Sloane Square. Although the counter staff can be snooty, I do love looking at their products – there’s so many shades to choose from and they fit perfectly into the palettes.


Where to buy: Mary Quant Store, closest tube Sloane Square (37 Duke of York Square, London SW3 4LY)

Price Range: Medium to Expensive

14. Molton Brown

Molton Brown have a nice range of body care (lots of sale items now in store with 50% off!) and also one of my favourite scents of all time Li Jang. I also really like their Black Pepper shower gel even though it makes me smell like a man.Christmas moltonbrown jpg 400×400

Where to buy: Various Molton Brown stores in London

Price Range: Medium to Expensive

15. Cosmetics A La Carte

Another interesting boutique type store in London with a large range of products and eyeshadows that can be put into palettes. It’s not a particularly cheap range but it’s nice to check out – the best thing is the bespoke service where they can make you a customised foundation or lipstick etc. Skin Velvet Foundation

Where to buy: Cosmetics A La Carte Store, closest tube Knightsbridge (19b Motcomb Street, SW1)

Price Range: Expensive

Screenface and Charles Fox sell more theatrical make up items (like Ben Nye and Kryolan) but are still really interesting to look at (in Covent Garden)

There are plenty of other brands to look aren’t that aren’t British but can be tricky to get hold of such as BITE beauty in the Selfridges Beauty Playground area, Inglot which is in Westfields, closest tube Shepherd’s Bush (Suite 18 Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way).

If I had limited time I would visit; a big Boots store, a big Superdrug store and Selfridges if I were flush or a unique shop like Mary Quant.

What other brands would you recommend to someone visiting London?  

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  1. Janet Shepherd says

    For me one of the best brands I grew to love was Liz Earle skincare, the shop in Sloane Square is lovely (and a good excuse for a wander up the Kings Road). Also love the Cowshed range of products (my favourite is knackered cow lol) which I believe you can get at John Lewis.

  2. Inês says

    Thank you so much, Rowena, this is really helpful! 😀

    Definitely interested on Soap & Glory and Boots skincare, I’ll try to check a Boots and a Superdrug like you said.

  3. Anita says

    I may be wrong but I thought there was a Make Up For Ever shop somewhere in London, if there is that would be worth a visit.

  4. Jasmine says

    May I suggest Elemis and Tom Ford?

    I’m not sure where she’s coming from but one of the best chemist brands is Bourjois and the range is well-priced here.