Ever made the pilgrimage to a Sephora or CVS to get your hands on beauty products that weren’t available back home? Us too. But now, more and more American beauty brands have made their way across the pond. Here, we round up the best ones.
It might have happened to you before. You’ve watched an American YouTuber run through a beauty tutorial and subsequently, rushed to place a huge order. Except, half of the products aren’t available in the UK. Well, unless you’re willing to pay extortionate shipping and custom fees.
Instead, we had to rely on trips to the States for beauty pilgrimages to Sephora, Ulta, CVS and Target, where we could get our hands on products that weren’t available back home. Thankfully, over the years, many American brands have finally arrived on our shores and are easily available to purchase from retailers like Cult Beauty, Feelunique, Boots and Space.NK.
While there’s still a long list of US brands we’re waiting to jump across the pond for (ColourPop Cosmetics and Melt Cosmetics, we’re looking at you), more and more are launching in the UK every month.
Here, we round up our favourite US beauty brands that you can shop in the UK.
Best American brands that are available in the UK
Starting as a self-taught make-up artist, Danessa Myricks broke into the industry and has worked with numerous celebrities and brands. But after feeling like make-up still wasn’t fully inclusive, she decided to create her own eponymous cosmetics brand and make products that were available to everyone, no matter your race, age, gender or personal style.
We recommend: Danessa Myricks Vision Flush, £18. Available in eight shades, this liquid pigment can be used on eyes, lips and skin for a gorgeous flush of colour.
When Holly Thaggard’s friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, she began learning all she could about sun damage. While researching, she looked at some of the reasons why people don’t wear sunscreen everyday, from formulas to convenience. Thaggard used this insight to create formulas customers would actually enjoy using and from there, Supergoop! was born.
We recommend: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 30, £30. Lightweight, non-greasy and completely invisible; this sunscreen ticks all the boxes you could want in sun protection.
Bread Beauty Supply
Bread Beauty Supply aims to simplify your approach to hair care. Created specifically for curly hair types from type three to type four, its products follow a four-step process for wash day: wash, mask, oil, have time to do whatever you want.
We recommend: Bread Beauty Supply hair-mask: creamy deep conditioner, £26. Packed full of hydration, this deep conditioner contains Kakadu plum oil, which is known for its high concentration of vitamin C, as well as borage oil. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes for hydrated, happy hair.
What started as experimental candle-making in a Los Angeles kitchen has led to one of the biggest candle brands around right now. Founded by partners Matthew Herman and David Kien, the pair create gorgeous scents that fit into your daily rituals that are then hand-poured into reusable glass vessels.
We recommend: Boy Smells Kush Scented Candle, £36. A brand bestseller, Kush pays homage to the cannabis flower. It contains notes of cannabis, suede, white musk, tulip and amber for a scent that’s warm yet fresh.
After more than a decade working in the beauty industry, entrepreneur Sharon Chuter wanted to create a brand that catered to everybody, particularly Black women. Uoma (pronounced ‘oma’) pays homage to Chuter’s heritage and her African culture is celebrated throughout the brand.
We recommend: Uoma Beauty Afro.Dis.Iac Liquid Eyeliner, £16. This ultra-black eyeliner delivers a long-lasting formula that is a dream to apply. The pen-like applicator glides against skin and the pointed tip makes eyeliner flicks easier than ever.
Kristen Ess Hair
You may have come across celebrity hairstylist Kristen Ess on Instagram before. The magic hands behind Lauren Conrad and Lucy Hale’s hair, Ess also has her own line of products. The impressive formulas are a result of Ess’s 22 years of experience in the industry and includes stylers, cleansers, conditioners and accessories.
We recommend: Kristin Ess Hair Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, £17. Not a fan of perfectly sleek hair post-styling? This dry texturising spray gives volume and oomph to the roots of your hair for a lived-in finish.
After her colour correcting video went viral on YouTube in 2015, Deepica Mutyala created a digital community that focused on inclusive beauty. Mutyala learned about gaps in the beauty market that failed to cater to everybody and that’s how Live Tinted was born.
We recommend: Live Tinted Hueglow, £32. Skincare-meets-make-up in a bottle, this serum-moisturiser contains squalane to hydrate skin but is also packed with micro-shimmer particles for a gorgeous glow.
Founded by Tiffany Masterson on the concept of skincare without ‘fillers’, Drunk Elephant quickly earned cult status in the US, thanks to its careful approach to ingredients.
We recommend: Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial, £44. This clever moisturiser contains niacinamide, sodium PCA, plant squalane, five forms of ceramides, omega fatty acids and antioxidants to keep skin soothed, calm and hydrated.
Actor Jessica Alba teamed up with a group of make-up artists and cosmetic chemists to ensure Honest Beauty’s formulas met her requirements. The brand prides itself on transparency when it comes to formulas and has an extensive list of banned ingredients that you’ll never find in its products.
We recommend: Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer, £19. This duo-ended tube has a primer that preps and conditions your lashes, while the other side has a deeply-pigmented mascara that adds length and fullness.
Reef-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan and sulphate, paraben, gluten-free; Sun Bum was created to deliver sun protection that doesn’t damage the planet. Its products are made, tested and filled in Florida and if you ever happen to be in the area, the team will probably take you out for a surf lesson.
We recommend: Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray, £17.99. This water-resistant formula is non-greasy, doesn’t leave a white cast and contains vitamin E to protect your skin against free radical damage.
Despite launching in the US in 2006, CeraVe only came to the UK in 2018. Its products are developed with dermatologists for no-frills, effective formulas that focus on healthier skin. While all of CeraVe’s US products aren’t currently available here just yet, they’re slowly trickling over.
We recommend: CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser with Salicylic Acid, £12. An essential among the Stylist beauty team, this gentle gel cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate skin while removing dirt and oil.
When celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin ran her blog, Mane Addicts, she was constantly in conversation with people around the world discussing their hair needs and wants. Realising a gap for fun, luxury products that were still affordable, she created Ouai.
We recommend: Ouai Super Dry Shampoo at Cult Beauty, £12. Whether your hair falls flat or you need a refresh between hair wash days, this oil-absorbent formula delivers instant volume with every spritz. Plus, it doesn’t leave that tell-tale white powdery cast along your roots.
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Main image: courtesy of brands