My U.S Beauty Shopping List

What to leave space for in your suitcase next time you head Stateside…

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Along with ‘Where are your clothing hangers from?’ (ZARA Home FYI) and ‘What do you recommend doing in Brighton when I come to visit? (blog post on that here); my other most frequently asked question is ‘I’m heading to America – what would you suggest picking up beauty-wise?’. Now if you’d asked me that question five years ago then I would have promptly rolled out a scroll, a savings strategy to afford it all and the receipt for my luggage that was once 6kg over on my return flight and posed a serious health risk. The U.S was the land of beauty bounty that had not made it’s way to U.K shores and quite honestly two hours in the aisles of Sephora just WASN’T LONG ENOUGH.

However, these days thanks to the good ol’ Internet and the sheer size of the industry, more brands are available to buy worldwide than ever before. So although I still reserve space in my case for the (still extremely unreasonable) amount of visits that I make to Sephora, it’s no where near as cavernous as it once was. But there are still a select amount of items that are tough to find in the U.K, super expensive to ship, or just completely unavailable; so today I’m sharing with you my extremely downsized list to pop in your back pocket next time you head stateside…


It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full-Coverage Moisturiser – available at Ulta. Here’s the thing, It Cosmetics is stocked in the U.K at Selfridges* and in selected Boots stores, but new launches tend to be rolled over here at a later date and I’m guessing that’s the case with this product. With a formula that sits just next to their CC Cream which I’ve used pretty much exclusively as my base product of choice for the past four years, OF COURSE it’s become a favourite since purchase. It’s slightly more full coverage, more skin-like instead of dewy and has a touch more longevity to it, but all without ever look detectable on the skin. If I find out the release date here I’ll be sure to share the news, but until then if you’re a fan of their base products in general and are looking for a more day-time proof/evening ‘I want to look my absolute darn best’ base, then this could be one to pop in your basket. Side note: I think this is currently an Ulta exclusive in the U.S 

Dose of Colours Sassy Siennas Palette – available at Ulta. *INSERT THE ‘I AM AN IDIOT SANDWICH’ GIF*. I thought that I had stumbled across this complete gem of a palette that I didn’t believe was available in the U.K. Turns out that it is. On BeautyBay*, so not in person, but it is available to purchase online. I’d never seen a Dose of Colours stand before, but Ulta had the lot. I swatched and played with the majority of the products, but it was the five-pan eyeshadows and this warm selection that suckered me in. Not only does it feature colours that are both within my comfort-zone and on the perimeters, the formula is quite frankly incredible. Like butter that you want to spread on toast immediately with colour pay-off that’s easy to sheer out if that’s more your vibe. See it in action in yesterday’s video with KATIE JANE HUGHES. I know caps 100% required there.

Maybelline Full & Soft Waterproof Mascara – available at Ulta & drugstores. I first heard about this mascara YEARS ago. It was an OG YouTuber favourite and I picked up a tube for me and a tube for my Mum on one of my first visits to New York. It does what it says on the tube and leaves my lashes looking full and elongated, but feeling soft to touch, slightly fluffy and with minimal flaking. It’s great. I love it and my Mum loves it too, so I always pick up a tube (or four) whenever we’re running low. Side note: IT LOOKS LIKE L’OREAL TELESCOPIC WATERPROOF IS BACK IN THE U.S! I have received messages from a load of you lot about it, but I couldn’t find it in stock when I was in Cali. Good thing that we have a trip to N.Y.C in the not too far future so I can buy 10 and possibly cry happy tears when I find it.

BITE Beauty Outburst Longwear Lip Stain in Orange Fizz – available at Sephora. Whereas all of the other items I’ve mentioned here you can find on Amazon with ridiculously long shipping rates, or can deliver here but with extremely high costs, BITE Beauty just ain’t available AT ALL in the U.K. No counters, no online stockists, so you’re just going to *have* to buy a plane ticket instead. The whole range is beautiful, but I’ve really been enjoying my newest purchase. This formula is a soft and creamy one, but one that packs some serious pigment and they aren’t joking about the whole stain thing. I tried to remove it and was left with a fuchsia-pink tint to my lips that lasted the rest of the day. A two-in-one, eh?

BITE Beauty Agave+ Nighttime Therapy – available at Sephora. If you’re unsure of what to buy from the BITE Beauty line-up because there are so many colours to pick from, then you can’t go wrong with any of their lip care products. Whether it’s the classic tubes of their Agave Lip Mask, or this newer product which I picked up as part of my California Haul, and is basically the same thing but in pot form, they all perform well and do their duty of keeping your lips nice and soft with textures that don’t feel claggy or heavy on the lips. Whenever my lips are playing up – feeling itchy, tight or just rough and dry – a layer of this seems to sort them out overnight. Brilliant. I’m never disappointed.


Tatcha Violet-C Vitamin C Radiance Mask – available at Sephora. I’m as loyal as that lass from last year’s Love Island when it comes to mascara, but with face masks it’s a different story. I have my faves, but I flit around and change things up regularly trying to suss out my skin’s needs and see what formulas I own that offer up the best solution. However, this is one that I repeatedly go back to, no matter how my skin is behaving. Needs moisture? On this goes. Feeling sensitive? Sure, slather it on. Feeling dry and lacklustre? Apply this ASAP. Stressed, congested, texture – whatever, this mask is a true workhorse in my routine and annoyingly the shipping fees and duties make this an extremely pricey purchase in the U.K, so stock up next time you hit up Sephora.

Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream – available at Sephora. Same brand, same spendy shipping fees. A new product, this was front and centre at every Sephora that I entered during our California road trip and given the name and the fact that it was being dangled in my face at every opportunity meant that it took me about 10 seconds to add it to my basket. I’m not much of a moisturiser gal these days – preferring juicy oils that absorb quickly – but I have to say that this is feeding my need for glow that errs *very* closely to oily as my complexion slowly starts to resemble that of a raisin with each year that goes by. A heavy and rich cream, but a little goes a long way and it does work wonders at giving radiance to sandpaper skin.

Photos by Emma Croman

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