What To *Really* Buy Beauty-Wise From The U.S

So you don’t end up with a suitcase that feels like a tonne of bricks


I still remember my first ever visit to Sephora. I was 20, in Florida on holiday with my family and the experience was so breathtakingly amazing that I met up with my parents afterwards, only to drop off my bags to the car and head back for round two. I spent a whole summer’s worth of savings in there and truly felt like a kid in a candy store. Tarte! Josie Maran! Fresh! Buxom! Anastasia Beverly Hills! In fact video evidence of my excitement still exists on the internet. I’d link it up, but I’m not sure I want to draw your attention to a video where my eyebrows were approximately 1cm long.

These days the majority of brands have made their way to U.K shores and that, coupled with Sephora offering U.K shipping, means that there isn’t much that we can’t get out hands on. However there are still a few brands and items that remain a little harder to source. So here’s what you really need to buy beauty-wise from the U.S, without having to pay a small fortune for oversized luggage on the way home…



Glossier are obviously my first pick here and although they do commence shipping to the U.K v.soon, their only bricks and mortar presence currently stands in the SoHo area of New York. So if you find yourself in the Big Apple anytime soon then you must go and have a swatch-a-thon in their millennial pink paradise. I’m going to be doing a gigantic ‘best and worst/GRWM’ bonanza when we can all finally get our hands on it next month, but until then I thought I’d give a quick shout-out to a few of my favourites…

If we’re talking skincare, then you can’t go wrong with the Milky Jelly Cleanser which is a no-frills formula that leaves skin feeling soft and hydrated or their Super Bounce Serum which my dry ol’ cheeks practically drink up for breakfast, lunch and dinner these days. Boy Brow does deserve the hype (I use Clear or Brown) and the Generation G Lip Colour in Cake is practically all I’ve worn on my lips for the past 12 months.




Given that a load of Sephora brands have migrated into beauty halls over here in recent years and the fact we can ship bits and bobs over, there isn’t as much to get excited about as there was in the glory days (of course I did manage to spend almost $200 still last time I was there – HOW!?). So really now it’s worth looking at products and brands that have a shipping restriction on them, one being IGK. This is down to the fact that most of the products are aerosols, which are problematic for overseas cargo.

Think if Bumble & Bumble and Oribe had a haircare baby – that’s the gap that IGK fills. It’s a little more edited than the former and more budget friendly than the latter. Where I think they excel is in their sprays. I’d recommend picking up the Beach Club Texture Spray which is currently standing in the top spot of the ‘sprays that make my hair look gritty and dirty in a good way‘ charts, their Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo which is magically un-chalky and the Down & Out Dirty Spray which makes you hair feel disgusting, but look amazing. Think gunk in a can; a saviour for those with annoying overly sleek strands.




I’ve lumped these two beauty brands together, although It Cosmetics technically is available in the U.K. It’s stocked on and in Selfridges and QVC, however if you can’t make your way to Selfridges then why not head over to the U.S? Easy? There you’ll find an edited range stocked in Sephora and the full range in Ulta – honesty it’s massive. Of course my top pick is the Your Skin But Better CC Cream (I use Fair in the winter and Light in the summer), although their Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream is great for toning down rosy cheeks – I’ve been using it to cover up my psoriasis patches on my leg too and it’s worked wonders for that.

Milk though is a little tough to find over here unless you’re going to order directly from Sephora or some dodgy eBay seller, but some of the stuff I’ve tried has been glorious. It’s a little like Glossier, but with a touch more experimental flavour thrown in there. The Matte Bronzer in Baked is exactly what I want in a cream bronzer formula. It delivers pigment, without being patchy and is blendable without slipping completely off your chops. I’m tempted to pick up the A-Team Set which contains all their best-selling stick products from oils to blush and they appear to be in miniature which quite honestly just tipped them into my basket. I’ve also heard amazing things about the Flex Concealer and the Face Gloss which is supposed to give shine without shimmer. Anything else from Milk you’d recommend? I’m always down to clown around on Sephora

NOTABLE MENTIONS TO CHECK OUT IN SEPHORA: Dr Jart+, Kate Somerville, Sephora Collection Makeup, travel-size perfumes (!!), travel size anything (that bit by the till always gets me), BITE Beauty, Natasha Denona & Peter Thomas Roth


Photos by Lauren Shipley

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  • I really want to try the milky jelly cleanser and dry shampoo. xxx

  • America always seem to have all the good brands. I really wish it was a lot more easier to buy these brands right here from the UK 🙂

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  • I am so excited for Glossier to come to the UK! I’ve never tried anything from them, but the moment they land this side of the pond I think their entire range is going in my basket

  • I’m pretty thrilled that Glossier will be available in the UK soon. The Milky Jelly Cleanser sounds like a dream.
    Jade xo

  • I would love to try products from Glossier so bad! They sound so good. X

  • I would really like to try some Glossier products, the milk jelly cleanser in particular! xx
    Coco Bella Blog

  • NatalieLeanne

    I would love to try some Kate Somerville products, I feel like I’ve lusted after them for so long! xx

  • Rebecca Fletcher

    I am so excited for Glossier to start shipping to the UK because unfortunately i cant see myself visiting the US for a while. Ive had my eye on the It cosmetics CC cream for such a long time now!

  • aww man, thanks for the tips! I will try to remember this XD i’m in Australia so doubly important for me

  • Yes to all of these! Although I do need to check out IGK hair for myself. I wish Complex Beauty was available in stores because they’re so underrated since they’re new. I literally love every single product they have. If you ever check them out, you have to try their Afterglow complexion mist, Thirst Quencher hydra mask for dryness, Rose Glow glycolic mask for a quick AHA refresh, and Smooth Operator antioxidant mask for an antioxidant rich clay mask that isn’t drying.

  • Julia Deutschen

    Love the pictures and all the pink shades!
    Such a great photo and flatlay option.
    I really need to try out some glossier stuff.

    xx Julia

  • I bet I´d still feel this way when in a Sephora in the U.S.. Despite having it in Germany now, there are so many exciting brands that you can only get over there!

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • As someone from the states, I have never heard of IGK before you mentioned them! That texturizing spray sounds wonderful, so I’ll definitely be picking it up whenever I’m in a Sephora!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  • Em

    How fun! Would love to see one in reverse too for us Americans – what to buy in the UK?!? Happy weekend!

  • ella ryder

    I can’t wait to try Glossier when it comes to the UK. Love these photos too!

    Ella xx

  • Emily Hammond

    I’ve been dying to try Glossier for months, so happy to hear they will be shipping to the UK soon! I need their millennial pink everything in my life – Emily x

    EVHXO EDIT | Why It’s Okay To Not Have Your Shit Together

  • Glossier just did a week long pop up shop here in Toronto and I picked up lots of the items you’ve raved about. I’m really happy with everything I got, but the GG Cake didn’t show up on my lips, so I purchased a different colour. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • MILK is one of those brands that really shocked me with how good it is! I was skeptical after being let down by all the Glossier hype, but wow MILK’s products are really top notch.
    The Critical Babe

  • Erin Russell

    I really want to try Glossier! All the hype around them is insane!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  • Anna I’ve been a follower for a few years now, but the photos on your blog (along with your newsletter) have been SPOT ON! Thanks for the wonderful and amazing content you’ve put in throughout the years. You are amazing!

  • The only brand I know from this post is Glossier haha – I’ve read mixed reviews about the brand, but I’m sure some products are worth trying out. The jelly cleanser does seem like a nice product!

    Julia x
    Last Post: Autumn Nail Polishes |

  • Daniel B

    I understand that I’m biased, but Kate Somerville deserves a full mention! 😉 I’m surprised you haven’t tried or liked her cleansers since you like the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Renaissance Cleansing Gel. I also think you would get along quite well with the Goat Milk moisturizer since you’re on the drier side, #EmbraceTheKate. I agree with you about Milk being surprisingly good. What’s annoying about Milk’s distribution in particular is that some products are only sold in Urban Outfitters instead of the whole range being available in Sephora. #SortItOutBro. Great post. 😃

  • Cate

    Milk’s cheek and lip stain (in the tube, same as the bronzer) is fantastic. I have it in Quickie, which is a deep purple-y color. It’s perfect for us brown girls, because we don’t flush, y’know, bright coral. (Although shoutout to Glossier’s Cloud Paint for making me venture into the territory of purple blush in the first place. Literally life-changing.)

  • Lovely post! I really want to try Glossier products, it seems like everybody is loving this brand at the moment! I’ve been loving the MyChelle products recently, especially their Fruit Enzyme cleanser. Soooo good.

  • I’m just a little bit too excited for Glossier to be available in the UK. I haven’t heard of that hair care brand before either, but i’m not heading to the US anytime soon sadly xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Fashion Beauty Travel

  • Sephora and Glossier are pretty much the main reasons I want to visit the US! I wonder what the limit is for the amount of suitcases one is allowed to take on the plane… Great post as always!

  • It is so strange that Sephora is over is the UK! It is a truly addicting store…I have never used Glossier before but I have been hearing it all over social media! I must check out some of their products

    Cat //

  • I’ve been dying to try IT Cosmetics BB Cream for ages, I know I would love it!

    Tia | The 10am Blog

  • Pumpkin Lemonade

    I’m so excited for Glossier to ship to the UK! Have been dying to give the Milky Jelly Cleanser a try for ages!

    Pumpkin Lemonade

  • waoo product looks amazing sound is good well i will try nice post dear…. 🙂 wp best

  • Alex Rhead

    Anna! You inspired me to try the IT Cosmetics CC cream and it is beyond amazing, its my go -to for a great skin day! This post was so helpful, I am off to New York in Jan and heading to Glossier is top of my list (amongst tourist spots obvs). Really enjoyed this post xx


  • Lily Collings

    The Milk Makeup Holographic Sticks are stunning. Mars is the perfect natural looking highlight and Supernova is a really interesting purple highlight (similar to the purple in the Sleek Solstice palette). I would recommend picking up Mars next time you’re in a Sephora though!!

    After reading this I can’t wait for my Glossier order to arrive!

    Lily x

  • Marjolaine David

    “What to buy if we come to the UK” would be really fun to read also! I really enjoy this article! 🙂