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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