For the final part of my International Beauty series we're heading to the UK. Most brands that are available in the UK are also around in Australia these days, but annoyingly there are a handful that manage to elude us unless we take the long trip across the pond (not just for concealer and dry shampoo, mind you.) If you're lucky enough to find yourself in the motherland, here are some brands and products that are worth keeping an eye out for.
Soap & Glory
We've been able to get Soap & Glory's bodycare products in Australia for quite a while now, but for whatever reason their makeup line (bar a lipgloss or two) hasn't been made available to us yet. Which is really annoying because their products get so much praise in the beauty blogging world and I would love for Mecca/Kit Costmetics to start stocking it. One product I did get my hands on while in the UK was their One Heck of a Blot Powder which is one of my favourite powders as it's not at all cakey on the skin and it does a great job of controlling oil. I've actually done some lengthy research on oil-controlling ingredients in makeup and this bad boy comes in at the top of my list of powders for including the most of them. I also picked up their Lid Stuff Palette in What's Nude which contains three neutral matte shades and a taupe-y shimmer. Good quality, affordable matte shades aren't easy to come by but these fit the bill and it's a really versatile little quad. I've also heard millions of people go on about their Supercat Liquid Liner and their Brow Archery Pencil, so much so that no matter how many Boots I went into in my 10 days in the UK I never even managed to find working testers.
Kiko is actually an Italian brand but you can buy it in the UK, and since I'm not doing an Italian or European post in this series I thought I'd include it here. It seems that after I left the EU last year I kept hearing more and more about Kiko's products and it made me wish I'd picked up some more things. But what I did get and love are a couple of their Colour Shock Long Lasting Eyeshadows which have a lovely mousse texture, but unfortunately appear to have been limited edition (sorry), a couple of their cream eyeshadow crayons and a few different lipstick formulas. They're affordable, very nice quality, have a huge range of shades, and they seem to be really keeping up with trends with their new releases, which have gotten good feedback online too. They have lots of standalone stores all over the UK and Europe so they're well worth popping into if you see one.
Una Brennan is a great, affordable skincare brand found in Boots and she has a really highly praised and throughly talked-about line. I picked up a couple of things while I was there and have really enjoyed them. I got the Teaflower Cleansing Wash which has since been renamed & reformulated to include salicylic acid, but it's basically a gentle, SLS/sulfate free, non-foaming gel cleanser which is lovely and refreshing as a morning cleanse. I also picked up the Salicylic Acid Clay Mask which contains, you guessed it, salicylic acid for fighting acne, as well as hydrating ingredients like shea butter and avodaco oil and a range of lovely-smelling plant oils. The third product I picked up was the Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Serum which contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C) which is a proven antioxidant that, amongst other things, increases collagen production (i.e. fights wrinkles) and reduces skin discolouration. It also contains algae extract which is another antioxidant and ol' faithful hyaluronic acid. I'm thinking about doing a post on antioxidants/skincare ingredients to go into this kind of thing further so do let me know if that's of interest to you! Sidenote: I've actually tried the Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Truth Serum as well and I prefer the Una Brennan.
A few other bits and pieces to keep an eye out for inlcude the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer which has been talked about to death, and which you kind of just have to buy out of curiosity. I don't find it that wonderful for under my eyes but it's a decent spot concealer and if you can track it down in your shade it's worth picking up. I also quite like the 17 Phwoarr Paint Concealer as an undereye corrector; it's quite peach-y coloured and works really well when combined with a highlighting pen concealer and it doesn't make my undereyes look dry or cakey throughout the day. I'd also recommend the Max Factor Creamy Blush as although we have Max Factor in Australia we don't have their cream blushes, and even though you can get Sleek online, it's nice to have a play around with their products in person, and I'm still a big fan of their blush palettes.
I made a point of popping into Pixi Beauty (around the corner from Dahlia & Liberty in London) to buy their Glow Tonic that everyone and their mother has raved about if they've been able to get their hands on it. This still isn't widely available internationally, but I have seen it flit in and out of stock on ASOS so hopefully you can pick it up there, or if you want to pick up a few other things you can get it from Cult Beauty with free shipping over £50. I really enjoy it and if I see it on ASOS again myself I'll definitely be picking up another bottle, or I might end up splashing out on Cult Beauty. I wasn't into nail polish back when I was in the UK but now that I can't get a hold of them due to shipping restrictions I wish I'd tried a few of Barry M's nail polishes because they're meant to be fantastic. If you're from the UK and think I've missed anything crucial I'd love to hear what it is! :)