Looking for some homegrown cosmetics? Britain is still a major player in the increasingly globalised beauty world, with absolute powerhouse brands like Jo Malone London and Charlotte Tilbury to shout about, alongside small independent brands utilising fresh British ingredients. Here, we round up a few of the best British beauty brands in the worlds of makeup, skincare, body and haircare.
Best British Beauty Brands
British Beauty Brands: MAKEUP
British make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury MBE, one of the most influential makeup artists of her generation, launched her eponymous makeup line in 2013, and the rest is history. Her mission was to share the power of makeup and show every woman how easy it is to look and feel like the most beautiful versions of themselves. Boundary-breaking brand firsts so far have included the augmented reality “Magic Mirror” to the first ever Virtual Reality perfume experience starring Kate Moss. Her products represent the ultimate in British glamour.
Hero Product: Magic Foundation
Founded in Britain over 10 years ago, Illamasqua is the ultimate anti-conformist makeup brand that celebrates individuality. Recognised by PETA, they’re cruelty-free and have a large vegan range. They’re known for their bright, highly-pigmented statement colours, bold textural formulas and innovative products.
Hero Product: Hydra Veil Primer
British Beauty Brands: SKIN
Luxury British skincare and spa brand Elemis formulated and manufactures its products in the UK with a ‘field to face’ philosophy. They work with award-winning British growers to get the best quality, natural oils, extracts and ingredients. They also support a diverse range of British oilseed crops, helping the sustainability of honey bees through the farming of Starflower, Echium and Camelina. Their beloved Pro-Collagen range has long been a firm favourite with editors and beauty buffs alike.
Hero Product: Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
Bamford was founded by Carole Bamford, the owner and founder of Daylesford Farm, one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. Established on the belief that what we put on our body is as important as what we put into it through our food, all of the bath and body products are made in England and the natural active botanicals used are drawn from the fruits and herbs of English gardens.
Hero Product: Geranium Bath Oil
Carol Joy London
One of our Great British Brands 2019, Carol Joy London approaches wellness by providing a results-driven beauty solution that works inside and out, using precious ingredients that are known for cleansing the body and relaxing the mind. Before founding her exclusive skincare company, Carol Joy Hatton spent many years searching for the perfect ingredients with which to create her age-defying products and treatments. Nearly a decade later, she is a leading player in the global skin and hair care industry and the brand, which began its journey at The Dorchester in 2009, is to be found in a selection of luxury spas around the world. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: For Ever, caroljoylondon.com
The Dr Sebagh brand, co-owned by cosmetic doctor Jean-Louis Sebagh and businesswoman and philanthropist Melissa John, is one of the few privately owned skincare brands that formulates and manufactures its own products. This independence enables them to develop unique and powerful formulations using advanced bio-tech ingredients, carefully chosen for their potency and specific benefits in addressing a particular skincare need or concern. Dr Sebagh is one of our Great British Brands 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Supreme Maintenance Youth Serum
Liz Earle was founded in 1995 by co-founders Liz Earle, an author and botanical beauty authority, and Kim Buckland, a skincare industry expert. The pair chose Isle of Wight as the home of Liz Earle Beauty Co, where over half the island designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. With a focus on the potent power of naturally active ingredients, Liz Earle was one of the first brands to make sourcing botanicals for their unique efficacy a priority.
Hero Product: Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Founded in 2015, Guy Morgan is a natural skincare brand that harnesses high quality organic ingredients to create result-driven skincare. Think eco-friendly plant power and seriously luxe products made from ingredients that are carefully sourced with a focus on sustainability. If you’re new to the brand try the Dagger Rose, a gorgeous organic balm and oil made using cold-pressed, virgin, certified organic Rosehip oil.
Hero Product: Dagger Rose Balm
The White Company
Almost a quarter century old, The White Company has over 50 stores in the UK and has a US flagship story on New York’s fifth avenue. The brand’s skincare line is comprised of six products to help transform your complexion with protection against ageing and a focus on improved firmness, clarity, texture and circulation.
Hero Product: Super Balm
A Great British Brand 2019, Molton Brown holds a Royal Warrant for the supply of toiletries by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, an honour the brand takes extremely seriously as the ultimate noble seal of approval, winning international customers’ trust for providing fragrances of unquestioned merit. A beloved name on the British (and global) beauty scene, Molton Brown was established in 1973 and have been delighting customers with their sophisticated fragrance collections and indulgent bath and body collections ever since. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Geranium Nefertum Bath & Shower Gel
One of the most prestigious spa brands in the world, pivotal not only within the history of British skincare but also within the spa industry as a whole, ESPA focuses on delivering natural beauty and inner calm to treat mind and body through its innovative spa treatments and skincare products. ESPA was founded in 1993 and is now the chosen partner for 550 globally acclaimed spas worldwide. The brand has multiple, award-winning flagship spas, one of which is ESPA Life at Corinthia, London. ESPA is a Great British Brand 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Soothing Body Oil
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Modern British apothecary Neal’s Yard Remedies started small in a quiet corner of Covent Garden (from which it takes its name) but now has over 50 stores in the UK and a presence in five continents across the world. They always use the highest possible percentage of organic ingredients in their products, believing that natural, organic ingredients are kinder to the earth and kinder to the skin.
Hero Product: Frankincense Intense Hand Treatment Serum
Cowshed is a collection of spas and natural products for the body and home from Soho House. Born from the group’s very first spa in Babington House in 1998, the collection can now be found in all the group’s houses, spas and restaurants worldwide. They’re known for their delicious scents thanks to the gorgeous of pure essential oils and wild crafted plant extracts used in their products.
Hero Product: Kahai Wonderbalm
Living Sea Therapy
This Cornish beauty company does exactly what it says on the tin. Living Sea Therapy has honed the cultivation of salt on the Lizard Peninsula with sister company Cornish SeaSalt to utilise the healing benefits of the crystals in its range. Cornish sea salt is particularly rich in minerals due to the local geology where the earth’s mantle is exposed under the Atlantic Ocean which has resulted in an equally unique crystal formation.
Hero product: Calm Bath Salts
British Beauty Brands: PERFUME
Jo Malone London
Since the launch of Lime Basil & Mandarin, Jo Malone London has been known for its elegant scents and indulgent bath and body care. The ultimate in sophisticated simplicity, the brand’s fragrance combining philosophy means all their scents can be layered or worn alone. Their limited edition seasonal collections celebrate aspects of British nature from the famous weather to wildflowers and weeds.
Hero Product: Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne
Boadicea the Victorious
Boadicea the Victorious perfumes have captured the imagination of a rapidly growing customer base ever since they were launched as an exclusive in Harrods ten years ago. Starting as a niche brand, the company now sells worldwide with a range of more than 100 different fragrances, each designed to capture the mood and individuality of its customers. The link with ancient history has helped the brand stand out in a crowded market place. Customers identify with the fierce independence, spirit and the beauty of a proud and fearless leader. But they also appreciate the commitment to traditional British values of high quality production, from the perfumes themselves to the distinctive bottles. Boadicea’s statue stands by London’s Westminster Bridge adjacent to the Houses of Parliament, a symbol of the importance of the Queen of the Iceni in the nation’s story. Boadicea the Victorious is a Great British Brand 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Violet Sapphire
DR Harris is a Great British Brand 2019. An edit from their brand entry: In the year 1790, Europe was ablaze with revolutionary fervour. In Paris, the revolutionaries, having overthrown the old order, were launching a brave new world of liberté, égalité, fraternité. In London, two cousins, Henry Harris, a surgeon, and Daniel Rotely Harris, a pharmacist, set up shop on the corner of St James’s Street and King Street. They dispensed medicines and blended toilet waters, English flower extracts and colognes for the gentry of St James’s, products whose matchless scents far outlived the rhetoric, fire and brimstone of the French Revolution. D.R. Harris may have been on St James’s Street in London for over 225 years but it is always looking to the wider world and the future for inspiration.
Hero Product: Windsor Eau de Toilette
Floris London is a Great British Brand 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry: Founded in 1730, the Floris London brand holds two Royal Warrants, and its home has been the same shop at 89 Jermyn Street throughout its lifetime. Its products have won over the Queen, Prince Charles and Hollywood stars alike, from Marilyn Monroe to Benedict Cumberbatch. But it also has a richesse of other loyal customers, for whom the essence of Floris is an essential part of their lives.
Hero Product: A Rose For…
This is the story of a 19th-century Cornish barber named William Penhaligon, who travelled to London and opened a shop next to the capital’s finest tailors in Jermyn Street. At a time when to be a gentlemen was an affair of great application, one of Penhaligon’s early accolades included trimming the Shah of Persia’s beard. His company received Queen Alexandra’s Royal Warrant one year after his death in 1902. Over the ensuing 145 years, Penhaligon’s received two more Royal Warrants – one from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (1956) and another from HRH The Prince of Wales (1988). The company’s distinctive fragrances – still produced in England and bottled in William Penhaligon’s original design – are sold across the globe. And in the crowded world of luxury perfume, the brand remains steadfastly committed to olfactory excellence through its innovative products and unique services. Penhaligon’s is a Great British Brand 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Luna Eau de Toilette
Roja Dove, described by the New York Times as the legendary ‘master tailor of scent’, considers the greatest accolade of his working career to have been summoned to 10 Downing Street in 2013. There he was appointed as an Ambassador for the GREAT Britain campaign and asked to create a fragrance that captured the essence of Britain for the world’s first GREAT Festival, held in Istanbul. For someone whose privately owned brand, Roja Parfums, is now available in 250 retail locations spanning over 50 countries, this speaks volumes for Roja Dove’s personal passion for Britain and British creativity and the inspiration they have provided over his long, distinguished career. Roja Dove is a Great British Brand 2019. This is an edit from their brand entry.
Hero Product: Lily Pour Femme
Founded in the UK by Tamara Ecclestone, SHOW Beauty is an opulent haircare line that really delivers on quality. Known for its signature luxe scent, the brand is stocked in the likes of Harrods, Harvey Nichols and of course the flagship SHOW Dry salons in Notting Hill, Wimbledon Village and Harvey Nichols Manchester.
Hero Product: SHOW Beauty Premiere Dry Shampoo