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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

Skin Deep: These are the beauty brands you should check out if you're heading over to London

We don’t have them here yet, so get your fix on your next London trip!


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

Let’s be honest. Any beauty fan worth their salt gets excited when they see the black and white exterior of a Sephora. Some of us may even break into a less than perfect version of The Little Mermaid’s ‘Part of Your World’. ‘Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl who has everything?’ The truth is, no one has everything when it comes to beauty. There are always new brands and new products to explore, and Sephora is the gateway to many of them.


Unfortunately, we have not been blessed with a Sephora on our shores, and neither have our closest neighbours, the U.K. However, if you’re making a trip to London, there is still plenty to check out if you’re in the market for a product you can’t get at home. Or, indeed, if you simply want to see something in real life before you order it online.

A good place to start is Selfridges. Their beauty hall is a magical place, and alongside the usual big name brands like Mac, YSL and Chanel, you can find smaller, equally exciting counters. Huda Beauty was founded by Instagram beauty superstar Huda Kattan. You’ve almost certainly seen her liquid lipsticks and palettes all over makeup Insta. They are much loved (a PR for another makeup brand recently told me that she thinks Huda’s liquid lipsticks are the best on the makrket), and while the counter at Selfridges is small, its the perfect place to check out the products IRL. You can also find them at Harrods.


Not far from the Huda Beauty Counter in Selfridges, you can find It Cosmetics, whose mission as a brand is to make you your most beautiful self. This means there’s a big focus on skincare and makeup which makes your skin look flawless. The whole range is solid, but their Your Skin But Better CC Cream is a dream product. It’s hydrating, anti-aging and gives beautiful coverage. They call it a ‘beauty miracle’ which is probably stretching things a bit, but to be honest, it’s not far off. It’d be well worth lashing some on the back of your hand to see what you think.

Suqqu is a Japanese brand much loved by superstar makeup artist Lisa Eldridge. She loves their cream foundation, brushes and eyebrow pens. The packaging is gorgeous and this is a great brand for eye end basics. You can find it in Selfridges and Harrods.

Estée Lauder’s Estée Edit was launched last year with Kendall Jenner as its face. It was supposed to be the younger, cooler sister of Estée Lauder, but it’s been announced that it’s going to be discontinued. It’s still for sale in London though both in Selfridges and in its own stand-alone shop on Carnaby Street, so if you want to check it out the option is there. I particularly like their Fluid Metal eyeshadow and Metallishadow Creme Power duos, both of which will give you great metallic eye makeup.


Australian brand Illamasqua is loved by makeup artists. Their Skinbase foundation is a favourite on editorial beauty shoots due to its ‘light, your skin but better’ finish. The brand is also great at producing colours you might not find via the usual beauty brands, so if you’re someone who likes to experiment with looks outside of the standard they’re one to check out. You can find them in Selfridges, Debenhams Westfield and in their flagship shop on Beak Street.

We may be able to get Marc Jacobs perfume and handbags in Ireland, but he’s holding out on us when it comes to makeup, which is a shame, because it’s great. Stars of the line include the Highliner Gel Eye Crayon and Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator, and you can find it at John Lewis and Harrods.

Finally, if all of that sounds too high brow and too pricy, go and have a binge at Kiko. They have a few stand-alone shops in London, on Oxford Street, in Covent Garden, on Regent Street and in Westfield – if you see one GO IN. You may be overwhelmed, it’s a huge range, but you will be delighted by the prices. Almost everything is less than a tenner, and most things are substantially less.


Their Cover Veil blushes, Full Coverage concealer and Creamy Colour Comfort Lip Pencils are excellent. Their eyeshadow crayons are a great dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon pencils, and come in a much wider colour range (that’s what I’m wearing in the picture for this article). Basically, this is the place where you can go mad and still not spend much. I can’t recommend it enough.

So, my friends, we may not be able to get to a Sephora with merely a hop, skip and a jump, but there is plenty to explore and experience in London if you need a new brand fix. Just let me know what you buy, alright? A girl needs to live vicariously through your purchases!

New Product


Pat McGrath is a legendary makeup artist who runs the show backstage at the world’s biggest fashion shows. She is responsible for some of the most iconic editorial beauty shoots in history, and after years of development she now has her own makeup line. The latest release was a range of matte lipsticks. I nabbed one on presale via her website, and the formulation is pretty special.

Unlike other matte lipsticks, it glides on easily and doesn’t feel cakey. In fact, it feels as light as a liquid lipstick, lasts almost as well, but doesn’t dry out your lips. It’s pricey, though, and while the packaging is beautiful, I miss some of the luxury touches you might expect from a $38 lipstick, like a magnetic fastening or simply a bit more weight. If you want to get this product, you’ll need to act fast. It’s only available now via Sephora, which you’ll have to pull some sneaky Addresspal stuff to make work, and it’s limited edition.

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