With the Summer Olympics in full swing, all eyes are focused on London and all things British. Beautyinthebag particularly loves the history behind makeup brands native to our friends across the pond. Some are organic, some are wacky and bold, some are sexy, and some are just classic standbys that will never disappoint!
We love a little history behind the makeup brands we use. Rimmel, which has been around since 1834 (that’s almost two centuries!), started when a respected French perfumer accepted an invitation to manage a perfumery on London’s Bond Street. By 1834, the perfumery had become so successful that his son and apprentice, Eugene Rimmel—who was only 14 years old—opened a perfumery of his own. Thus, the House of Rimmel was born. Passed down from generation to generation, and having survived various owners as well as two world wars, Rimmel is still going strong in more than 40 countries worldwide, establishing itself as one of Britain’s bestselling cosmetics brand. Rimmel touts the motto “The London Look,” which is fitting since with a couple swipes of the dozens of high-quality products in their affordable range, you can change your London identity from a lady shopping in Knightsbridge to a punk getting a tattoo in Camden.
The Glam’Eyes range is perfect for those balmy nights out on the town this summer. We like the Mono Eye Shadows ($3.99), which comes in 11 different sophisticated shades that blend effortlessly for smooth and intense color. It’s long-lasting and doesn’t crease or fade so that splash of perfect color can last as long as you do.
Boots No7 is one of our most favorite and affordable British makeup brands not only because its products are hypo-allergenic and dermatologist-tested, but because the brand has been beloved by women across the pond for more than 75 years. That’s a ringing endorsement, no?
We like the No7 Naturally Bronzed Shimmer Pearls ($11.99) for the summer. With the silk powder, it blends easily to highlight your face for a healthy skin-kissed glow without risking UV damage resulting from standing in the sun too long. It contains ginseng extract for protection and walnut shell flour to help absorb excess oil The best part is, it’s gentle enough to be used on the most sensitive of skins!
Founded only a few years ago, this cult British beauty brand has been growing exponentially. With 3 standalone stores in London, Leeds, and Liverpool and 9 department store concessions in the UK, Illamasqua is also in the US market in over 50 Sephora stores, a standalone store in Croatia, and multiple concessions in Australia and the Middle East. In 2011, it was awarded Britian’s “CoolBrands” status alongside winners such as Prada, Dazed & Confused, Apple, and Manolo Blahnik.
Not for the faint of heart, each Illamsqua collection is bold and unique. Their newest collection is called Naked Strangers and features a range of nail polishes, lip gloss, blush, and other delectable pallets. We do enjoy the brand’s Nail Varnish ($14) because it comes in a range of finishes including matte and high-gloss. And with more than 45 different shades to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone.
We know and love Neal’s Yard for its organic and gentle skincare line, but now it’s ventured into cosmetics and we couldn’t be more pleased. Founded in 1981 in Covent Garden, Neal’s Yard took a stance against synthetic chemicals in skin and healthcare products and was committed to bringing apothecary and holistic approaches to its brand and to the community. We’re fond of this company because it is passionate about the environment, actively supports and promotes organic farming, and includes certified organic ingredients in all its products.
The Organic Makeup for Natural Beauties line is the first cosmetics line that is certified by the Soil Association, which is the UK’s leading organic certifying body. We love this makeup collection because it contains the antioxidant white tea and antiaging acai. The Mineral Blusher (£16.50) boasts natural mineral colors in an organic cornstarch base and contains white tea and acai but also avocado oil, organic sweet almond oil, and shea butter to help moisturize, soothe, and protect your beautiful skin.