Belfast Telegraph

Six cult US cosmetics companies landing on UK shores

Make-up and skincare brands revered across the pond are setting up shop here. Katie Wright finds out more

Ever stepped into a Sephora or Ulta store in America for a 'quick browse' and emerged hours later with a bag full of swag and hands covered in make-up swatches?

If so, you'll know there are a wealth of amazing US beauty brands you won't find in your average Boots or Superdrug.

Even if you haven't visited these retail meccas, you've probably seen beauty vloggers raving about the likes of Morphe make-up on YouTube, or the Instagram hype about Drunk Elephant skincare.

Previously, the only way to get hold of your US favourites without paying extortionate shipping costs was to actually head Stateside and stuff your suitcase (or beg a travelling friend).

But social media means beauty buffs aren't prepared to wait for whatever they see people using online and brands are increasingly going global.

As such, we've seen an influx of US skincare and make-up companies landing on our shores, all of which already have a huge following back home.

Here are six American imports that should definitely be on your radar, and the products that helped them achieve their cult status.

Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, £34, available from Space NK

Tiffany Masterson started developing Drunk Elephant skincare, which is now available at Space NK, when she was struggling with multiple skin issues that seemingly no product could fix.

She identified six ingredients - including silicones, chemical sunscreens and essential oils - that she believed were the culprits and ditched them.

"Once eliminated, my skin returned to a clear, healthy and balanced state," Masterson says.

"I couldn't find products without one or more of these suspects, so I decided to make them myself."

Marula oil is one of the brand's hero ingredients, and that's where the name comes from - the myth that elephants become intoxicated when they eat marula fruit (they don't).

Masterson believes that skin types don't really exist, and the "clean clinical" products are intended to be mixed and layered according to how your skin feels each day.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, £34, Space NK

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, £67, Space NK

Flower Beauty

Flower Beauty Mix N' Matte Lipstick Duo in Red Velvet, £7.99, available from Superdrug

While taking a break from acting to raise her children, Drew Barrymore started a side hustle with the launch of Flower make-up and skincare, which this month launched in the UK at Superdrug.

The actor believes you shouldn't have to pay a fortune for quality products, which is why no item in the range costs more than £15.

"We are starting in the UK with an edited collection of products from the range," Barrymore says. "I'm very proud of our complexion products, and the Light Illusion Foundation and concealer have earned a cult following since we launched them, along with the Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette - this is a must-have."

Flower Beauty Mix N' Matte Lipstick Duo in red velvet, £7.99, Superdrug

Flower Beauty Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette, £12.99, Superdrug

Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, £34, Cult Beauty

Founded three years ago, Milk Makeup has already amassed an army of fans who love its inclusive approach to beauty.

The vegan and cruelty-free brand is coming to UK website Cult Beauty at the end of January. We recommend putting Kush mascara and a tube of Blur foundation in your online shopping basket - these fan favourites won't disappoint.

Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, £20.50, Cult Beauty (available January 28)

Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation, £34, Cult Beauty (available January 28)

Kate Somerville

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Wrinkle Warrior, £83, available from Space NK

LA-based aesthetician Kate Somerville founded her eponymous skincare line in 2004 after 10 years of experience at her clinic, treating Hollywood's finest and using her expertise to formulate products that tackle specific skin concerns.

Fans rave about the amazingly transformative effect of Somerville's cleansers, exfoliators and serums.

The luxury brand is newly available at Space NK, the range including cult classics alongside 18 new and exclusive products.

Where to start? Parched skin will love the bestselling DermalQuench range, while acne-prone complexions will benefit from the EradiKate products.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Wrinkle Warrior, £83, Space NK

Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Blemish Treatment, £49, Space NK


Goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial, £38

While some Goop products are a struggle to get on board with (Psychic Vampire Repellent to protect your aura, anyone?) fans agree that founder Gwyneth Paltrow's skincare range is worth investing in.

The Goop pop-up shop in Notting Hill, London will now be open permanently, and its own brand premium skincare, created in partnership with Juice Beauty, is available in the online store too. The range is formulated with organic ingredients and without nasties, such as parabens, sulphates, silicones and fragrance.

The best sellers include the Exfoliating Instant Facial, which uses cellulose beads and acids to dislodge dead skin, and the Luminous Melting Cleanser, which contains almond and coconut oils.

Goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial, £38

Goop by Juice Beauty Luminous Melting Cleanser, £80


Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette, £37, available from Cult Beauty

Hugely popular with professional make-up artists and influencers alike, Morphe started out in 2008, producing affordable make-up brushes. It was founded by brother and sister duo Chris and Linda Tawil.

After a decade reigning in the US, Morphe opened its first UK stores last year in London and Birmingham. Nowadays it's the brand's palettes that are the best sellers Their collaboration with YouTuber Jaclyn Hill features 35 shades of eyeshadow.

Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette, £37, Cult Beauty

Morphe 8W Warm Master Blush Palette, £20, Cult Beauty

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