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5 British Drugstore Beauty Brands to Stow in Your Suitcase: Guest Blogger

As soon as we came across Rachel Phipps’ lifestyle, foodie, and travel blog, we knew we were hooked. It sent us down the rabbit hole to The Glossy Guide, a beauty blog created by the British style maven and her best friend. From secret steals to haute products, she’s sharing some of her best insights here with us this week!

While my first beauty experiments from my early teens came from samples my mother gave me from her “Clinique bonus time” hauls, many of my first pocket-money beauty splurges were on some much-loved, iconic British drugstore brands. Here are five of the best mass brands to check out the next time you visit us across the pond!

Models Ownimage

While Models Own makes your standard roster of makeup products and some pretty awesome fluorescent-dipped makeup brushes, it’s the nail polishes you need to look out for. The brand has some incredible colors, and at around £5 a bottle, the quality is surprisingly high. The glitter shades are also worth writing home about, and there’s a range of £8 ‘Pro’ shades that offer better quality with a more precise brush. Models Own was also first to hit the UK market with a line of fantastic nail art pens, a collaboration with the cult London nail art salon WAH Nails. 

Witch Skincareimage

Witch used to be the traditional brand of witch hazel ointment in the UK, but a few years ago they rebranded and started making some great skincare and makeup products featuring witch hazel. My personal favorites are their Cleansing & Toning Wipes (I even packed a few in my bag when I moved out to California) and their Anti-blemish Pressed Powder and Anti-blemish Liquid Concealer, both of which are better than lots of the high-end makeup I use.

Sleek MakeUPimage

Sleek MakeUP is known in the UK for its wide range of colorful products with great pigment payoff. Their blushes are big on the British blogging scene, and have been known to be dead ringers for certain NARS products. Beyond the blushes, what you should really look out for are Sleek’s vibrant Pout Paints, a drugstore alternative to OCC’s Lip Tars.

Barry MimageAt one time or another, every British teenage girl has owned one of Barry M’s vibrant nail polishes. They are surprisingly long-lasting, strongly pigmented, and they come in a range of great colors. It doesn’t hurt their popularity that they’re one of the cheapest polishes on the market: only £2.99 a bottle (about $4.50).


Practically every new mother in England has a tub of Sudocrem. It’s a white, slightly lavender-scented antiseptic cream that was once used exclusively for diaper rash, but it’s also great on bug bites, sunburns, and burns sustained in the kitchen. More recently, people have realized that a little dab works as an overnight spot treatment for acne, and as demonstrated on the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex (think Jersey Shore for the UK), it also works as a face mask. This is honestly one of my all-time favorite skincare products.

For more destination inspiration, check out our June travel-themed issue. 

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