A moment I’ve been waiting for since I moved to the UK in 2015 has finally arrived: Sephora is now in the UK! In honor of the Sephora UK launch, I put together this roundup of some of my favorite Sephora products…only to find that some of them aren’t available here (yet). So, in addition to sharing my favorite Sephora (US) favorites, I’m also sharing some of my favorite alternative sites in the UK. These are the sites I’ve been relying on (and have come to love) for my beauty needs over the past 7 years.
My Sephora Favorites
- Fresh Skincare: I first fell in love with Fresh products when I got the lip balm as my free birthday gift from Sephora. As I started to try out their skincare products, the rose face mask immediately emerged as my favorite. It makes my skin feel and look so good and it’s my go to for a pre-event pamper session. Shop at Sephora UK
- Laneige Lip Mask: I haven’t actually tried the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask yet, but many of my friends rave about it and it’s one of the first products I saw available on the Sephora UK website. My lips always suffer in the winter, so it went straight into my cart and I can’t wait to try it. Shop at Sephora UK
- NARS Lipstick Pencils: I first discovered the NARS Matte Lip Pencils thanks to a Sephora Favorites box (more on this below!) and for awhile they were the only lip color I wore. The pencils are so easy to apply and the color lasts so well. Find them on Sephora UK or Cult Beauty for a bigger selection.
- Ilia: This clean beauty brand is quickly becoming one of my favorites for the natural, little-to-no-makeup look that I love. I wear the Limitless Mascara daily and always pop the lip tint into my bag for date night. The products are available at Sephora UK, but I highly recommend the ILIA discovery sets from Naturisimo if you want to try the products out.
- Hourglass Complexion Palette: I have two of these Ambient Lighting Palettes and I use them every. single. day. And they may just be bottomless because I’m still so far from being done with them! It’s blush, powder, bronzer, and more all in one palette – perfect for travel or everyday use. Find them at Cult Beauty in the UK.
- Sephora Favorites Sets: I was so disappointed to find that the Sephora Favorites sets did not launch in the UK. I’m guessing they just need to be reworked as many of the brands in them are not currently available in the UK; however, I hope they make it here soon. These sets are my favorite way to discover new products – the Vacay All Day and Clean Mascara sets are currently on my wish list.
- Bumble & Bumble Dry Shampoo: This dry shampoo was only recently introduced to me and I absolutely love it. It’s called a ‘post workout spray’ and is a wet spray which seems counterintuitive but I promise it works a treat. And it adds so much volume – perfect for a little pick me up for your hair. Bonus (though quite niche): this does wonders for fixing hat hair! Find it at Sephora UK
- Sunday Riley: I started using the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Glow Oil a few years ago and have since jumped on every C.E.O. product they come out with. I currently use the oil, the serum, and the moisturizer. And I love them all! It doesn’t look like the brand is available on Sephora UK, but I regularly purchase it from Cult Beauty.
- Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen: The suede-y texture of this clear sunscreen makes it a perfect makeup primer for days spent out in the sun. And, without the stress of ensuring a white or tinted sunscreen is completely rubbed in, it’s actually enjoyable to put this on. Protecting your skin has never been so easy! Cult Beauty stocks Supergoop in the UK.
Sephora Alternatives in the UK
Over my years in the UK without Sephora, I’ve come to find alternatives that allow me to get almost everything I would buy at Sephora back in the US. These shops are all favorites for their own reasons. If you find yourself visiting in the UK and need to stop in and pick up a beauty product, these are the places to go/shop online:
Space NK Apothecary
I can’t even remember why I walked into Space NK for the first time, but I fell in love immediately. They don’t carry many brands, but I immediately saw that some of my favorite brands were represented – NARS, Laura Mercier, and Hourglass. I decided that the people at Space NK and I must think alike, and started shopping there immediately.
Space NK has curated the selection of brands that they stock so well that I know any product I buy there will be a quality product. And the stores are so aesthetically pleasing that I can’t help but go in every time I pass one (they have the same black & white color scheme as Sephora, which is also a bonus!). My favorite thing about Space NK, though, is the loyalty program. You get £5 off every time you spend £100 (5% back). It’s not huge, but if you’re anything like me, that £5 voucher comes around pretty often. And there’s nothing more satisfying than a tangible reward for shopping!
Best For: Rewards Program; In Store Shopping
The Cult Beauty website is my go to place for discovering new products. Between the ‘Why It’s Cult’ and ‘Description’ of each product, I feel so well informed whenever I am making a purchase – especially with new to me products. And their focus on stocking the best of the best gives me that extra boost of confidence needed to press ‘Buy’.
Cult Beauty also launched their status programme earlier this year – earn 1 point for every £1 spent. These can then be converted to vouchers at £5 off per 100 points.
Best For: Discovering New Brands; Luxury Beauty
If you’re interested in the best of the best of luxury beauty, Liberty is the place to go. Not only is the store an experience in itself, but the beauty hall is stocked with some of the best and most consistent brands – Bobbi Brown, Dermalogica, Hourglass, and more.
Liberty also releases the most incredible Beauty Advent Calendar each year. It’s pricey, but makes for the perfect treat each day in December. The products in the advent calendar usually last me through the entire next year and I always find a new favorite!
If you’re based in the UK, check out the Beauty Drop programme. It’s a beauty subscription that delivers some of the most exciting products to your door each quarter.