A few days ago I shared which can only be described as the beauty wishlist to end all wish lists but as someone who has raided Sephora and the US "drugstore" (sorry as a Brit it will always be a Chemist to me) beauty halls in the past I thought it was only fair to share my must have brands and products to investigate should you go state side any time soon.
Sephora Own Brand
Think of Sephora's own beauty line in the same way you would Boots No.7 products only Sephora have their finger on the pulse when it comes to make-up trends. Each piece that I have tried over the years is so well formulated, comes in flattering shades and their brushes are on par with the likes of MAC when it comes to quality. My top picks include Sephora Cream Lip Stains, the baked eyeshadows and blushes and if you purchase one brush let it be the Sephora Pro Visionary Modelling Foundation Brush.
The Beauty Blender
In the States the cult beauty sponge that is The Beauty Blender costs around half the price that it does here in the UK. Which is rather annoying, the likes of Sephora also do value packs which again cost less and give you two sponges. I will be stocking up later this year and will be investigating the new mini size which looks to be perfect for the under eye area.
You need to purchase at least one of the Milani Baked Blushes. They are cheap, cheerful and so well formulated. Unlike typical baked blushes they aren't prone to shattering, looking powdery or worse overly shimmer based nor do they contain an abundance of glitter. If you like your blush to give a hit of colour as well as radiance this is the formulation for you. I personally swear by the shade Luminoso which is a light, almost peachy pink. I will be stocking up on a good few pans that is for sure.
Wet n Wild
Yeah the brand name is a little questionable but for a "drugstore" brand the quality is there...well when it comes to certain products. In my opinion the eyeshadow palettes are top notch and come in lots of different shades. The lipsticks are as cheap as chips and although a little dry in texture they wear really well and come in beautiful shades. I forever stock up on the shade Bare it All - a light, cool toned nude.
L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush
Yep you can purchase L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in most countries but here in the UK we do not get the shade Amber Rush and yet it is easily my favourite from the collection. L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush is a light, golden yet pink based copper that just dazzles on blue eyes (it looks great on everyone though!). The formula as you can imagine is great, it is truly metallic, gel based and wears so well (even on the oiliest of lids).
Again a small smattering of products are available via QVC UK but if you want the full line up you will have to visit either a Sephora or Ulta store. My advice is go straight for the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes as they are phenomenal and if you can snag a few brushes, again the quality is nothing short of wonderful.
MAC - mainly MAC Soft Brown Eyeshadow
First of all MAC is so, so much cheaper in the US (lipsticks work out to be £9.60 opposed to £15.50 and they are even cheaper should you pick them up in the US end of duty free) but some shades seem to be US/Canada only? If you like neutrals and/or need a good blending shade MAC Soft Brown is the eyeshadow you should seek out, it also doubles up as a good contour shade. Annoyingly I have shattered mine while travelling.
Ardell False Eyelashes
The best quality eyelashes I have found that don't cost the earth, especially the whispies. In the States the cost half the price of what you will pay here in the UK. I always purchase a few pairs to stash away for special occasions.
Maybelline Color Whisper Lipsticks
I have no idea why the Maybelline Color Whispers have not yet made it to the UK but if you like sheer lip colours with a balm like texture definitely pick one of these up. I bought a few shades last year and never reviewed as I know how frustrating it is to hear about a great product but not be able to actually source it with ease.
C.C.O (Cosmetic Company Outlets)
Yes, yes we have C.C.O stores here in the UK but in all honesty they are pale in comparison to those in America. Not only is the make-up super cheap but it is in shades you will actually want to wear.
Expect this list to grow in the coming months. Whoops!