Have you yet to visit Edinburgh? Or perhaps you have an itch to stop by again sometime in the future? Either way Momina (follow her on Instagram mominanimom) has composed a very handy guide to her beauty stomping ground. Pen and paper at the ready...
I have linked each store's location and opening times below, for your convenience.
With no fewer than four distinct department stores, some with more than one branch in the city centre, Edinburgh offers more than enough in the way of access to high end goods.
Debenhams - For me Debenhams excels in two places: customer service and fragrance. If you want really friendly staff who are always happy to help, but are never overbearing to the point of discomfort and awkwardness, Debenhams is the place to be. As well as this, the fragrance section of the beauty hall is huge and could easily rival any individual perfume shop. It is also worth noting that Debenhams stocks Too Faced and Cargo Cosmetics, which can be difficult to find in the UK.
Jenners - Edinburgh's oldest department store, and family owned until 2007, the interior of Jenners is now run by the House of Fraser and is worth a visit if just to marvel at the impressive architecture. Inside the vast beauty hall are all the usual brands you would expect to see, including some more elusive brands such as Shiseido, Aveda and Kiehls - although the last one also has a standalone store on George S, a must see if just for the skeleton in the lab coat in the window. That always makes me laugh!
Harvey Nichols - My personal favourite, Harvey Nichols is home to the only MAC counter outside of Edinbrugh Airport and so is well worth a visit. It also has a small Space.NK concession which I much favour over their store on George St. (although it's nice to know that you have the option of two stores should you require an obscure or sought after shade), Another highlight of this store over the others in Edinburgh is the inclusion of a Nails Inc Champagne Nail Bar where you can have nail treatments done in store, with a glass of champagne if you wish.
John Lewis - Situated inside the St. James Centre, this is probably the easiest of the department stores to miss, but it shouldn't be disregarded so quickly! The light and spacious building makes for an ideal place to swatch and test products and shades under bright lighting. John Lewis also stocks many brands that are difficult to source elsewhere such as : Living Proof, Molton Brown and Neal's Yard.
A few places scattered around the city centre which you may not think to go to, but are well worth a visit
Jo Malone - No, you don't have to restrict yourself to just a counter in a department store to get your Jo Malone fix - you can have a whole store! Yes, the standalone Jo Malone store is situated on the chicest street in Edinburgh, George St and is just a minute's walk from Space.NK. This bright, open store lets the indulgent, luxurious fragrances do the talking and delivers an impressive experience.
Sally Salon Services - Aimed at professionals, Sally on South Bridge is your go to for cheap hair and nail supplies. As well as selling OPI and China Glaze nail polishes that are often on offer, I believe it's also the only place in the city to stock Lord & Berry products - a welcome addition to fill the space in between high street and high end.
Isle of Skye Candle Company - Located on arguably the most beautiful street in Edinburgh, this shop provides a little local luxury, without the luxury price tag. Beautifully scented candles, with often Scotland inspired scents, the Isle of Skye Candle Company is an independent company with reasonable prices that make it worth book marking and of course inhaling the beautiful scents. An usual brand but don't we all enjoy something a little unusual now and then?
Best on the High Street
Best Boots - The best Boots in Edinburgh has to be the large one on Princes St., with an entire ground floor dedicated to beauty alone - stocking every budget friendly brand there is including Soap & Glory and Sleek, there are also high end counters to rival the nearest department store. This Boots store is conveniently located right in the middle of the main shopping street of the city and is very accessible.
Best Superdrug - I would argue that you should move away from the branch on Princes St here, and instead opt for a trip into the St. James centre for the best Superdrug. This branch is a lot less busy and is well stocked, feeling very open. In particular the skincare aisles are neat, well organised and offer a whole range of products you never even knew Superdrug stocked.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Edinburgh beauty selections, if any locals or regulars know of anything or anywhere that should have been included here, I'd love to hear them within the comments!
I am looking to make this a regular feature with cities not only within the UK but worldwide. If you'd like to write a post on your stomping ground and have it featured, please email me on thesundaygirlblog(at)yahoo.co.uk with the subject line Beauty Destination Guide and we can discuss it further. I look forward to hearing from you!