One of my favourite things to do in London is, naturally, makeup shopping. I do this shopping walk over and over again and love it, and it covers most things you could ever want from a makeup shopping trip. Makeup can be had in any department store, shopping centre or area of London, but I stick to this little route a lot and it covers everything. I've also listed some other stores elsewhere in London that are worth a visit.
I'm super lucky to have met some wonderful bloggers from around the country and abroad and I always enjoy shopping with them. This weekend I met up with the lovely Sam from Kiss My Sparkle and our friend Jade and off we went!
Face charts at Illamasqua, prettiness at Benefit and pigments and glitter at Makeup Store.
Starting your stroll just off Carnaby Street, the Illamasqua store is an absolute must-stop for makeup lovers. The store is absolutely beautiful, and it's normally quieter than the stand at Selfridges so the MUAs there can give you their full attention. Jade and I spent a good time drooling over their beautiful face charts, the studio at the back of the store where they hold classes, the quirky Gothic furniture and of course, all the beautiful polishes and makeup, while Sam was matched for SkinBase by a lovely, friendly MUA.
Snippets of prettiness from the Benefit parlour.
Heading back onto Carnaby Street, the brand-new Benefit store is so girly and worth a stop by! Sam and I picked up some of the Creaseless Cream Shadows and I was actually pretty impressed by their new blush, Rockateur. Downstairs they have a full-on beauty salon for waxing, nails, spray tanning and blow-drys, complete with a champagne bar! It's definitely somewhere I'd take my sister or one of my besties for a pamper day and I can see it becoming a popular hen-do spot with it's cute decor and central location.
Continuing down Carnaby Street you'll see the Swedish brand Makeup Store on your left. I absolutely love the Makeup Store - the glitters and pigments are amazing, and they have a gorgeous home spa section as well. If you buy something, you get a discount on thier own magazine which I always pick up. It's absolutely stunning and as good as many editorial makeup books I've paid ten times the money for!
Treats at Choccywoccydoodah! Not makeup, but whatever.
Coming out of Makeup Store, head straight across down Fouberts Place to MAC Pro on the corner. As well as carrying all the usual MAC products, they carry lots of other fun things for professional use, like acrylic body paints and the Chromacakes. MAC Pro is conveniently right next door to Choccywoccydoodah! I stopped in here with the girls for the first time and ordered a white hot chocolate and a dipping pot with lots of little bite-sized version of their treats and left in a full-on sugar coma. This is a really nice, quirky place with lovely kitsch decor and fun music to stop off at and rest your feet, and the staff were absolutely lovely and made us feel very welcome.
Back off to Carnaby Street and off to Liberty! This is one of my favourite shops in London as it's so beautiful and easy to get lost in for a couple of hours. Head through the chocolate shop and you'll come out into the perfume department - I love it here as there are so many posh and unusual scents in a posh-Great-Grandma’s-house setting. There's lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the beauty department. - the Hourglass counter is worth a browse and if you head up a couple of floors, the bath and body section is always decked out beautifully. If you’re into candles, this is where you wanna be.
A long line of pretty at the YSl counter in Selfridges
Leaving Liberty and heading back onto Regent Street and then Oxford Street, turn left and keep going until you reach Selfridges! You will pass a (newly refurbished but Art Deco-less) Debenhams and a John Lewis, but Selfridges beauty hall kicks their butt. I freaking love Selfridges beauty hall. Hooooooooo mama! As well as favourites like MAC, NARS and Bobbi Brown, I love going to the Shu Uemura and Armani counters, and I always stop off to drool at the crazy expensive Tom Ford products! I noticed the new Charlotte Tilbury stand was super popular too!I took some advice from the lovely guys at Kiehl’s about some male skin care while the girls drooled over the Suquu range. Heading to the back of the beauty section you'll find all the polishes and less high-end brands like OCC and Bourjouis, as well as quirky brands like Paul and Joe.
If you're a real hard-core shopper, you can go to Carnaby Street via Regent Street, and stop off at Penhaligons, an absolutely beautiful per fumier, and LUSH for all your favourites. Then go through all the shops above, but instead of continuing down Oxford Street from Liberty, nip into Topshop to check out their own range of makeup and the huge Barry M stand. Before heading into Selfridges, there's a large Boots on Oxford Street - skip all the counters as you'll see these in Selfridges, but it's a good chance to pick up UK brands you can't get elsewhere, and a Body Shop or two as well. Similarly, take a right as you leave Selfridges and there's a huge Superdrug for even more UK high street goodies like Sleek and MUA!
That's usually quite enough for one day, but there are a few other gems dotted about London as well. If you're in Westfield White City, the OPI store and Models Own Bottleshop are great for polishes. KIKO (also at Westfield Stratford) is fast becoming one of my favourite makeup stores and have they amazing products for great prices, as well as great sales. The only Inglot store in the UK is in Westfield White City as well and I could go on and on about how much I love this brand! If you're in either Westfield, the large Boots have a great range of French pharmacie skin-care brands, too. If you’re shopping at the White City Westfield, PAM is a short walk away and has an amazing range of professional and colour brands such as Makeup Forever and Illamasqua, as well SFX goodies galore and amazing brushes from brands like bDellium Tools and London Brush Co.
Central London-wise, if you're in Covent Garden a stop at Charles Fox on Tavistock Street is an absolute must – lots of amazing special effects goodies (buckets of vomit, anyone? Fake beards?) and wonderful colour products from Kryolan, Ben Nye, Illamasqua et al to play with. There's also a SpaceNK a short walk away in Seven Dials along with a MAC, Bare Minerals, Benefit and Shu Uemura.
My modest haul for the day! Thank you, Boots BOGOF!
If you have any London-based shopping questions, please just let me know and I'll do my best to answer! Where do you like to shop for makeup?