Saturday, December 24th, 2011

By Polly, Local Contributor, English

Polly is a 22-year old recent graduate who hails from England. She studied East Asian studies, so she learned some Japanese and even spent six weeks in Japan last summer–she loved it and hopes to return one day.

She currently lives with her family and waitresses while trying to decide on her future career. Polly is fortunate to have a wonderful boyfriend who spends countless hours with her at Boots and makeup counters–even if it is done so begrudgingly! Check out her blog, Beauty Mish Mash!

5 English Brands You Should Try

There are so many amazing English brands that I found it hard to choose just five! Which ones would you have chosen? I would love to hear about your favorite English brands and products!


I’ve seen a lot of love for Sleek in the blogosphere, and I’m not surprised!  The products are extremely high quality for a very reasonable price. Their eyeshadows are smooth and pigmented, and they come in a wide range of colors.  Their blushers are equally fabulous!  I’m always excited to see their latest release, and have never been disappointed in a product from them.

  • My star product: Sleek’s Pout Paints (£4.99) are incredible. The first time I tried one, it wore for 12 and a half hours before I had to remove it to go to bed! They are ridiculously pigmented, and they are designed to be mixed together, so you can even create your own customized lip color. I can’t wait to try this out!


MeMeMe is only available in larger Superdrugs or online – I do wish it was easier to locate! Over the last few years the packaging has all been redesigned, and now it looks really pretty and feminine. The prices are slightly above the average drugstore brand, but I do think that the products merit this. A couple of the products remind me of their Benefit equivalent – think cheek and lip tints and boxed blushers. I can’t say how they compare though, because after trying MeMeMe’s version I haven’t felt the need to see how Benefit fares in comparison!

  • My star product: I love, love, love the Poppy Cheek and Lip Tint (£5.25)! It is a lovely baby pink that gives such a healthy flush to my cheeks. It’s a great every day color for lips, too, but can be a little drying (I’m yet to find a lip tint that isn’t, though).


17, available from Boots, offers the cheapest products out of these 5 brands. I do feel that this is reflected in the quality of some of the items, but I still think it is a great brand to try if you’re new to make up, or if you’re trying to save money! 17 often have a generous GWP on offer, and you only need to spend around £5 to receive it.

  • My star product: I’d say see whatever takes your fancy! Some days I like looking through the lipsticks, and other days, I like the nail varnishes. Because the price is so reasonable, I don’t mind too much if I end up with a color that doesn’t suit me, or a product that isn’t perfect – it’s fun to experiment sometimes!

Barry M

Barry M is probably my very favourite English make up brand. Discovering it really was the beginning of my make up addiction! I love their products, their prices and their bright colour selection. If you want to try out a new bright colour of eyeshadow or lipstick but you’re not sure whether you’ll like it or not, Barry M is a great way to try it without breaking the bank.

  • My star product: Without a doubt, it has to be their Dazzle Dusts (£4.59). There is such a vast selection of beautiful colors, and I really can’t resist them. They look lovely once applied, but I do need to wear them over a good eyeshadow primer, otherwise they are prone to creasing.

Soap & Glory

Soap & Glory isn’t primarily a make up brand, though they have very recently launched a new make up line that I have yet to try. They specialize in skincare and bathing products, and they definitely do it well. The products all smell incredible and feel lovely on my skin. Their vintage style packaging looks very nice in my bathroom too!

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33 thoughts on “5 English Brands You Should Try

  1. Sleek is amazing, I’ve got one pout polish and two palettes. Thanks for the brands, it’s really useful because I go to England next year in april 😀

  2. Sarah

    I LOVE all of these brands!

  3. Alix

    Pout Paint sounds fab — a lot like OCC’s Lip Tars, which I can’t even try because of all the peppermint oil in them. Please tell me Pout Paints are unscented, or at least minimally so!

    • manders

      the sleek pout paints smell orangey to me, but not overly so….they ARE great & not as drying as the lip tars

    • Alice

      Sleek pout paints smell like gummy bears. So yummy.

    • I just tried smelling them and they smell like chocolate orange! But I have never noticed this when I have been applying so it’s not overpowering. I hope you can test it out for yourself – it’s such a great product so hopefully the scent won’t be too strong!

  4. Yazmin

    I loveeee Sleek and barry m. What about MUA?? My friend gave me a goody bag gift and i had one eyeshadow in there from MUA, and omgg soooooo pigmented!!

    • I also love MUA… The price is amaazing! I could have easily doubled the list – it was so hard to whittle it down to just 5 brands!

  5. mia

    Other than Sleek blushes I find the quality of all these product ranges shockingly bad…

  6. Carina

    Collection 2000 concealer is AMAZING and Bourjois is fantastic!! I think Sleek and MUA are also great to try :)

    Alix -sleek paint pouts are unscented and their blushers are such fantastic quality xxx

    • I have heard a few people recommend Collection 2000’s concealer, I really need to try it! And Sleek is so fantastic that I think I could do a whole post just on Sleek products, lol!

  7. Hannah

    I love the 17 eyeshadows! I’m American but I picked up a few singles and trios when I was visiting a friend in London earlier this year. They have a very similar texture & payoff as the shadows in Chanel quads!

  8. Angela

    Great list; thanks Polly! I’ve been wanting to try Sleek and some of the other brands mentioned for awhile, but being in the US, it’s pretty difficult. That is unless anyone in the UK is up for a trade haha

  9. Next spring I’ll hopefully be studying abroad in England, and one of the things I’m looking forward to the most is trying some English beauty brands! I’ve been wanting to try the Sleek Pout Paints for a while now, but I’ll have to keep the other brands in mind too :]

    • Haha, I think it’s so funny that when I travel, the thing I get most excited about is foreign make up brands! I’m happy it’s not just me :) I hope you have a great time studying here!

  10. Heather

    Soap and Glory is great! I have their body butter and it is one of few that I can still feel on my hands after washing. I also had a body wash that made my skin feel fantastic. I will say that the scents are quite strong though… so make sure you love it!

    • I agree, they are very strongly scented! Luckily I find the scent absolutely divine! I tried the Scrub of Your Life body wash and it left my skin so smooth :)

  11. Emme

    I’m surprised Rimmel is not included. I’ve always thought poorly of 17, as most products I’ve tested were not that good.

    • It was so hard to pick just 5 brands! Surprisingly I realised that I haven’t tried much Rimmel, so didn’t really feel I could write about which products were the best. I agree that 17 can be a bit hit and miss though, which is expected from the price! But I do love their eyeshadows and lipsticks :)

  12. of all these brands, i’ve tried soap & glory and 17 by boots!!! i am in love with S&G and am dying to try sleek. mememe seems nice too.

    • Yes, MeMeMe is a nice brand which I never really see featured on blogs! I definitely recommend you try Sleek, all of their products are fabulous :)

  13. I love Sleek, their blushes are sooo highly pigmented and wear all day.
    I also adore Soap&Glory, I wish they’d have already more products in Germany then they actually have at the drug stores :)

  14. Totally agree about Sleek and Barry M, but have to mention Rimmel, and the higher-end Illumasqua…

  15. Aria

    I really wished I lived in the UK – if only to stock up on all the Sleek products I could find! I’ve never tried any of them but I’ve heard so many good reviews.