After years of speculation, Sephora UK’s opening has been officially announced and British beauty fans are going about as wild as you would expect.
Hailed as the ultimate destination for beauty, and home to nearly 3,000 brands, it’s unsurprising that shoppers seeking out everything from the best foundation to at-home red light therapy devices have been so keen for Sephora UK to happen.
And the news we’ve all been waiting for is in. Sephora UK is upon us, with Sephora.co.uk landing first, then a bricks-and-mortar flagship store to follow. Can’t wait to find out more? We’ve got all the information about this huge beauty news right here, from the launch date to which brands will be available. And for the ultra-impatient, our beauty team has tracked down the hottest Sephora brands and hero beauty buys available to shop now, in retailers across the UK.
When is Sephora coming to the UK?
Sephora is launching in the UK on October 17th, 2022, beginning with a slick website at Sephora.co.uk and a matching app. This will then be followed by a London flagship store in Spring 2023 (exact date TBC)
This online-only launch is great news for beauty fans nationwide as it means that Sephora’s huge selection of brands will be available to shop right away, no matter where you are within the UK. The website will be taking over Feelunique.com, which Sephora acquired last year, and according to brand insiders will be “fully immersive” and “an inspiring gateway to discovering Sephora’s unique selection of prestige products from makeup to fragrance, skincare, haircare, and wellness.” Exciting times! You can join the waiting list to be one of the first shoppers right here (opens in new tab).
Where will the UK Sephora shop be? All we know about the London flagship
The exact location of Sephora’s London flagship is being kept tightly under wraps for now. However, we do know that after the first store’s Spring 2023 opening, the brand has promised a roll-out of several other Sephora UK locations across the country, which is great news all around.
For those that can’t wait to set foot in Sephora territory, the brand will be hosting a one-off ticketed launch event on October 20th at London’s One Marylebone. While this won’t be the final location of Sephora’s first UK store, and won’t be shoppable, our sources tell us this event will allow, “UK visitors and beauty fans to have a comprehensive sneak preview of the Sephora universe, exploring with our teams the newest and hottest products, brands & prestige beauty trends through a fun and inclusive discovery journey.” Tickets will be available from October 11th and will include access to talks, masterclasses, and a chance to get hands-on experience with Sephora’s hero brands.
What brands will be available at Sephora UK?
One of the most exciting things about this launch is the opportunity to get our hands on some of Sephora’s hero brands. The Sephora team has revealed their first batch of Sephora.co.uk brands will include, “Tarte Cosmetics, ILIA, Makeup by Mario, ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr, GXVE by Gwen Stefani, Skinfix, Vegamour, and Sephora’s own Sephora Collection.” This will be music to the ears of many UK shoppers, as these huge name collections have been traditionally tricky to source on our shores.
What’s more, Sephora has teased the launch of their Sephora advent calendar (known to be one of the best beauty advent calendars in the ‘biz) as well as their famous holiday beauty gift ideas assortment, which they say “will also be available on the website at launch.” Credit cards at the ready October 17th.
Where you can buy Sephora brands in the UK
If the news of Sephora UK’s impending launch has whipped you into a beauty shopping frenzy, you don’t need to wait until October 17th to scratch that particular itch. Our beauty team has tracked down a huge variety of Sephora brands currently available at retailers across the UK, from First Aid Beauty and Farmacy skincare to Ilia makeup and Ouai haircare. Our curated list of cult beauty heroes will be sure to tide you over until Sephora UK launch day.
Sephora hair brands
This cool brand was founded by a collective of creatives in Brooklyn with a focus on fun, cruelty-free, ethical hairstyling. It has 10 haircare collections in total, catering for every hair type and concern going—including damaged hair, curly hairstyles, frizzy hair, and more. While each collection is formulated with specific ingredients to cater to that hair concern, the one thing they all have in common is sea buckthorn berry.
Hailed as a superstar ingredient, sea buckthorn berry contains over 190 active ingredients (including vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants) that help protect hair against free radical damage, like pollution. All Amika products come in bright, stand-out packaging and the brand also offers styling tools including our personal favorite, the Amika High Tide Deep Waver.
Not yet familiar with Briogeo? Let us introduce you. A buzz-worthy brand, Briogeo has been making waves in the beauty industry since it first launched in 2013. Founded by Nancy Twine, the haircare line is 100% cruelty-free as well as being free from sulfates, silicones, parabens, artificial dyes, and phthalates. What’s more, the packaging is both recycled and recyclable. Tick, tick, tick.
Split into eight collections (Farewell Frizz, Scalp Revival, Curl Charisma, Blossom and Bloom, Don’t Despair Repair!, Superfoods, B-well and Be Gentle, Be Kind) there’s a product to cater to every hair type and concern. Our favorite? The deep conditioning mask from the Don’t Despair, Repair! line which makes hair feel silky soft after just one use.
3. Christophe Robin
Ask any US or French beauty editor to name a hairdressing guru and the chances are Christophe Robin’s name will come up. His legendary Atelier has welcomed every supermodel and celebrity going, including the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Tilda Swinton, and Léa Seydoux.
Renowned for his color expertise, the Paris-based hairstylist became frustrated by the lack of hair styling products available to protect and maintain his clients’ color-treated hair. This is why he decided to launch his eponymous brand in 1999. The luxury range makes the best of natural botanicals to create effective solutions. If you try one thing, make it the Cleansing Purifying Scrub.
4. Living Proof
Launching back in 2005, Living Proof was created by a group of editorial hairstylists and professors to combine scientific innovation with real-world results. The products, of which there are 45, all boast hard-working ingredients and clinical technologies that work for all hair types.
Devoted fans will wax lyrical about the best shampoos and conditioners from the brand that tackle every concern from frizz to dullness. Others, who may not have tried the products, will likely have heard of the miracle dry shampoo that really is the best in the business.
Colour-treated hair? It’s likely you’ve already heard of Olaplex—the brand that totally revolutionised the hair industry by launching a product that effectively repairs damage and strengthens strands. Hairstylists swear by it and now everyone can get their hands on this miracle-working range.
Developed by a team of US scientists, the patented technology works by re-building broken bonds for hair that feels fuller and gets stronger over time. Since launching in 2014, Olaplex has expanded from a single product to a full haircare range that spans everything from shampoos and conditioners to scalp treatments and the beloved Olaplex No7 Bonding Hair Oil.
This hair and body brand is the brainchild of celebrity hairstylist extraordinaire, Jen Atkin. As well as her impressive A-list client roster (including the Kardashians and Chrissy Teigen), Jen is a star in her own right who has amassed millions of online followers for her fun video tutorials and direct approach to making hair look great.
This, her beauty range, is an absolute smash hit with innovative products—the best dry shampoo (opens in new tab) in foam form, for example. Plus our favorite Fine Shampoo (there are medium and thick versions too) with a gorgeous fragrance that actually sticks around, giving you lovely little wafts throughout the day.
Sephora Makeup Brands
7. Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Soare, CEO, and founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, is the go-to brow artist for Hollywood’s A-List, and her excellent beauty range more than matches up to her impeccable reputation. The first product line-up landed on US shelves in 2000 and quickly accumulated an impressive fanbase that has since grown beyond belief.
It goes without saying that the eyebrow products are top drawer (Brow Wiz and Dip Brow Pomade are our must-haves), but the gorgeously toned pigment-rich eye palettes have also earned a huge cult following for creating beautiful eyeshadow looks too.
8. ILIA Beauty
A ‘clean’ beauty line that launched in Vancouver in 2009, ILIA Beauty is available to shop here in the UK on Net-A-Porter. Described as a ‘modern line of natural skincare and organic cosmetics’, the products combine a large percentage of certified organic and bio-active botanicals with a small amount of safe synthetics that help the products perform.
The products feel luxurious and are a dream to apply with pigment-packed formulas that blend in effortlessly for a natural, polished finish. Fans adore the award-winning Multi-Stick as well as the True Skin Radiant Priming Serum.
9. Makeup By Mario
One of the world’s most influential makeup artists—with 20 years of industry experience—Mario Devidanovic (who counts Kim Kardashian as a regular client) decided to launch his own brand of cosmetics, Makeup by Mario, back in 2020.
With luxurious textures and incredible colour payoff, the products stand out from the beauty crowd—inspiring experimentation within makeup. Choose between metallic eyeshadows, matte eyeshadows and metal eyeshadows (or try all three).
10. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez
After launching in the US in 2020, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez finally made its way to UK soil earlier this year. The hotly anticipant collection, which spans everything from lip balms and lip creams to foundation and concealer, has certainly lived up to the hype.
Gomez’s goal was to launch a collection of makeup will make you feel good—offering products that embrace individuality. The formulas are pigment-rich and many come in an impressive array of shades—for instance, the concealer comes in 48 shades. Beauty benefits aside, 1% of all sales go directly to the Rare Impact Fund, an organisation founded by Gomez to help increase mental health resources.
11. Tarte Cosmetics
There were times when this cult beauty brand felt like it would never arrive in the UK. Even worse, US Beauty Editors and influencers wouldn’t stop banging on about it. But what is it about Tarte that fans love so much?
It’s billed as ‘high-performance natural’ makeup and that neatly sums it up. Mineral cosmetics often sacrifice pigment or color payoff to stick to their natural ethos, but Tarte is truly a best of both worlds situation. Luckily for us, arrive it did (eventually) so we can enjoy their best-selling wares including Shape Tape Concealer, Tartlette eye palettes, and the Amazonian Clay Bronzer.
12. Tower 28 Beauty
Named after a lifeguard tower in Santa Monica, Tower 28 Beauty was created by founder Amy who’s experienced sensitive skin her entire adult life. “I was frustrated that my sensitive, problem skin meant I was limited to serious brands that felt clinical,” she says on the website. As a result, she developed her very own fun, non-toxic brand that’s full of calming, nourishing ingredients.
Take the SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, for instance. It’s 100% natural and dermatologist tested, so is an easy beauty solution to treat sensitive skin that can be spritzed on AM and PM over freshly cleansed skin. As well as this skincare spray, there’s lots of makeup to marvel at including the ShineOn Lip Jelly, blended with nourishing oils, and the SuperDew Highlighter Balm, laced with skin-loving chamomile and green tea extract.
13. Wander Beauty
Launching back in 2014, New York-born Wander Beauty was created by two busy working mums Lindsay Ellingson and Divya Gugnani. Focused on multi-tasking makeup that’s easy-to-use, the line has quickly accumulated an A-list following (including Heidi Klum, Emma Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker).
The everyday essentials span everything from the best cream blush and bronzer duos to lip and cheek pots. If you’re already familiar with the brand, you’ll have likely heard of their award-winning Baggage Claim Eye Masks that brighten, hydrate, and reduce puffiness with hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf, and amino acids.
Sephora Skin/Body brands
This California-based skincare brand launched into Sephora in 2017 and has since become one of its top-selling ranges. The USP is squalane, a plant-derived ingredient that mimicks and replenishes our skin’s natural squalene (with an ‘e’) levels. This is a lipid in our skin that helps it feel plump and moisturized but depletes with age.
Every product in the range contains nourishing squalane, and is formulated sustainably using natural ingredients, and is housed in recyclable packaging. Our favorite products are the 100% Squalane oil, which can be used on the face body, and hair, and the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.
Several beauty brands claim to be clean beauty (an unregulated label) when in actual fact, they’re not. This New York-born brand is different. It lives and breathes the philosophy, sustainably growing and farming its own ingredients to deliver farm-to-face skincare that delivers on results.
Conscious as well as clean, the brand is on a mission to use 80-90% non-virgin material and 100% zero-waste packaging by 2022, with 100% conflict-free ingredients. For any Farmacy newcomers, we highly recommend trying the Green Clean cleansing balm as well as Honeymoon Glow (a 14% skincare acid night serum).
16. First Aid Beauty
Founder and CEO Lilli Gordon launched First Aid Beauty with Sephora back in 2009. Gordon saw a gap in the market for a skincare line that provides solutions to different skin challenges—not just ageing. From tackling KP to combatting pigmentation, there’s a skincare saviour for every concern in the range.
As for the products—there’s no fancy packaging, just hard-working formulas that boast effective (often natural) ingredients that have been allergy-tested and are free from parabens and artificial fragrances. The brand is also 100% cruelty-free and PETA-certified. Tick, tick, tick!
17. Peter Thomas Roth
Skincare that really works is the philosophy behind Peter Thomas Roth, and it shows in the products. This New York-based brand is particularly well known for its active-packed masks and treatments, which are brimming with high levels of ingredients and often have the tingle to prove it.
If you’re not particularly sensitive and like to get bang for your buck try the cult Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, it deeply exfoliates for effective skin smoothing and glowing (and in our case, a touch pink, too). For something a little more nourishing, give the beloved Water Drench Cream a whirl—it’s super soothing and is jam-packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid.
18. Sol de Janeiro
This Brazilian-inspired body brand can’t help but put a smile on your face. The only thing better than their cheeky names (Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is a particular highlight) is the way these products smell. Think caramel, praline, pistachio, and everything else sweet and sexy—but with woody undertones to keep things grown-up, not sickly.
Body creams are how Sol de Janeiro made their name, but just about everything is worth a shot. We love the Samba Foot Fetish Cream with its kitsch surfboard foot file, or the Rio Sunset Glow Motion, a beautifully shimmery instant bronzing body oil. Oh and don’t miss the Bom Dia Bright Cream—it seriously smells sublime.
19. Summer Fridays
Founded by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gore, beauty influencers and experts, Summer Fridays is a feel-good beauty brand that’s famed for its sleek, Instagram-friendly aesthetic. Initially launching with Jet Leg Mask in 2018, the brand was catapulted to success after beauty editors and beauty enthusiasts alike wanted in on the cult treatment’s skin-soothing action.
Since the famous mask, the brand has grown with serums, moisturizers, and one of the best lip balms we’ve tried in years, all featuring clean ingredients and luxurious textures that are a pleasure to apply. As well as the Jet Lag Mask, we’re hooked on the nourishing Lip Butter Balm and CC Me Serum.
20. Tata Harper
Say the name Tata Harper in a room full of beauty fans and you’ll be met with a sea of superlatives. “Amazing”, “incredible” and “life-changing” are all likely to come up, and here’s why:
Most ‘clean’ beauty aims for simplicity—the fewer ingredients the better—but this brand prides itself on its complexity. These are some of the most serious, active-packed, best skincare products (opens in new tab) around that just so happens to be green. The high-end packaging and gorgeous textures reflect the steep prices, and just about everything is designed with healthy, glowing skin in mind.
21. Youth To The People
Inspired by their grandmother (who was a pioneer in skincare), co-founders and cousins Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes dreamt up Youth To The People, a greener-than-green natural skincare brand. Powered by superfoods, the eco-conscious line-up boasts antioxidant-rich greens (like kale, spinach, and green tea) as well as skin-loving vitamins. Every product, including the hero cleanser, is cruelty-free and 100% vegan.
Making its way from California to the UK, you can now shop this brand on e-tailers such as Cult Beauty and Amazon. Take your pick from the affordable range that spans everything from brightening face masks to one of the best vitamin C serums we’ve tried.
Sephora Perfume/Home Fragrance brands
22. CLEAN Reserve
Since 2003, CLEAN Reserve, a classy fragrance brand, has been creating scents that smell exactly as they sound: Clean. At first, they burst onto the scene with fragrances based on Clean Laundry and Warm Cotton, but now they’ve moved into citrus and warm solar styles without losing the brand’s refreshing, unisex characteristics.
All the scents are fresh and, unsurprisingly ‘cleanly formulated’, using just the essential ingredients which are a mix of sustainably sourced and tried-and-true synthetics. From clean classics to fresh florals, there is a scent to suit everyone.
23. Maison Margiela Replica
Maison Margiela is a French fashion house that was first launched in the late ‘80s by Belgium designer, Martin Margiela. Renowned for his avant-garde collections that have a raw, unfinished aesthetic – the label continues to push boundaries.
In 2009, Margiela decided to branch out into the fragrance field with his first perfume Replica. Continuing to be a best-seller, the brand has since expanded the range and now has an impressive portfolio of perfumes that are designed to conjure up moments and memories in time. From ‘Lazy Sunday Morning’ to ‘Beach Walk’, there’s a scent to suit every mood and occasion.
24. NEST New York
Founded by Laura Slatkin, NEST New York is a luxury home fragrance brand that prides itself on creating mood-boosting scents to fill every corner of your home. From the best diffusers, candles and room sprays to, in more recent years, perfume and body care – the extensive collection has everything you could possibly need to softly scent your surroundings (and yourself).
Available exclusively at Cult Beauty, you can shop both the chic candles and dreamy diffusers here in the UK. Take your pick from fresh, uplifting scents as well as warm, woodsy fragrances. Scent aside, the packaging is ultra-chic and will suit any interior.
If you’re not yet familiar with the luxury fragrance brand 19-69, let us introduce you. Founded by Swedish artist and product developer Johan Bergelin, the unique collection draws inspiration from various locations, cultures and eras to create memorable scents that tell their own story.
From LA’s sunset strip to California’s cannabis cultivation, expect to find your next signature scent amongst this range – and it’ll be guaranteed to stand out from the crowd. Available to shop at Sephora in the US, you can also find 19-69 at Selfridges here in the UK.
Familiar with Overose? The Parisian perfume house has been making headlines since its debut launch in 2016. Crafted from luxury oils and natural raw materials, the perfumes and candles boast standout scents that are incredibly long-lasting. With a focus on rose (and all its varieties), the initial powder pink collection is a celebration of florals.
Since then, the brand has expanded its range with a collection of sweetly scented candles that take inspiration from freshly baked goods – including croissants and cinnamon rolls. A joy for all the senses, these candles look the part, too. In fact, we would happily line every shelf in our home with these pink and purple vessels. As for the fragrance range, expect feel-good scents in cool, holographic bottles.