We’re not going to get into the Brexit controversy except to say this: It’s never been a better time to be a U.S.-based shopper who loves British brands.
Along with a favorable exchange rate (as of writing this, one pound British sterling is worth approximately $1.23), there’s another major discount for American shoppers in U.K. pricing: While Britain-based buyers must pay the 20 percent VAT (value added tax) that’s included in all price tags, the VAT is deducted from the total for those ordering from the U.S.
So now is the ideal time to do a sweep of the high-end beauty products that, until recently, would have cost you a whole lot more. Look no further than Cult Beauty, curators of the world’s most beloved, buzzed-about brands. They offer free worldwide shipping on all orders over £50, and when you sign up for an account and use the promo code YOU15 at checkout, you get an additional 15% off your order. (The 20% VAT deduction won’t show up in your virtual shopping bag until you check out with a U.S. shipping address.)
Cult Beauty’s offers page has a rotating selection of bonus products for a range of stellar brands. Right now, that includes a free, full-sized Anne Sémonin Mineral Mask with any £60 purchase. The company founded by Grace Kelly and Catherine Deneuve’s favorite facialist is renowned for products like 100% Active Serum and Precious Serum, both of which deliver on the brand’s promise of refined radiance.
Another legend in the making is January Labs, a reasonably priced, luxurious-feeling California indie brand. (Yes, the exchange rate and VAT deduction make it cheaper to buy this U.S. brand from the U.K.) With a dedication to offering efficacious products free from harmful additives, in minimalist packaging, January Labs has developed such a slavish devotion among beauty fans that their products are often sold out. If you’re looking for a moisturizer that hydrates without clogging pores, Cult Beauty is now offering a free, full-sized tube of January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion with any £40 purchase from the brand. Their Restorative Tonic Mist and Advanced Eye Technology are major fan favorites, and the Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel is perfect for those with oily or combination skin who want to feel clean without that tight, stripped feeling.
Other standout options:
- May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon: May Lindstromis an independent, superb American brand that is now cheaper to buy from the UK. With so many swoon-worthy products, it’s hard to pick one favorite. But the one can’t-miss is The Blue Cocoon. Possibly the most beautifully fragranced product ever created, this solid balm melts into a gorgeous oil upon contact with fingers and is a must-have for anyone with dry or combination skin. It’s also TSA-friendly for travel, perfect for staving off in-flight dehydration, and a 1.69 ounce jar will last for years.
- Kypris Beauty Elixir I: 1,000 Roses: This oil is named for the 1,000 Bulgarian rose petals that go into every batch and make it smell and feel like a restorative nap in an English country garden.
- Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm: Rich in Hungarian moor mud, clay and thermal waters, this is one the most indulgent ways to cleanse and treat your skin. It would be a crime to use it as a makeup remover. Save it for your morning wash or a second cleanse in the evening.
- Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel: The ne plus ultra of gel-to-oil cleansers, this silky number has inspired thousands of impassioned blog posts and magazine articles in recent years. As with any cleanser packed with high-quality ingredients, don’t waste it on removing makeup.
- Alpha-H Liquid Gold: This glycolic treatment is intended to be used after cleansing, with nothing on top of it, to aid cell turnover and treat acne-prone or oily skin. It’s a fantastic product for those late nights when an abbreviated routine means three more minutes of sleep. Even better: It actually works, resurfacing skin without drying it out. The downside: It’s so effective that it is only recommended for use a couple times a week. Having repurchased this multiple times, the new three-pack of Liquid Goldis an extraordinary deal.
Jackie Danicki created one of the first and most popular beauty blogs in 2004, and has consulted some of the world’s most iconic brands on digital content strategy and innovation. Jackie blogs at http://burnedoutbeauty.com, and you can find her onTwitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as @burnedoutbeauty.