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British Beauty

British Beauty
Writer and expert4 years ago
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With many of the world’s fashion and beauty trends originating from our shores, homegrown British Beauty is unapologetically diverse.Who springs to mind when you think of the term “British Beauty”? Naomi Campbell? Princess Diana? The Spice Girls? This is an example of just how varied the world of beauty can be - and those examples only represent the 1990s!British Beauty isn’t all about Union Jack dresses and “the London look”, in fact, it’s influenced by a myriad of factors, including region, demographic and culture. Come with us as we explore British Beauty on a journey of diverse designer and organic trends.

British Icons & Catwalk Royalty

British Beauty has been largely influenced by the “it girls” of the decade, from Hollywood glamazon Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, to more homegrown icons in the 60s and beyond. Here are the British style icons who best captured the make-up trends of the decade.

1960s - Twiggy

The sixties look was all about the mod look, with heavy focus on a bold eye. Fluttery lashes and thick black liner was an absolute must, as was a rather large amount of hairspray

1970s - Jane Birkin

As the slick, shiny mod look lost pace, it was quickly replaced with the hippy era of the seventies. Long, tousled hair, natural skin and perhaps a touch of bronzer or shimmer for that glowing look. 

1980s - David Bowie

Ok, probably not who you were expecting as an icon of makeup, but David Bowie perfectly encapsulates the glam eighties look. Pale foundation with a bold lip and eyeshadow, particularly bright colours like fuschia and purple.

1990s - Kate Moss

The nineties brought with it a trend for grungy, darker makeup trends. Gone were the pinks and purples of the eighties, instead it was all about earth-toned lipsticks and the smoky eye.

2000s -  Girls Aloud

From grunge to cutesy, the noughties was all about the fresh-faced, girl-next-door look. Glossy lips and rosy cheeks were in, earth-tones were most definitely out.

2010s - Emilia Clarke

The most recent decade saw the rise of contouring and matte lipstick, creating a flawless, sculpted almost airbrushed look. 

What does the next decade have in store for makeup trends? We can guarantee it won’t be boring, that’s for sure!

Bold Brows

Track British Beauty through the decades and there’s one ever-changing trend… the brow. From the caterpillar brows of the 80s to the over-plucked arches of the 90s, we’ve gone from one extreme to the other. In 2020, we’re thankfully enjoying more of a natural look, courtesy of Cara Delevigne, which is just as well really, with trips to the brow bar off the cards for the foreseeable future!

Salon Skincare 

In the UK, we love bringing salon skincare into our homes, with less emphasis on having professional spa treatments as some of our European counterparts. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re willing to sacrifice on quality!
A number of homegrown skincare brands create luxury products that are equally at home in a Soho day spa, or your bathroom counter.


The UK’s top anti-ageing skincare brand, Elemis combines science and nature to create products that deeply nourish and improve the skin. Using plant-based botanical extracts from around the globe, their award winning skincare is heavenly for all skin types.

REN Clean Skincare

Sustainably sourced and packaged, REN Clean Skincare places as much focus on their ethics as producing quality products. With skincare for even the most sensitive of skin types, it's no surprise they’ve been a household name since 2000.

Aromatherapy Associates

British women as a whole love essential oils, whether it be lavender for relaxation, tea tree for healing or rosemary for energizing. Aromatherapy Associates use these oils to create sensual fragrances and skincare products that bring the spa experience to you.

Discover other British skincare, bath and body brands such as Molton Brown and NEOM.

Prestige Perfumes

Although there may not be a standardised perception of beauty across our country, one thing we can say for sure about the Great British Public is that we adore a good fragrance. England may not be the country most often associated with high-end perfumes, our neighbours across the channel take that prize, but London is home to a number of world-renowned, designer perfume brands.


Creating handcrafted fragrances since 1730, Floris is a British, family-run perfumery which still operates from their original establishment at 89 Jermyn Street, London. Having provided fragrances for names including Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, the brand is well-respected across the world. As a firm favourite of the James Bond writer, Ian Fleming, Floris No.89 is even worn by 007 himself in various books.


With its flagship store in Covent Garden, Penhaligon’s has created perfumes for London’s best and brightest since the 1860s. Started by William Henry Penhaligon, a barber who created his own products for his customers, the perfumer quickly became a respected name in prominent circles, eventually becoming the official perfumer of Queen Victoria. Although the brand is no longer UK owned, it will forever remain quintessentially British. Try Penhaligon’s Quercus, an allbeauty favourite. 


Originally established as a tailoring house, Creed was founded by James Henry Creed in London in 1760, but has only been creating perfumes for the past 45 years. It’s widely understood that the perfumes are created by two noses, Olivier Creed and his son Erwin Creed from their base in Paris. There is much mystery surrounding Creed, but what we know for sure is that they create phenomenal perfumes, including Green Irish Tweed, Aventus and Aventus For Her.

Discover other British perfume brands such as Miller Harris, Dunhill and Burberry.

British Brands, Naturally

In recent years, British Beauty has seen the rise of ethical and organic producers who offer a range of products that prioritise quality, local ingredients, cruelty free practices and sustainable manufacturing. We’re delighted to stock many of these certified organic brands at allbeauty, including haircare brand Smith EnglandNoble Isle, Cowshed and Neal’s Yard Remedies.

With the trends of British Beauty changing not only across the decades but from the North to South and East to West, it’s impossible to pigeon hole the aesthetic into a neat and tidy box, ready to present to the rest of the world. But, perhaps that’s part of what makes British Beauty so great, there’s plenty of room for everybody.
What are you waiting for? British Beauty is calling! Shop all British Beauty here. 

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Writer and expert
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