Having spent over 10 years in the beauty industry I’ve come across my fair share of beauty brands, from globally renowned makeup powerhouses such as Bourjois to bijou fragrance house Lolita Lempicka and skincare giant Clinique. Then there are all the indie brands I’ve discovered in my last 18 months as a beauty blogger: the soaps that started at the kitchen table, the ranges inspired by Ayurvedic medicine, the creams developed to soothe a personal skin concern. So many different brands… but do they offer enough of a mix to create a beauty alphabet? I opened my bathroom cabinet, cleared my dresser and emptied my box of extras under the bed – God what a stash. As I started to sift through the brands and products I was confident this challenge was achievable. So check out your collection and tell me: do you have a full A to Z of beauty in there?
A is for Aromatherapy Associates
A strong start with a double A in Aromatherapy Associates! Known for their beautiful blends of essentials oils that offer therapeutic and transformative benefits to the mind, body and skin, I certainly fell in love with their elegant Support & Travel kit.
B is for Bourjois
I could’ve gone for Benefit as I do own their iconic Hoola bronzer and Goof Proof eyebrow pencil, but my loyalty remains with Bourjois. I worked with the brand for 5 years and loved every minute of it, from the creativity to the team, and of course the products: Delice de Poudre is still my go to bronzer.
C is for Caudalie
A French pharmacy brand I initially discovered in Paris, I love Caudalie’s story: who but the French could develop a skincare range using grape seed oil typically considered as wine waste. From the vineyards of Bordeaux to a John Lewis store near you, the formulas are natural yet high performing.
D is for Durance
Another French offering, this Provence-based beauty and lifestyle brand reminds me of holidays in the South of France, with its fig-scented candles and lavender soaps.
E is for Evolve Organic Beauty
Discovered during one of my regular perusals around Planet Organic’s beauty section, Evolve makes small batches of apothecary style beauty products. The natural and organic formulas are a pleasure to use thanks to the delicious scents – the cocoa-infused Radiant Glow Mask being a particular highlight.
F is for Fushi
Another Planet Organic find, I first discovered this Ayurveda inspired health and beauty brand thanks to their amazing fresh pressed Organic Rosehip Seed Oil which has become a skincare staple in my bathroom cabinet.
G is for Garnier
A hugely popular high street brand you will have inevitably come across, if not used at some point in the form of a shampoo, SPF or cleanser. I’m partial to their Moisture Bomb sheet masks.
H is for Herbal Essentials
Using mineral-rich Himalayan Spring Water in their skincare products, Herbal Essentials offer gentle skincare that works for my sensitive skin.
I is for Innisfree
This Korean natural beauty brand specialises in sheet masks at great prices, and when a Korean friend bought me the collagen-boosting ginseng and anti-inflammatory honey versions it only made me want to go to back to Seoul and fill my suitcase with masks.
J is for Julia’s facial oil
I used a little creative license on this one. This is actually an oil I blended myself at an Evolve launch event. All of their products feature the name of the person who made the product, so this is my customised blend of jojoba, baobab, vanilla and rosemary oils – sadly not stocked anywhere… yet.
K is for Kai
I discovered this vegan and cruelty-free Californian beauty brand in my previous job when I approached the founder to develop a range of kai-branded hotel toiletries. The unique white flower scent is reminiscent of holidays in the tropics and I keep the mini perfume oil in my travel bag as a pick-me-up.
L is for Love Beauty and Planet
Bursting onto the beauty scene in early 2019 with all the noise and visibility that a Unilever-funded ad campaign would offer, Love Beauty and Planet offers low carbon footprint, natural-inspired body care, and proves that massive conglomerates have a role to play in sustainable beauty.
M is for Miller Harris
Currently spritzing the always intriguing Tea Tonique infused with smoky earl grey and nutmeg.
N is for Nourish
I love using this organic and cruelty-free indie brand’s Kale 3D cleanse which gives off a surprisingly pleasant veggie scent and turns into a light green when lathered up to add a little fun factor.
O is for OPI
Whether it’s a smart berry shade for the office or a splash of turquoise for the summer holidays, sporting a manicure always gives me that ultimate groomed feeling.
P is for Pai
Pai has given me probably one of my favourite skincare products ever: certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free, the Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask delivers beautifully hydrated and plumped skin.
R is for Rituals
I wish I took the time to indulge in baths more often, especially to enjoy the likes home and body care brand Rituals whose shower gels have such relaxing spa-like fragrances.
S is for S5 Skincare
Introducing Evolve’s little sister S5, a range of organic and vegan skincare designed to fight the effects of modern living i.e. pollution, chemicals, stress, poor sleep and poor nutrition.
T is for The Ordinary
The Ordinary is so prevalent amongst beauty fans it’s fast on its way to infiltrating pretty much every bathroom. Whether it’s the high performing formulas, instagrammable bottles or unbeatable prices that first grabbed your attention, this brand is here to stay on the skincare scene.
U is for Urban Veda
Another skincare brand inspired by Ayurvedic principles, Urban Veda offers skincare adapted to your dosha (or energy). What’s your dosha?
V is for Versace Parfums
For a good dose of glamour and glitz look no further than Versace, particularly the Crystal fragrance collection which features a bottle cap cut like a humongous diamond. These make great doorknobs by the way if you’re looking for upcycle your fragrance packaging once empty.
W is for Weleda
Weleda’s classic Skin Food is one of my bathroom cabinet staples. Whilst I don’t use it on a daily basis, when I develop a particularly stubborn patch of dry skin the green tube is my first port of call.
X is for Xen-Tan
X is a difficult letter at the best of times (it’s worth 8 scrabble points for a reason), but when you add another layer of constraint, it’s near impossible. I don’t own a Xen-Tan product and neither have I ever tried one, so this is purely for the sake of box ticking my beauty alphabet.
Y is for Yardley
OK we’re scraping the barrel here, I admit Yardley doesn’t feature in my current beauty arsenal either. At least I have used their soap in the past, but admittedly that was a while ago.
Z is for Zents
Final entry: yes I found a Z contestant, a bit of an obscure brand this side of the Atlantic, I came across US-based Zents when partnering with brands to create their hotel toiletries, which feature gentle body care and healing scents.
So did I manage to complete the beauty alphabet? Sadly not, I got defeated by the letter Q. Even after scrolling through the full beauty catalogue on the likes of Cult Beauty and Look Fantastic I couldn’t find a brand starting with Q. If you’re able to complete the beauty alphabet please leave a comment below to let me know!
Features gifted products.