A love letter to British beauty and what it looks like around the UK

From Glasgow to Devon.

06 Jun 2019

Here at GLAMOUR HQ, we’re passionate about British beauty. Our country is home to some of the world’s most glamorous cities, boasting Liverpool’s perfectly preened brows, London’s chic and eclectic beauty destinations and Glasgow’s glow-getting skincare style.

From microblading to lashes, intricate nail designs, countryside spa retreats and much more, our beauty love knows no bounds. Always seeking that latest beauty buzz, call us biased, but British women are the hair, skincare and cosmetic crème de la crème. All of which we know can be inspired by the city you live in.

With St Tropez reporting that 55% of glam Liverpudlians wear fake tan, in comparison, 73% of those from the South West never book in for one, favouring a natural look. And according to Mintel, women in London buy the most expensive beauty brands, while if you live in the West Midlands, you’re least likely to splash out, preferring to buy savvy with budget beauty.

Plus, Londoners not only believe in regular beauty treatments, but 78% see them as important for their overall health routine, too. We couldn’t agree more.

To celebrate our British Digital Issue starring Jodie Comer, read on to see what GLAMOUR readers across the UK have to say about their beloved city’s must-have beauty trends…

London

Beauty industry insider Jessica Shand of Beautygram (@thisisbeautygram) and founder of Glossy PR

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Foundation 👉🏻@armanibeauty Power Fabric in shade number 6 Smokey eyes 👉🏻 @tomfordbeauty Nude Dip eyeshadow Quad Blush 👉🏻@marcjacobsbeauty Air Blush 500 Lush & Libido (best blusher ever!) Glow Finishing powder used on cheek bones too👉🏻 @lauramercier Glow Setting Powder Brows👉🏻 Microblading by @samanthatracecosmetics and finished with some @glossier Boy Brow Ear Jewels 💎 👉🏻@roxannefirst

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London is home to ever-evolving beauty trends, but, it’s hard not to notice how wildly they differ according to postcode.

Taking East London as an example, look to non-toxic vegan nail bar STILL London. One of my favourite nail bars in London, they offer incredible eco-friendly intricate nail art designs and their Icelandic pedicure is utter bliss.

From East to West, the unlimited blow dry membership at salon Blush + Blow (housed in Parsons Green in Fulham) is one of the most popular packages on the beauty menu. West London ladies love a ‘perfectly undone, done’ blow-dry.

Other must-have current London tweakments (as many Londoners refer to them) include the need for perfect and healthy teeth and gums. Check out the Air Flow treatment by periodontist Dr Reena Wadia at her Marylebone clinic. You’ll find face yoga by Kensington-located Facialist Daiva Beauty House. And not forgetting, semi-permanent eyebrows by Samantha Trace for the ultimate wow (yet oh so natural) brows that last.

The Home Counties

Co-founder of @bravenewyoutribe, Meredith Hepner-Chapman (@meredithhepnerchapman) talks about making the move out of London:

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No filter, wrinkles, hair oily from essential oils, a splatter of mascara so I don’t scare the kids and a tinted lip balm.. but I’ve never felt more balanced, calm and happy... the end of a few days of mania closed off beautifully with @jennyllcollins who definitely has a superpower and the only person who can get me to completely switch off.... I was floating and as always the most incredible experience. Which gets better with each visit. Worth the warts and all pic - nothing is prettier than happiness.... (I’ll be ready for Friday @jacksavoretti !!) 😃😍🌸❤️ #reiki

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Women in the Home Counties favour a relaxed, luxe beauty look. For me, it’s so important to support local women in business and Apothaka Skincare ticks all boxes, offering the time poor (and those on a budget) incredible facials at home.

Plus, Jenny Collins Reiki gives the most amazing reiki facial, fitting in with that laidback Home Counties elegance - you feel incredible after an hour in her beautiful wellness clinic. Ian Kelly Organic in Harpenden saved my hair. After years of bleach, highlights and ombré, for some reason every time I have my hair coloured now it’s in better condition each time. The salon also uses Kevin Murphy products which are kind to your hair and the planet.

Devon

From South Devon, Paignton Zoo’s Informal Learning Coordinator, Jo Clark, shares:

Beauty in Devon is all about the laid back, effortless look to match the relaxed vibe of the county. That doesn't mean we don't work hard to achieve it though. Tamed brows and lashes are a must while dermaplanning has become a well sought-after treatment for renewed, fresh, younger skin. Another big trend in Devon is holistic treatments as we know that feeling good on the inside will always help us look good on the outside. Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa in Plymouth is the best for pampering, while for small beauty businesses, I love The Lash and Nail Spa in Chudleigh.

Nottingham

COO of Psychiatry UK and owner of soon-to-be-opening Chaska restaurant (@chaskanotts), Smaira Rana, highlights the importance of hair salon loyalty:

Nottingham women are all about relaxed glamour and understated confidence when it comes to beauty. We love fashion and a beauty look that doesn't feel too 'try-hard'. Hair is a strong focal point with amazing waves, colour blends and my fave look, balayage. Heads and shoulders above the rest is Bibi Make Up Studio in West Bridgford, where the technical colour expertise literally turns heads. And they make the best brew in Nottingham. My job is all about emotional wellbeing, so taking care of the inside will ensure a glow on the outside - and Nottingham girls love to spa. Eden Hall's Twilight Spa on a Friday night is just amazing. Think outdoor hot tub, a dark starry sky and monsoon rain showers with multi coloured lights.

Manchester

Digital creator, stylist and influencer Marta Lungo, AKA The Style Thesaurus (@thestylethesaurus), divulges her favourite beauty spots:

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✨ Mona Marta ✨ ✨ Que make e esse 💄 ✨

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Manchester is full of energy, vibrancy and diversity- there’s always something new to discover. You can find most representations of beauty here, and in the city centre people are never afraid to take a risk with their look. I have two top nail bars- one in Hulme called Angel Nails and Beauty, and my second go-to in the heart of Manchester is The Nail Bar at Siam Spa Centre.

Because I have Afro Hair, I have to go to a very specific salon, and Naomie at The Hair Sanctuary is amazing. She’s been my hair stylist for years and covers all hair types too. My absolute favourite for a spa day is the Midland Hotel, as the service is amazing, the staff are really welcoming, and I definitely feel more relaxed after every visit.

Liverpool

Solicitor and company director Ingrid Smeaton details that famous Liverpudlian glamour:

Liverpool is synonymous with glamour and style - what I love is that Liverpool ladies are always at the cutting edge of the latest trends and can be relied upon to make a big effort and a big statement. Even if that means spending Saturday walking around town in rollers.

Whether you're a born and bred Scouser or a visitor getting ready for a taste of the city's amazing nightlife, Peaches & Cream is the one-stop haven for all things hair and make-up (they have their own line of make-up products so you can recreate your look at home). For nails and beauty treatments go to Doll Beauty which is handily located on Topshop's top floor. My favourite place for facials and skincare is Beauty Bazaar (at Harvey Nichols) - try the 'La Mer' facial. Finally, White Haus is a great place for your tanning needs.

Leeds

Author of A Little Pick Me Up, freelance writer and blogger Katie Portman (@poutinginheels) shares the Yorkshire beauty vibe:

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My face is changing. I swear I hit 39 back in November and almost immediately overnight it looked really different. More lined. Less plump. Not as toned. As I head towards turning 40 later this year, I’ve suddenly become really aware of my age and advancing years and the life that has played out across my face so far, but here’s the thing. I’m more than OK with it. And THAT is the choice I’ve made. I’ve known of so many women who have been terrified of getting older or getting a few extra lines and I refuse to be one of them. I watched a painting programme with the actress Jane Seymour on last night and whilst she mentioned her wrinkles occasionally with just a hint of dismay, all I could see was an extraordinarily beautiful woman and a lovely human being. And actually, if anything, I thought her lines actually gave her an extra ‘something’ which made her appear even more beautiful. It’s a privilege to grow older, so I’ve decided I’m not just facing up to the evident changes on this ol’ mug of mine but I’m embracing them. No wrinkle or ten is ever gonna lessen my worth. Or yours. 😘 #ageing #turning40thisyear #beauty #wrinkles

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Some people may mistakenly believe that it’s grim up North but when it comes to beauty, let me tell you, in Yorkshire, the women look anything but. The women in Leeds love to pamper themselves and always look their best, particularly when a night with the girls is on the cards but also day to day too.

Trend wise, think big brows, big lashes and even bigger makeup looks for those special nights out, and deep golden tans and glossy nails are still going strong. Head to Mint Nail & Beauty, The Waxing Lounge and the best tanning salon is Bliss Beauty Spa, while my favourite facialist is in Harvey Nichols Beauty Salon (all located in Leeds). I’d recommend fabulous hair salon Wigs & Warpaint in Sheffield too.

Glasgow

Founder of Violet Rose Makeup Artistry (@violetrosemua), makeup artist Jen Beattie is also creative director at Blow Bridal (blow_bridal).

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💘⚡️ THE NEON OBSESSION CONTINUES ⚡️💘 literally can’t get enough of this stuff for a subtle pop of colour!! Thank you @stargazerproducts ...making date nights a little 🌈💘 and while I’m here get your hands on the final masterclass tickets from the link in bio. Can’t bloody wait for next weekend!!! #datenight #neon #popofcolour #glowup #glowingskin #skinisin #makeuptutorial #makeupmasterclass #glasgowmakeupartist #scottishmakeupartist #glowinglive

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The Scottish expert for all things beauty, Jen shares her hotspots:
I love Glasgow with all my heart for being such a fun, progressive and exciting city, with an incredible vibe. Even though it’s known for quite glamorous style, the women of Glasgow have been loving underdone hair and skin-focused makeup style recently; which is perfect for me as a makeup artist who is ALL about glowing skin.

To get my skin prepped I love going to Layer Skincare for the finest facial massage and tailored skincare in town or Bon Vivant for a Glo Skin facial and pain-free waxing. There is only one place for cool girl hair in the city and that’s BLOW. They do the best blow dries and trend-setting colour ever. My go-to nail salon is NAF!, as they are complete artists and leave your fingers looking utterly fabulous.