When I first discovered That Grace Girl, her beautiful imagery and eloquent musings had me browsing post after post. She’s a smart cookie too, having recently graduated from Oxford (congratulations!). I am beyond delighted that the lovely Grace will be sharing her top recommendations for my What To Buy Series – UK today.
BEAUTY / SKINCARE
Soap & Glory – With their fun, colourful packaging and wittily punned names S&G have fast become a British beauty favourite, and can be found in the skincare, bodycare, AND makeup aisles of Boots. Regularly on a 3 for 2 offer, I defy you to leave the shop empty handed. Grace’s picks: The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser, Orangegasm Body Wash, Hand Food, The Breakfast Scrub.
No7 – A long-standing and respected British beauty brand which has produced many iconic favourites over the years, No7 have regular offers and vouchers meaning that you’ll very rarely pay full price for anything. With luxe packaging to rival that of the designer collections, and a price tag more akin to those seen in the budget beauty aisles, the brand is a firm favourite amongst us Brits, regardless of age or income. Grace’s Picks: Stay Perfect Lipstick in Gay Geranium, Precision Lip Pencil in Nude, Protect & Perfect Serum.
Rimmel – Found amongst the likes of Revlon and Maybelline (and with a similar price tag), Rimmel are my go-to brand for a good but budget friendly nail polish. Their long-lasting formulas and vast colour range will have you oohing and ahhing like a kid in a sweet shop. Grace’s Picks: 60 Second Nail Polish, Lasting Finish by Kate Moss Lipstick.
Topshop – Not just our go-to place for the best of the high-street’s take on the current trends (and their dreamy lingerie collections), Topshop’s beauty collection took the UK by storm upon its launch a few years ago and we LOVE it. Affordable prices, cute packaging, and some darn good makeup. Grace’s Picks: Glow Highlighter, Nail Polish in Bashful, Velvet Lips.
Eyeko – A recent collab with It-girl Alexa Chung saw Eyeko spurred into the spotlight last year. The all-British brand is best known for being the product behind Alexa’s iconic cat-eye (we’ve all spent years wondering). Users are divided but I’m personally a huge fan. Grace’s Picks: Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner and Brow Gel.
M&S – The iconic British supermarket stocks all of our branded favourites alongside its famously high-quality own-brand pieces. Your first stop for sponge cake, digestive biscuits, and good underwear. Grace’s Picks: Percy Pig sweets, jam doughnuts, roast chicken mayo sandwich.
Bill’s – A restaurant chain found predominantly in the south (but heading north as we speak), Bill’s is our go-to place for a lip-smackingly good (and extremely Instagram-able) brunch. Always situated in buildings with a bit of character, and filled higgledy-piggledy with antique furniture, they serve from breakfast until dinner. Grace’s Picks: Bill’s Hamburger, Mini Cinnamon Donuts, Eggs Benedict.
Cadbury’s – Another iconic British brand. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of their Dairy Milk chocolate myself (preferring the darker stuff), Cadbury’s is to Britain what Reese’s is to the US, so give it a try. Grace’s Picks: Pebbles, Creme Eggs.
Real cheese – I spent three weeks in America last summer and guys, you’re seriously lacking in the cheese department… Head to your nearest supermarket for a big block of crumbly mature cheddar (or better still a deli/cheese counter), and experience the joy that is REAL cheese. Grace’s Picks: Cathedral City Extra Mature.
Byron Burger – A UK-wide burger chain that is waaaay more upmarket than your average burger joint but features enough loud music and industrial decor to maintain a fun, informal atmosphere. Damn good burgers and even better milkshake. Grace’s Picks: Oreo Milkshake, Byron Burger.
High street – I’m cheating a bit here in order to roll a few of my favourites into one. Obviously Topshop for clothes, it’s much cheaper here than it is in the US. For better quality/higher prices, check out Whistles, and if you’re looking for bargains head to New Look, Dorothy Perkins, or Primark. Obviously Boots is your best bet for beauty, but for cheaper brands check out Superdrug, and for designer collections head to a department store. Lush and The Body Shop are also great places to pick up quality but affordable beauty products. I love Paperchase and Scribbler for stationery and gifts. Grace’s Picks: Topshop, Zara, Boots, John Lewis, Whistles.
Oh Comely magazine – This beautiful magazine is inspiration by the bucketful. Well-wrtten, original, and accompanied by stunning photography, expect a mix of lifestyle and fashion. This gem can be found in WH Smith stores and will keep you entertained for hours.
National Trust – If you’re travelling around the UK, or at least getting out of the cities then head to a National Trust property and indulge in a bit of culture and history. Tour around immaculately maintained country homes, castles, gardens, and estates, and see how the other half lived back in the day. The tearooms are ALWAYS worth a visit too. Grace’s Picks: Quarry Bank Mill, Erddig Hall, Culzean Castle, Felbrigg Hall, Powis Castle.
Manchester – Don’t make the classic tourist mistake and assume that London is the be all and end all of British civilisation. Instead, head north to experience the charm and character of Britain’s second city. You’ll find all of the high street favourites alongside quirky cafes, vintage clothes stores, and artsy stationery suppliers. Think London on a slightly smaller scale… Grace’s Picks: Oldham Street – vintage shops, Almost Famous, Selfridges, Home Sweet Home, Fred Aldous, Space NK.
Charity shops – If you get the opportunity to visit a smaller city or large town then be sure to hunt down the location of the best local charity shops. I’ll warn you now that a lot of it is junk, but amongst the tweed jackets and pewter mugs there are gems to be found! I pick up a lot of crockery from charity shops, and they’re also your best bet for bargain holiday reads. Grace’s Picks: Oxfam, The Red Cross, The British Heart Foundation.
(Photo courtesy of That Grace Girl.)