If you’re looking for London beauty shops but don’t want to traipse around the West End, head for Upper Street, Islington instead. Here you’ll find a wealth of cosmetics, perfumes and pampering products thanks to the abundance of independent beauty stores. Along Upper Street is Benefit Cosmetics, a hairdressing salon and spa selling Aveda products, Space NK Apothecary, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Kiehl’s and Malin and Goetz boutiques. Just off Upper Street is Aesop and in the Angel Central Shopping Centre you’ll find L’Occitane. Join me on a journey of London beauty shops as I start at L’Occitane and work my way along Upper Street heading towards Highbury and Islington station.
London Beauty Shops Upper Street and Nearby
L’Occitane: Olivier Baussan started distilling rosemary essential oil at the age of 23 which he sold at local Provence markets. In 1976, he revives the traditional art of Marseilles soap making at an old factory. From there he sets about using ingredients found in the French countryside to complement his soap. Today, customers love the Almond range which is a best seller thanks to the skin softening properties and toning power. Pop into the shop at Angel Central Shopping Centre where you can find out more about L’Occitane soaps, moisturisers, bath soaks, body scrubs, hand lotions and foot potions. From Shea Butter to Almond Oil, Verbena, Lavender, Peony and Rose, the ingredients conjure up an idyllic Provence landscape.
Benefit Cosmetics: This sassy cosmetics empire was started back in 1976 by twin sisters, Jean and Joan Ford, who were farm girls from Indiana turned models and make-up artists. With perky packaging and cheeky slogans, this make-up brand puts the fun into looking fabulous. If you visit the boutique located at 338 Upper Street you can garner advice from the team and try out the products. The shop is super cute with peachy powder room style décor; you’ll certainly feel like a pampered princess! Their brow products are immensely popular and they can teach you a thing or two about how to transform those brow arches. Check out the Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Colour and Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil.
Aveda: Hairdresser Horst Rechelbacher set up Aveda in 1978, which is now owned by Estee Lauder. Horst’s legacy of using pure flower and plant essences in products still lives on today. Located at 316 Upper Street is an Aveda Salon called Fresh Lifestyle Salon and Spa. Here you will find hairdressing services on the ground floor and in the basement is a spa. In the foyer they have a great selection of Aveda products. The extensive collection includes haircare, skincare, makeup, perfume, candles and tea. You can pick up your Damage Remedy Shampoo, Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo or Color Conserve Conditioner. If you need specific advice you can consult one of the hairdressers or beauty therapists located here. A great place to buy products to rescue damaged, dry or unruly hair.
Space NK Apothecary: Launched by Nicky Kinnaird back in 1993, this beauty boutique concept is still going strong today. One of the stores is located at 299 Upper Street which is a great shop curating all the best beauty brands in one place. You’ll find an edited selection of skincare through to cosmetics, haircare, bodycare and fragrance for women (and men) plus scented candles. It’s my go to store for birthday presents for my fabulous friends. Savvy beauty shoppers seek out Eve Lom’s TLC Cream, nourishing skincare and radiant cosmetics. Also popular are the Sunday Riley Good Genes skincare range which combines science with the wonders of botanicals. Talika restorative eyebrow and eye lash products are also brilliant buys. Other brands include Laura Mercier, By Terry, Dr Brandt, Tata Harper, David Kirsch and more. With cosmetic stations for make-overs and professionally trained staff, this is a great place to visit if you need advice, you’re after a credible beauty brand or buying a gift for your best friend.
Neals Yard Remedies: Having opened their first store in Neal’s Yard back in 1981, you can find them at many other locations including 295 Upper Street. At the heart of this brand is a passion that beauty should be natural. With the expertise of apothecary and holistic approach to health and well-being, their products are kind, caring and natural. At this Islington branch you can also book yourself a treatment; facial, aromatherapy massage, acupressure, acupuncture and more. If you’re a fan of Neal’s Yard products, you can return your empty blue bottles here to be recycled. The Wild Rose Beauty Balm is very popular and has become a cult favourite thanks to the multitude of uses; exfoliating cleanser, intense moisture boost, balancing facial mask, nurturing lip balm and nourishing nail balm. The Frankincense Intense range is sought after for those looking to look a few year’s younger (that’s me!). You can also pick up aromatherapy essential oils, herbal teas and vitamin supplements at this store.
Aesop: Established in Melbourne Australia in 1987, Aesop uses the finest plant and laboratory ingredients to make products for the skin, body and hair. A visit to the Cross Street shop (just off Upper Street) is well worth it because they can assess your skin or hair type to recommend the best products. Cleansers are popular because these are an essential part of great looking skin. With Parsley Seed ingredients or mandarin, you’ll certainly enjoy washing away impurities and reviving your skin. The store is understated and minimal with a reclaimed wooden floor and industrial metal shelving. Pop in where you can chat to the passionate team who will introduce you and your skin to amazing products.
Kiehl’s: This apothecary brand started in New York’s East Village and has been innovating since 1851. They promise healthier looking skin which includes a range of cleansers, scrubs, masques and moisturisers. The Upper Street store showcases the best-selling products at the entrance. At the moment we are going crazy for their Midnight Recovery Concentrate which replenishes the skin as you sleep. Also popular is their Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate which is an anti-wrinkle treatment with 10.5% Vitamin C. Also worth trying is the Ultra Facial Cream which give you 24-hour protection. In-store you will find a shaving bar so this is a man friendly beauty hang-out.
Malin and Goetz: Launched in 2004 by Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, this New York based apothecary and lab is focussed on natural ingredients for the very best in sensitive skin technology. Ideal for anyone suffering from rosacea, eczema, seborrhea or fragrance allergies. The collection includes botanically infused cleansers and moisturisers for the face, body and hair. Whenever I stay in New York I’m pleased to find the bathroom stocked with their amazing products. Best sellers to look out for in the tranquil 146 Upper Street store are the Grapefruit Cleanser, Eucalyptus Deodorant, Rum Body Wash and Peppermint Shampoo. Their new product is the Recovery Treatment Oil which protects the skin from free radical damages and renews the appearance.
London Beauty Shops Angel Vicinity
Aside from the boutiques mentioned above, you can also find beauty products and fragrances at the following stores:
Boots: 35-37 Islington High Street, London N1 9LH
Superdrug: 54-55 Chapel Market, Islington N1 9EW
Gorilla Perfumes: 3 Islington High Street, London N1 8EA
Visiting London Beauty Shops in Upper Street
You can reach these shops by travelling to one of these stations:
Angel: Northern Line
Essex Road: Great Northern Railway
Highbury and Islington: Overground, Victoria Line and Great Northern Railway
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Disclosure: This feature includes the following affiliate partners – Benefit Cosmetics and Neals Yard Remedies (if you click through from my website and purchase items from the affiliates I will earn a small commission).