Where to track down hard-to-find beauty brands in Dubai
Une Cult status? This new line hails from French cosmetics giant Bourjois. Made from 98 to 100 per cent natural ingredients, the colours and shades work for pale to dark skin, and are all about enhancing natural beauty. If you love the pop colours of MAC, then Une isn’t for you, but if you want a natural look, this brand will be right up your street. We particularly like the cream eyeshadows.
Eyeshadows from Dhs74 and mineral powders from Dhs131, available at Vava Voom, Mirdif City Centre (04 231 6712)
Knockout Cult status? Created by Mike Potter, the man behind the hair and make-up on extraordinary film Hedwig and the Angry Inch, this range of nail polishes is completely matte. Yes, that’s right – not an ounce of shine in sight. We love the concrete greys, swimming-pool turquoises and grunge blacks on offer, even more so because they last a little longer on the nail than shiny polishes.
Dhs65 per bottle, available at Makeup Etc, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 345 5747).
By Terry Cult status? The cosmetics line from legendary French make-up artist Terry de Gunzburg (the woman responsible for Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat, the concealer to rival all concealers) is known for strong pigments and a broad range of colours. The packaging isn’t the most exciting, but it doesn’t diminish our love of the products.
Gelée de Rose Dhs340, available at www.boutique1dubai.com
Lakmé Cult status? The Maybelline of India (while also offering skin creams), this heavy hitter is so popular that the subcontinent’s largest fashion week is named after it – yep, that’s Lakmé Fashion Week. The brand is known for strong pigments and a great range of colours at ridiculously cheap prices. Lakmé isn’t distributed in Dubai on a large scale, despite being owned by Unilever, but there are stores around Bur Dubai and Karama that stock small ranges.
Face cream Dhs11, compact powder Dhs15 and nail polish Dhs7, available at Chachoos, Karama (04 336 0558)
Liz Earle Cult status? MBE holder Liz Earle shunned animal products and embraced botanicals and natural ingredients long before it was fashionable. With the company now in its 16th year, and with a flourishing men’s range, classics such as the Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser sell at a rate of one every 30 seconds. The company is said to have strong international expansion plans and, while many British women in Dubai lament the fact that they can’t buy the brand here yet, what many don’t know is that the company will ship here if you give them a ring. The shipping fee is Dhs90 and orders will take about 10 days to arrive, but you’ll get a 16 per cent discount as overseas buyers, which should compensate for the delivery fee.
Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Dhs80, Superkin concentrate Dhs227, shampoo and conditioner Dhs46 each, and eau de parfum Dhs242 (all prices before discount), available online at www.lizearle.com
VMV Hypoallergenics Cult status? Founded in ’79, this American brand is dedicated to helping those with allergies and sensitive skin. Using a list of known allergens compiled by government bodies, the brand has created its own rating system – all products have a VH number, and the higher the number, the more allergens are excluded. All products are fragrance-free and preservative-free, and even the packaging takes into account the sensitive among us – it’s glue-free and printed with soy-based ink on chlorine-free paper. With only four locations in the US, and sparse availability across the world, VMV is a true find.
ID Toner Dhs69, eye serum Dhs179, and SPF70 sunscreen Dhs119, available at Beautybay, Oasis Centre (04 515 4320)
Comfort Zone Cult status? This Italian brand was founded in 1983 and is a favourite of Yasmin Le Bon and Annie Lennox: it’s known as a luxe beauty secret because it’s not available on the internet and is stocked in only 169 spas worldwide. We love the Tranquility range, which features hydrating amaranth oil and has a warm rose and vanilla scent.
Tranquility shower cream Dhs165, and Tranquility bath and body oil Dhs488, available at The Westin Heavenly Spa, Al Sufouh Road (04 511 7901)
Smith’s Cult status? Created in 1895 in Maryland in the US, Smith’s Rosebud Salve has become known as the ultimate cure-all, used to moisturise lips, act as a lipstick base, an eye make-up remover, to relieve dry skin and to ease blemishes, diaper rash, haemorrhoids, psoriasis and more. The balm is a must-have for celebrities including Chloë Sevigny, Eva Longoria, Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Garner and Kimberly Stewart (especially now the latter has a bun in the oven).
Dhs30, available at Makeup Etc, Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 345 5747)
Eve Taylor Cult status? The founder of The Institute of Clinical Aromatherapy (and also an OBE recipient), 77-year-old Eve Taylor knows aromatherapy like no other. Her paraben-free aromatherapy skincare line has been developed over 40 years and has just landed on our shores. It will only be available in salons and spas because Eve doesn’t like her products to be sold without professional advice.
Cleansers from Dhs55, serums from Dhs85, men’s range from Dhs80 and candles from Dhs180, available at Willow Stream Spa, The Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 311 8800)