Maybe it's just me, but I've found that as I'm spending more time at home, daily rituals like my morning and nighttime skin-care routines have become a source of calm stability in a world where things feel anything but calm and stable. (A sincere "thank you," to retinol and face oil for lending me the beauty self-care I need.) Well, since it's literally our jobs to bring you the need-to-know places to shop, we're doing a deep dive one site that you've probably seen in searches, but might not have shopped yet: Lookfantastic, the British beauty destination that's making waves stateside.
What is Lookfantastic?
Time for a quick history lesson: Lookfantastic was founded in 1996 as one of the first online beauty stores in the U.K. (Remember, this was before the turn of the century!) Specializing in bringing skin-care trends to the masses, the name is a nod to the idea that beauty can enable people to feel and look their most — you guessed it — fantastic. As a lot has changed since the '90s, Lookfantastic has now expanded to offer luxury brands across hair, makeup, body, and more.
Another tidbit to take note of is that Lookfantastic also owns SkinStore, which debuted one year after Lookfantastic, in 1997 — the same year that Titanic premiered and NASA's space probe landed on the surface of Mars (it's been around). SkinStore's whole schtick is being "the online digital dermatologist," with cosmeceutical skin care like C E Ferulic and StriVectin neck cream being popular products.
What brands should I be shopping?
Given its roots, Lookfantastic is is perhaps best known for classic European beauty brands that you might not be able to find at your local drugstore or Ulta. "These are brands that have high awareness abroad, but have low distribution in the US," Lookfantastic's Director of Partnerships, U.S. Beauty, Mallory Auster tells Refinery29 of the classic "European pharmacy" brands. "This allows us to stay true to our mission, which is to service the globe." According to the retailer, top brands include Elemis, Christophe Robin, NUXE, Embryolisse and Bioderma.
In addition to excellent skin-care offerings, we'd also like to give a special shoutout to Lookfantastic's array of fancy hair tools from editor-favorite brands like T3 and GHD, tons of which you can usually find on sale. They're also a verified seller of The Ordinary, for all of you who love a cheap thrill. (*raises hand*)
"With the current events, we quickly reacted to customer demand and are prioritizing items like hair color, hair removal kits, and tools,” Auster explains. Additionally, there's things like balms, salves, candles, diffusers and more that can lend a spa-like ambiance to your home. After all, spending time on self-care is time well spent.
What's the sale situation like?
Oh, there's a situation alright: Keep this Offers page bookmarked to stay in-the-know when it comes to limited-time sales on brands (psst, Pixi and Dr. Dennis Gross products are currently 20% and 25% off, respectively), in addition to displaying things like free gifts with purchase. They also offer free shipping on all orders over $30, so be sure to take advantage of that.
Any upcoming ~beauty things~ to know?
As for what you can expect in the coming months, "Clients are taking their skincare routines more seriously by implementing skincare tech, supplements, and becoming more conscious of their products," Lookfantastic content associate Schane Flowers tells us. "We want to provide the insight on the best products for goals and maintenance, especially with the rise of high-quality skincare use being combined with professional beauty treatments and services [which have become readily accessible]."
See? Discovering the best under-the-radar beauty gems from across the pond just got that much easier. Now, if only we could get somewhere to procure those dainty tea sandwiches and scones...
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.