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Beauty News

15 Cult Discoveries

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Verity Douglas's profile
cult's 15th birthday

Unearthing the best-of-the-best in beauty is part of our brand DNA. Since we launched 15 years ago, we’ve made it our mission to sniff out the coolest, emerging new talents in skin care, fragrance, make up... you name it, and serve it to you on a Cult Beauty platter. Doing the legwork so you don’t have to, our buyers consistently scour the globe to discover what works — from the scent that none-other-than Naomi Campbell first brought to our eager attention, to Korean innovations and supernatural skin care superstars — discover the brands that we heard about first: the Cult Beauty OGs that are still going strong. 

Escentric Molecules, Molecule 01 

Yep, the very first Cult Beauty product — we found it when our neighbour at the time had a fortuitous (for us) encounter with Ms. Naomi Campbell. She smelled incredible and he finally plucked up the courage to ask what her scent was, was duly informed, then rushed over to tell us about his amazing discovery. We found no record of this magical, mythical fragrance anywhere online — no website, no retailers — it was only through trawling through Companies House that we tracked down the owner and told him our tale. The relationship forged there and then and the disruptive ‘anti-fragrance fragrance’ has acquired ‘icon’ status amongst the perfumery world (and our discerning Cult Community). Want to find out what the fuss is about? Read more here. 


In the days when we celebrated each and every order — congratulating each other on milestones like 'the first repeat purchase' and 'first £1000 day' — gratitude was largely owed to a brand we could barely pronounce (each team member had their own spin on its motley collection of vowels and the alphabet’s lesser-used consonants). We ordered Omorovicza's heavenly, almond-scented Rejuvenating Night Cream in threes, and our Co-CEO always looked mildly worried whenever we reached for ‘the weird water’ (as he named our beloved Queen of Hungary Mist).  


The brand that launched a thousand acid toners, Alpha-H's Liquid Gold was critical to our success (thank you, Alpha-H!). Their beautiful founder, Michelle Doherty, was so unhappy and ashamed about her acne that she’d nearly reached her limit when she chanced upon ‘glycolic’ and transformed her skin, her life... and a large part of our story! Tragically, Michelle is now no longer with us to celebrate such an incredible step in our shared journey but, without her tenacity, her openness and willingness to trust us with her growing range of pioneering treatments, it’s doubtful we’d be where we are. She was a true beauty visionary and a kindred skin care spirit.  


Revolutionising make up application, Beautyblender bounded into beauty consciousness and now you’ll find an egg-shaped sponge in every make up bag you’d care to rummage through. Immediately recognisable, the Barbie-worthy must-have was awarded countless accolades, and quickly staked a claim to our prestigious ‘Hall of Fame’. It’s spawned a host of ovoid offspring, but the pink original remains a make up favourite (with good reason). 

Vintner’s Daughter 

Consistently striving to meet the demands of our skin-savvy audience, finding pure, plant-derived products that worked was a gauntlet we happily grabbed. Cue: Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum — the stand-alone hero that streamlined our beauty routines when it launched with its signature blend of replenishing, strengthening extracts. With its good looks — and even better natural skin care credentials — this blend has stood the test of time (and signals your amazing taste). 

Anastasia Beverly Hills 

Before brows were ‘a thing’ we brought Anastasia Beverly Hills capsule collection of arch-enhancing heroes to our UK audience — and kick-started an eyebrow craze. From the days of Brow Wiz through to Brow Freeze via Dipbrow, this brand has steered our brows through every trend — from subtly groomed to immaculately sculpted via full and fluffy through to laminated — and our eyes have never known a better framer than the architect-turned-browchitect who put brows on the make up map.  

Pai Skincare 

Two words: Rosehip. Oil. Pai Skincare was a tiny British brand when it first caught our eye with its amazing, reparative Rosehip Oil and respectful approach to reactive or sensitive skin types. Beyond gentle, we desperately wanted to bring this beautifully pared-back, ‘slow beauty’ brand to the hundreds of people who wrote to us asking for treatments to care for their petal-esque skin and thankfully, they obliged! Now with a number of bestselling strings to their bow, you can’t get enough of their Gentle Cream Cleanser, Impossible Glow and of course, the original BioRegenerate Oil.  

Milk Makeup 

We ushered this iconic range of low-key make up favourites from New York to London — and caused a sensation. Our Cult Community queued around the block to enter our Milk Makeup pop-up shop and stock up on the brand’s quick, cute and covetable sticks. From blush to bronzer, serum and Holy Grail Hydro-Grip Primer, since making their leap across the pond this brand has blown-up... what’s your favourite? We’re besotted with the new Sculpt Stick. 

Thank You Farmer 

Never ones to miss a trend, we introduced some of the coolest K-Beauty exports to the wider world — and few are cooler than Thank You Farmer — the brand that overhauled outdated attitudes to SPF with their Sun Project Water Sun Cream. Proving that high-factor sunscreen can work without pilling or smothering, this weightless innovation sparked a frenzy when it launched on site — cementing our reputation for bringing the best ‘skindie’ finds to our beauty-hungry audience. 

de Mamiel 

Annee de Mamiel noticed the links between beauty and wellness before the latter ‘trend’ had even registered. Distilling her unique expertise into specialist seasonal oils that were lovingly blended to cherish your skin (and your mind) through the annual cycles, the range grew to make taking care of your skin — and emotional wellbeing — more of a mindful, intentional act. Blended to resonate with us on many levels, her holistic approach to self-care has ignited a gradual shift towards beauty that works in the physio- and psychological realm, and her Spring Facial Oil is beyond (just peruse the reviews). 


And it doesn’t end there — Tata Harper, Allies of Skin, WetBrush, Alfresco and of course, our own Cult Beauty brand were all notable ‘firsts’ for Yours Truly so, if you’re yet to be acquainted, why not try them on for size and learn a little more about what makes ‘Cult’ cult.  

Verity Douglas
Writer and expert
View Verity Douglas's profile
Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...