The Blog

God Bless America(n Beauty Products)

If there's one thing America does well, its beauty shopping. And I know beauty shopping. In fact it's one of my best skills.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

If there's one thing America does well, its beauty shopping. And I know beauty shopping. In fact it's one of my best skills. I don't know if it's something about the stereotypical preoccupation with appearance, or perhaps the stereotypical consumer culture, but there are a multitude of stereotypical reasons I can ascribe to the USA being a cool place for an English nerd to shop for makeup. Here are my toppest of things to try to track down in America.

Firstly, the whole range of CeraVe products. They're all so good! Why aren't they stacked high atop the shelves in the British drugstore? The Hydrating Cleanser is the best cleanser for a sensitive face which wants to stay soft and supple but also clean. The Moisturizing Lotion has lots of ingredients usually found in expensive prods (hyaluronic acid, ceramides) and doesn't cause attractive acne breakouts! The Moisturizing Cream does the same but is even thicker and more luxurious. And they do an AM Facial Moisturizer which has physical SPF! It's like all of my basic skincare dreams came true and then were quickly taken away and sent back to America.

Second, and this is coming from a newly-bleach, the Neutrogena Triple Moisture hair range! In England we get only the smallest collection of Neutrogena products and it's a real shame. The Triple Moisture Hair Mask is my favourite one I've ever used. It has the texture of whipped butter, smells like a girl you'd want to hug and rescues my peroxide destroyed hair from looking like a cheap wig. The Silk Touch Leave-In Creme tops up the strength AND shine levels, which, as anyone with Problem Hair knows, is no mean feat. There is no logical reason I can think of for this not to come to the UK immediately, thank you.

Another brand which is inexplicably absent from my homestead is Wet'n'Wild. You American's may scoff, but you honestly don't know how good you have it. These products are really cheap, yes, but they're also really good. And I've tried some horrifically expensive stuff, ok? The new Contouring Palette has the texture of a powder ten times the price, and the Coverall Foundation is one of the best "we mean business" foundations at the drugstore - and it's around $3! The new Vegan Brushes are so cute (white and pink, c'mon!) and have the marks of quality indicative of a much higher price point. And the Megalast Lip Colors - seriously some of the best long-lasting matte lipsticks on the market, and with no color I wouldn't consider wearing.

Finally, if you're in the US area for any considerable length of time, I'd really recommend making an order from Makeup Artists Choice. They do proper skincare which means it. By that I mean, you can buy acid peels on the internet, which satisfies the risk taker in me. The Mandelic Acid 25% peel is the product I think has most noticeable effects on my skin. Plus, the 2oz bottle will last for ages. The sheer amount of five star reviews on the site attests to the effectiveness of their products. The brand means business, and I think that's great.

While I'm sure there are items the UK market tackles more effectively, I am always excited about shopping for beauty in the US. There is a real sense of immense magnitude, of infinite possibility, of constant change and development. The vast horizons of the US landscape translate to the aisles of the drugstores, and everything is alive with possibility.