The Independent North East Beauty Brands To Know Now
Living North loves supporting local and discovering amazing businesses based here in the North East, including the many brilliant beauty brands
Sea the Love
Inspired by living by the sea at Whitley Bay, Annabelle Hill founded Sea the Love, a range of marine-based skincare products to make you look and feel your best. Her range of products are clean, natural and sourced sustainably, and all designed to be applied as part of a selfcare ritual to help you feel good inside and out. Sea the Love’s range currently includes the Beachy Clean melting cleanser, Sleepy Beach night cream, Seaweed super serum and the Radiant Marine day cream – all are packed with natural ingredients, and are vegan, cruelty-free and sold in recyclable packaging. Each product contains two main marine-based actives, as well as other popular skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or avocado oil. Find out more at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Radiant Marine day cream, £35
Sustainable body and haircare brand Nuddy was born in 2018 and has worked with huge high street names, selling half a million bars worldwide. You also may have spotted them on Dragon’s Den. An independent, female-led brand based in the North East, they’re known for their moisturising soap and shampoo bars, but also stock their own hair butter, face masks and body butter. Sustainability is key for the team at Nuddy – their products are created using the highest quality sustainable ingredients and they only use premium natural oils to create their solid bar range, which leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. All Nuddy products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and rigorously tested.
Living North loves: The Full Routine, £39.90
Lilac & Thyme
In 2008, Northumbrian Bernice Drummond came across a traditional olive oil soap recipe and decided to have a go at making it. More than a decade later, she is making cosmetics as a full time job and her business, Lilac & Thyme, is still growing day by day. The range includes lip balms, bath bombs, oils, perfumes, creams, soaps and candles, all handmade on Bernice’s farm in Northumberland. Using her own original formulations, she manufactures these products in small, controlled batches. Meet Bernice and find out more about the brand at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Bath and body oil, £10.95
Todburn West is a small, traditional working farm in Northumberland where Todburn Soaps are made. The first goats in the Todburn herd arrived in 2017 – four British Guernsey and Guernsey-type goats and the farm now has a diverse range of wildlife, fauna and flora. Goats’ milk has been used since 1400 BC (a popular choice of moisturising skincare for Cleopatra), and Todburn Soaps are handmade in small batches on the farm, using the traditional cold process method and combining creamy goats’ milk with carefully selected natural oils and butters (including cocoa and shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil and castor oil).
Living North loves: The Fragrant Fox goats’ milk soap bar, £4.95
Handmade by Nature
Eileen Hoey handmakes cosmetic products using homegrown, organic and locally-sourced ingredients in High Spen. Handmade by Nature’s products are made to her own recipes, with ingredients that are often homegrown or sourced from local and knowledgeable suppliers. All Eileen’s products are palm oil-, plastic- and cruelty-free, as well as being free from any additives, including the natural soaps made in the traditional cold process way, shampoos and conditioners in solid bars rather than plastic bottles and anti-ageing face cream made from local beeswax. A subscription means a box of their small batch soaps will be sent to your door every month, and you can join their soap making workshops too. Find out more at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Rose Geranium lip balm, £5.75
Natalie founded Awesome Botanical in 2020. With lockdown forcing shops to shut, she set about producing handmade bath bombs and whipped body scrubs for her grandma’s birthday. After sending samples to other members of her family, she launched her Etsy shop, and has never looked back. In December 2020 Awesome Botanical had a pop-up shop at the Fenwick Christmas Market, and one of the first products Natalie launched was the citrus humbug foot balm which was shortlisted for the 2021 Top Santé UK Body Care Awards. All the products are handmade in Gateshead and the current collection includes whipped soaps, body butter, bar soaps and salt scrubs – with plenty of gift options too.
Living North loves: Glow pink clay face mask, £9
Kiss the Moon
Jo Foster founded multi-award winning business Kiss the Moon from the need to get her own sleep back on track. Based just outside Richmond, Kiss the Moon create beauty and wellness products that really do help you sleep beautifully and wake up feeling gorgeous – from sleep balms and night creams to face oils and bath salts. Using ingredients such as orange blossom, jasmine, lavender and rose, it is extremely important to Jo that all her products are 100 percent natural, vegan, cruelty-free and planet-friendly. In April 2019 they opened their first Beauty Sleep Boutique in Richmond and they often host events at their Aske store. Find out more about Kiss the Moon at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Dream bedtime bath salts, £18
Whitley Bay-based Merwave create products for wavy-hair women, to transform their hair into soft, defined, frizz-free beach waves. A lockdown idea from a home garage, the business will be turning three in March and it’s run by a husband-and-wife team. They’re currently concentrating on their core range and the founders often ask for feedback in their Members’ Group, which is how their Refresh Spray was created. There’s a complete wavy hair kit but you can also buy shampoos, conditioners, foams, gels and sprays separately. They also stock hair oil and towel wraps. Find out more about Merwave and their plans for the future at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Deep Conditioning hair mask, £22
West Barn Co.
Mother-and-daughter duo Donna McCann-Turner and Kim Cattin are the co-founders of West Barn Co. Makeup artist Kim asked her mum Donna if there was a way to create an eyebrow product similar to soap but that was suitable to wear on the face, and so West Barn Co was born. Donna had taken an interest in organic skincare and formulation, producing samples for friends and family, and, never one to shy away from a challenge, she formulated a tin of brow soap which then became a leave-on product that hydrated the skin, rather than drying it out as normal soap would. Soap brows went viral and now they have a skin range and distribute their products to more than 60 countries around the world; they’ve been sold in Harrods and Urban Outfitters and have been used by Billie Eilish, Zendaya and Kendall Jenner. Find them in Durham, but find out a whole heap more about this successful business at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Soap Brows duo, £8.80
Zenoté was established in 2019 by Andrea and her husband Neil after watching a documentary about plastic pollution. The first bar of soap they made was a coffee and oat bar, which inspired more experimentation with natural ingredients that are kind to skin (a lot of which were already in their kitchen cupboards). Their plant-based soaps are handmade in small batches using the traditional cold process method. Zenoté combines the word Cenote, a Mayan word meaning ‘well’, and Zen meaning peaceful and calm. They sell soaps, bath and body care, and shampoo bars, and plenty of gift sets too.
Living North loves: Sleep luxury bath milk (large), £23
Colliery Soap Studio
Based in Sacriston, Colliery Soap Studio produce fun and colourful soap, bath and skincare products which are also eco-friendly. Their fragranced square soap bars combine Northern heritage with modern sustainability principles. Everything they make is plastic-free and products range from lip balms to bath salts, but they’re probably best known for their soap slices which are all made by hand using their own blend of oils and butters chosen for their skincare properties. Learn more about founder Rachael Smith, and how she’s juggling motherhood with running her business and working as an engineer three days a week, at livingnorth.com.
Living North loves: Black Pomegranate soap slice, £5