When Bleach London opened its doors back in 2010, it transformed the way we look at hair. Named after Nirvana's '89 album, the Dalston salon was the first in the world to focus on colour rather than cut, and inspired people everywhere to experiment with sea greens, pastel purples, and fiery reds. Now, the cult brand is set to change the makeup game, too, launching its debut collection online today and in stores tomorrow. From pigmented lip kits and pressed glitter to a rainbow of eyeshadows and an extensive brush line, Bleach has provided bold colours and textures to mix and match with your hair.
The brand has come a long way since its inception. With a second store in Soho, a presence in Oxford Street's Topshop flagship, and products sold across UK drugstores, Bleach's fast expansion is a reflection of the following it's amassed. The brand boasts 307k Instagram followers, all looking for inspiration – from how to mix a rainbow undercut to how to achieve the perfect ice-white blonde. In fact, the growth of demand for blonde hair in all its shades and tones (purple-tinted, champagne, frosty, grey-hued) can be attributed to the salon's founders, Sam Campbell and hairstylist Alex Brownsell.
We joined the women single-handedly responsible for bringing coloured hair to the mainstream in their Berwick Street store, where the makeup is launching and site of their new hair colour station. Designed to encourage customers to mix their own colour in-store or get advice on how to create their own at home from the bottle, it's like a playtime paint lesson. "This is the process we'll use when we're mixing colour in the lab. We'll use a few bases, normally on the primary and secondary colour spectrum, sometimes adding brown and black to make it heavier," Alex tells Refinery29. "It's such an integral part of the colour process, that we wanted to have something our customers could join in with, whether they bring in a photo and ask to match that colour, or want to play around a bit." The store also has a glitter press, where you can pick and choose from an array of iridescent, pearly and holographic sparkles to make your own body glitter palette (which will certainly be used across festival-goers' faces this summer).
Working with makeup artist and Sam's sister Lou Teasdale from the start, Bleach was set to rebrand and move their offering forward when the opportunity to create more than just lip colour snowballed. Including haircare, there are now 140 Bleach London products. The makeup range is extensive and what began as a look into lip kits that would match the salon's Tangerine Dreams and Sea Punks has turned into an impressive offering of shades for eyes, lips, cheeks, and body. Alex and Sam are conscious of the environmental impact of the beauty industry, and have ensured that all relaunched packaging is made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. This waste-not attitude led to their genius customisation palette, which allows you to buy individual colours and collect them in a magnetic box (a larger size to keep at home, and a smaller one for nights out and on-the-go). Solving the problem of only ever using two shades in an eyeshadow palette, you can curate your own kit and refill when you (inevitably) run out.
While the debut makeup range will undoubtedly be a hit, Bleach fans who shy away from bold colour are catered for, too. The new Black Dye and Fade To Grey toner provides committed goths with new shades, while the Beach Lights and White Toner will satisfy dedicated blondes. The brand's haircare range now includes a hairspray (Hard AF), and dry shampoo (Too Posh To Wash), while the Swamp Spritz helps achieve textured hair without the sticky ends.
Visiting any Bleach store is fun, but with the new addition of makeup and customisation stations, it's more like a sweet shop. Bleach continues to reign supreme on the hair scene and now in our makeup bags, too.
You can buy Bleach London's new summer haircare and makeup lineups on site from this afternoon, in store from tomorrow, and in Superdrug at the end of the month.