Charles H. Fox, Covent Garden

In 1878, Mr Charles H. Fox opened his self-titled shop on Tavistock Street, Covent Garden. Fox was a well known supplier to the theatre in the Victorian era, providing all manner of wigs, costume accessories, and make up. Now, in the 21st Century, Fox’s shop is well known to make up artists and enthusiasts alike, in fact almost anyone with an interest in theatrical make up.

I always really enjoy my visits to Charles Fox. I love the way the whole shop is set out, I love the fantastic range of stock and the sales assistants are always lovely too – if there’s one thing we can’t stand, it’s being hounded by a pushy SA or ignored by one when you need help. The staff at Charles Fox will always ask if you need any help after you’ve been browsing for a few minutes, but after a polite ‘I’m fine thank you’ they’ll leave you to browse in peace. If you want to ask them a question, they are all knowledgeable about the products they sell and I have never had to contend with an unfriendly attitude in there. They were more than happy to let me take a few quick snaps in there for my blog. Massive thumbs up for service!

They also score off the charts for variety. I challenge any one of you within easy reach of the shop, to go there and tell me you couldn’t find a foundation perfectly suited to you. They stock so many different brands which each have so many different shades and formulas available that it’s not at all an exaggeration to say there is something for everyone in there. Obviously foundation isn’t the only thing they sell – if you’re into bright colours, this is THE place to go. They even stock UV Day Glo colours. One thing I didn’t take a photo of was the corner which houses tons upon tons of make up books – if only they had a nice comfy armchair and provided a Charles Fox library card! ;P

Some Kryolan foundations, Aqua Shades and lots more

Not only do they have jaw dropping amounts of products in a pretty, well maintained shop but their prices are fantastic, too. On my last visit, I picked up Kryolan’s Ultra Fluid foundation (30ml) for £12.05 and Ben Nye Neutral Set powder for £5.95. Bargain, much? The brushes in there are amazingly well priced too. Around this time last year I bought a fantastic Kryolan crease brush which has served me so well, and I think it only cost £4.95. They have their own range of Charles Fox brand brushes, too, which look fantastic and are priced brilliantly. And naturally, along with everything that is useful for enthusiasts, they have a huge variety of professional materials including liquid latex and the like.

Just a few of the brushes – and you’ll notice Charles Fox are also a stockist of Illamasqua! Although, I should point out you won’t usually find collection items here, it’s mostly just the base range.

A bit of Stargazer and Ben Nye!

If you’ve not been there before, I highly recommend a visit to Charles Fox if you live in or near London. Or even if you’re just in the city for a weekend break or something, any make up enthusiast should thoroughly enjoy a trip there! It’s super easy to find, not even 5 minutes’ walk from Covent Garden tube station and just round the corner from the Lyceum Theatre.

Unfortunately the website has been under construction since forever (I first found out about Charles Fox well over a year ago and the website has never been operational in that time), but if you want to get a good idea of what sort of things you can expect to find in there, you can download a pretty comprehensive price list from that page.

Charles H. Fox Ltd, 22 Tavistock St, London, 020 7240 3111

Posted Under

15 thoughts on “Charles H. Fox, Covent Garden

  1. This looks really nice. I live in London and I’ve never been there before but I definitely will next time I’m up there. :)


  2. I’ve walked past this shop hundreds of times – can’t believe I’ve never been in! Your photos look amazing and I’ll definitely be checking it out next time I’m in Covent Garden. x

  3. @Jess: It is, it’s just such a nice place to shop in! Let me know what you think :)

    @Helen: Thank you :) you should! There’s no harm in wandering around, it only becomes dangerous with a credit card and a want list as long as your arm ;P

    @Lily: I can’t believe it either! Haha, it’s great in there. Let me know what you think of it!


  4. I have been there once few years ago when I wasn’t interested in cosmetics…but now, when I interested in cosmetics, I forgot such shop…thanks for your reminder!

  5. @Pinkhair: You SO would!

    @Shifa: It’s scheduled for Sunday, I’m way ahead of you! ;P

    @Kyanvi: You’re welcome!

    @Sammi: Anytime, let me know what you think!

    @Becky: Yeah, the first time I ever went in there was in the afternoon before the Maybelline event last year, there was a bunch of us using google maps on someone’s phone to find it! Haha :)

    @Georgie: Yesss you do!


  6. Ooh I’ve never heard of this place before but it looks amazing! I’m heading up to London in a couple of weeks so I’ll definitely try and check it out. Thanks for sharing :) x

  7. omg now that makeup has become a recent obsession of mine, i think i’ll be visiting sometime after payday.. even though i have makeup on order that hubby bought me.. but what he dont know cant hurt him loll
    didnt think you could get ben nye here in london, but hey, thanks to you i now know I can ;)

    check my blog if you get the chance, and let me know what you think =)


  8. Charles H Fox certainly did open its doors in 1878 but not in Tavistock Street. It moved there some time in the early 1980′s. Prior to that it occupied the fifth floor of a building behind the Cambridge Theatre on the other side of Covent Garden, in Shelton Street.
    Sorry to be pedantic but I have many happy memories of trudging up the 10 flights of stairs to reach what was then an extraordinarily theatrical Aladdin’s cave which one entered right next to the stage door of the Cambridge Theatre. At 8 years old, I think I was one of their youngest customers in 1975, and it was a great treat to be spoiled by the likes of the rather amazing Mary Topping. I never left without a couple of lengths of extra crepe hair or false noses or indeed practically a whole goodie bag in addition to the few items my pocket money could afford.
    Then. Charles H Fox used to hire out replicas of the crown jewels and these were displayed prominently in cases around the walls of the quite small top room. In the basement of the building was the workshop of the theatrical armourer Robert White and sons. It smelt and sounded like an East End garage – redolent of oil, iron filings and the noise of hammers on metal – but the sight of row upon row of spears, swords and daggers was quite something.
    Today Charles H Fox in Tavistock Street is an equally wonderful emporium – hugely expensive – but worth every penny, I think. Staff are very helpful and the shop is fantastically well stocked with anything one could possibly want. Having visited Kryolan’s showrooms in Berlin and San Francisco, I can definitely say London is still the most welcoming.

    1. Tim – thanks so much for your fascinating comment! It’s not pedantry if its justified ;-) I had no idea about all the history, I wrote this post a really long time ago (four years ago now) and imagine I probably just found that date online. Really enjoyed your account, thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>