The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


Icon: Imported Makeup & Beauty Products in Maadi

reviewed by
Nour Motawa
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Icon: Imported Makeup & Beauty Products in Maadi

Shopping for beauty products in Cairo is an exercise in hunting and
gathering. In the absence of major department stores stocking every product
imaginable, Cairenes are reduced to foraging at any number of different shops
to locate the perfect face cream, a favourite perfume, or the right shade of

Icon is a beauty shop with two branches in Maadi, and probably the closest
thing that Egypt has to a comprehensively stocked shop of imported beauty
supplies from nail polish and perfume, to makeup and skincare products.

Icon’s spacious shop on Degla’s Road 233 is a welcoming, multilevel space
with appealing displays of products by top beauty brands. Unlike many other
beauty shops in Cairo, the staff at Icon keeps a respectful distance, but is on
hand to answer questions and make suggestions when asked.

The shop’s selection of designer perfumes is respectable, with favourite
brands like Chanel and Burberry represented. The selection is largely devoted
to women’s perfumes although a few selections for men are also available. Prices
are generally on par with those in other shops, beginning at about 250LE.

Icon’s makeup display is slightly less impressive. Although rarely found
brands like Maybelline are available, stocks and colour options are limited,
and prices are exorbitant, at nearly 200LE for a cream foundation. Rimmel
products are also available, with a better selection and slightly more
reasonable prices, such as a tube of foundation starting at about 150LE.

The standout products at this shop are definitely in the category of skin
and hair care. Icon stocks imported Neutrogena and Vaseline products as well as
Garnier and L’Oreal items, and a range of hairdryers and styling tools.

For some people, finding their favourite skincare product in Cairo is
priceless and that’s a good thing, as a Neutrogena facial wash will set you
back a good 85LE. Vaseline products are more reasonably priced, at about 25LE
for a tub of body lotion, and imported L’Oreal hair dye without ammonia sells
for around 100LE. OPI nail polish is seriously expensive at 100LE per bottle.

The wall of styling tools includes basic hairdryers as well as
multi-functional tools, flatirons and facial steamers. Starting at 200LE, these
appliances don’t come cheap, but could be a boon to diehard beauty product

A casual stop at Icon might leave those familiar with the stocked beauty
counters of faraway lands disappointed; but beauty connoisseurs in Cairo just
might find what they’re looking for on the shelves of this shop.

360 Tip

If you’re looking for a favourite imported skincare product, you can probably find it here.

Best Bit

A little bit of everything for a well-rounded beauty bag.

Worst Bit

The makeup selection left something to be desired.

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