Our History

The World was Once Full of Barrys…

‘Barry’ isn’t a name you hear much in playgrounds these days. Though back in the day, it was quite the name to have. Barry Manilow, Barry White, and Barry Sheen (to name just three 70s’ icons) wore their names with pride and style.

And so it was, that in this world of trend-setting Barrys, one, Barry Mero of London, arrived – ready to change the world of cosmetics. 

Barry Mero had a head for business from an early age. Amidst the hustle and bustle of East London’s Ridley Road Market, he began selling nail polish from his mother’s front garden. Available in six, bright colours, it was these first, iconic shades that inspired him to create the most colourful name in British cosmetics. 

Barry found a niche. He discovered a gap in the world of mass market cosmetics – a desire for colour. Bold, vivid, fearless colour. The sort of colour that the cosmetic industry was waiting for.

 

Anarchy in the UK

Like Punk taking on a tired music industry, Barry revolutionised cosmetics. The world was ready and eager for a new colour phenomenon. 

With his first shop doors opening on Ridley Road, a spot in Brixton Market soon followed.  If bold, innovative, standout colours were your thing – whether you were a Goth, New Romantic, Punk or simply just loved makeup – Barry was your go-to man.

 

Barry’s Beautiful Brand

By the 80s, Barry was toying with the idea of creating a proper brand. Taking inspiration – as he did throughout much of his career – from his wife, Maxine, and two children, Dean and Joanna, brand names like ‘Jo-Dean’ and ‘Bar-Max’ were thrown around. But, ever the showman, Barry knew what he really wanted. He wanted a brand with his own name on it. A cosmetic brand that would become his legacy. A cosmetic brand, that – by 1982 – was set to revolutionise the market. 

Moving north of the River Thames, to the beauty capital, Mill Hill East, Barry’s next step was to set up a factory and to launch a unique collection of 100 Barry M Nail Paints. Never witnessed before, Barry M introduced  ‘a shade for everyone and every occasion’, no exceptions!

A beautiful stream of on-trend, eye-popping products followed and began to define Barry M’s unique and colourful brand. Barry M became the first company to launch a white eyeliner, the first to offer fluorescent Nail Paint, and the first to see black Lip and Nail Paint duos – Barry dared to be bold and stayed one step ahead of his competitors.

Superdrug, Boots and other major retailers soon came calling, making even bigger heroes of Barry M’s best-selling products: Dazzle Dust Eyeshadow, Crackle Nail Paint, Contour Kits, Lip Kits and many more. 

Sadly, and deeply missed by many, Barry Mero passed away in 2014. Though his brand remains, as does his name – a bright, pink sparkling Barry beacon in the world of cosmetics. A high quality, cruelty-free (and by 2020, exclusively vegan!), affordable makeup range that’s loved around the world.

 

Barry and the Makeup Factory

In 2017, Barry M marked its 35th Anniversary with the launch of a shiny, new Mill Hill East space – a state-of-the-art production, distribution, and storage facility.

Gone are the days of mixing Dazzle Dust eyeshadow with palette knives on the Mero’s kitchen table. The new factory not only flaunts the latest manufacturing machinery, labs and technology, but is driving the creation of the next generation of new and exciting products, shades and textures – all distinctly Barry M. 

Now established as one of Britain’s leading colour cosmetics companies, Barry M has its sights on spearheading a global, affordable, quality beauty revolution; Australia is already online, whilst other international territories are set to follow very soon.

With Barry’s son, Dean, now at the helm of the business, Barry M’s family future is not only bright, but colourful, glittery, cruelty-free and nearing 100% vegan too. 

“Building on the legacy created by my father and encouraged by my mum’s favourite saying, behind every successful man is an exhausted woman, Barry M is entering an exciting new era, bringing our mix of on-trend, colourful and original, cruelty-free cosmetics to the world.”

Dean Mero