What’s one the biggest thrills of travelling? Sampling local culture, food and wine. Add beauty brands to that list too because most regions and countries have their super iconic and cult beauty brands. Even with the Sephoras and the Nykaas of the world, mushrooming faster than Starbucks in most places, you may or may not have access to these brands or their full range of products. Plus these make for excellent souvenirs and gifts too! So we give you a list of 9 iconic brands to check out and stock while travelling to these cities/ countries.
1. New York- Apotheke from the Indie brand haven
Pizzas, cocktails, speakeasy bars, hot dog stands, jazz, fashion, and, numerous cult indie beauty and skin care brands. NYC is a hot hub of one shops, salons, and spas, brow bars and facial bars making amazing beauty products all ripe for your touristing pleasure! It’s hard to pick one but we’ll give you Apotheke – not to be confused with the iconic cocktail bar in the city. But the beauty brand, just like it’s namesake, has a minimalist and an almost ‘medicinal’ approach to beauty products. They can found in multiple location in New York and US.
3. Paris- Indulge the senses with L’Officine Universelle Buly
The oldest skin care brand in this list with a century plus of fame and heritage. Presenting L’Officine Universelle Buly, established in 1803 on the luxury high street Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. The brand went dormant for a while but it’s back with a bang but no makeover for its whimsical, indulgent product range or packaging and thank god for that! Because we actually discovered the brand for it’s amazingly beautiful packaging- quintessentially French and we’d pick as many products as possible just for collecting those tubes and bottles! The brand is very well known for products for sensitive skin but we’ll recommend picking up some oral care goodies from them. Net-a-Porter also stocks them but their stores are a must visit!
Trivia: The founder Jean-Vincent Bully, a famous perfumer and cosmetician, was Honoré de Balzac’s inspiration for César Birotteau, the eponymous protagonist of one of his novels from the Scènes de la vie Parisienne cycle in La Comédie Humaine in 1837!
4. Tokyo- Albion from the land of ideal beauty
If you want skin like mochi-hada– literally meaning rice-cake skin- a phrase used by Japanese to compliment beautiful skin referencing the softness and plumpness of Japanese desserts, then definitely check out Japanese beauty brands. Some like SK-II and Shiseido, we all know and love but there are other very high end and technologically advanced ones like our pick- Albion -one of the largest and most prestigious skin care brands in Japan.
5. Seoul: Dr Jart+ from the Mecca of modern day skin care
K-Beauty, much like K-Pop and K-Dramas, is ruling the world. Everyone wants a specialty Korean face mask- 1 Laneige Sleeping Mask is sold every 15 seconds in the world. Quirky ingredients like donkey’s milk and snail’s mucus(yes!!) are a huge USP. Then there are the cushion compacts- every Korean woman has one and now every woman in the world wants one. From the land of Innisfree & Shu Uemura, we give you Dr Jart+ – a very pop but no nonsense skin care specialist bringing back traditional Korean beauty regimens in a fun way.
Also available on BirchBox.
Tip: Want to get deeper into Korean skin care? Read The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho- a one stop guide on most Korean beauty brands and rituals. Available on Amazon here.
6. Aesop: Fables from Australia
7. Indian Notes in Ayurveda with Kama
Kama Ayurveda is credited with revitalising the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda for the new generation and the world at large. The products are ethical, 100% natural with no artificial additives for fragrance or colour, preservatives or paragons etc. Modern Ayurveda that’s accessible and easy to understand.
8. Swiss luxury for the skin- La Prairie
The most luxurious skin care brand in the world. Highly respected and almost revered by all skin care experts in the world for its tech advanced products. And most coveted by women in the world- La Prairie. Especially their anti-ageing range. Every thing about them is pretty much ‘legendary’, ‘luxe’, ‘extravagant’ and really really steep!
9. Modern Ayurveda from Hong Kong by PureEarth
Yes it’s an artisanal Ayurvedic brand from Hong Kong. PureEarth was founded by Kavita Khosa in Hong Kong with the aim of modernising Ayurveda. Also one of the few brands on this list that talk about the impact of ingredients in beauty products that get absorbed by skin into bloodstream. They just opened their new outlet in Mumbai and are also stocked at Ogaan Delhi. They have an Indian spice special range that’s definitely exciting.
What travel picks do you recommend? Written to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on FB or Insta- @lehedonist
(All brands, product names, corresponding products, supplementary materials, graphic or photographic images, licenses, registered trademarks, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners and all images have been sourced from respective brand websites. Cover image source: us.drjart.com)