Beauty and Brexit: Europe’s best beauty products

Anna Hunter 21 June 2016
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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Beauty and Brexit: Europe’s best beauty products

Whether you’re planning to vote ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ at the polls this week, the impact of Brexit on our favourite European beauty brands and products is, like many aspects of the current EU debate, uncertain. Concern for the potential burn to the European beauty industry, worth a whopping 77 billion euros, is mounting, with Dr Chris Flower, Director General of the UK’s Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association flagging the possible trade implications of leaving the EU:

“It is important to keep in mind that the largest export market for the UK cosmetics industry is the EU. Not being able to benefit from the EU single market could therefore have a significant impact on the UK cosmetics industry.”

Several cosmetics companies, including The Organic Pharmacy and Roja Dove Parfums, have openly announced that they are in favour of staying in the EU, and if the beauty sector goes the way of the creative industries (96% of members of The Creative Industries Federation claimed to support the ‘remain’ campaign), the general preference would seem to be to stay put. That being said, some are referencing the relocation of Avon’s HQ to the UK as an indicator that jobs and investment in the UK are still appealing to foreign businesses, Brexit or no Brexit. What will happen to the price of your favourite continental face cream or European beauty therapist we can’t say, but here are a few EU sourced beauty gems and brands to stockpile just in case…

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France: Klorane

We’ll start with the biggie; France has been our beauty mecca since Madame de Pompadour popularised blusher in the 18th century. The world’s most chic and avant-garde cosmetic houses were subsequently conceived in La Belle France, from Chanel to Guerlain to Bourjois, and to this day gallic heritage imparts skincare, fragrance and beauty with a certain sophistication. French chemist brands have also enjoyed enormous success on our shores, and a case in point is Klorane. Specialising in botanical pharmaceuticals, Klorane’s gentle, light dry shampoo has become the stuff of legend, and the new volume enhancing Flax fibre shampoo ties in with the most active area in beauty for innovation recently (shampoos accounted for 19% of cosmetic development in 2015). They’ve still got it.

Klorane Flax Shampoo for Volume and Texture , £8

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Germany: Weleda

Another plant based euro beauty hero, Weleda is relied upon by supermodels and natural beauty advocates alike. With a holistic ethos and commitment to sustainable, ethical production, most products are formulated using Weleda’s ‘lead plants’. The cult chamomile and beeswax based Skin Food has been soothing chapped, sore skin since 1926.

Weleda Skin Food , £9.95

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Italy: Kiko

It’s not that often we get that ‘where have you been all my life?’ awe upon encountering a beauty lineup, but our first encounter with Kiko was one such reaction. Rich pigments, cutting-edge launches and a dazzling array of shades, effects and options makes a trip to a Kiko outpost quite the ‘kid in a sweet shop’ experience. Founded in Milan, it’s no wonder it’s a trendsetter amongst the occasionally drab high street beauty line up. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the expansive Kiko catalogue, make a beeline for the bold, rich eyeshadows. Bellisima.

Buy online or find your local Kiko store  here

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Sweden: & Other Stories

As fashion led as Kiko but with a quirky, Scandi cool edge, & Other Stories is the definitive beauty destination for those that appreciate quality and an arty eye at a thrifty price point. Dreamy colour quads, incredible fragrance and seriously classy candles are just some of the brand’s strong suits, but to be an honest it’s hard to go wrong. A true treasure trove for beauty junkies young and old.

Buy online or find your nearest & Other Stories branch  here

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Denmark: Kjaer Weis

Like its Swedish cousin, Kjaer Weis has impeccable design credentials and a pure aesthetic to match its organic formulations. The beauty brainchild of Danish makeup artist of the same name, Kjaer Weis has made waves around the world thanks to its luxe textures, impressive colour payoff and naturally sourced ingredients. If it’s good enough for a hard working makeup artist, it’s good enough for us.

Buy Kjaer Weis makeup  here

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Netherlands: Ellis Faas

Another makeup artist founded brand, Ellis Faas’ ‘only tested on supermodels’ philosophy conveys Ellis’ commitment to cruelty free beauty, that’s also vegan where possible. Based in Amsterdam, Ellis and her team don’t do things by the book, and it’s mightily refreshing. From a red lipstick based on the precise hue of human blood (insanely flattering) to nimble click-pen packaging and multi-effect finishes, Ellis’ range is bold, exciting and unconventional, just like its mother city.

Shop Ellis Faas  here

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Austria: Susanne Kaufmann

Europe is a hotbed of female business prowess in the outstanding beauty venture category, and Susanne Kaufmann is fast becoming one of the most sought-after spa brands on the continent. Fusing the power of Alpine plant extracts with bang up to date scientific research Kaufmann’s wellbeing oriented range helps you to recreate a detoxifying, balancing spa ritual at home. The body products in particular will make you look and feel restored and human at the end of a hectic day.

Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath for The Senses , £42

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Spain: Natura Bissé

Also excelling in the body care arena is Barcelona born Natura Bissé, which has been popping up in many a British beauty establishment of late, but has been a staple addition to Spanish women’s bathroom cupboards sinces the 80s. Priding itself on its natural amino acid technology said to synthesise skin regeneration, Natura Bissé’s at-home treatments reap remarkable results, and we’re especially taken with the C+C face and body line. If dullness is your bugbear, C+C will brighten things up pretty much no matter where you administer it (within reason…).

Explore the Natura Bissé range  here

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Greece: Korres

If sunsoaked Spain specialises in citrus derived vitamin C, Korres also makes the most of its rich bounty of Mediterranean natural actives. Founded in Athens in Greece’s first homeopathic pharmacy, Korres got off the ground in 1996, and you can still visit the brand’s original home to this day. It’s first and most famous concoction was Wild Rose 24-Hour Cream, which remains a global bestseller. Other hero products concentrate the very best that Greek flora has to offer with clinical know how and ancient herbal wisdom. Smells good too.

Korres 24-Hour Wild Rose Moisturising and Brightening Cream , £16

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Hungary: Omorovicza

Another EU brand making the most of the precious, therapeutic natural resources of its homeland is Budapest based Omorovicza, which has teamed up with a Nobel prize winning laboratory to maximise the healing capacity of Hungary’s natural, mineral rich thermal waters. A unique delivery system allows minerals to be absorbed by the skin, stimulating repair and rejuvenation, which is good news for face and body all round.

Take the waters and dabble in Omorovicza’s offering  here

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Ireland: Vita Liberata

Tanning isn’t the first thing that springs to mind on recalling the Emerald Isle, but then if anyone knows anything about faking it until you make it, it’s native Northern hemisphere dwellers. As connoisseurs of the non-whiffy, two week tan, Vita Liberata is the world’s first non-toxic tanning brand, and also the pioneer of self-tanning mineral bronzing powder (a revelation if tango face has posed a problem in the past). Ahead of the game, and pretty much as healthy as tanning gets.

Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Self Tan , £37.50