Pipe down BBC; today GTG World Service is in broadcast to bring you a global roundup of the most innovative, high-performance beauty brands and products from around the globe. From cutting-edge Japanese formulations to the crème de la crème of French botanical skincare, casting your beauty net far and wide reaps rich rewards. Join us for a journey around the cosmetics cosmos - many treasures await beyond our shores and you don’t even need to dust off your passport to get your hands on them. The world wide web makes them available to you while you’re sat in your pyjamas at two in the morning. Not quite as glamorous as international jet setting, but certainly convenient.
We start our tour in Japan, home of the bullet train, bento box and, now you mention it, most convenient technological advancements of the modern age. This streamlined, state-of-the-art expertise translates to the beauty world too, and one of the most sophisticated brands is Suqqu. Marrying luxury with leading-edge skincare science, Suqqu prides itself on delivering products that both nurture and beautify and their Frame Fix Liquid Foundation , £58, is a perfect example of this philosophy in action.
When applying this light, blemish-blurring base you can skip the primer - it stays put all day thanks to its ‘shock absorbing structure’ and treats your skin as well as perfecting it. Your face will look soft-focus flawless with even the thinnest application, which is just as well given the gasp-worthy price tag.
On the subject of breakthrough international skincare, French botanical skincare giant Sisley has been ahead of the global game for decades. The brand’s Black Rose Cream Mask , £93, has achieved cult status in particular thanks to its near miraculous smoothing and plumping properties. Packed with natural actives such as free radical fighting black rose and collagen boosting alkekengi calyx extract, taking fifteen minutes out with this mask is a worthy investment both in terms of time and money. Do as the French do to be bien dans sa peau. It’s a lot more relaxing than needles and knives, we promise you.
Plant power is also at the root of Swedish skincare brand Estelle & Thild’s range. Founder Pernilla Rönnberg named the brand after her two daughters and created the bioactive products with the world that she wanted them to grow up in in mind. Developed in a sustainable way using only the finest natural resources and ingredients, Estelle & Thild’s products are bestsellers in Scandinavia, thus deserving to be on your radar. Start with the oh-so-delicious lip balm , £16. It’s softening, flattering and certified organic.
If your hair wants in on the organic action, a trip to Ireland’s shores is on the agenda. Specifically, the wild Atlantic coast, where specialist seaweed brand Voya is based. The family-owned company harnesses the nutrient-rich power of seaweed, combining hand-harvested sea greens with natural essential oil blends. If this all sounds very health giving, that’s because it is. One conditioning session with Voya’s Forget Me Knot Organic Conditioner , £19, turns straw to silk.
From the rugged coast of the Emerald Isle to the sandy beaches of California, our next overseas beauty brand breaks the makeup mould. Bold colours, inventive formulations and general non-conforming are the name of the Urban Decay game. They do playfulness, experimentation and knockout pigments extremely well, and even their neutral colours have an edge. Enter Naked FLUSHED , £22, a bronzer/blusher/highlighter hybrid that positively encourages mixing it up. Whether you’re after an innocent flush, killer contour or sun kissed glow, this street smart, portable palette has it covered.
For fellow makeup maniacs such as myself a touch of colour to the cheeks may not suffice, and if that is the case I suggest we nip to The Netherlands, homeland of former Chanel makeup artist Ellis Faas. Talented Ellis has worked with almost every prestigious designer and publication under the sun, and has now turned her hand to creating her own standout product range (Only Tested on Supermodels®, FYI).
A cinch to use with beautiful, professional finishes, many of her products are akin to makeup stationery - luxe silver pens that deliver rich, creamy colour. Ellis Lights , £26, are especially alluring - they’re halfway between shadows and highlighters and make mastering a metallic eye child’s play.
That ends our global beauty broadcast for today, but in true intrepid explorer style we promise to keep you in the international beauty loop. Over and out.