Global Beauty Secrets, Revealed

If there’s anything more satisfying than heading home from vacation with a wealth of one-of-a-kind memories, it’s returning with a suitcase full of locally-sourced beauty goods. Since we all can’t jet off to our favorite international hubs as often as we’d like (or ever), we rounded up some of the products our chic international peers swear by.

UK Beauty Secrets: Fool-proof concealer and hot cloth cleansers

The quintessential Brit look springs from the signature style of their two favorite Kates, blending the classic properness of Kate Middleton with Kate Moss’s rocker chic. Lately, our UK editor Beth and her pals have been obsessed with Laura Mercier's Camouflage Concealer. With two different tones, it makes matching your complexion (and covering blemishes!) a cinch. To get that bold, Moss-inspired eye, they turn to Laura Geller’s stay-put Inkwell Liner Pots and a few coats of Eyeko’s Eye Do Mascara (Alexa Chung is also a fan). When the party’s over, they remove their makeup with Liz Earle ‘s Cleanse & Polish (Birchbox is the only company that sells it in the US!)

South Korean Beauty Secrets: Next level skincare

Chances are you’re familiar with this country’s most famous skincare export (that would be BB cream.) It’s tough to compete with Dr. Jart’s multitasking version—the brand was the first to bring the miracle cream to the States. These days South Koreans are hooked on the “dewy look” made possible by local beauty brand Amore Pacific’s cushion compacts with SPF that brighten and conceal while they moisturize. Another secret to their pristine complexion: Masqueology’s sheet masks, which target everything from blemishes to visible pores.

Spanish Beauty Secrets: Practical CC creams and portable skin savers

According to our sources, Spaniards are some of the most conservative spenders in the EU when it comes to beauty purchases. But that doesn’t mean they won’t shell out Euros for double-duty products like Ainhoa CC creams. Another wildly popular complexion fixer worth the cash are called “face flashes.” These beautifiers like Germinal Acción Inmediata and Repavar come in portable capsules, which can be torn open and applied whenever your skin needs an instant dose of vitamins and antioxidants. (Our Birchbox Spain editor Cristina swears by these miracle skin treatments.) If you want to recreate the face flash experience here, try Vitivia’s Pro-Vitamin Capsules, which infuse skin with hefty doses of vitamins A and C.

Italian Beauty Secrets: Luxe ingredients and body smoothers

Italian women ooze style and femininity, so it’s no surprise their go-to products do the same. A key ingredient? The olive oil you’ll find used in many an Italian feast. You’ll find it in hair products such as Palma’s popular Davines line, namely their Love Smoothing Kit, which uses the oil to soften curls and fight frizz. When paired with sea salt, as in Arangara’s Salt Body Scrub, olive oil makes for a hydrating exfoliator. And for a silky-soft body post-scrub, try Perlier’s shea butter and almond milk-infused Body Lotion. The brand has been softening the skin of its Italian clientele for the past 80 years.

French Beauty Secrets: Low-maintenance makeup

Ask any French women for her basic beauty go-to and she will say the same thing: Bioderma H20 Micelle. Known for its gentle-yet-effective cleansing properties, this makeup remover is as ubiquitous in Parisian bathrooms as toothpaste. When it comes to makeup, these low-key ladies say less is more with barely there BB cream from Eborian and multitasking tints and stains like Akane Tout Rose (get the look in the good ol’ USA with theBalm’s Stainiac. The biggest French secret we discovered? Talika Lipocils Expert, a thickening gel that fills out lashes—and even brows. “You don’t even need mascara!” says our French editor Mathilde, of the formula.

Canadian Beauty Secrets: Gentle formulas and friendly foundation

For years Canadians have relied on hypoallergenic brand Marcelle for its Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes, one the nation’s best kept secrets (and best-selling items). This half-water, half-oil concoction is so gentle that even contact wearers can feel comfortable using it at the end of the day. When it comes to color, no one makes matching skin tones easier than Vasanti, a brand created by three Indian-Canadian friends who realized that, when it comes to foundation, there was a serious need for more shades. (The brand’s Liquid Cover Up Oil-Free Foundation and Concealer comes in 12 colors.)

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