8 Best Beauty Brands From Around the Globe
Despite our globetrotting days being put on pause (for now), products from around the world are easier than ever to get your hands on. Here, eight coveted beauty brands you might not have known are from abroad!
Did you know that Bioré isn’t originally from the U.S.? Or that PAUL & JOE BEAUTÉ is from Japan? Beautytap celebrates multicultural brands from around the world. And, one of the things I love about being a beauty journalist is learning where brands are from, and the traditions and inspirations behind them. Given my passion, I’ve compiled a round-up of beauty brands whose origins not everyone may be familiar with. Some of these might seem obvious, and others a little less—but hopefully, there are at least one or two surprises in store!
PAUL & JOE BEAUTÉ
Where it’s from: Japan… via France
Confused? So was I. As you may know, PAUL & JOE Paris is a coveted fashion label founded by French designer Sophie Mechaly, famous for its pretty prints and dynamic pieces worn by Taylor Swift and Bella Hadid. PAUL & JOE BEAUTÉ, which is inspired by the fashion line, has been around since 2002 and is produced by leading Japanese cosmetics brand ALBION. So, that’s why Japanese always comes first on the product packaging! If you’ve never noticed PAUL & JOE BEAUTÉ before, get ready to melt into a puddle when you see its cute cat- and flower-inspired cosmetics (including cat-shaped lipsticks). And, their Universal Moisturizing Foundation Primer is perfect for all skin tones and one of the most innovative formulations available, thanks to three types of hyaluronic acid and orange flower water. In case you were wondering, ALBION also makes ANNA SUI COSMETICS and Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE, two other brands whose products are nothing less than works of art.
Where it’s from: The U.K
Founded by Julian Kynaston in 2008, cult makeup brand Illamasqua has made a name for itself for promoting self-expression and offering highly pigmented makeup in vibrant colors. Always pushing creative boundaries, Illamasqua has been all about bold, artistic makeup looks since its beginnings. One scroll through the brand’s Instagram profile or the #illamafia hashtag will have you itching to grab your makeup brushes and don a colorful look of your own! *Rips open makeup drawer and retrieves eyeshadow palettes*
Where it’s from: Australia
You’ve likely set foot in one of Aesop’s stores somewhere in the world. You know the ones: beautifully designed, each location is different, while still embodying that streamlined Aesop aesthetic. But did you know the brand’s headquarters are in Melbourne? Known for its high-quality skin, hair and body care products and its minimalist packaging, the brand stands out by only releasing products that truly respond to its customers’ needs—which is rare in an industry where there are new launches at every turn.
Where it’s from: France
Bioderma is part of NAOS, a group founded by pharmacist and biologist Jean-Noël Thorel. Famous for pioneering the OG micellar water, Sensibio H20, the French pharmacy brand offers a wide array of skincare and body care products that cater to all skin types, including sensitive skin. Bioderma even has a line for babies and kids (with the cutest penguin on the bottle). Effective formulas that respect your skin? Oui. And they’re affordable, too!
Where it’s from: Japan
Raise your hand if you thought Bioré was a French brand! I’ll admit its name does have a French ring to it, but the brand’s parent company is actually Kao Corporation, founded by Tomiro Nagase in Tokyo in 1887. While Bioré doesn’t necessarily market the same formulas in North America as it does in Japan, according to the brand’s website, its products still reflect a Japanese beauty philosophy of functionality meets simplicity, while taking advantage of Japanese skincare innovations, too. In other words, a J-beauty brand has been staring us—and our pores—in the face since 1997. Who knew?!
Where it’s from: Germany
You’ve probably seen makeup brand Catrice around on Instagram, or maybe you’ve noticed it at Ulta. You may even have one of the brand’s lipsticks or highlighters in your makeup bag! But did you know Catrice is from Germany? With K-beauty and J-beauty taking up more and more bandwidth in the beauty sphere, we rarely hear about G-beauty. But Catrice is putting it on the map thanks to its wide variety of professional-looking and super affordable products. Among the brand’s best-sellers are a Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer that retails for $6 and a Light Correcting Serum Primer that goes for $11. Tell me more!
Where it’s from: Greece
How many Greek beauty brands can you name? From the time I tried the brand’s body products years ago, I’ve had a soft spot for its unique ingredients (golden crocus! Olympus tea! Black pine!) and cleanly designed packaging ever since. A Greek Yoghurt Probiotic Superdose Face Mask with a cooling sensation, microbiome-rebalancing technology, and lactic acid? Yes, please! Everything about KORRES feels fresh, from how it draws inspiration from traditional Greek remedies to its surprising textures and formulas.
Where it’s from: Canada
Those easy-to-use makeup crayons for eyes, lips, and face you keep seeing online and at SEPHORA? They’re NUDESTIX, and yep, they’re Canadian! The brand was founded by Jenny Frankel, a chemical engineer who worked on product development at M.A.C. Cosmetics before launching NUDESTIX with her daughters Taylor and Ally. The goal? To create an easy way to achieve natural, no-fuss makeup looks. NUDESTIX products are simple and fun to use, and they come in the most flattering neutral hues. Mission accomplished!
What are some of the brands whose origins surprised you? I nearly fell over when I discovered Bioré wasn’t American! Let me know if you’ve learned anything in the comments.