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October 22, 2020

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! 


Beautytap celebrates multicultural brands from around the world





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.


Paul & Joe
Paul & Joe cat-inspired collection




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*


Express your attitude with Illamasqua (Photo Credit: Illamasqua Instagram




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!


Bioderma essentials




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!



Catrice (Photo Credit: Catrice Instagram)





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.


Korres (Photo Credit: Korres Instagram)





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!


NUDESTIX (Photo Credit: NUDESTIX Instagram



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.

Mariève has been writing about beauty online and in print for over 10 years. Half-Canadian and half-Japanese, she loves that being a freelance beauty writer gives her the opportunity to explore the cosmetics landscape from Montreal all the way to Tokyo. Also on her mind at any given moment: cats, music, figure skating, food, and her next trip to Japan. You can find her (and her beauty illustrations!) on Instagram at @by.minoue.




Thanks for article, I am a beginner make up artist and I find this article to be the anatomy of a starter makeup kit.


I actually didn't know that Catrice was a German brand before. That's super interesting.


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

This is what BeautyTap is all about!! I love this article!!


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

NUDESTIX is my go-to brand for fast eye makeup and multitasking lip and cheek colors ... and I had no idea it was a Canadian company. And with its dual pedigree, Paul & Joe is next on my list to try (gotta grab that kitty cat lip treatment). Thanks for an eye-opening read. :)

Thank you for sharing! I love NUDESTIX. :)


I always assumed Aesop was from Korea since they have such high quality formulations! I also want to try out Paul & Joe- I’ve been fascinated by the brand ever since I heard of its origins and feel like I need to take the leap now. Besides, how perfect is their packaging for gift-giving this Christmas? 🥰


Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

It's definitely news to me that Biore isn't from the USA or France!