9 Genius Beauty Secrets We Learned From Real Women Overseas

Updated 04/23/19
Various women from different countries
Byrdie

We're just a measly five days into April, but to be honest, we're having some serious withdrawals from our 31 Days, 31 Perspectives series in March. And, if we may be so bold (and in consideration of the wonderfully positive feedback we received from you all), we have a sneaking suspicion you're right there with us. After all, as beauty hungry as we are, how do we sanely go from a daily diet of global beauty inspiration to zilch in less than 24 hours? We miss it. So, to help quell the craving, we're producing a couple of must-read recaps shedding light on some of our favorite global beauty takeaways we gleaned last month.

Since we already covered our bases where game-changing products are concerned (by the way, check out our nine most amazing discoveries), we thought we'd do a quick deep dive into every single beauty secret the women from overseas shared with us. Ahead, nine of the best global beauty secrets we learned during our 31 Days, 31 Perspectives series. Keep reading!

Secret #1: Stop Covering up Your Dark Circles

Okay. We get it. And we're 100 percent guilty of being overly dependent on our go-to concealer, but let's just say the Byrdie team had a simultaneous aha moment when Paris-based Swiss model Nadine Strittmatter told us she actually embraces her dark under-eye circles (i.e., ignores the annoyingly strict beauty constructs of what should or shouldn't be covered up).

"I often have some dark circles and/or bags underneath my eyes. It was just something I was born with, and over the years, I've sort of embraced it and have just made it part of my look," she said. But whenever she does crave a little bit of natural coverage, she opts for YSL Touche Éclat Radiance Perfecting Pen ($35).

Secret #2: Prime Your Perfume With Vaseline

Although stunning Norwegian beauty blogger Nnenna Echem wasn't sure if this beauty secret was truly born in Norway, she's been intrigued by the popular practice there regardless.

"I have heard that you can use Vaseline on the places that you spray your perfume to make the perfume last longer, but I don't know if that is a Norwegian beauty secret or if this is internationally known to everyone," she said. To test-drive, may we recommend one of these 11 perfumes that smell as fresh as a clean white T-shirt?

Secret #3: Swap out Your Advil for Water

We know the benefits of water aren't unbeknownst to you, so we'll save you a preaching session. However, we still found it intriguing that in Germany, water is considered the ultimate antidote for aches, pains, and other health woes. While our typical U.S. reaction is to reach for our trusty bottle of Advil upon the first pulse of a headache, German beauty aficionado Krystyna Balaban says the majority of the local population will take a hearty chug from their oversize water bottle instead.

Secret #4: Use Avocado Oil (Instead of Coconut) on Your Strands

Inarguably, there are some very mixed feelings regarding coconut oil as a one-stop-shop beauty miracle. (In fact, for the most part, experts don't like it for anything other than cooking purposes.) That being said, we still love the satisfying feeling of saturating our strands with a power-packed hit of hydration. So, we breathed a sigh of relief (and interest!) when South African designer Shelley Mokoena shared avocado oil as a key part of her hair regimen.

Secret #5: Make Rooibos Your Tea of Choice

Most types of tea tend to live in green tea's highly praised shadow, but according to another South African beauty, Cynthia Gwebu, the rooibos variety deserves way more credit than it's given.

"Rooibos tea is a major South African beauty secret. It's filled with rich antioxidants and works to help with skin ailments like eczema, skin allergies, acne, and, of course, aging. You can either drink it or apply it directly to skin," she said.

Secret #6: Cover Your Face in Clay

As Cape Town It-girl Aphiwe Khambule told us, clay can yield a major dose of skin-saving power where sun protection is concerned—especially if it's red.

"There is a particular red clay mask known as ibomvu (red soil) that we use in the Zulu culture to protect our skin from the harsh sun. It's basically our version of a clay mask, and this particular clay is rich in minerals," she told us.

Secret #7: And Then Slather It With a High-Quality Honey

By now we should never be surprised when we learn a skin-changing face mask can be found at the grocery store—or in our kitchen cabinet.

"In New Zealand, we have the best honey in the world. I grew up gathering fresh honey from the beehives and smothering it on my face as a beauty mask treatment with my mum. Kanuka honey is super healing and incredibly hydrating—the antioxidants can repair your skin and protect it against environmental damage," Charlotte Devereux, the co-founder of Girl Undiscovered, told us.

Secret #8: Upgrade a Braid With Shea Butter and Castor Oil

One look at Parisian It girl Coralie Jouhier's hair and you will want to know all of its secrets. Luckily, she shared them with us. Five words: shea butter and castor oil. More specifically, she recommends braiding both into your hair.

"I use a lot of pure shea butter that people bring me from Africa. I use castor oil too. I braid my hair, put a lot of oil or shea butter in my hair, and leave it in for days," she explained.

Secret #9: Make Time for Self-Care Throughout the Day

Sometimes we get stressed out about not stressing out. Or, in the same vein, we get stressed out about making enough time for self-care. Just us? However, if you do like Parisian Instagram cool girl Sabina Socol, self-care efforts can strategically become an effortless part of even the most mundane moments throughout the day (which, in the long run, can have major payoff where your mental state is concerned).

"I'm simply more attentive to everything I do to my body on a daily basis which includes food, sleep, and sports. And I also like to indulge with some 'me' time sometimes. So I'll take an hour to do a face and hair mask, go get a manicure—it's not something I do super often, but sometimes I think it's important to unwind," she said."

And there you have it! Though there were so many to choose from (and honestly it was so hard to decide), these were the top nine beauty secrets we learned from women overseas last month.

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