Being tucked away in a relatively remote corner of the world once meant being cut off from most global beauty brands. Then, Mecca happened. All of a sudden it was possible to access international beauty products without jetting off OS. (Or begging your friends to send you what you hoped and prayed was your correct foundation shade.) Next came Sephora, bringing with it buzzy and til-then unavailable brands like Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Tarte.
While there's no denying things have since progressed—these days I can pick up eye masks from Iceland and micellar water from France on my lunch break—I'm still not satisfied. Truth be told, I don't think I will be until the glorious day I can truly catch 'em all. (Beauty products, not Pokemon.) As an interminably curious beauty editor, I really do find it exasperating to see exciting products online and know I can't have them. I've read at least a dozen glowing reviews of Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser but I can't have it. Ditto, Honest Beauty's Magic Balm. I hate it. At the risk of sounding like Veruca Salt, I want THE WHOLE WORLD.
Thus, when Byrdie editor Victoria Hoff pitched the idea of doing an international beauty swap with our US and UK teams I jumped at the chance. What follows is an edit of international beauty products I am now obsessed with. (I guess it's also a hit list of brands I intend to verbally muscle into shipping to Oz.) Here's hoping that time comes sooner rather than later.
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My Favorite Products From Byrdie US
I’m not really sure why this is called a lip gloss if I’m honest. IMHO, it’s more like a liquid lipstick with lotsa shine. The shade is the kind of ‘90s raisin brown you’ve seen on Kylie Jenner and Krew, and the texture is light and creamy. If you love vanilla frosting the scent will make you swoon.
We’re now lucky enough to have access to the Ouai range via Sephora but when I received my care package that wasn’t the case. This was one of the brands I was most eager to try—not least because I follow Jen Atkin on Snapchat. The days I have misted this into my damp hair before rough drying have resulted in some of the best natural-looking texture (and hair compliments) I’ve ever had.
This stuff shields your skin against both Infrared Light and High Energy Visible Light (the blue-violet light emitted from TV screens and devices), which are believed to cause premature aging. While it does come out of the dispenser black, the color disappears as you blend it in. The texture is soft and velvety, and helps keep makeup in place all day.
This earthy “spirit medicine” has been on my must-try list for the better part of a year. Made from ingredients like superfruit goji, adaptogen astragalus and reishi (a mushroom with immune-boosting properties), it’s intended to strengthen the mind, heart, and soul. I found taking it at breakfast boosted my energy throughout the day.
What I love about this balm is its ability to transform from simple lip nourisher to dewy highlighter, and even makeshift eye cream. A blend of jojoba oil, chamomile, and calendula, you can use it pretty much anywhere that needs moisture.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve wished Glossier shipped to Australia, I’d be wearing these Dolce & Gabbana sandals right now. (I’m not.) Boy Brow is one of my favorites from the brand—it’s what I now wear every day. The texture is similar to hair pomade (makes sense since they both have the job of keeping stray hairs in place), and the color payoff is subtle. One of my pals is about to move Stateside and the only reason I’m not sad is because I know she’ll soon be able to mail this to me.
I carry very small bags so it follows that I love makeup products designed to do double-duty. This dusty rose cream pretties up both lips and cheeks with a sheer tint and doses skin with nourishing oils at the same time. I’m into it in a big way.
My Favorite Products From Byrdie UK
This serum was created to address the look of dry, dull skin both instantly and over time, and I’ve gotta tell you—it works. The aloe-spiked formula is soothing and cooling, and it dries to a velvety finish that wears well under makeup. This is one I will be sad to run out of.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for all things fragrance and aromatherapy, but this scented balm has burrowed so deep into my heart I fear I’ll be lost once it runs out. A mix of uplifting notes (feat. pink grapefruit, green mandarin, neroli), you’re meant to dash it over pulse points when you need a pick-me-up. I’ve become accustomed to using it as a meditation tool as it helps me focus.
I would do just about anything to have Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lips, including save for a ticket to the UK in order to shop this lipstick from her makeup line for Marcs & Spencer. Happily, I now don’t have to—the UK Byrdie team sent it to me along with a handful of other items I will cherish for all time. It may not magic me into RHW but it does give me a little extra pout, and I’m good with that.
Look, I’m not sure if I am crushing on this because it tastes of Allens’ Raspberry Lollies or because it’s pleasingly glossy but not at all tacky. Either way, it’s also formulated with a bunch of oils (sea buckthorn, moringa, argan and macadamia to be exact) which makes me feel like it’s doing something good for my lips.
Una Brennan is kind of a big deal in the UK so I’m not totally surprised that I am stuck on the facial cleansing oil from her brand Super Facialist. Made from nourishing avocado, raspberry and carrot oils, it dissolves grime (even waterproof makeup and sunscreen) and leaves skin clean and supple.