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 lunchbreak—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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Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Tara
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.
Ouai Wave Spray ($40)
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 Atkins 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.
Make Moonlight Primer
This stuff shields your skin against both Infared Light and High Energy Visible Light (the blue-violet light emitted from TV screens and devices), which are believed to cause premature ageing. While it does come out of the dispenser black, the colour disappears as you blend it in. The texture is soft and velvety, and helps keep makeup in place all day.
Moon Juice Spirit Dust ($40)
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.
Honest Beauty Magic Balm
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.
Glossier Boy Brow
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 favourites 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 colour 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.
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Rally
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.
Mortar & Pestle Pure Hyaluronic Serum
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.
Scentered Be Happy Therapy Balm
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, neroil), 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.
Rosie for Autograph Lipstick in Lady Rose
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.
Diego Dalla Palma Contouring Palette
I’ve been intrigued by cult Italian makeup brand Diego Dalla Palma for some time now, so my eyes lit up when I clocked this palette. A collection of five contouring powders, it houses everything you need to sculpt and define your features. I love that all of the formulas—even the highlighter—are shimmer-free. The finely-milled formulas mean even a non-Kardashian can get a great result.
Gosh Lip Oil in Raspberry
Look, I’m not sure 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.
Super Facialist By Una Brennan Rose Hydrate Miracle Makeover Facial Oil
Una Brennan is kind of a big deal in the UK so I’m not totally surprised that I am stuck on her facial cleansing oil. Made from nourishing avocado, raspberry and carrot oils, it dissolves grime (even waterproof makeup and sunscreen), and leaves skin clean and supple.