Missing travel? It's safe to say most of us would love nothing more than to venture to an exotic locale to indulge in some much-needed pampering. Since we haven't been to fulfill our vacation dreams this year (thanks, 2020), to help fill the void, we’ve rounded up a list of international-inspired beauty gifts that are the next best thing to an excursion abroad. Beauty can be an escape, and trying new products gives us the opportunity to break out of a routine. Plus, there's nothing like the thrill of discovering a new brand to create some excitement in the mundane—something everyone could use a little more of this year. Keep scrolling to discover 15 beauty gifts from around the world to give and receive this year.
Where: Peru and Bolivia
Around the World Beauty was curating and leading beauty tours to destinations like Morocco and India until the pandemic put all of our travel plans on hold. To continue to evoke the feelings of far-flung beauty rituals and exploration, founder Stephanie Flor sourced a gorgeous blend of flowers and salts from her local partnerships in Peru and Bolivia to create Bano de Flores, turning centuries-old bathing traditions into the most giftable bath salts.
Where: the Philippines
A sustainable brand that utilizes a unique blend of oils from the Pili tree in the Bicol region of the Philippines, Pili Ani offers luxurious and highly-researched skincare treasures with a charitable element: the brand is dedicated to supporting farmers in the area through scholarship and literacy programs. The Youthful Glow facial cream is incredibly moisturizing, thanks to the pili oils, and also firming and tightening, due to the elemi oil properties. Plus, the packaging will be eye-catching no matter where you place it.
Founder Omosefe Ozigbo was inspired by a life-changing trip to Morocco and spent months traveling the world to launch Noshaba, a line of botanical-inspired skincare. Each of her products is handmade and highly intentional. Not only is the Waters of Root Flora toner beautiful, it’s effective and luxurious, with a scent like none other. It’s a journey in a bottle, containing ingredients like licorice, tuberose and rosemary. Give this to the friend who thinks she has already tried every product under the sun.
Because the holidays are more fun with face masks. K-beauty brand Innisfree offers products made with botanical ingredients that make skincare approachable and affordable, whether you're a novice or skincare pro. Gifting one (or multiple) of the brand's signature sheet mask is the ultimate small luxury, and is a sure to delight.
Where: Mexico City
One look at these beautifully designed perfume bottles alone is enough to make you want to purchase one for everyone on your list. Created in Mexico City, each unisex fragrance by Xinu Perfumes uses raw ingredients that are inspired by the vastly-different botany you find throughout the American continent.
Where: Mediterranean waters
This Mediterranean-inspired and sourced body oil was made for hydrating your skin after a long day in the sun. It even comes in a beautiful microfiber signature sachet for your beach bag (one day, we'll be beach-bound again and you'll be glad you have it in your possession). Until then, indulge in the blend of nine all-natural ingredients every day and watch your skin gleam like you’ve just returned from Capri.
Where: A Moroccan hammam
If you’ve ever experienced a traditional Moroccan hammam, you’re likely familiar with the exfoliating Kessa Mitt. Created to be used after soaking in the bath or steaming in the shower, this mitt is a miracle worker, and even better than a dry brush (in my opinion) for increased circulation and skin as soft as a baby's. Is there any better gift than the gift of glow?
This body butter is also the perfect pairing to gift with the Kessa Mitt! Anyone who reaches for this ultra-moisturizing shea butter lotion will be treated to a delightful at-home spa experience. Created by three sisters from Ghana, Karite products are made with high concentrations of unrefined shea butter to ensure that all of the skin-loving benefits of the shea butter stay intact.
Give the gift of an armchair trip to Greece with Korres' Essentials Discovery Kit, which features five of the most popular products from this all-natural Greek brand. From serums to cleansers, there’s something for everyone to add to their routine in this kit. The best part? Your skin will be glowing like you've just been on vacation.
Where: Morocco and Barcelona
Developed in Morocco and made in Barcelona, this gel-to-milk cleanser works for all skin types and uses sesame oil as a base to gently remove any impurities. Using it is an aromatherapy experience on its own; the nutty, cinnamon-laced scent will soothe your mind and become your favorite part of your skincare ritual. A relatively new brand that you'll soon start seeing everywhere, Uzza is committed to sustainability and sources all of its ingredients from women’s cooperatives in Morocco.
Ranavat shares the ancient Indian ritual of ayurveda in modern ways through their products. With beautiful and chic packaging (plus biodegradable tea sachets), this organic tea is referred to as “the Champagne of black teas.” Packed with rose petals too, this tea brings the spa vibes right to your kitchen counter.
Named after the city in Syria where it originated, Aleppo soap is considered to be the oldest soap in the world. It contains only four ingredients: olive oil, lye, water and laurel bay oil, and is a hard soap that would look beautiful in anyone’s bathroom. Plus, 10 percent of sale proceeds will be given to Syrian refugees via the Jesuit Refugee Service until December 31.
This minimalist Swedish skincare brand was developed specifically for melanin-rich skin and its needs. In an ode to his West African parents, the founder uses the nutrient-rich Baobab oil as a base in each of the brand's four products, which come housed in bottles you'll want to save and display long after you've used the very last drop.
Where: The Caribbean
Plénitude is inspired by the beauty rituals of the Caribbean and supports and employs female farmers around the world. You can’t go wrong with their all-natural skincare lineup, but they also have a gorgeous vegan eyes hadow palette with six vibrant shades, perfect for every beauty lover. Who can resist the fun of testing and trying a new eye shadow?
I discovered this brand at a hotel in Antigua, Guatemala, and have been hooked ever since. The majority of ingredients used in the brand's product are grown in their own garden, or locally and ethically sourced with reverence to the Mayan wisdom of the area. The hibiscus flower has an array of anti-inflammatory and collagen-boosting properties, making it perfect for a winter face serum.