Monday, June 9, 2008

It's a Beautiful World: Sourcing the World's Best in Beauty

Summer is the official season of travel, but it turns out you don't have to go far to get your globe-trotting fix - simply head to your nearest beauty counter. Style has a feature offering you the best beauty the planet has to offer; you can get a glance here and check out there feature article there.

Asia & the South Pacific
~exotic treatments and ingredients like yuzu, coconut oil, and lemongrass make first class beauty imports.
  • Pañpuri Thai Original Herbal Hot Compress - This luxe bath and aromatherapy brand, based on Far Eastern botanical ingredients, can be found in many of the country's top spas. The best-selling Thai Original Herbal Hot Compress contains a mix of lemongrass, turmeric, leech lime, and tamarind that, when sprinkled with water and steamed, morphs into a super-effective muscle soother and skin enhancer. Available at amazon - $21
  • Chidoriya Azuki Micrograins and Brown Sugar Facial Soap - Founded in Kyoto in 1949 and favored by maiko dancing girls and geisha, this Japanese beauty company serves up traditional beauty essentials—cosmetics pouches, makeup mirrors, oil blotting papers, and more—that are as effective as they are attractive. The Azuki Micrograins and Brown Sugar Soap helps clear clogged pores while gently exfoliating the skin and comes delicately packaged in white paper wrapped with red string. Available at Chidoriya World - $12.99
  • Erborian Yuzu Sorbet Night Cream - While dozens of roots, stems, leaves, and flowers are used, two herbs in particular—ginseng and yuzu—take starring roles. Both are anti-fatigue remedies and bring restorative benefits to the line's creams and balms. The Yuzu Sorbet Night cream, for example, is rich in antioxidants and alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate skin and get that fresh, youthful glow. Available at SpaceNK - $68
  • Adara Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - Among Singapore's island state exports is this multipurpose Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, which makes its way from tree to bottle in just 24 hours and can be used as a potent moisturizer for both skin and hair. It comes in five scents, plus an unscented version that makes an ideal base for homemade essential-oil fragrances. Available at b-glowing - $28
  • Urban Rituelle Lip Balm - The coastal Australian city best known for its Opera House and Harbour Bridge is also home to this company's lineup of soaps, candles, fragrances, and more. All aim to make life's daily rituals (like bathing and moisturizing) a little more indulgent via high-quality formulas, intoxicating scents, and stylish packaging. The company's Lip Balm comes in pretty tins containing pucker-softening blends of olive and almond oils, in a range of sweet and fruity flavors. Available at Anthropologie - $8

The Med

~just takin in southern Europe's sun-drenched coasts and azure waters is enough to make you start feeling lovelier.

  • Korres Olive & Rye Night Cream- This Athens-based homeopathic pharmacy (its flagship is located around the corner from the Panathinaiko Stadium, where the first Olympic Games took place) offers 500 preparations concocted from pharmaceutical, herbal, and food-grade ingredients. The best-selling Yoghurt Cooling Gel soothes sun-scorched complexions, while the new Olive and Rye Night Cream, an antiaging moisturizer, is packed with skin-softening olive extract and firming rye. Available at Sephora - $38
  • Eau d'Italie Magnolia Romana Fragrance- This collection of bath salts, shower gels, scented soaps, perfumes, and more was inspired by the elegant hotel La Sirenuse on Italy's famed Amalfi Coast. The brand's latest fragrance, Magnolia Romana, a blend of magnolia, fresh basil, and crushed lemon leaves, is reminiscent of the scent of the magnolia trees that line a path along the Villa Borghese in Rome. Available at Lafco New York - $120
  • Crème d'Olives - The creation of Barcelona MD Fernando Aleu, this rich moisturizer is prized stateside for its ability to prevent lines and improve elasticity with all-natural ingredients—like antioxidant Oleuropein (an extract of the olive branch) and hydrating cannabis seed oil—instead of chemicals. Available at Zitomer - $125
  • Sponge Body Milk - The Greek island of Symi is known for its picturesque harbor, scenic terrain, and, most recently, this new skincare line featuring organic and wild-crafted ingredients and named for the area's legendary sponge trade. The brand's Body Milk is formulated with olive oil and herbal extracts, not to mention cooling peppermint and anti-inflammatory St. John's wort. Available at Barney's New York - $95
  • La Compagnie de Provence Marseille Liquid Soap - The modern version of its chunky cakes of olive soap comes in the form of this luxury skincare company's liquid cleansers, available in eight sublime scents. They're made according to the time-honored recipe for Marseille soap but are neatly packaged in chic glass bottles. Available at LCDP-USA - $20
  • Ortigia Bath Oil - From the ingredients to the artwork, everything to do with Ortigia's collection of soaps, scents, and more is inspired by the island of Sicily, its multicultural history (Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Arabs, to name a few, had a hand), and its diverse flora. The Neroli Honey Bath Oil is a mix of avocado and castor oils infused with the scent of blossoms and bark from the bitter orange tree. Avilable at Anthropologie - $43
  • Hierbas de Ibiza Bath Salts - This family-run company's namesake eau de cologne is just what its name suggests: a concoction of herbs and botanicals—orange and lemon peel, thyme, sage, lavender, verbena, jasmine, and orange blossom—found on Ibiza, the Mediterranean island off the coast of Spain. The scent is incorporated into indulgent essentials like a bath and shower gel, a moisturizing balm, and these bath salts, made from salts mined from the renowned Las Salinas de Ibiza. Available at Aedes - $56
  • Santa Maria Novella Acqua Colonia - This Florentine apothecary, adjacent to the Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, was established by Dominican friars in 1221, making it one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. It's a destination in and of itself, despite its location in one of the planet's most culturally rich cities. Among its storied offerings are Vinegar of the Seven Thieves, created as a remedy for fainting spells, and Santa Maria Novella Cologne, a fragrance blended for Catherine di Medici. Available at Lafco New York - $86

United States
~from redwood forests to gulf-stream waters, glaciers to wine country, the USA runs the gamut of natural beauty resources.

  • Naturopathica Bamboo Lemongrass Body Scrub - Based in the tiny vacation destination on the South Fork of Long Island, this natural skincare company and spa offers a slew of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments just a stone's throw from the beach, like this Bamboo Lemongrass Body Scrub, which revitalizes skin while sloughing it smooth. Available at Naturopathica - $42
  • Olivina Body Butter - Create your own plush home spa by sparking one of Olivina's signature scented candles, soaking in its non-drying bubble bath, and then slathering your skin with this concentrated Olive Body Butter, packed with grapeseed extract and extra virgin olive oil to leave skin soft but never slick. Available at Olivina - $26
  • Alaska Glacial Mud Co. - The Glacial Facial Purifying Mineral Mud Masque combines mineral-rich clay from the Copper River Delta with regionally sourced, organic, and wild-crafted botanicals to deliver unparalleled complexion perfection. Available at Alaska Glacial Mud - $34
  • Dr. Brandt Skincare - Sun and sand aren't Miami's only draws. Many visitors (including a number of celebs) come for an appointment with leading cosmetic dermatologist Fred Brandt. His popular skincare range fights wrinkles and loss of firmness with botanical ingredients like green tea and vitamins A and C. The Laser Lightning Foaming Cleanser, part of a line that targets UV damage and photo-aging, effectively dissolves dirt and oil while working to fade freckles and even skin tone. Available at Dr. Brandt Skincare - $32 - $185

Northern Europe
~the area between the Alps and the Black Forest is therapeutic and scenic with a longtime tradition of rejuvenating spas and healing thermal baths.

  • Cowshed Body Contour Cream - While originally created for the Cowshed spa at Babington House, the exclusive countryside outpost of Soho House, this collection of signature skin, body, and hair care is available to members and non-members alike. The products are handmade with natural ingredients and boast clever names like Dirty Cow Freshening Hand Wash and Curvy Cow Body Contour Cream, a slimming moisturizer laced with clary sage and rose geranium essential oils. Available at Cowshed - $73
  • Costes Candle - Visitors to the Hôtel Costes on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré are enveloped in the hotel's signature scent—a seductive blend of coriander, laurel, musk, and rose—from the moment they walk through its doors. Fortunately, the fragrance is available in an eau de toilette, a shower gel, a body lotion, a room spray, and this luxurious 6.8-ounce candle, so fans can enjoy the aroma no matter where their travels take them. Available at Aedes - $85
  • Amala Firming Body Treatment - From the Allgäu region in the foothills of the German Alps (long a vacation spot for Bavarian royalty and Europeans in search of world-class skiing and hiking) comes this new collection of skin and body care, which uses certified-organic, fair-trade whole plant ingredients that are custom-distilled to preserve their potency. The Firming Body Treatment contains myrtle, sea algae, and apricot kernel to soften, smooth, and tighten skin. Available at Amala Beauty - $38
  • Huiles & Baumes Morning Face Cream - This face and body care company has been churning out a stellar collection of certified-organic oils and balms from the picturesque town of Annecy in the French Alps since 1989. Thanks to an infusion of chamomile and sandalwood, this Morning Face Cream soothes the senses while smoothing the skin. Available at SpaceNK - $65
  • Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream - Budapest's famed mineral-rich thermal baths and their dermatological benefits were the inspiration for this new premium range of skincare. Reviving Eye Cream contains lucerne oil, arnica, and Hungarian healing water to eliminate dark circles, reduce puffiness, and otherwise make your peepers appear more perky. Available at Neiman Marcus and Omorovicza - $135

Latin America & the Indies
~looking good is serious business south of the border with those endless days on the beaches.

  • Coqui-Coqui Fragrances - This bohemian beachfront resort's collection of signature scents—among them Agave and Agua de la Reina—is based on recipes formulated by Franciscan monks sent to colonize the Yucatán Peninsula by the queen of Spain over 400 years ago. The fragrances are incorporated into bath and beauty must-haves such as creams, massage oils, and linen sprays, making it easy to enjoy the aroma of your vacation long after the memories have faded. Available at Coqui Coqui Spa - $30 - $50
  • Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy Revitalizing Formula - Among the major reasons to visit this South American city: carnival, Ipanema, and Ivo Pitanguy's clinic, which has been sculpting busts and bodies since 1963. The Revitalizing Formula is a luxe body balm that conditions skin with a blend of phospholipids, fatty acids, and vitamins. Available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman - $200
  • Ligne St. Barth Avocado Oil - French West Indies paradise is home to pristine beaches, expensive boutiques, and this family-run beauty company, whose bath, body, face, and sun products, along with home accessories, can be found in exclusive resorts and spas around the globe. Its signature offering, Avocado Oil, is a rich, multipurpose moisturizer than can be used from head to toe: to condition split ends, soften fine lines, smooth skin, and target dry patches on elbows and feet. Available at Aedes - $52



  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. hi Ruth,

    Thanks so much for reading! It makes me very happy to know you're enjoying my little site. I appreicate your taking the time to send a comment. Please continue to do so; I love getting feedback and information from our readers!!



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