Now clear out some suitcase space, ‘cause we’re going shopping.
The land of the free, the home of Glossier. Until this cult brand decides to ship to Australia, it’s always worth ducking into the showroom or making a delivery to your Airbnb. The US Sephora also carries many brands that are yet to find a home in Australia and their drug stores are home to many budget buys.
Where to shop: Sephora, Ulta Beauty, CVS, Target, Walgreens, Glossier
What to buy: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso, Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint and Lip+Cheek in Werk, Glossier Cloud Paints and Balm Dot Coms (all the colours and flavours!)
There’s nothing like exploring the beauty halls of the big British department stores (except maybe their food halls). It is also a great opportunity to be colour-matched at Charlotte Tilbury, whose brand does ship to Australia. And don’t judge UK products by price: Superdrug’s own-brand skincare products are exceptional.
Where to shop: Selfridges, Liberty, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Boots, Superdrug, Charlotte Tilbury, Space NK
What to buy: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation and lipsticks in Walk of Shame, Pillow Talk and Glastonberry, Superdrug Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser, Superdrug Vitamin C Detox Facial Pads, Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
French pharmacies are my favourite places to shop. They’re just so clean, and a mecca for beautiful skincare products. You can find brands such as Bioderma, Avene, La Roche Posay at good prices. My favourite pharmacy of all-time though, not exclusive to France, is the infamous Citypharma on Rue du Four – you can buy a lot of product in bulk and they’re guaranteed to stock all the classics.
Where to shop: Citypharma is all you need. But check out any French pharmacy, really.
What to buy: Bioderma Créaline H2O, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, Homéoplasmine, Biafine, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF 50+, Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm
Out of all the beauty destinations, Japan has to be one of the most overwhelming. There’s a lot of product to work with and, unless you’ve done your research, you won’t know what each item actually does, so it’s not for the spontaneous types. You can find a lot of products at the convenience stores, but for the best selection, head to the bigger (and sometimes 24/7) department stores.
Where to shop: Don Quijote, Loft, Tokyu Hands
What to buy: Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+, Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip cleanser, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, Cure Natural Aqua Gel, Kose Medicated Sekkisei, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, Lu Lu Lun sheet masks (the pink one), Rafra Balm Orange, Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF50, My Beauty Diary Facial Mask Black Pearl
Okay I’ll be honest, I’ve never been to Korea. But, for my sake and yours, I’ve done the research. Luckily, K-beauty is one of the biggest beauty trends in years so a lot of the cult products are readily available.
Where to shop: Lotte, LOHBS, Innisfree, Olive Young, Watsons, Chicor
What to buy: Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX, Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask and Water Sleeping Mask, COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, Innisfree Green Tea Sea Serum and Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleaning Foam, AmorePacific Vintage Single Extract Essence and Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel Oil-Free, TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL Egg Cream Mask, Klairs Youthful Glow Sugar Mask, DR JART+ Cicapair Re-Cover and any of their Rubber Masks to scare your friends.
Sophia Phan is Social Media Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.