The Beauty Club: Cult Beauty Products from Around the Globe

Written by Zoe Cuthbertson

The cosmetic industry is a tough game. Brands are teams, and products are players, each fighting their way to the top of beauty awards lists. However, there are just a few players who get picked for every beauty regime, products that surpass the hype and remain permanent fixtures on the beauty board. Like sports-teams, cities have their own brands, worshipped by women across the globe.

I’ve done my research to find the cities where these beautiful babies were born; here’s a selection of the very best from hometown Aussie picks, to my latest British saviours.

Shu Uemura, Tokyo, Japan

Even Fashion God Karl Lagerfeld is not safe from the allure of the cult product, Chanel’s head designer uses Shu Uemura eye-shadow to illustrate his fashion collections. This cosmetic heavyweight broke into the international market in the 1980s and the brand manages to keep up with the beauty pack decades later.

So good it’ll make your toes curl,
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, £20.00

Available at House of Fraser.

Jo Malone, London, United Kingdom

A Jo Malone fragrance is the little black bow to your little black dress, the finishing touch on a timeless classic. Named after its founder, Malone, the sweet scents are inspired by her world experiences. For a truly indulgent hotel experience, pack your favourite scented candle to burn in your room when homesickness kicks in.

Inspired by breakfast in Tuscany,
Wild Fig & Cassis Travel Candle, £22.00

Available at Jo Malone stores.

Clinique, New York City, United States of America

Lab-coat clad Clinique employees have sold women the world over their ethos, ‘great skin can be created’. Clinique made its debut in Saks Fifth Avenue, New York City by Evelyn Lauder (Esteé Lauder’s daughter-in-law), promoting a dermatology-driven skincare range. Given its heritage, Clinique products are likely to be shared by both mother and daughter for years to come.

I got it from my ma-ma,
Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, £17 for 50ml.

Lucas’ Paw Paw Remedies, Queensland, Australia

What can’t this little tube do? Rashes, insect bites, sunburn? Cured in one swipe. However, the true power of this nifty little tube however lies in its ability to transform dry, cracked lips into a smooth, pillowy pout. Botanist TP Lucas discovered the healing effects of papaya in 1906, and over a hundred years later, women are still puckering up to thank him!

Your answer to Angelina-eqsue lips by this time tomorrow,
Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, £4.75 for 25g tube.

Available online at The Paw Paw Shop, London

Yves Saint Laurent Cosmetics, Paris, France

The king of Paris expanded his brand to include cosmetics in 1978 in order to ‘give a face to the woman he dresses’… I’m hoping they already had faces, perhaps simply beautified by the Parisian’s glamorous make up range. Encased in decadent gold packaging each YSL product feels like a piece of the brand, and one step closer to the city of love.


A touch of brilliance,
YSL Touche Écalt, £25.00.

Available at House of Fraser.

Soap & Glory, London, United Kingdom

This cheap and cheerful brand popped up in London just six years ago, bringing ‘fearless and fantastically formulated’ products to our shelves. In 2011 the brand even had their take on the ‘pommy shower’ suggesting it took only 2 minutes to become sparkling clean, and save the nations water. With it’s retro packaging and cheeky product titles like ‘pulp friction’ (exfoliator, no less) and ‘sexy mother pucker’ for their cult lip-gloss, Soap & Glory is winning hearts, and skin types the country over.

The lazy girls answer to exercise,
Sit-Tight firming formula, £14.50 for 200ml tube.

Available at Boots pharmacies.

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