Going On Holiday? Nab These Cult Beauty Products Overseas

Make room in your suitcase – we’re rounding up the best beauty products to cart home from your travels

Whenever I travel, I always make sure to do my research on the local makeup and skincare available in that city before I get there.  The beauty scene in Singapore is fast-growing, but there are still several brands we can’t get in stores here and, as a beauty writer, I feel a moral obligation to track those brands down and test them out – not for myself, but purely for the good of society. 

Sure – almost everything is available online these days, but when it comes to buying beauty products, I prefer immersing myself in the good ol’ brick and mortar shopping experience. Nothing beats the excitement of swatching endless shades of lipsticks on your hand and the guilty pleasure of being convinced by a charming saleslady to buy yet another foundation that you don’t need. 

To make your Selfridges or Sephora run a little smoother, here are my picks of the beauty brands worth splashing out on. 


Ah, Glossier – the most Instagram-worthy cult beauty brand of them all. Pretty pastel colours and minimalist packaging make this a hot favourite among beauty influencers and basically every makeup-loving millennial. 

From makeup to skincare, body products and even a fragrance, Glossier's got something pretty for everyone. 

Shop at: The Glossier Showroom, 123 Lafayette St., PH Level New York, NY 10003.

Glossier Balm Dotcom: Just one of those things you should have in your purse at all times. The universal skin salve comes in six different flavours including original, rose and mint, but my favourite is the delicious-smelling coconut.
Glossier Boy Brow: For days where I’m wearing less makeup and I want those effortless I-woke-up-like-this brows, Glossier’s Boy Brow is my new go-to.
Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: This conditioning face wash has a pleasing texture that feels like a hybrid between cream and gel, and cleans the skin without drying it out.

Founded by British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, this makeup and skincare brand is another hot favourite of beauty gurus. The line of products is ever-growing with several highly raved about must-haves on the list, which makes it totally worth hauling back from London. 

Shop at: Charlotte Tilbury Covent Garden, Beauty Boudoir, 11-12 James Street, London, WC2E 8BT.

Charlotte Tilbury Westfield White City, Beauty Wonderland, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 7GF.

Selfridges & Co., 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB.

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream: Containing SPF 15, this moisturises protects your skin while maintaining a luxurious texture. Great for dry skin types.
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Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick: There are so many shades to choose from but I love a wearable matte red like Bond Girl.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow: One of the brand's most talked-about products, this bronzer and highlighter duo blends well, is very pigmented and compact enough to travel with.

Giving Glossier a run for its money in the packaging department is UK skincare brand Lixirskin. If you dread the tedious routine of slathering on multiple creams and serums on your face every day and night, this is the brand for you. All dressed in millennial pink, Lixirskin's range is kept simple with just six products that are clean, safe and multitasking.

This is the brainchild of Colette Haydon, a doctor in dermo-pharmacy who has created products for brands like REN, Aromatherapy Associates and more. She takes an advanced yet relaxed approach to good skin; meaning minimal products with maximum results. Think a day moisturiser, night cream and serum base all in one.

Shop at: Liberty London, Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH, UK.

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Lixirskin Night Switch Retinol 1%: Regulates the skin's metabolism for a clearer and plumper complexion. Mix with the Universal Emulsion before applying.
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Lixirskin Night Switch PHA/AHA 10%: Exfoliates and evens out the skin tone for more radiant and smoother looking skin. Mix it in with the Universal Emulsion before applying or use it on its own as a mask.
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Lixirskin Night Switch BHA/AHA 10%: Helps to regulate hormonal skin and calm breakouts. Use before the Universal Emulsion, as a mask or as a spot treatment.
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Lixirskin Electrogel Cleanser: An evening cleanser that removes makeup, cleanses, and detoxifies the skin all at once.
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Lixirskin Vitamin C Paste: A quick morning mask, protects and corrects all at once. Leaves the skin looking brighter and lifted.
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Lixirskin Universal Emulsion: Use this morning and night on the face, eyes, neck, hands, arms and basically any part of the body. A day moisturiser, night cream and serum base in one, it shields the skin from UV rays without any added sunscreens.

Word on the street is fragrance brand IIUVO (pronounced EYE-YOU-VO) is coming to our shores soon, but I suggest getting a few of their candles and perfumes as gifts (and for yourself too, of course) while it still has its exclusive appeal.

Shop at: Machine-A, 13 Brewer Street, Soho, London, UK.

Liberty London, Regent St, Carnaby, London W1B 5AH, UK.

Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB, UK.

Leclaireur stores in Paris and Los Angeles. 

Totokaelo stores in Seattle and New York.

10 Corso Como, Corso Como, 10, 20154 Milan, Italy.

The brand started off with three candles: Ajon, Emmie and Woodgrain.
IILUVO Bullshit candle: It smells better than it sounds. A collaboration with conceptual artist Stefan Bruggemann, the scent has top notes of Sichuan pepper, grapefruit and tangerine, middle notes of lavender and rose, and musk, Tonka bean and vanilla at its base.
IIUVO Fonteyn: Inspired by the interplay of darkness and light, the fragrance possesses a lovely contrast of earthy notes from papyrus, moss and Virginia cedar with sweet vanilla.

With all the hype about Instagram brows, I don't understand how Anastasia Beverly Hills still isn't available in stores here yet. But they're truly some of the best brow products I've ever used (if not the best) and I always make sure to stock up when I'm in the U.S. or if my friends are travelling there. 

Anastasia also does some amazing highlighters – the kind that's visible from outer space – and incredibly soft and pigmented eyeshadows. 

Shop at: Sephora US and Canada.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette: 14 shades of neutral and berry tones makes this beauty versatile enough for day and night looks.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade: In my books, this is the ultimate Instagram-brow product to have in your brow arsenal. Apply with an angled brush for full and defined arches.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz: My favourite brow product of all time. I love brow pencils for everyday and this one is super creamy and the shade Dark Brown matches my natural brow colour perfectly.

Still searching for the perfect shade of nude lipstick? If you're in Toronto, San Francisco or New York, you might just be one step closer to finding it. Bite Beauty allows you to create your own lipstick. At Bite Lip Labs, you can choose from over 200 lip pigments, the finish of your lipstick and even the scent. If you can't make it to the Lip Lab for a customised lippie, Bite Beauty also has some other amazing lip products just off the shelf. 

Shop at: Sephora US and Canada.

Lip Lab by Bite New York, 174 Prince Street, New York, New York 10012, United States.

Lip Lab by Bite San Francisco, 2142, 2132 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States.

Lip Lab by Bite Toronto,  678 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E5, Canada.

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Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick: Probably Bite's most famous product, the formula is moisturising and goes on super smooth and creamy. This shade Sake is a wearable dusty mauve.
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Bite Beauty Multistick: In the shade Praline, the multistick is perfect for achieving the monochromatic makeup trend. Just use your fingers to sweep it over your eyelids, cheeks and lips.
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Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask: This comes in two other tinted shades as well, but whenever my lips feel dry, I prefer applying the clear mask as an overnight treatment so my lips feel soft and supple in the morning.

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