Our beauty editor, Lydia Mansi, whisks us away on a whistle-stop global tour of under-the-radar brands using botanical and natural extracts.

Whether it’s Ayurvedic herbs, argan oil in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco or the mineral-rich glacial waters of Iceland, native flora and indigenous minerals have inspired the beauty regimes of the world’s population for centuries. The beauty brands of 2019 are still seeking out the finest botanicals and natural elements to create their formulas. Here are some of our Lifestyle Editor, Lydia Mansi’s favourite international beauty brands, including her tips on what to buy now.

Kahina Giving Beauty – Moroccan


Kahina Giving Beauty founder, Katharine L’Heureux, was so bowled over by the anti-oxidant benefits of argan oil on her own skin that she decided to launch her own range of nutrient-packed beauty products enriched with the golden elixir of Morocco. Passionate about ethically sourcing all of the brand’s organic ingredients from female co-operatives, Kahina also donates a percentage of its profits to supporting programmes that improve the lives of Berber women.

BUY NOW: Neroli Beldi Soap (£40) is a nourishing alternative to shower gel. Packed with skin-softening vitamin E and heady neroli fragrance, it’s the perfect antidote to dry, winter limbs.

Fushi – Ayurvedic


Combining the cultural heritage of founders Rannesh and Ria, Fushi uses Ayurvedic family recipes handed down through generations alongside a modern approach to extracting and hand-blending its pure, fresh-pressed oils and remedies in the brand’s west London workshop.

BUY NOW: Your skin will drink in Fushi’s BioVedic Radiance facial oil (£22). Rich in Kalahari Melon Seed oil and Ayurvedic herbal extracts, it works to improve skin elasticity and glow.

Esse – South African


Esse skincare founder, Trevor Steyn, is an organic chemist by trade. Thanks to his deep knowledge of the chemistry of African plants, he soon discovered their efficacy when it comes to skincare and duly formulated and founded Esse, an organic skincare range based in South Africa.

BUY NOW: The world’s first live probiotic serum (£100). There are 50 million live probiotics in every drop, all of which support the skin in creating a healthy microbiome to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier against environmental damage, and thus slow the ageing process.

Rodin – American


Legendary New York stylist Linda Rodin formulated her cult jasmine and neroli face oil back in 2007. Whilst she has since sold it to the Estée Lauder empire, the brand remains the ‘must-have’ of make-up artists and beauty editors alike, especially since the range expanded to include haircare, bodycare and make-up, too. These are beautifully scented luxe products with an essence of NY cool. Instant classics.

BUY NOW: The original and still the best, the Olio Lusso Jasmine and Neroli Facial oil (£105) is light-weight, yet nourishing. A few drops will restore tired, dull skin in an instant.

Caudalie – French


Caudalie combines two of France’s greatest exports: skincare and wine. Created by husband-and-wife team Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas in their vineyard in the south-west of France, they harnessed the powerful anti-oxidant ingredients of the humble grape and vine to create a natural, yet high-tech skincare range known for its anti-ageing power amongst French women in the know.

BUY NOW: VineActiv Overnight Detox Oil (£30) is a cocktail of vitamins and essential oils that work while you sleep to renew skin. Great for city dwellers who wish to repair daily environmental damage.

Davines – Italian


Created by the Bollati family in Parma in the 1980s, Davines started out as a research lab formulating luxury hair care for global cosmetics companies. After a decade spent honing the best formulas for other brands, the family decided to launch its own ethical hair care range. Known in the trade for their nourishing, restorative formulas, these products are great for dry, stressed, coloured hair.

BUY NOW: The OI All in One Milk (£14.90) is a light, daily conditioning spray that leaves post-summer straw-like tresses, silky soft.

Skyn – Icelandic


With its mineral-rich waters, anti-oxidant-powered berries and soothing algaes and mosses, Iceland is rich pickings for a skincare brand to source its ingredients. Skyn did just that and launched a range of potent, natural skincare to fortify, nourish and balance stressed-out skin.

BUY NOW: Nordic Skin Peel pads (£39) gently exfoliates with fruit enzymes. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for dull, winter skin.

Aesop – Australian


Aesop has a resolutely ‘Aussie’ approach to skincare. The Melbourne-based brand believes in positive, ‘pro’ skincare (you won’t find any anti-ageing here); instead it focuses on creating beautifully simple, botanical formulas that are as much a joy for the senses as they are effective.

BUY NOW: The Marrakech Intense eau de toilette (£65) is the perfect winter fragrance. A heady mix of warm sandalwood, ylang ylang, bergamot and patchouli, it is evocative of the north African souk.

Omorvizca – Hungarian


Budapest has been renowned for its healing spa waters since Roman times. It was at the city’s thermal baths that Omorovicza founders, Stephen and Margaret de Heinrich de Omorovicza, found inspiration for the brand, at the Rácz spa, founded by Stephen’s family in the 19th-century. Bringing the mineral-rich waters up-to-date, the couple enlisted the skills of a Nobel Prize-winning dermatology lab to combine the spa waters with cutting edge skincare. And so Omorovicza was born.
BUY NOW: Boost dehydration from central heating this winter with Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mist (£55), a hydrating spray packed with thermal waters, plus rose, orange blossom and sage extracts.

Huda Beauty – Middle Eastern


Iraqi-American beauty influencer, Huda Kattan’s 25m+ followers have made the make-up artist and blogger a beauty phenomenon overnight. Her sell-out make-up palettes, intense pigment lipsticks and winingly wide-range of foundation shades create flawless results, without the need for a filter.

BUY NOW: The Topaz Obsessions Palette (£25) is the perfect mix of spice and sparkle for the party season.

By Lydia Mansi
October 2019

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