The Best Luxury Beauty Products From Around The World

What Mom wouldn’t want to be a gorgeous globetrotter? Now she can – without the jet lag. For the past 15 years I have compiled (and sampled and sniffed) some of the world’s best beauty products – and today you can purchase them for Mom – so she can experience a fabulous destination – without the travel issues and packing problems. (Of course, if you add first-class, round-trip air tickets to your gift, you just might become Mom’s favorite.) But now, for the immediate, let us spray!


Here’s Mom’s passport to pretty: Makanai is skincare with a material difference – one it owes to a surprising discovery at the ancient Yoshitaka gold leaf foundry in Kanazawa, Japan. There, some 100 years ago, highly skilled craftswomen would hammer 24K gold into micro-thin, impossibly delicate sheets of gold leaf, layering them with washi paper that they also created by hand, using natural materials. The extreme heat and drying conditions in the foundry were far from ideal for the skin. Yet even the oldest of the artisans had beautifully soft, youthful-looking hands, due to the fermented paste used onsite in the paper-making process. Soon, the women began making their own special skincare products using these ingredients. I’m crazy about the $20 secret recipe hand cream – I’ve used it and it’s a miracle-worker! The bestseller is the Makanai Cleansing, Toning & Exfoliation Trio for dry facial skin. $80. It’s Mom’s visa to a vivacious visage! Makanaibeauty.com


Korres makes the Aphrodite of Greek skincare – they are beautiful, provocative, and deserving to be embraced. Korres was founded by George and Lena Korres. Lena, a German born-chemical engineer, literally bottled the potency of Greek nature in special formulations to help a number of skin concerns. In fact, Korres works with farms across Greece to promote organic farming. The bestseller is the Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink, $50, and the time is ripe to buy it for Mom. It’s available at the New York City Korres store at 232 Elizabeth Street and they also have storefronts across Europe. Also available at Sephora, Ulta, and HSN.


This gorgeous line of goodies is made in St. Barth from native fruits and flowers, crafted from recipes that originated with the island’s Arawak Indians and were handed down in entrepreneur Herve Brin’s family. (My sources tell me that Steven Spielberg and Michael Kors stock up on the Homme fragrance when they are on the island.) The fantastic vanilla body lotion is my absolute favorite – featuring West Indies vanilla, with an avocado oil base, and adorably packaged in re-purposed rum bottles. I never knew the Caribbean could smell so intoxicating! $48. Ligne St. Barth can be found at beautyhabit.com as well as luxury wellness destinations throughout the world including in the USA at The Fountainbleau in Miami and Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.


Let’s give a warm aloha to the excellent O’o products from our 50th state; the brand name was inspired by Hawaii’s extinct O’o bird, and in fact, the company gives back a portion of every sale to native Hawaiian bird preservation. The two bestsellers are the Golden Nectar Brightening and Firming Ferulic Serum, and the Brilliant Feather Beauty Balm. both $65. They’re absolutely luscious and you’ll want to lovingly “lei” some on your face. Both products use local ingredients such as coffeeberry, strawberry guava, and noni fruit that is grown in Hawaii’s nutrient-rich, volcanic ash soil, as well as macadamia and kukui nut oils. There’s even a new travel set featuring the brand’s top five most popular products in a reusable pouch. What makes this brand so great? I believe it’s location, location, location. www.oohawaii.com


“Ciao bella!” is what Mom will say to this posh perfume that comes from one of Italy’s most famous luxury hotels. It is inspired by the enchanting aromas of the Mediterranean and the refined charm of Positano’s iconic hotel, Le Sirenuse. Eau d’Italie offers a fresh new collection of uniquely Italian bath and body products. Each is beautifully fragranced, and there is a choice of eight scents inspired by the very essence of Italy including the award-winning Eau d’Italie signature scent evoking a stay at this famed, first-class property. The mild liquid soap ($39) gently cleans and soothes hands and body, and it’s perfectly paired with the new luxurious, hydrating hand and body lotion ($48). Each is artisanally made with natural vegetal ingredients plus almond oil and shea butter. In my opinion, that’s amore! www.beautyhabit.com


“Tocca” means “touch” in Italian, and this best-ever brand got its start back in 1994 by a group of friends who were vacationing on the beach in St. Lucia. They wanted their company to offer beautiful design and high-quality craftsmanship at an approachable price – while conveying its luxe status. Its bestselling fragrance is the Florence ($80 for 20ml), and it contains the aromas of bergamot, lush pear and delicate gardenia. The bottle is inspired by antique crystal cognac decanters, and the Florence hair fragrance is an Allure Magazine “Best of Beauty” winner. Now Mom can also join the “Best-Tressed” List. Available at CO Bigelow, Anthropologie and Liberty of London.


I’ve been a huge fan of Fracas perfume ever since the Seventies, when it was a cult beauty brand hunted down by obsessed beauty editors at Glamour Magazine. The tuberose-and-gardenia scent, from late couturier Robert Piguet, has been a bestseller since introduced 75 years ago, and in 2009 was introduced into the Fragrance Foundation Hall of Fame. A niche fragrance, and an icon, Fracas is hard-to-find, which only makes it more desirable. Mr. Piguet himself trained Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior – to name a few – and his Fracas scent was created with the famed female master perfumer Germaine Cellier. The scent is a stunner. It’s got gorgeous black-and-pink packaging — and just enough je ne sais quoi to make Mom love it. $400 for the 100ml of perfume. Harrods is the flagship store for it, and it’s also available at Bergdorf Goodman, NeimanMarcus.com, robertpiguetparfums.com, and net-a-porter.com.


Mom will be juiced up to receive anything from Ilike Organic Skincare, especially the bestsellers such as the succulent Sour Cherry Moisturizer, and the Stone Crop Moisturizer, priced at $80 each. (The company name is pronounced “Il-ee-ka.”) Let me rhapsodize for a moment: The excellent organic brand is based in Hungary, where the country is blessed with rich soil from the Carpathian mountains and from the ancient seabed, a somewhat dry climate, and an abundance of sunshine. “Anything you grow in Hungary is rich in nutrients,” says company president Szilvia Hickman. The company grows and harvests its own plants – more than 150 flowers and herbs — and then makes pulps (not the typical extracts) that maintain the full nutrient content of minerals and trace elements when topically applied to your skin. “It’s like making Grandma’s jam,” Ms. Hickman told me. The company also just launched a “retinal” that they say gives you the same effect in one month, that “retinol” gives you in a year. Now Mom — just like all the celebrities that use Ilike — can also achieve complexion perfection! www.greenspabeauty.com.


Here’s a fascinating statistic. Made in Korea – the Beauty Capital of the world — Laneige’s uber-popular Lip Sleeping Mask is bought by obsessed customers faster than you can say, “Seoul.” In fact, one is bought every three seconds worldwide, based on global unit sales data for 2021. And no wonder, as the iconic nighttime must-have features a proprietary Berry Fruit Complex, murumuru seed butter and shea butter, which work while you catch your ZZZZs. Mom’s smackers will never be so soft. The Berries and Choco Kisses set ($26) smells like dessert – without the calories – and Mom is sure to keep it in her carry-on. Also worth noting is the Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cream Moisturizer resulting from 40 years of research ($40). It features a unique fermentation process with a deep-sea algae-derived moisturizing agent. The result? Micromolecules that absorb faster. Celebrities that swear by Laneige include Kendall Jenner, Kate Hudson, Kate Moss, Drew Barrymore, Camila Cabello, Kaia Gerber and many more. And of course, now, Your Mom. Available at Sephora, Sephora @Kohls, Laneige.com and Aritaum.


Celebrities such as Britney Spears and Kendall Jenner — and mere mortals — love Maui Babe Browning Lotion, which can be found online and all over Hawaii. The family-owned, female-led company was created back in 1966, when its inspired founder, Joe Rossi, mixed Kona coffee with baby oil and iodine, spent time perfecting the potion, and launched the lotion. Mr. Rossi had told me years ago that nothing else will brown your body faster! It’s water-resistant, and you can even apply it first, before you add your SPF formula. It’s the true Maui wowee! $24 for 8 oz.


Amouage is a High Perfumery House renowned for creating some of the most finely crafted perfumes in the world. Founded in the Sultanate of Oman in 1983 to be ‘The Gift of Kings,’ the House has redefined the Arabian art of perfumery and garnered a global reputation for bringing innovative modernity and true artistry to all its creations. Amouage stands for “the waves of emotions” and the bestseller is the Guidance Eau de Parfum. It contains a combination of Frankincense, Rose and Ambergris. It’s an amazing olfactory achievement – and Mom will love it during her layover. $360. Available at Neiman-Marcus and Amouage.com.

Hope you enjoyed my overseas Tour of Beauty. All Mom needs now is a travel-sized cosmetics case!

For more about my Wanderlust and Wellness travels, please Follow me on Instagram at @DebbiKickham. I’m also the author of three books including I Love Men in Tasseled Loafers, and The Globetrotter’s Get-Gorgeous Guide.

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