Santa is a very busy man. Once a year, he delivers presents to children far and wide, around the globe with his sleigh. We’d be hard-pressed to say he didn’t pick up a few beauty tips along the way.
Being the thorough investigative style journalists that we are, we asked Santa to give us the low-down of his favourite beauty tips and products from around the world. Though he was short for time (Christmas Eve is tomorrow, after all), he managed to give us a couple of pointers from a few countries he made cookie and milk stopovers in. Thanks, Santa!
Santa’s guide to worldwide beauty
KoreaUnless you live in the North Pole, you probably know that Korean beauty's totally hot right now. K-pop stars and K-drama actresses keep their skin in tip-top shape by using a 10-step skin-care regimen. Now that’s a lot of product.
($215 at Sokoglam)Sokoglam, Instagram/@Ponysmakeup
japanIn continuing with face care, Panasonic’s Micro-Foaming Facial Cleansing Device was definitely on our Christmas list this year. It's the ultimate luxury for facial brushes. Firstly, there’s a warming plate on the end (designed specifically to be used with oil cleansers) that literally melts the makeup off of your face. Secondly, the ultra-soft (we’re talking puppies, babies and feathers here) brush (to be used with a foaming cleanser) makes sure all the makeup is completely gone. Thirdly, the tiny silicone brush attachment is meant to give your pores a targeted, thorough clean. If that's not luxury in a brush, what is?
($179 at Panasonic) Panasonic, Instagram/@setoayumi
japan"By the beauty of her hair alone, can a woman captivate a man" is apparently a Japanese saying. And while we don’t necessarily agree (there are other traits, surely), we definitely want thick, shiny hair. Orofluido hair beauty elixir uses tsubaki oil, bamboo extract and rice oil to nourish and strengthen it so you can shine beautifully, like model Kiko Mizuhara.
($35 at Beautysense)Orofluido, Instagram/@I_am_kiko
United KingdomThey don’t call it the London look for nothing. Aside from birthing supermodels like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Cara Delevingne, Great Britain brings us Charlotte Tilbury, the renowned makeup artist, who has worked with all three. We’ll probably never get that opportunity (although, you never know with Santa), but luckily her eponymous makeup line can get us close. These super pigmented, creamy lipsticks are the ultimate little piece of luxury.
($38 at Charlotte Tilbury)Charlotte Tilbury, Instagram/@caraschoco, @katemosslatest, @birdonawirevintage
swedenLeave it to the country that gave us Ikea to make the most simple, yet innovative beauty products of the world. These silicone gadgets look deceptively plain, but they certainly pack a punch. Borrowing from the Korean method of facial massage, the Luna and Iris work to deliver anti-aging pulses to the face. The Luna not only washes your makeup off, but delivers pulsations to the face that promise to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. If you want something a little more targeted, the Iris works on the eye area to reduce the appearance of undereye puffiness, eye bags, dark circles and crow’s feet. We’re hooked.
($199 and $159 at Sephora)Alicia Vikander, Foreo
hungarySanta tells us that in Hungary, bathing in thermal water is something that doctors actually prescribe, and it's totally covered by their healthcare system. A prescription to go to the spa? Sign us up. While we Canadians aren’t quite as lucky in the free spa department, we can get the next best thing. This Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist is a potent blend of Hungary’s mineral-rich healing waters, combating dullness and dryness in the skin. Is this why Barbara Palvin looks oh-so-flawless?
($110 at Sephora)Omorovicza, Instagram/@realbarbarapalvin
canadaDid you know Canadian brand Face Atelier is 100% cruelty free? Not only that, but their makeup is also amazingly innovative. Take the Ultra Foundation Pro, for example. Not only does it come in your regular shades, they come in adjuster colours that can be used to lighten or darken your existing foundation…or for contour and highlighting. If only we could contour our face to look like Canadian model Coco Rocha's.
($36 at Face Atelier)Face Atelier, Instagram/@cocorocha
usaLet’s face it, you can’t think of contemporary beauty nowadays without Gigi and Kendall. Models, besties and social media superstars, these ladies look like they’re always having a good time. And when you’re having a good time, you’re usually laughing, which means your teeth have nowhere to hide. In comes GLO Science’s GLO Brilliant teeth whitening device—clinically proven to whiten teeth by five shades in as little as just five days. Just pop the whitening gel and mouthpiece in, and in 8 minutes, you’re done. SO easy.
($264 at Sephora)Glo Science, Getty Images
usaSpeaking of Gigi and Kendall, we’re going to add Gigi’s sister Bella into the mix too. You want Victoria’s Secret model hair? We all do. This is the official tool that will give you just that.
($129 at Beachwaver)Beachwaver, Instagramemail@example.com
usaIt’s not American beauty without mentioning contouring, or shall we say Kontouring? Kim, the queen of Kontour, has taught us that more is more when it comes to sculpting your face. Not blessed with cheekbones that can cut glass? No worries. Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Contour Palette can help you out.
($55 at Sephora)Kat Von D, Instagram/@kimkardashian
brazilYou can’t deny that there’s just something about Brazilian women. A little something called Victoria’s Secret has a handful of them (Gisele, Alessandra, Adriana) walking their shows. So naturally, Sol De Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is a thing. This Brazilian cream has a secret ingredient: guaraná, a native Amazonian plant whose fruit contains a super potent form of caffeine. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it will leave your skin impeccably smooth and tightened. Plus, it smells like pistachios and caramel and who can resist that?
($57 at Sephora)Sol de Janeiro, Getty Images
egyptTechnically, this cream isn’t from Egypt. Santa says it was started by some American guy who changed his name to LordPharaoh ImHotepAmonRa. Before you start rolling your eyes into the back of your head (we did too), you should still give this cream a shot. Why? It's said to be the exact same formula of a cream found in ancient Egyptian tombs. And it has a celebrity cult following. What’s it for? Well, everything: “Our 100% natural balm has been used as a face moisturizer, an eye cream, a scar treatment, a hair mask, a baby cream, a shaving balm and anything else you can think of. It also works wonders on eczema, skin irritations and redness, burn and wound relief.”
($40 at Amazon)Egyptian Magic
franceFrench beauty is as old as time (or at least as old as France), and it’s effortless, or so we’re lead to believe. However, the times French ingenues like Lea Seadoux and Isabelle Adjani were wearing a big ol’ face of makeup, you can bet they were, ahem, effortlessly wiping it off with Bioderma Sensibio H20, which we think is the holy grail of all makeup removers, forever and ever, Amen.
($27 at London Drugs)Bioderma, Instagram/@leaseydoux_genuine, @univerx__