By Candice Chan, Birchbox
The Land Down Under has so much to offer: amazing wildlife (kangaroos!), serious surfing, and a famously easy-going attitude. We asked Aussie native Elizabeth Charles--whose eponymous boutiques carry hard-to-find brands from Oz and New Zealand--for the lowdown on Oz's beauty landscape. "Australians tend to take things at face value and are laidback, so we don't need a lot of bells and whistles. That translates into the skincare and beauty products--there's just this down-to-earth, practical and useful approach."
This cheeky line of salon-quality products does wonders for damaged hair, and appeals to both the ladies and gents. The brand's five lines--Care, Volume, Curl, Straight and Style--are divinely uncomplicated. "I like the line because it looks after sun-damaged hair, for all the surfers in Australia, and it has UV protection," says Charles. We love the Ritual Salvation shampoo and conditioner, which moisturize dry locks and give a serious kick of shine.
A favorite among skincare enthusiasts, Jurlique has been producing its blockbuster all-natural line for 25 years. Many of the ingredients in their collections come from the brand's 153-acre farm in Southern Australia, which uses biodynamic farming techniques to produce the most potent and effective botanicals. "When I need something that's calming and soothing, I use the amazing Rosewater Balancing Mist. It feels really refreshing, and when I put it on before my moisturizer it works a lot better," Charles says.
Boutique brand Aesop has been a favorite of discerning beauty insiders for years because they use only the best natural ingredients. (The chic apothecary-inspired packaging doesn't hurt, either.) The brand also uses unusual ingredients like parsley seed to heal damaged skin and cuticles. "I love their perfect facial hydrating cream," says Charles. "I have dry skin, and I feel like this really helps because it's rich without feeling greasy."
Since launching in 2000, makeup artist Sue Devitt's line has been known for its innovative, holistic formulas. Devitt's shadows and liners feature uniquely rich pigments, like deep purples and warm golds, which are inspired by the landscapes of her Australian home and the exotic locales that she has visited. We're addicted to her chubby eye intensifier pencil, which is goof-proof and gives the perfect amount of smudge.
LUCAS PAPAW OINTMENT
Australian models (and normal people) swear by this wonder product. Created by botanist T.P. Lucas in 1906, the ointment is made from the Carica Papaw fruit, which woefully "smells sort of like vomit," according to Charles. But, don't let the scent discourage you-it's an all-in-one that treats burns, diaper rash, cuts, splinters, sunburn and more. "I've just started using it on my daughter who's six because it's natural and helps with all things."
See more from Birchbox:
Beauty Trip: French Skincare Favorites
A Globetrotter's Guide to Scents
"Gossip Girl's" Lead Hair Stylist On How To Get Serena Waves
By Candice Chan, Birchbox