What Iconic Beauty Looks Like Around The World

You could probably walk into any convenience store, in any city in America, pick up a magazine, and be able to point out at least two or three (if not more) people considered influential in the beauty world — at least the beauty world that we’re exposed to on the regular. Actually, scratch magazine perusal — we’re certain that most of you could name a few right now, without a speck of hesitation — J Lawr, J.Lo, and, of course, Kylie Jenner...

The U.S. has more than its fair share of beauty influencers — but what about the rest of the world? There is certainly some crossover across the seas (you don't have to live in a specific time zone to strive to be as #flawless as Beyoncé), but who really ignites beauty conversations, starts trends, or sells out Lip Kit equivalents around the world?

With these questions in mind, we set out on a mission to get acquainted with the women responsible for shaking up the beauty sphere on a global level. Without further ado, click through to find 16 beauty icons who could give Kylie a run for her American dollar.

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Photo: Christophe Calais/ Corbis.
Who: Noni Gasa
Where: South Africa
Why: Despite admitting to being a very private person IRL, the media personality and fashion journalist Noni Gasa has made some major waves in South Africa. With her short hair and skin spattered with freckles, the multi-hyphenated icon is helping redefine the tired beauty standard — proving you don’t have to look like Kim Kardashian or Gigi Hadid to be in the spotlight.
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Photo: Han Myung-Gu/ WireImage/ Getty Images.
Who: Gong Hyo Jin
Where: South Korea
Why: In 2015, actress Gong Hyo Jin took home the Asia Beauty Icon award at the Cosmo Beauty Awards in Shanghai. In a recent interview, the South Korean star, who is best known for her roles in films like Love Fiction and Crush and Blush, said, “I think true beauty, in this generation, is working hard to find your own unique beauty.” Needless to say, her advice couldn’t be more on-point.
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Photo: Courtesy of Huda Kattan.
Who: Huda Kattan
Where: Dubai
Why: Spend a mere few seconds scrolling through Ms. Kattan’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see exactly why this Dubai-based beauty-blogger-turned-businesswoman is considered one of the top beauty influencers in the Middle East. With over 12 million followers on the 'gram and nearly a million subscribers on YouTube, it’s safe to say she’s made her mark on the beauty world. Her content features everything from contouring and lip-plumping tricks, to interviews with top industry experts. But that’s not all: Kattan also launched her own acrylic-nail and false-lash collection, a crazy-impressive feat that not just anyone has under her belt.
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Photo: via @sondos_aq.
Who: Sondos Alqattan
Where: Kuwait
Why: After some in-depth googling and YouTube-binge-watching, it’s easy to see why makeup artist Sondos Alqattan has earned her spot as a top beauty guru in the Middle East. With her killer tutorials, perpetually perfect makeup, and partnerships with power brands like Urban Decay and Clinique, it’s no wonder this beauty kween has gained legions of followers.
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Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/ WireImage/ Getty Images.
Who: Jeanne Damas
Where: France
Why: Parisian socialite Jeanne Damas has already forged her way into fashion-icon territory, but we’re here to tout her beauty influence. For starters, her aesthetic is obviously appealing. She’s got lips that could stand out in any crowd and skin so flawless it almost hurts to look at — but it’s her cool-girl attitude that draws people in and leaves them wanting to know more. To wit: this piece Vogue Paris did on the lust-worthy beauty contents of her bathroom. All we know is we can’t be the only ones aching to get our hands on every product she owns.
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Photo: Ethan Miller/ Getty Images.
Who: Paulina Vega Dieppa
Where: Colombia
Why: As former Miss Colombia 2013 and Miss Universe 2014, one could say that 23-year-old Paulina Vega Dieppa has earned her spot on just about any beauty-icon list there is — and they’d be right. But even after garnering so much success at such a young age, Vega never fails to show her intense appreciation for her fans (see this 'gram for proof). She also recently became a global ambassador for the international nonprofit organization Stop Hunger Now, because she’s got that #InnerBeauty, too.
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Photo: Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images.
Who: Liu Wen
Where: China
Why: You may recognize Liu Wen as the first model of East Asian descent to walk the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. She’s also the first Chinese model ever signed to Estée Lauder. Her most recent accomplishment: gracing the cover of Elle China March 2016. And as her career continues to soar, we’re certain her icon status will, too.
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Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/ WireImage/ Getty Images.
Who: Fan Bingbing
Where: China
Why: At 34, top-tier actress and pop singer Fan Bingbing has rightfully won her spot as a major beauty icon. She’s graced the covers of myriad big-name magazines, has collaborated with countless brands, and apparently (according to CNN), she goes through 600 sheet masks a year. She also serves as a spokesperson for L’Oréal.
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Photo: David M. Benett/ Getty Images.
Who: Tanya Burr
Where: United Kingdom
Why: Since Tanya Burr started out as another makeup-obsessed YouTuber, using her skills to teach the people of the internet about beauty, she’s amassed millions of followers and has catapulted into bona fide celebrity status in the U.K. Among her many notable achievements: launching her own makeup line, writing a book, and slaying the cover of Glamour magazine.
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Photo: Lalo Yasky/ WireImage/ Getty Images.
Who: Agbani Darego
Where: Nigeria
Why: Agbani Darego is most known for being the first native Sub-Saharan African to win Miss World, in 2001. Aside from that amazing feat, she’s also the second Black model to land a contract with L’Oréal, has modeled for huge brands (read: Dior, Sephora, and Target, to name a few), and has appeared in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Allure, and Elle. She’s also judged multiple pageants, including Miss World 2014 and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014.
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Photo: Karwai Tang/ WireImage/ Getty Images.
Who: Deepika Padukone
Where: India
Why: The 30-year-old renowned model and Bollywood film actress'
movie stardom and stunning looks have garnered her over 6 million followers on Instagram. She also recently graced the March 2016 cover of Femina India, which just happened to be its “India’s Most Beautiful Women” edition. 'Nuff said.
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Photo: via @petisco.
Who: Julia Petit
Where: Brazil
Why: In the land of Adriana Lima and Gisele Bündchen, someone with fiery-red hair and major tats may seem like an unlikely beauty icon. But Julia Petit has proved her status just the same. As a model, TV producer, and founder of one of the most popular fashion and beauty blogs in South America, this 43-year-old from São Paulo is both beloved by her people and considered one of the most beautiful faces in Brazil. She's even joined the ranks of powerhouse ladies like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, launching her very own MAC collab last spring.
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Photo: via @lottietomlinson.
Who: Lottie Tomlinson
Where: U.K.
Why: Most of you likely know Lottie Tomlinson as 1D member Louis Tomlinson’s little sister. But if you’re at all into beauty, then you’ll also know she’s been making some major waves as a makeup artist and tutorial guru on YouTube and Instagram. Though she’s only 17 (Kylie Jenner vibes, much?), this U.K.-based beauty has worked backstage during London Fashion Week and is lined up to go on tour with Selena Gomez. Aside from her success, we just love her penchant for outside-the-box beauty (see: these fabulous glitter lips).
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Photo: Bennett Raglin/FilmMagic/ Getty Images.
Who: Chloe Morello
Where: Australia
Why: Chloe Morello is a YouTube beauty guru whose hilarious musings have catapulted her into unfathomable internet stardom in her home country — how can you not appreciate someone who isn't afraid to be silly on camera? With over a million subscribers, hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, and multiple articles touting her beauty advice, Morello has made a serious splash on the beauty scene.
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Photo: via @lozcurtis.
Who: Lauren Curtis
Where: Australia
Why: Another Aussie, Lauren Curtis knows what’s up in the world of beauty. According to Beauticate.com, her approach is simple: “Enhance your features; don’t mask them.” Aside from having a solid beauty motto, 23-year-old Curtis has become an internationally recognized guru, with over 3 million subscribers to her YouTube channel and 1.4 million followers on Instagram. And with her sunny personality and boss makeup skills, it’s no wonder people are so drawn to her.
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Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images.
Who: Irina Shayk
Where: Russia
Why: It's pretty obvious why Irina Shayk, who hails from Yemanzhelinsk, Russia, is a true beauty icon. With eyes so dreamy that anyone (cough, me) could get lost in them, a smile that would make crying babies stop and stare, and a body so utterly and pointedly killer, it’s clear why Shayk is L'Oréal's newest face and international brand ambassador. As for how the model feels about her newest gig? She told Vogue.co.uk that she's honored to stand alongside such a diverse group of powerful and extraordinary women.
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