What Beauty Products Are Selling Out Internationally

Could a yang-balancing miracle skin oil from South Korea be the secret weapon your bathroom cabinet has been missing? How about the SPF 30 primer Australian women can’t live without?

Catering to beauty connoisseurs (that’s you) is fun, but we can’t vet everything. So we decided to speak to maverick retailers and industry insiders across the globe to find out what beauty products are flying off their shelves, and what’s sold out before it even gets to the counter.

There were a few surprises: Who knew that South African women loved that perennial classic Pond's Cream so much? Or that British women have been getting in a frenzy over skin-care applicators? To help you navigate, we decided to consolidate our findings into one big list; that way, when you book your plane ticket (we’re forward-thinking, you know), you’ll be as savvy as your local counterparts. Wishful thinking? There’s always online-shopping to get you going…

Click through to see what’s selling (and selling out) right now, and let us know if you’ve tried any of the products on the list. Happy browsing!
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South Africa
This country harbors some pioneers of truly innovative technology — just look at Environ, one of the most well-regarded international cosmeceutical brands, and global stretch-mark sell-out formula, Bio-Oil, the brainchild of Capetonian brothers Justin and David Letschert.

We spoke to Antenocia Gitzner, head of cosmetics at Foschini, one of the largest cosmetic retailers in Africa, to find out what South African women want. “Our consumer deems her foundation just as important as her skin-care routine, and it’s no surprise we have two best-selling formulations in our top five sellouts,” she says. Cue a set of products you’ll be positively proud to put on your #shelfie.

Revlon ColorStay Foundation
“The combination/oily foundation flies off our shelves,” says Gitzner. “The bulk of our population have normal to combination skins and this really lasts, even in soaring temperatures.” We’re not surprised: The foundation comes in a wide range of tones and spreads on without a hitch, and is — rather niftily — time-released, so it mattifies shiny parts throughout the day.
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Revlon New Complexion Foundation
Revlon’s considered more of a drugstore than premium brand in the U.S., but that’s not the case in South Africa. With more than half the population living in poverty, it’s definitely a luxury. “Revlon is a household name in South Africa, and our customers like heavier coverage, which this foundation offers. Plus, it includes titanium dioxide as the only sunscreen active,” says Gitzner.
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Pond's Flawless Day Cream
We love a product that’s stood the test of time, and Gitzner agrees. “Pond's has an intrinsic value that ‘new’ simply can’t compete with,” she says. Plus, this classic day cream talks directly to the consumers' major concern — loss of moisture. “In South Africa, a lot of the decisions people make are weather-related; we have scorching temperatures most days.”
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Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
Mind-boggling fact: One bottle of this sells every 4.87 seconds around the world. This classic was reformulated in 2013 with an extra barrier-strengthening complex as well as moisturizing hyaluronic acid, glycerine, and urea to target dry, freckly, or uneven skin. “Clinique has done consistent and extensive product marketing and sampling over a great number of years to address the big skin concerns of living in a hot African climate — dehydration and pigmentation,” says Gitzner.
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Paco Rabanne Invictus Fragrance
Maybe it’s the meaning — "unconquered" — or the fact that it shares its name with the Matt Damon biopic about the fall of apartheid and the rise of Nelson Mandela, but this strong scent outsells all other fragrances in its category.
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When a former beauty director of Vogue U.K. and a cofounder of a makeup line come together, what do you get? Only one of the U.K.’s fastest growing beauty emporiums. BeautyMART offers some of the most genius cult products from around the world, curated by editrix Anna-Marie Solowij and makeup guru Millie Kendall. Pure beauty-junkie heaven, if you ask us.

Barely Sponges

These clever tools, which you only need to wet before use, are new to the market from Ireland, and Solowij thinks they’re a runaway hit because "there hasn't really been anything new since Beautyblender, and the stippling and finishing brushes made popular by beauty vloggers.” In the post-blog world, are beauty tools all that compelling for the customer? “Absolutely. Barely’s are really game-changing. There’s one for skin care (serum, moisturizer, eye cream), pre-foundation (primer, base, concealer), and one for sculpting, contouring, highlighting, and eye makeup.”
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Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme
By now, you know we love us some Purely Perfect. The shoppers at BeautyMART agree: At launch, the range sold out right away. “This has been a consistent best-seller since we launched it in 2014,” says Solowij. “I think that the whole hair trend for co-washing, no-poo has its die-hard fans and Purely Perfect seems to be rising to the top of the market in terms of best-performing products in that category. We get regular repeat orders online from people replenishing and bulk-buying in multiples.”
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Korean Spa Magic Peeling Mitt
“This product has really struck a chord with our consumer for various reasons: It’s Korean, and it seems anything and everything Korean beauty-wise is madly attractive; it’s cheap, £4; comes in a choice of bright colors, and literally works like magic to smooth skin without any scratch scrubs,” says Solowij.
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This one's a newbie for BeautyMART and “one of the most exciting color brands I've seen for eons,” says Solowij. BeautyMART is the only retail stockist of young cosmetic scientist and hip-hop enthusiast Florence Adepoju’s kaleidoscopic lipstick brand. The colors are mesmerizing — green, blue, and black, as well as more conventional hues.
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“One of the U.K.’s most successful vloggers, Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends, fronts a dry shampoo brand that does phenomenally well for us,” says Solowij. It's a clever capsule of perfumed dry shampoos with little powder residue and scents inspired by global cities. We love Monaco, which is very cologne-reminiscent.
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Munich’s Ludwig Beck is a beauty institution. Its recently launched online store houses 6,000 products from more than 70 brands. Top tip: If you live in Austria, you can order online and get your beauty haul shipped without any customs drama.

Ligne St. Barth

Ludwig Beck was the first retailer to sell Ligne St. Barth, made on Bey and J’s favorite holiday destination (St. Barths, duh). Every single ingredient is made from natural, locally cultivated raw materials from the island. Can’t-keep-'em-on-shelves sellouts: Roucou Oil, Avocado Oil, and Aloe Vera Gel. You’ll smell just like the tropics.
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Escentric Molecules
According to a Ludwig Beck rep, when Escentric Molecules launched with its bold, minimalist approach of putting out scents composed entirely of a single ingredient, it sold out for three months straight. The company’s first-ever perfume, Molecule 01, is still its most sought-after.
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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that in this moment of brow prominence, the last thing we need is an off-fleek pair wreaking all kinds of facial havoc. Enter Eye Brows, MAC’s hardest working brow definer and the store’s best-selling eye-makeup product.
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Swedish fragrance house Byredo’s best-selling and impossibly cool Bal D’Afrique has been known to cause customers to spend a disproportionate amount of time at counter.
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German ladies love the aromatic Resurrection Hand Wash because of its full-bodied, herbal unisex fragrance.
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Mecca Cosmetica is the beauty go-to down under, with 36 stores across Australia and New Zealand. A super-cool aesthetic and some serious respect for natural ingredients define the best of the bunch from Oz.


Jo Horgan, founder and CEO of Mecca, says that Australia “is the third largest market in the world for NARS. Customers have an insatiable appetite for the products.” What’s selling out at lightning speed? All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation and Dual Intensity Blush. “One Laguna Bronzer is sold every two minutes in Australia,” she says. We say, it’s the stuff of beauty legends.
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“There’s been a spike in sales of blush and subtle bronzers like Hourglass Ambient Bronzer, as our customers look to introduce more color into their looks,” says Horgan. After all, Aussie girls spend a lot of time in the sun and are always looking to enhance their natural glow.
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Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Primer
“This is part of our signature line, and the new primer has sailed well above its projected targets and been a huge hit with customers, especially going into fall when women want more hydration and skin support,” says Horgan.
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Cult 51
Mecca has seen exponential growth in sales of this revolutionary 3-D night cream since it launched last year. Apparently, by acting in synergy with your skin’s own metabolism, this potent formula encourages cells to recover their energy potential and behave like they did several years ago. Forever 21? We’ll take it.
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Hungary boasts some of the best all-natural skin care, so it’s no wonder those Aussie girls are lapping up this brand’s Cleansing Foam. “Interestingly, we just launched this at Mecca in the last few months to sit within a capsule collection called Mecca Trove; a very tight edit of what we believe will be the next big things in beauty. Their sales performance is significant and proves the allure of niche finds from all over the world,” says Horgan.
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Not many stores offer everything from hip toys to magazines, furniture, jewelry, men’s and women’s apparel, all nestled side by side with beauty booty, except Paris's Colette. Expect plenty of rare finds and one-off collaborations with brands as diverse as Hello Kitty and Playboy, along with plethora of homegrown French talent such as Hervé Hérau’s genius skin-care line and Valérie Grandury’s Odacité, an organic, preservative-free line we can’t wait to try.

é Hérau
Paraben-free, 100% organic skin products that really work? Yep, that’s why La Pommade, a heady concoction of brazil nut, almond, and maritime pine-seed oil, sells out without fail, every single week of the year.
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David Mallett
Hair Serum #DM027 is one of those products we wished we had thought of ourselves. It apparently took hair genius David Mallett (think clients like Clémence Poésy, Eva Green, Ludivine Sagnier, and Charlotte Gainsbourg) four years and 27 tries to get it right. Hence the name. Duh. Parisian girls love that it smooths split ends, eliminates frizz, smells faintly of ylang-ylang, and restores shine with just a few drops. How effortlessly, chicly French.
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After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, Valérie Grandury began blending her own products because she couldn't find anything with the purity and efficacy she was craving. The result? Odacité (French for audacity). Wild Carrot Facial Serum Concentrate is made using only two ingredients: the highest-grade, hand-cold-pressed carrot oil and certified GMO-free vitamin E oil. Its stock is regularly replenished — impressive, considering the hefty price tag.
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Cosmetics 27
Pharmacist Michèle Evrard cut her beauty teeth catering to French women who have high expectations of their beauty products and won’t settle for subpar results. Her brainchild Complex 27 is a clever serum that soothes, smooths, and stimulates skin-tissue fibers to encourage them to firm.
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Joelle Ciocco
The famous facialist, who reportedly charges €800 a service, created Lait Onctueux Capital, granting a chance to those who can't afford one of her treatments (that would be most of us) and want to get their hands on le magique. Something of a holy grail in France, this cleansing milk starts off as a cream, and then becomes an oil. Parisian editors swear by massaging with it for three minutes a day. Maybe that’s why there's currently none left in stock.
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South Korea
South Korea is where skin-care dreams come true: affordable, effective, unique? Check, check, check. An estimated two million people travel through the Myeongdong area of Seoul, home to the grand dame of Korean retailers Lotte, each day and most are there for one purpose — shopping. With recorded sales of mega-brands like Benefit, Shu Uemura, and Lab Series ranked first in the world, and Estée Lauder and SK-II in the top five, is this the new power player in our global beauty economy?

The History Of Whoo

In the past few months alone Ja Saeng Essence, an all-in-one wonder serum, has sold more than 3,000,000 million Won — roughly $28,000 — worth of truly innovative skin-care technology that Korean women can’t get enough of.
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Aquabolic Moisturizing Water is one of the hottest beauty kids on the Korean block. The toner is made with lecithin and lamellar crystals, which strengthen skin cells. How major is that?!
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Alongside Amorepacific, Sulwhasoo is the other big-name luxury brand to come out of Korea. Lotte’s sold so many of its Gentle Cleansing Oils that a rep says it’s the top-selling face wash by far.
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The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb is a serious cult fave in Korea. According to Belif, this little jar offers up to 26 hours of moisture. According to Lotte, it has such a rabid fanbase that fans have been known to rush its beauty counters!
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Estée Lauder
It’s unsurprising that one of the world’s all-time favorite beauty products, Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, is a consistent top performer at Lotte. Even in a sea of super-specific problem-solvers (what Korean skin-care is known for), it stands out.
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When we think of Brazil, we think of a land of genetically blessed supermodels (Gisele, Alessandra, Adriana), a riot of color designed to enhance an eye-popping tan worthy of Copacabana beach, and let’s face it, the Brazilian wax. If any country on our list is in a league of its own, it’s Brazil, and boy, does it take its beauty seriously. Step forward Drogaria Iguatemi, Brazil’s premium drugstore/apothecary, which is endorsed by none other than our R29er crush and Vogue Brasil’s beauty editor Victoria Ceridono. You’ve got until the 2016 Olympics to comb it for beauty inspiration.

Bioderma H20 S
Bioderma’s famous micellar water is a staple for models and makeup artists. The range was initially intended for medical prescription, which explains why it works like a dream — and why Drogaria Iguatemi (its only stockist in Brazil) sells 600 units every three days.
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“Brazilian women want to look gorgeous and toned in their bikinis all year 'round,” says Karina Diniz, partner and commercial director of the Drogaria Iguatemi group. “Increasingly, customers are choosing the DIY-beauty option over heading to the salon.” We love Tripolar, an at-home radio-frequency gadget that helps firm the face, neck, and arms and is worth its weight in international shipping costs. “We take a lot of sun all year 'round, and want to correct the damage in the privacy of our own homes.”
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A favorite of Victoria’s Secret makeup artist Dick Page and “every makeup artist in Brazil,” says Diniz, Kryolan’s formulations offer the kind of healthy, gilded skin that supernaturally lit models are made of. With Drogaria Iguatemi being the only stockist of the brand in Brazil, sellouts include the Derma Color range, which excels at covering up blemishes and regretful tattoos.
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Talika Lipocils
What do Brazilian women do when their mascara just doesn't cut it? Bulk-buy Talika Lipocils, a serum that strengthens eyelashes to promote growth. “Brushed on morning and night, the botanical blend makes lashes softer and fuller-looking within a few days,” says Ceridono. We have to say, the lengthening and volumizing benefits are rather impressive.
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Collagen is one of those magic beauty entities: a protein that makes the skin look plumper, younger, and less dry. So, would stuffing your face with collagen-infused chocolates make you look younger? Apparently, it’s a resounding "yes" from our South American counterparts. “As well as its collagen-boosting benefits, Beauty’In Choco Beauty is rich in proteins and vitamins that are important for the skin cells, like vitamin D, B6, and folic acid,” says Diniz. Also, did we mention it's made of chocolate?
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