Natural beauty is all well and good, but there’s nothing wrong with a little enhancement now and then. Whether you line your eyes, contour your cheekbones or just like a bit of sparkle, make some room in your makeup bag before visiting these five destinations, as chosen by global travellers.*
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the source of K-beauty trends
K-beauty has taken the cosmetics world by storm in recent years, with sheet masks and CC cream growing from newfangled fads into global staples. In the city where it all began, Korean brands show off their innovative products and cute, Instagram-worthy packaging in gleaming flagship stores. Seoul’s Myeongdong neighbourhood is home to Missha, innisfree and the high-end Lotte Department Store, while upmarket Gangnam-gu houses Skin Food and Dr. Jart+. Get your beauty sleep nearby at the opulent Signiel Seoul.
Rivera’s upmarket malls and exclusive brands make Rivera a must for makeup fans
Rivera sits right alongside Santana do Livramento, Brazil, and its tax-free stores attract shoppers from both sides of the border. Retail outlets line the sun-baked city streets, but beauty-loving locals prefer to shop in style in air-conditioned malls like Melancia. Expect great deals on imported brands, including Uruguay’s first ever MAC counter. Once you’re done, rest your legs at Frontier Hotel Rivera, a modern hotel just a block from the shops.
Okinawan beauty brands are renowned for their use of natural local ingredients
In Japan’s southern Okinawa Islands, spas have long used organic local ingredients in rejuvenating skincare treatments – and now beauty brands are getting in on the action. Chacha no Ki’s calming cleanser features Okinawan ocean mud, while Chulala BB cream is packed with antioxidant-rich shell ginger. You’ll find the best bargains in Chatan’s Mihama American Village, a US-style mall full of tax-free stores, restaurants and gaming areas. Sleep within striking distance of the shops at the Vessel Hotel Campana Okinawa.
Ponta Porã, Brazil
Ponta Porã’s outlet stores and shopping centres are a magnet for beauty lovers
This Brazilian border town is separated from Paraguay by Avenida Internacional, a bustling avenue lined with tax-free stores. Beauty lovers flock to its shopping centres in search of brand name bargains – everything from MAC and Benefit to Lancôme and Dior. Two of the biggest malls are Planet Outlet and Shopping China, where food courts and live music keep even non-shoppers entertained. The modern Herval Park Hotel offers a stellar breakfast buffet, just a five-minute walk away.
Andorra la Vella, Andorra
Duty free shopping with mountain views in Andorra la Vella
Andorra’s mountain location makes it a magnet for skiers, but did you know it’s also a retail hotspot? In its tiny capital, Andorra la Vella, dozens of duty-free stores offer luxury makeup brands at some of the cheapest prices in Europe. Along Avinguda Meritxell you’ll find Gala Perfumeries and the cosmetics counters of Grans Magatzems Pyrenees – ask nicely and you might even get a free makeover. The nearby Andorra Park Hotel has a spa and rooms with scenic views.
*These destinations were some of the top-rated cities in the world for ‘shopping for makeup’, according to Booking.com travellers.