My Must-visit European Beauty Destinations

I have the travel bug right now. Bad. Like ready to dig a tunnel out Shawshank style bad.

Since switching back to working from home full time, I’ve been suffering from serious cabin fever and am dying to book a trip somewhere. So, what does one do when they’re aching to get out of town? Look back on their past travels and wish they could teleport back there.

And one of the highlights of my most recent excursions has been checking out the top local beauty spots and picking up plenty of skincare goodies to haul home. Europe has no shortage of incredible beauty brands and with higher standards than the U.S. in terms of ingredients, I feel better about shopping both high and low end.

In the spirit of reminiscing, I figured I would share some of my favorite beauty destinations from London, Amsterdam and Zagreb.

London

Visiting London was easily the highlight of 2018. It was also the best way to extend my birthday celebration a few more days. Even though I had to work while I was there, Craig tagged along and we extended the trip to an entire week, which left some time for touristy things and shopping. After the last of my meetings, I decided it was time to blow some money. I had to stop into Space NK of course (they now have an outpost in Bloomingdale’s) where I picked up the only foundation I ever want to use from Chantecaille as well as this refreshing eye cream from Rodial.

Next, I had to pay my respects to the most gorgeous department store I’ve ever been in: Liberty. Man did their beauty department live up to it’s reputation. Gorgeously arranged tables and displays bursting with so many skincare, makeup and haircare brands it felt impossible to see it all. I need to go back. I loved that you could pick things up for yourself or speak to a brand representative if needed so it didn’t feel too stuffy. In the end, I went a bottle of Emulsion Gel Biosensible S.R. from Biologique Recherche that was sold out back home.

Amsterdam

My work trip to Amsterdam was painfully short but I did end up with some free time between meetings to explore this beautiful city. After looking around online, I noticed one store was featured on most lists of beauty spots to check out: COSMANIA. Located in the hip shopping neighborhood known as The Royal Streets, this bright and airy shop carries products from all over the world, but I knew I wanted to pick up something Dutch. After chatting with the friendly shopgirl, I left with the Cleansing Cream from SMPL, which is a lovely and much more affordable dupe for the Biologique Recherche or Liz Earle, as well as a konjac sponge and a Mud Sheet Mask from Milu. A mess-free mud sheet mask is a game changer.

Zagreb

Visiting Croatia has been on my bucket list for years and spending two weeks there last summer was absolute heaven. We bounced between a few different cities, but Zagreb was where I collected my beauty haul. The top image is from Müller, a German store with several locations in Croatia. The selection of products here was amazing, especially the clean beauty section. It was right next to our hotel which I don’t think Craig minded in the end because they also sell food and booze. My favorite purchase there was a bottle of Renew Pearls from Dr. Grandel, a cream-serum hybrid that smells divine.

The other chain I kept seeing around Croatia was BIPA, which was definitely more of a pharmacy. And pharmacy’s are the best place to find affordable skincare. It was there I discovered local brand Olival, maker of my favorite hydrating and anti-aging serum that also happens to be under $15. I’ve since had their products shipped to the U.S. and even gave tubes of that serum out as Christmas gifts. It’s perfect.

Ugh, I need to go somewhere soon. Perhaps Craig should hide my credit card until then…

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