Charting the rise of A-beauty
By Rebecca Fearn
With K-beauty leading the industry for several years now, it’s been difficult to imagine any other continent shaking up beauty in a big way. However, with an influx of exciting new brands and the staying power of several long-standing heroes, Australian beauty brands are doing just that.
I have to be honest and say I may be a little biased: my boyfriend is Aussie, I’m currently planning a two-week trip there in October and I’ve always been fascinated by the country. But the popularity of this trend speaks for itself, and it seems like it’s not just me who’s into it. A keyword search shows the term “Australian Beauty Brands” is up 86% year on year, while the number of beauty insiders talking about brands from the land down under has skyrocketed.
“Customers are more and more conscious of what they put on their skin and they now know that natural skincare products can deliver on promises if they are made of the best ingredients. Australia is a powerhouse of amazing and unique botanical ingredients, all at our fingertips here”.
Her co-founder Sarah Hamilton agrees that “Australian beauty is really taking off, and it’s all down to the amazing Australian environment which produces incredibly powerful ingredients”.
The Australian attitude to beauty is increasingly relevant to us Brits, too. “The secret to beauty from an Australian perspective is take care of yourself by using the right products for you and as natural as possible”, says Sarah. With the rising demand for clean, free-from products, A-beauty is meeting our modern needs.
From Dr Roebuck’s and Sand & Sky to Aesop and Becca, the relaxed yet results-driven Aussie approach to beauty has never been cooler. Keep scrolling for the best A-brands around…
While skincare is ahead of the clean beauty curve, it's difficult to find natural makeup brands in the UK. Nude By Nature is one of the best imports that meets this demand. Using natural formulas, the brand shuns synthetic chemicals and is dedicated to cruelty-free beauty. New to the NBN? Try the Radiant Loose Powder Foundation, which provides a beautiful velvet finish.
Best known for its universally-loved Rosewater Balancing Mist, Jurlique is dedicated to using gentle, kind-to-skin formulas for your best skin yet. We love the botanical-based approach to beauty, and favourites include the Nourishing Cleansing Oil and of course the iconic mist.
Co-founded by iconic Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson, WelleCo follows the ethos that beauty works from the inside-out. Made using clean ingredients, the brand's supplements are targeted at healthy skin, bodies and minds. Our pick is the Nourishing Protein, which tastes amazing mixed into smoothies or sprinkled onto granola.
O&M (which stands for Original and Mineral) uses natural active ingredients which are sourced from all over Australia. The brand is especially effective for coloured hair due to its nourishing, protective qualities. Try the Seven Day Miracle Moisture Mask or The Power Base.
Much-loved on Instagram and famed for its celebrity collaborations (find a beauty editor who doesn't have the Chrissy Teigen palette, we challenge you), Becca is currently making a bigger splash than ever in the UK due to its brand new skin-focused products. The Weightless Blur Foundation combines the brand's dedication to creating fun, beautiful makeup and keeping skin in tip-top condition.
A pioneer in Australian beauty, Aesop is a classic. Adored by Australians all over the world, Aesop combines natural ingredients and results-driven technology in their skin, body and hair products. You'd be at a loss to find a cool Scandi interior without Aesop's hand wash and balm at the sink. If you love luxury body washes, try the Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, which comes with a super handy pump.
From the packaging to the naturally-inspired formulas, Dr Roebuck's is an accurate representation of cool, chilled out Australia. Try the Daintree AHA Exfoliating Mask and the Perky Collagen Boosting Serum; two bestsellers.
Sand & Sky quickly gained a cult following after the launch of its first product, the Purifying Pink Clay Mask, which sold out in 8 weeks back in 2017. With its millennial pink packaging and Australian clay-based formula, we predict the new Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment will have similar success.
Spotting a gap in the market, the founders of Slip first put their hand to creating silk pillowcases, followed by luxurious eye masks and scrunchies. Amazingly effective for keeping hair in place overnight (perfect if you have trouble prolonging your blow dry), their products keep locks frizz and static-free. Oh, and they look pretty great too...
Alpha-H concentrates on skin that needs purifying and exfoliating. The difference is, they are dedicated to doing this gently, without irritating skin. Try their cult product Liquid Gold if you're new to the brand.
Originally designed for eczema and rosacea sufferers, MV has a long list of celebrity fans, from Rose Huntington-Whiteley to Emma Watson. Their gentle approach to skincare is one of their main pulls, as are their luxuriously nourishing formulas.
Using highly activated, bio-available ingredients of a therapeutic level, BEAR has set its sights on reshaping the supplement landscape and is proudly Australian. With four branches to the products (Protect for immunity, Perform for clarity, Restore for energy and Explore for balance), the brand is curated yet far-reaching.