Photo Credit: symmetria.gr
Greece is a magical land of many beautiful treasures—the turquoise waters, hundreds of little island jewels, glorious ancient ruins, delish foods from richly layered Moussaka to Kalamata olive creations and honey-soaked Baklava, as well as a bevy of great skincare, haircare, and body products.
We can thank the ancient Greeks for first exploring the definition of beauty. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle had strong and often opposing views on the philosophy of beauty. Plato believed that relative beauty only exists when you compare objects to each other. If some aspect of an object is beautiful, the whole object is beautiful. Aristotle hypothesized that the senses most prone to recognizing beauty are sight and hearing. Socrates described beauty as a quality of the things we love.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and despite an economic crisis, Greece is holding its own in the beauty world with a trio of innovative brands we love.
KORRES: Truly a family affair, George and Lena Korres are at the helm of this über popular natural brand that spans body, hair, and sun care as well as skincare and color cosmetics. Founded in 1996, based on a heritage of natural and / or certified organic ingredients, KORRES burst onto the skincare scene with its signature Wild Rose 24-Hour Cream (ARV $35), the brand’s first global innovation, and still a bestseller. My first introduction to KORRES was as a skincare consultant for Boots in the UK when I fell instantly in love with their Basil Lemon Shower Gel (ARV $19.50). The modern, edgy packaging has stayed true to the brand’s herbal and pharmaceutical traditions and is a testament to its point of difference. The products are made with yummy Mediterranean ingredients such as guava, honey, yoghurt, almonds, black pine, fig, limes, and tea. Find it in the US at Ulta and Sephora. www.korresusa.com.; for the Shower Gel: www.hsn.com.
Symmetria: Nikolaos Metaxotos, M.D., Ph.D. is a plastic surgeon on a global mission. Symmetria is his brainchild and is renowned as the finest cosmetic surgery center in all of Greece, situated in a posh neighborhood in Athens. Symmetria the Clinic was founded in November 2005. The eponymous skincare and cosmetic line is now available at selected prestige retailers and spas in major capitals around the world. With 18 products and counting, Symmetria is enjoying its place in the spotlight of Greek beauty. The One Lift range of products for day, night and eye are anti-aging bestsellers and intended to be the essential SKUs every woman needs to maintain youthful, firm, and resilient skin. In 2013, Metaxotos brought together an international team of MDs, health and beauty experts, nutritionists, and media professionals, to launch an innovative digital health and beauty magazine for the Apple iPad called WOW NOW, which aims to promote a healthy image of Greece to women around the world. Find the whole range that ships internationally at www.symmetria.gr.
Apivita: For 30 years this little Greek natural beauty brand has been creating pure holistic products. Founded by two pharmacists, Nikki and Nikos Koutsianas, in 1979, the propoline-based products for skin and hair are the brand’s main attraction. The products are based on literally hundreds of natural ingredients—from algae to bitter orange to ylang-ylang. The face scrubs and masks are marvelous—especially the Hydrating & Cooling Mask with sea lavender for calming redness after a day in the Greek sunshine. Another highlight for me is the Body Nourish Intensive Moisturizing and Nourishing Body Cream for Dry Skin (ARV $28) with almond and lavender. There is also a whole range of essential oils for sprinkling into a hot bath or soothing tired muscles, and natural serums. To get your hands on Apivita, visit www.apivita.com/usa.