Where does inspiration come from when you’re constantly on the go? For Stephanie Flor, globe trotting beauty expert and founder of Around The World Beauty, it comes from a world that paints in endless rainbows and reflects the waters, and sunsets that constantly drive her need to explore her own creativity and purpose. From discovering secret beauty rituals to sourcing local ingredients for her own elixirs, she has spent the past decade scouring the planet, showcasing the best in beauty from every corner of the planet. We asked Stephanie to share with us some of her must-experience moments from her travels and can’t wait for what comes next in her global beauty journey.
1. MARRAKESH, MOROCCO
No place has ever taken me on such an exploration of what color means. From the doors in the Medina, to the Riads that are mini-palaces with incredible architecture, and design. This city has a way of turning every color into a full sensory experience. It’s no surprise many fashion leaders have made it a fashion mecca for inspiration. Every turn is full of mystery and the ancient world of beauty secrets. From Oud to Argan Oil, it’s my ingredient paradise for glamour and beauty.
2. PUERTO VIEJO, COSTA RICA
My roots are from Costa Rica, but my favorite place to explore is the Caribbean side that is influenced by Caribbean culture, especially Puerto Viejo. You’ll find the Rasta life with a blend of Pura Vida vibes that translates Costa Rica’s country motto to “Pure Life.” My favorite thing to do is explore the rainforests of cacao and coffee, and see how the country I call home is at the forefront of sustainability and biodiversity. Explore the hot springs, and enjoy a night stay or two at my favorite wellness center, The Retreat, to rebalance the mind, body, and soul.
3. RISHIKESH, INDIA
India is my spiritual heart. It showed me to trust the process of life, and that it moves according to its own design. It awakened my inner Shakti to find purpose in my art, and in my being. Rishikesh is nestled under the Himalayan Mountains and the famous Ganges River flows through the city. Every sunrise we gather at the waters to pray for Aarti, a ceremony giving thanks to the water, and offered to the goddesses. The colors of the saris you see women wearing reflect against their hue making them look angelic beings of beauty and color. The art form of Henna, and Ayurveda also are practiced here, and I love going deeper into the teachings of self-awareness and body adornment. My favorite place to call home is the Divine Hotel with incredible views, and monkeys outside your window.
4. ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA
To me, Africa is the mother land. No place have I ever felt inspired to dance out loud than Zanzibar, an island of East Africa, which is a mecca for endless inspiration. Stone Town in Zanzibar is one of the favorite cities in the world. In history it was under Arab, Indian, and European influences, but retained its indigenous elements making it opulent in style, but authentic to African tribal art. Mrembo Spa is a hidden gem that shares local beauty secrets inspired by their natural ingredients like seaweed, Moringa, and Baobab oil. You’ll spend hours making coconut oil from scratch all while learning how to speak Swahili while learning about native Swahili beauty ingredients.
5. AMORGOS, GREECE
The Ancient Greeks have inspired the world for thousands of years with their legendary myths of goddesses and their beauty. The island of Amorgos is an underrated gem where the sand is untouched, and well known for its healing and transformative energy. Medicinal herbs grow wildly on the island’s hills and valleys, and Amorgos is packed with traditional Grecian beauty. They draw from their local climate of the sun, thermal waters, and the sea for natural beauty from the inside-out. Our favorite spot is the favorite among yogis, the family-owned Aegialis Hotel & Spa. The property is situated on top of a hill overlooking the town of Aegiali and the beautiful blue Aegean Sea. The languid views and hypnotic blue waters immediately settles you into a state of freedom and relaxation. One free to live, and create.
6. KYOTO, JAPAN
Japan is rich in beauty traditions that date back centuries. Cities sprawling with hot springs, a mystical geisha culture, artisanal beauty products handcrafted by locals, Kyoto is the beauty adventure of your dreams. From Kabuki makeup, to shopping in geisha markets, I loved learning about the interplay between its traditional practices and its current place at the forefront of beauty trends. In Kyoto, I learned about the Onsen bathing culture, and in Tokyo learning about skincare and Harajuku fashion trends. Japan to me is where you learn to respect, and honor art. While on my journey through Japan, it was clear that beauty was in the attention to detail, in soft movement of awareness. Mie-nai osharé —this translates to “unseen beauty.”
7. GRASSE, FRANCE
Of course when you think of France you think fashion, but for me I think of the world of fragrance first. Traveling to the South of France, I ventured on a scent journey to the fragrance capital of the world. Home to the May roses (the pale pink flower that blooms in May) and Jasmine, Grasse is a leader in the production of flowers and behind many of your favorite scents like Dior, Hermes and Chanel. I learned about the importance of creating a signature scent to represent your unique style. It was a scent-sational experience.