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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...





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Expats Blog


Great Czech Beauty Buys

Published on May 16th, 2013 in Shopping

  • Alpa Francovka "Herbal Tincture"

  • Aromatica Comfrey Salve

  • Cipísek Baby Oil

  • Dermacol - Developed at Barrandov Studios

  • Gabriella Salvete Nail Enamel #114

  • KAREL GOTT Cesta rájem Perfume

  • Ryor Lip Balm

  • Saloos Flower Water Spray



Prague is awash in boutiques selling sophisticated fragrances and cosmetics. (See our recent post on one of them, Ingredients). However, if you’re looking for an affordable, unusual souvenir from your Prague trip—and just happen to be a beauty products addict like me—I suggest these Czech-made drugstore finds which are simply too unique and affordable to pass up.


Alpa Francovka “Herbal Tincture”

15 CZK/60 ml
Widely available at drugstores and supermarkets

This traditional tonic has been used by Czechs for everything from sweaty feet to toothaches for close to a century. (Some have even been known to drink it; for further explanation see our post on retro Czechoslovak cocktails.) Alpa also works as a make-up remover and skin cleanser.



Aromatica Comfrey Salve

54 CZK/50 ml

Widely available at pharmacies

The vaguely Art-Nouveau packaging, hint of eucalyptus scent, and unbeatable price make Aromatica’s all-natural skin-soothing balm an overall winner in my book. Add to this the fact that its active ingredient is lard, traditionally used by Czechs as a moisturizer and first-aid salve, and I consider this product an outright must-have!


Cipísek Baby Oil

37 CZK/100 ml
Widely available at drugstores and supermarkets

Classic Czech cartoon character Cipísek adorns this baby bath oil which is infused with calendula, chamomile, and sage extracts. And while I can’t personally vouch for its effectiveness, the folksy packaging and nice price makes it a wonderful gift for little ones.



Dermacol Make-Up Cover

104 CZK/30 g
Widely available at drugstores and supermarkets


Dermacol’s line of cosmetics and skincare products, developed by a team of professional make-up artists and dermatologists at Prague’s legendary Barrandov Film Studios in the sixties, was the first of its kind in Europe. The Make-Up Cover corrector stick remains popular on film sets and photos shoots today. (Dermacol’s Invisible Fixing Powder is also endorsed by the Czech Society of Make-Up Artists.)


Gabriella Salvete Nail Enamel #114

64 CZK/11 ml

Despite it’s Italian-sounding name, Gabriella Salvete is Czech make-up that’s on par pricewise with the American Wet n Wild brand. Worth a mention mainly for its impressive palette of nail polish shades which rivals pricier brands like OPI. The one-coat No. 114 in True Red is a bestseller—Czech beauty bloggers swear by it.


Karel Gott’s Lady Carneval Perfume

1,200 CZK/50 ml
Only available on-line 


It’s fitting, of course, that the Czech Frank Sinatra has a signature fragrance line. Lady Carneval perfume, an interesting blend of lotus flower and melon, is a bit spendier than the other items mentioned here, but fragrance connoisseurs won’t find a kitschier Czech memento. A woodsy men’s scent named for the hit song “Cesta Rájem” (Path to Paradise), is available, too.


Ryor Lip Balm with Aragon Oil

64 CZK/50 ml
Available at the Ryor shop and TETA drugstores

Moroccan Argan oil has been widely hailed as a miracle product for some time. Ryor’s Czech-made lip balm also utilizes avocado and jojoba to soften and hints of black currant and grapefruit for an aroma that’s both earthy and citrusy. You can browse Ryor’s vast skincare line at its flagship store on Národní 25.


Saloos Flower Water Spray

160 CZK/50 ml
Widely available at drugstores and bio-cosmetics shops


Its terrific variety of all-natural bath-and-body products—derived from botanicals and essential oils and prettily packaged in glass bottles—distinguishes this Czech brand. The lightly scented flower water sprays (rose petal is a favorite) are perfect for travelers who enjoy a refreshing spritz on long-haul flights. I also recommend the Pregnancy Skin Care Oil, which makes for a unique shower gift.