I went to Asia recently to celebrate Chinese New Year and took the opportunity to get a lot of products that I’ve heard about but don’t have easy access to. I got most of this stuff at Watson’s and Cosmed, drugstore-equivalent personal goods stores.
In general, my observation on the Asian beauty landscape is that there is a plethora of options, not only in the types of products, but also the brands; there are brands from all over – of course the typical ones like Revlon and Maybelline from the U.S., but also ones from Japan, South Korea, Greater China (Taiwan and Hong Kong), and Europe. While the pricing is higher than typical U.S. drugstore levels, I personally feel that the quality is generally better and can be compared to higher-end products.
Without listing out everything, I’ll give a summary:
Powder foundations – I don’t normally wear powder foundations, but I thought I’d give it a try after my friend Kathie told me it’s her go-to type of base. I got one by RMK (pretty pricey but the quality is AMAZING), and one by Majolica Majorca (a sub-brand of Shiseido).
BB Cream – I got one by Etude House that is supposedly their darkest color.
Blush – Two of the Puff Blushes by Majolica Majorca.
Mascara – Mascaras in Asia are incredible; they are generally smudgeproof, and I got 8 to try and give away to friends – they are by Majolica Majorca, Maybelline (Asia exclusive ones), Dejavu Fiberwig, and Kiss Me. In general, I’d say the pricing of these mascaras is definitely higher than drugstore equivalents in the U.S. – each mascara came out to be around the $10 to $15 range, but I feel that they DEFINITELY have the same quality as higher-end mascaras, which are $20+.
Liquid eyeliners – I got 3; one from Kate (a sub-brand of Kanebo), and two from Majolica Majorca (a blue and a brown with black as the base).
Eyelash tools – I got a heated eyelash curler by Panasonic, another eyelash curler that supposedly is amazing, and a tool that you use to protect your upper and lower eyelids from mascara during application.
Eyebrow – I got one waterproof eyebrow pen, and 2 eyebrow powders – one by Canmake and another by Integrate, another sub-brand of Shiseido.
Eyeshadow palettes – A purple one from Kate, and two neutral-toned ones from Majolica Majorca.
Fake lashes and tools – I don’t know how to wear fake lashes, but supposedly if you go to Taiwan (and you like beauty), you have to try the fake lashes. I got the Princess Lee ones that are raved about on Youtube, a lash applicator, and a lash glue.
Miscellaneous – brush cleaner, gifts with purchases, and samples.
I’ve never purchased any of Asian makeup products online, but I’ve heard that the best place is Sasa.com, because they have the widest selection and generally the lowest prices (albeit still at markup compared to the retail price in Asia). Sasa also has brick-and-mortar storefronts in Asia. Some other online retailers are Yesstyle.com, Imomoko.com, and Prettyandcute.com.
Suffice to say I am happily stocked up for a LONG TIME now and am excited to test out these products. Have you tried any Asian makeup products? If so, what are your favorites?