Taiwan Travelogue: Tips to buying makeup/beauty related items in Taipei
Hello! Oops sorry for the lack of updates recently lol. Will finish up my entries on Taiwan with something that I have an immense interest in - MAKEUP! :D
Taiwan, being near to Japan, is usually the country to get first dibs on Japanese products hence if you're like me who is damn poor and cannot afford to go to Japan to buy Japanese makeup items, head to Taiwan I say!
I would first like to place a disclaimer that all this is my own personal opinion hence if you have better tips to score makeup etc please feel free to leave it in the comments below - I would be glad to learn of such tips from you :)
First up, my favourite haunt to get Japanese & Taiwanese drugstore brands in Taipei - Watsons.
I visited 3 different Watsons outlets this time round and.... I left them really broke rofl. Usually when I visit foreign countries, I tend to head to their local Watsons to see if I can buy their drugstore beauty items at a cheaper rate than Singapore's. FYI, SG's Watsons sell all the imported items at jacked up rates :( poor us!
So can you imagine how excited I am to go to Watsons in Taiwan? The bf called me crazy and kept telling his relatives his crazy Singapore girlfriend likes to go to Watsons wtf -.-"
Anyway, Watson in Taiwan usually have crazy sales and luckily while I was in Taipei, most brands were on sale like Integrate, KATE Cosmetics, Majolica Majorca etc.
15% off Integrate items because it was a new brand added to that store (even though I am pretty sure this was there ages ago la...)
I picked up one eyeshadow palette from here.
If you're really lucky, the US brands may have some discount as well compared to SG prices like these Revlon scented polishes.
I recall it being around $10 or something along those lines... okay maybe lesser BUT I am pretty sure that the price of NT148 is definitely cheaper than the SG price.
And then there are like a gazillion brands available there in the outlet next to SOGO Zhongxiao branch! Psssst it's also 24 hours so after shopping at SOGO you can head there. It's 3 storeys filled with goodies!
I purchased the Sailormoon eyeliners you see in the pic on the left above because there was a promotion going on and when it is selling for NT300+ (sorry, I lost the receipt argh!!) compared to $23.90 , my first instinct was.... BUY! Think later lol.
And.... here's another reason why heading to Watsons in Taiwan is good - you get stuff you cannot buy from Singapore!
This is an exclusive KATE Cosmetics collection only for that particular outlet I visited (SOGO Zhongxiao one FYI) and... I haven't seen them in the local Watsons store to be honest. My friend visited another Watsons outlet in Taipei but was unable to locate this collection as well so it might only be available in certain major outlets la.
Last reason why Watsons is awesome - they have alot of sales/promotions!!! I bought the Biore set from above, the one with the orange and blue tube and it was only NT389! LIKE WTH RIGHT!? Go where find?! That's Puff Kuo a.k.a Heechul's 'wife' on WGM Global by the way lol.... She's the endorser for this brand I suppose? Not too sure hahaha.
In summary, visit Watsons in Taiwan if you are 'makeup siao' like me. Or if your makeup crazed girlfriend asked you to buy something for her on your trip to Taiwan lol.
You will be able to find Korean brands, Taiwanese brands like Dr Wu & Naruko & My Beauty Diary etc and of course.... Japanese makeup brands from those you see in Taiwanese magazines!
They have alot of ongoing promotions somehow (or I'm super lucky la lol) and I even managed to get like NT400 instant rebates due to an ongoing event. Like... where will you ever get the opportunity to do so in Singapore huh? NEVER I tell you.
So you can just browse through the Watsons website as I've linked above to check out the brands available in the Taiwan outlets.
Next up, my next favourite place to get departmental brands is.... SOGO!
If you've read my Taiwan travelouges, you'll know that SOGO in the Zhongxiao area has 2 branches - Fuxing branch and Zhongxiao branch.
At the Fuxing branch, you will be able to find brands like:
- 10/10 HOPE
- clé de peau BEAUTÉ 肌膚之鑰
- ESTEE LAUDER
- GIORGIO ARMANI
- Jo Malone London
- LA MER
- la prairie
- Odile Lecoin
- shu uemura
All located at B1.
Which are the counters you should head to? Paul & Joe of course lol! Because that's what I did. Why you move out of SG huh Paul & Joe?!
And Albion but Albion is also available in the Zhongxiao branch too. Psssst Albion is slightly cheaper in Taiwan compared to Singapore and when they have special promotional sets, the deals are usually pretty awesome!
I would say that the Fuxing branch housed more international brands and you can try buying Giorgio Armani here although I do not know whether it is cheaper compared to Singapore's price. I bought my GA stuff at HKIA btw lol too cheapo to buy in Singapore oops >.<
The Zhongxiao branch houses more Japanese brands like ettusais here which can be found at B1.
Other brands found in B1:
- Model's Own
- The Body Shop
Just a comment from my past experience with ettusais. I have bought their products from Singapore, HK and Taiwan before and out of all these 3 countries, I find that Taiwan has the cheapest price followed by HK and then Singapore. See what I mean when I say Singapore's makeup is expensive?!
I have since moved on to other brands, occasionally going back to ettusais when they have very unique products (currently using their Quick-Fix Powder that I purchased from the recent Shiseido sale).
When you head up to Level 1, that is where makeup heaven is!
Here are the brands available at SOGO Zhongxiao branch:
- ANNA SUI
- BOBBI BROWN
- cle de peau BEAUTE 肌膚之鑰
- COSME DECORTE(黛珂)
- Elizabeth Arden
- ERNO LASZLO
- ESTEE LAUDER
- JILL STUART
- LA MER
- la prairie
- laura mercier
- MAKE UP FOR EVER
- RéVive (麗膚再生)
- shu uemura (植村秀)
I went to my usual counters that are not available in Singapore (Jill Stuart, Albion cos it's cheaper here but no promo then boo) and then I walked past the Laduree counter.
Taiwan is the only country for now out of Japan and France to carry this line of cosmetics!!! EEEEE :D
I'm ashamed to say that despite knowing how Laduree products are 'nice to see but not very good in quality for the price', I left with a blush D:
I almost fell for the powder but it was too bloody expensive to be bought! It was NT5220 for 1... But sooooooo finely milled. Ok, I sound abit obsessed right now haha.
I also popped by the Lunasol counter to grab one of the 15th anniversary eyeshadow palettes.
The prices here are cheaper than Singapore plus if you spend above NT3000 in a day, you can head to their VAT counter to claim your 5% tax back hahaha. Yes, instant cash! Just remember to bring you passport and it's only valid on day of purchase.
Inform the beauty assistants that you would like to get tax refund and they will fill up the forms for you :D
Tip! If you are in the Taipei 101 vicinity, you can head to Shinkong Mitsukoshi to find these brands as well although they may be housed in different branches. The Taipei Main Station branch is quite small in my opinion so you can give that a miss honestly.
For a one stop, grab everything in a same place, my advice would be to head to SOGO. And.... tell your bf/husbands to go grab a coffee at Starbucks lol.
And for Jill Stuart, I find that sometimes if you cannot find the limited edition items, try and head to the airport earlier and go to the duty free section. I didn't pick up any from SOGO this time but I went home with a blush from the Summer 2014 collection, lipgloss trio set which is a DFS exclusive and eyeshadow palette from the Spring 2014 collection from the airport's DFS despite being late for my boarding time. Oh and... I also picked up another JS blush from China Airline's duty free section because it was a CI exclusive!!! WTF JS~ Will share when I finally open them from the packages haha.
I'd like to end of this post with a picture of this Taiwanese brand that I found in Taipei 101 mall at B1. I love the packaging of these sheet masks! I came back with a few of them so maybe when I've used them I will review them (if I'm not too lazy hahah!) but they are pretty pricey compared to those you find at drugstores like Watsons or Cosmed.
Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed reading where I get all my makeup buys haha!
Please share if you have other tips as well on where to get cheap and good makeup items in Taiwan generally because I visit Taiwan on a regular basis so it'll be nice to know.