Taiwan Travelogue: Tips to buying makeup/beauty related items in Taipei

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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:
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:
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.
Bye! :D

Sephora Members 20% off Haul

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The Sephora outlet at ION Orchard was hideously cramped last Saturday with ladies holding baskets full of makeup products and some bored boyfriends who probably got dragged to the store to squeeze with everyone else just so their female friends/partners could get a good deal from the 20% discount off all items for 4 long days.
This sale came at the right moment. I went the following day after payday and I asked Sephora to just ‘take all my money naooooooooooo!’ lol. But I am thankful for the 20% off Sephora Singapore.
So without further ado, here is my haul which I admit is very reserved given my ability to just buy things without considering the consequences haha.
Here’s what I bought (prices are normal retail pricing at Sephora Singapore):
  1. Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush 214 Promiscuous, $55.00
  2. Lancome Lip Lover 355 Framboise Etoile, $40.00
  3. Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick 301 Magnolia Organza, $50.00
  4. Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder Air Sensation 05 Soft White, $89.00
The first item I picked up was this Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush in 214 Promiscuous. I have been dying to get my hands on a Marc Jacobs product ever since it launched at our Sephora stores in April this year but I held back because of the price. But the blushes from this range are just so smooth and creamy – totally my kinda thing!
Because I asked a friend who is now in the US to pick up 2 other colours for me, I decided to go with 214 Promiscuous because it was the colour that caught my eye from the display.
The blush comes in a sleek black compact with ‘Marc Jacobs’ printed and the clasp is quite sturdy – just press lightly and the compact will open.
It also comes with a cloth cover and a brush which both feels very cheap to me – not good MJ given that I had to pay $55 for it -.-“
Thankfully colour pay-off is awesome so I forgive you Mr Jacobs lol. Take a look at the hand swatches here. The colour is very pigmented, pink with shimmer. You can definitely build up the colour slowly with your brush, just remember, it’s called a Shameless Bold Blush for a reason – it will make you seem ‘shameless’ for attracting so much attention with your bold blush xD
Heavy swatch (L) Light swatch (R)
I have yet to try this on my face but you can see why I fell in love with the colour at Sephora – pinky blushes are my vices! I will try and post a review entry together with the other Marc Jacobs items my friend will be bringing back from the US for me. Stay tuned for that!
I chanced upon the small but sufficient Givenchy area in Sephora by accident. It was by sheer accident that I ended up there because I was looking for my friend Jacelyn and I saw the powder compact by accident.
Ended up picking 2 items from the nice and friendly BA from Givenchy.
Givenchy’s Le Rouge Lipstick in Magnolia Organza 301 looked like a bright pinkish red when I saw it in the tube. But upon swatching it at Sephora that day, I couldn’t make up my mind with their 205 Fuchsia Irrésistible and this but Jacelyn persuaded me to go with Magnolia Organza because I had way too many purple lip products in my stash.
This is a one swipe swatch – can you see how opaque the colour is? Totally convinced that I didn’t waste my money lol. We shall see how it fair against my dry lips ugh. I wish there was a way to do away with dry and flaky lips :/
Givenchy’s Prisme Libre Loose Powder Quartet Air Sensation in Soft White 05 was the second item I brought home with me from the brand.
Now this, has been appearing non-stop all over my Instagram feed. I was intrigued naturally! So since I was there at the Givenchy area, why not test this out? OH MAN, when the BA tried the product on my face, I was instantly sold!
It comes in a quartet of powders and the idea is to flip the entire container upside down pressing onto the puff, get the colour and then imprint the Givenchy logos all over before blending/smoothing the product.
Eh, I apologise for the crap lighting while taking these pictures first okay? Anyway, here’s the instructions from the box.
Comes with a seal which you have to discard upon opening it
Picking up the product with the puff
So you’ll get 4 different colours of powder aimed to correct your skin tone as well as provide the coverage that you need. The BA matched me to 05 Soft White even though I wanted to try the pastel coloured ones.
Print the Givenchy logos (damn cool haha!)
And then pat with the puff to smoothen it.
I used the powder as a setting and touch-up powder and I love the instant glow it gave my face.
My only grouse was that I disliked how the puff got dirtied by my liquid foundation and it was just a turn off for me. I gave in to my OCD and washed the puff that very night because of how grimy it was.
So I wish there was a better way to apply this – maybe I should really use a quick setting foundation or wait longer before patting the powder over my face.
(cr to Lancome’s official website)
Now for the final product I picked up at the sale, it is Lancome’s Lip Lover in 355 Framboise Etoile. I apologise once again for shit pictures. I couldn’t capture the actual product without it turning into a reflective mess and had to just use the picture from the official website.
Nevertheless, here is the hand swatch of the product.
355 Framboise Etoile is described as a berry pink shade and the line of Lip Lovers from Lancome  is supposed to be “An intense lip color that hydrates and gives lips dewy, non-sticky shine.
Well, I haven’t tried it on my lips yet but this colour is really intense. In fact, all the colours from the line are very intense! I had a hard time trying to get the swatches off at Sephora that day.
The formula is non-sticky, it had very smooth application and the applicator is akin to a doe-foot applicator but instead of it being rounded, it has 2 flat surfaces.
I liked how the top part of the Lip Lover has a click mechanism with the bottom half to give users a secure lip product. Very innovative I must add, so thumbs up for you Lancome! :D
Alright, that’s all for my Sephora haul. I am going to the TANGS 12% rebate sale tomorrow hehe and I just received a box full of NARS products from the US.
Maybe I will do haul posts for those when I have the time, so till then, thanks for reading! :)

Dior Backstage Studio Haul

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Hey all! Dior Backstage Studio located at ION Orchard Level B2-44/46 had a special 10% discount for DBS/POSB cards with $120 nett purchase last Saturday.
My lovely and friendly Dior BA sent me a picture of the sale details and I promptly went down to get some stuff.
I mean it’s not everyday a freaking luxe and atas (slang for high-ended) brand like Dior has a sale right? #makingexcusesonly
And honestly to hit $120 wasn’t difficult with a brand like Dior. I wanted everything in the store lol!
So here is my modest haul – I went home with only 2 items, the rest were freebies actually haha!
Here’s my first item, Diorshow Eyeshadow Mono Transat Edition in 541 Pavillon.
It’s part of Dior’s Summer 2014 collection and my third item from it haha! I contemplated it when the collection launched here but I couldn’t justify the price. I almost never buy single eyeshadows because I believe in quantity haha! If I paid almost another 50%, I could get myself a 5-colour eyeshadow palette! so no way was I paying for just one colour. So I held back then. But with the discount and that to die for rope-like pattern, I jumped on it! It is really too precious to not get it to be honest. Woes of a makeup addict lol.
Comes in the signature sleek Dior compact casing
Protective cover + 2 eyeshadow applicators which I never use
541 Pavillon in my opinion looks very peachy and a muted orange in the pan. When I swatched it with my finger, the pigment came off smoothly like butter. These eyeshadows can be used wet and dry as per Dior’s usual eyeshadows.
While some Dior eyeshadows can be a total dud, this is a clear winner! Look at that colour!
This is a hand swatch in normal lighting with no primer.
The colour came out as a peachy, gearing towards the bronzy side, with micro shimmers.
And here’s the thing: the rope pattern is too thick to be wiped away so…. I can has awesome rope-like eyeshadows for a long long time!! :D
If you dislike strong eye colours, I would suggest getting this and pairing with a brown colour for an everyday look! Or you can put on a bronze or copper shade for a night look.
I think I will wear this tomorrow to the office haha.
I picked up another Dior Addict Fluidstick in 872 Mona Lisette. I already own 575 Wonderland which I don’t have a review for (oops! will work on it heh.) so I wanted to go back for this because this was the first one that drew my attention back when this line of lip products was launched.
It was a personal preference then but the BA on that day persuaded me to get 575 instead because it just got restocked that day when I popped by and also one of the four ‘IT shades’ which are constantly out of stock. And this time round I went for this first thing!
872 Mona Lisette is a deep pink colour that is very much cool toned. The formulation is a thicker than gloss like product but with the intensity of a lipstick and you’d have to apply more layers to get an opaque lip colour. I usually put on 2 coats because the formulation is quite runny initially and takes time to ‘set’.
These lip products leave a faint stain on your lips after they go away but can be easily removed with makeup remover not to worry!
872 Mona Lisette is clearly much more muted than 575 Wonderland but deeper in colour. I like the purple undertones it has and just very nice to wear to work. I was obsessed with wearing 575 Wonderland when I first bought it and I think 872 Mona Lisette will be no different lol.
Comparison with 575 Wonderland (L) and 872 Mona Lisette (R)
Now onto the freebies!
The nice BA gave me a mini, sample-sized 5 colour eyeshadow palette in 809 Petal Shine! Hehe.
I just found it so freaking adorable! Just how awesome is this mini palette?! (inserts googly eyes with hearts)
It was just too precious for me to swatch so I left it alone lol. To admire hehehe. I wonder how mini my brushes should be when I attempt to use this.
Comparison of the mini sample with a full-sized 5 colour eyeshadow palette
I was just like… this looks like a parent and its mini-me version lol! Wouldn’t you agree with me? :D
I also received a sample of the newly released Dior Addict It-Lash Macara in 092 It-Black.
This mascara was launched last week and when I was at the Sephora Members Sale on the same day, Dior staff were actively promoting this as well.
Now I am not a huge fan of branded mascaras. To me any drugstore mascara would suffice because mascaras dry out easily and I do not believe it paying so much for it. Oh and did I mention I have very short lashes too? LOL. So my lashes aren’t thick and luscious ones hence I don’t like to ‘waste’ money on high-ended mascaras.
The sample came as a mini tube with the applicator part of the lid of the tube.
Dior’s claims for this line of mascaras:
Dior Addict It-Lash mascara creates long and curved, doe-like lashes as it coats for a smooth, radiant finish. The formula is supple and easy to layer for intense volume, and it becomes insoluble after it dries for long-wearing color—thanks to its unique latex gel polymer. The chubby mascara brush and easy-to-use handle makes this mascara super wearable, and allow it to coat lashes simultaneously along the full length and the entire fringe area.
It comes in 4 new shades – black, pink, purple and blue. I’m really looking forward to using it soon and see if it lives up to its name of creating volume for my lashes.
Alright, that’s the end of my haul. I will post my Sephora haul in another entry so look forward to that.
Thanks for reading :D