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
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.
The last of my entries for the Taipei trip! Gonna lump my last 2 days together because I don’t really have much pictures to share haha oops.
Will do a post on where to buy makeup in Taipei, especially for those brands not available in Singapore ya!
So stay tuned for that :D
Moving on, I woke up feeling tons better the next morning after popping Panadol the night before.
Headed out at around 2pm for lunch to the 東區 area because the bf decided to bring me to 點水樓
for xiao long baos!
Couple selfie in the cab first! With tons of filters because I still look sick.
Touted as the best xiao long baos in Taiwan, 點水樓 is located at SOGO Fuxing Level 11. You can alight at Zhongxiao Fuxing station and exit towards the Fuxing building of SOGO.
By the time we arrived it had already changed its menu to the afternoon tea one so sadly, not much rice/noodles for us to pick D:
Ordered a few dim sum style dishes to fill up our hungry tummies!
Xiao long baos and dumplings
Truffle xiao long baos
I swear you have to give the truffle xiao long baos a try! The smell…. I thought truffle fries were my favourite form of ‘truffle-food’ but the xiao long baos just overtook the fries to become my number one truffle infused food item!
Soupy xiao long bao! Yum
This was the worst thing to order D: Some custard bun thingy.
Tasted like really dry huat kueh FML
After that I went shopping for more makeup (HEHEHE!) before walking around to find a mani/pedi shop to do my nails. I originally wanted a store that is near to Breeze Center but they were fully booked :( Note to self: must make an appointment in future!
So walked around the SOGO area and found a really small store that was very free (probably not good one…)
And true enough, the nail polishes used were all brands that I’d never heard of before wtf.
Still went ahead with a mani/pedi session because I had no time to do my nails before my cousin’s wedding as I would arrive in SG very late the next day.
The bf was really nice to accompany me throughout the 2 hour odd session and then we went to tabao food back for his brother and our dinner!
This store is directly opposite 東區粉圓 which is extremely famous for its…. 粉圓 la what else lol! The cold noodles from this store is very nice! Do try it if you happen to pass by here then afterwards just cross the road to have dessert lol. FYI they sell out very early so we were lucky that there were still noodles available that evening.
The address to Dong Qu Fen Yuan: No. 38, Lane 216, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Rd, Taiwan 106
The bf loves eating this so we tabao-ed 2 portions to go as well! No pics because the guys devoured it without pausing to let me take a picture wth.
Last minute shopping in Watsons hehehe!
Last day in Taipei was spent……….. having lunch with the bf’s family and then rushing to the airport lol!
Last couple selfie :(
China Airlines back to SG
In preparation for the upcoming concert then lol
I was so late at the airport – 1 hour before take-off – due to the late lunch and torrential rain on the way.
Please factor in about an hour before your check-in time to allow yourself to reach Taoyuan Airport in time.
Ran to the gate and promptly forgot to take back my SG simcard wtf.
Had to text the brother to get my mum to get a replacement simcard because I was landing only at 9pm in SG and the wedding I had to attend was early in the morning the following day.
Thankfully I was able to spot my dad at the arrival gates if not I dunno whether public payphones are still available in Singapore leh.
Anyway, that’s the end of my 7D6N trip to Taiwan to visit the bf haha!
He’ll be back in Singapore soon (I hope) before going off to the UK for studies ^^ Can’t wait!
Wokays, as I’m sipping on my lovely Perrier water (ya, I’m that atas. But I only buy when they are on offer at NTUC or wherever lol #cheapo), here’s Day 5 of my Taiwan trip.
Sorry but that’s pretty much what you’re gonna read so far because I am tied up at work really badly D:
Not that I am doing anything big but… just sian lor lol. Ok, no link, let’s move on with this entry!
The bf had to go for his dental appointment the day before hence we pushed our trip to Jiu Fen to the next day (and also because his brother will be delivering goods to the area so… free ride?)
Woke up very early and left the house to head to his mother’s office first. Stopped by a market to grab some pots and pans together with our breakfast!
I didn’t enjoy the meal because of the oily food but that’s just the beginning of a very bad day.
Somehow I was feeling really lethargic and nothing could perk me up. My head felt like it was pounding non-stop and I didn’t even bother putting on makeup that morning.
Headed to Jiufen which is located on the outskirts of Taipei City – it’s literally in Taipei County.
From my understanding, Jiufen became really famous because it was featured in a Taiwanese movie and somehow boom! Tourists everywhere xD
But yeah, it was literally crowded with tourists the ENTIRE way when I visited.
I love Jiufen for its rustic feel and old school food that you do not find quite easily around the cities.
Everytime I visit Jiufen, the 老招牌 stores remain but others simply appear. It’s amazing how fast the turnover of a place can be haha but I suppose that is the norm in places of interest.
You can find a plethora of things at Jiufen – food, snacks, toys etc. I actually picked up some combs made from jade(?), the material used to make gua sha tools for my mum because she requested for them. So yeah, you want anything you’ll probably be able to find them here save for clothes la. This is not Wu Fen Pu yo! LOL.
Stopped by a store that was selling very old school toys. The bf paid the NT10 for my try on this box-like thingy. Bascially you choose a square and poke your fingers through it.
And then whatever is inside the box will be your prize!
I got 6 mini pencils. IKEA gives them for free leh…
This snack is what I would call popiah ice cream and is unique to Jiufen actually.
Popiah skin sprinkled with some grated peanut and topped with 2 scoops of yummy ice cream (I think it’s yam flavoured but not overwhelming the taste) then wrapped to look like a popiah.
I liked it but…. my nightmare had barely begun. By them I was feeling semi-nauseous, possibly due to the winding roads up to Jiufen so those who have motion sickness, please remember to take your meds!
I wasn’t sure why I was feeling that way but yeah, could feel myself being really uncomfortable and queasy in the stomach.
Went to find Jace and her friend in one of the cafes.
Yup, sick also have tot take selfie yo!
We all made our way back to the car to head off to our next destination: Houtong Cat Village but alas, the weather was not on our side because it started raining heavily.
Decided to just go to Shifen Waterfall, hoping that the rain would ease up but still no hope.
When we reached there, I felt really guilty making the bf’s brother drive up so treacherous roads so I told the girls to go down with me to the waterfall just so the trip would not be wasted lol.
And yes, despite the torrential rain, we all took our umbrellas, paid the bloody NT100 entrance fee into the waterfall area and promptly left after 10 mins of photo-taking lol.
Returned to the car and by then I was soaked to the core, which evolved into me feeling extremely sick from then onwards. The car went on to Kinmen round Yehliou and I kinda ‘merlion-ed’ at the restaurant that served really awesome duck. Oops. Went back to the car to rest with the bf because by then I was already burning, probably due to the rain :(
Felt really bad to be such a wet blanket but at our next stop, a restaurant for more food (LOL!) I only had a mini bowl of lu rou fan because my stomach still didn’t feel good. But at least I wasn’t puking anymore hahaha.
Gonna be an abrupt end to this post because…. I was sick from then on lol. So no more pictures!
I would highly recommend you taking a day trip out of Taipei City if you are unable to travel to other cities in Taiwan.
Hire a driver and plan an itinerary to the following places: Yehliou (to see the geographic rocks), Shifen (to let go of sky lanterns, see the waterfall although I don’t recommend this portion cos it was… nothing much), Houtong (only if you love cats ya!), Keelung (to visit the Miaokou Night market).
If not, at least pay Danshui a visit! You can spend a good half a day there to just stroll around the harbour and old street, enjoy the famous tie dans and ah geis (fishballs) that originates from the area. I regret not visiting Danshui on this trip, in fact my last trip to this place was in 2008. I will go back when I can so… hoping that the next trip to Taipei will come soon!
LOL ok, bye~