The great Taiwan skincare and beauty haul part #2 is here!
There are so many drugstores and beauty stores in Taiwan (or at least near where I stayed) that I just couldn’t help myself but take a peek. Next to me was a 24 hr Watsons, Cosmed, Innisfree and many other stores. Watsons is kind of like Priceline in Asia, Cosmed is a Taiwanese drug store chain selling way too many brands of face masks (haha) and then there are standalone stores like Innisfree (which I lived next to) and also Too Cool for School, Sasa, 86 Shop, Skinfood, Japan Medical, Nature Republic etc (the latter few I sadly did not make it to, though I really didn’t need anymore things to buy anyway). Most of the brands stocked were from Taiwan, Korea and Japan.
Anyway, living in Taiwan was when I discovered this crazy new world of the Korean ’10 step’ skincare routine. I researched so much before purchasing the below items and though I have only started trying these products, I purchased them for their rave reviews and thought I’d share these with you too as a quick guide to some must-buy products (mostly Korean skincare brands) found in Taiwan. I hope you find these helpful if you are ever shopping in Taiwan!
1) MISSHA TIME REVOLUTION FIRST TREATMENT ESSENCE
It was only recently that I finally understood where the elusive ‘essence’ product fits in one’s skincare routine. It goes after toning but before serum and is similar to a serum but a little more watery in consistency. The Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence is a dupe of the SK-II Miracle Treatment Essence and even though I could not understand why another step needed to be added to a skincare routine, I could not get over just how many ‘this is a miracle!’ ‘I cannot believe this product!’ reviews I was reading. It happened to be on sale in Watsons too so I picked one up for 699NTD(30AUD). Normally they’re about 50AUD I believe! As it is a watery consistency so there can be a bit of wastage when using this product, I’ve read tips to transfer it into a spray bottle and spray directly onto the face. Such a good beauty hack!
2) MY BEAUTY DIARY FACE SHEET MASKS
I wrote a bit about the Innisfree sheet masks in my previous post so I’ll talk about the My Beauty Diary ones here. As mentioned before, sheet masks are really popular in Asia and if you head to Cosmed, there are walls upon walls dedicated to sheet masks. I decided to try out the My Beauty Diary ones – they’re the top-selling Taiwanese sheet mask brand. There are so many different types to choose from within the brand so I had to ask for help from the shop assistant. I also found the below table really helpful (though not every type is listed). My choices ended up being the Aloe Vera (for hydrating), Arbutus Brightening*, Collagen firming & Strawberry Yoghurt (for oil control) masks. There were so many more I wanted to try but it just wasn’t necessary to bring home a truckload of sheet masks. These sheet mask packs (they come in a pack of 10) were on sale at Cosmed so I paid about 200NTD per pack (8.70AUD).
Oh and by the way, if you are looking for Cosmed, its Chinese store name translation ‘康是美’ is often on a bigger sign than its English name. I kept overlooking the ‘康是美’ sign around the corner until I realised it was actually Cosmed, the one I was looking for.
*I’ve since tested this product and have realised that by brightening, they meant whitening. Not quite what I was looking for – I thought it was a ‘radiant complexion’ kind of mask!
3) LIP TINT & LIP CRAYONS
Again, I wrote about the Innisfree ones pictured in my other post here so I’ll just talk about this cute Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lip Crayon in the shade ‘Lost in Dinoplatz’. If you look closely, this pretty little thing is actually mint green in colour! How fun is that? When you apply it, the product mixes with the warmth of your skin and turns into a customised shade of lavender pink. It was just so unique I couldn’t not pick it up. I love the crayon design of it too which makes it really easy to apply – much like my beloved Clinique Chubby Stick. The Too Cool for School lip crayon is 580NTD/25AUD.
4) INNISFREE EVERYTHING
I put all of these products in a separate post, you can see my Innisfree skincare & beauty haul from Taiwan here.
5) MOUSSE MASKS
We’re back on Mousse masks again! I actually picked up the Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Mask before the Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask and it was the Egg Mousse Mask that got me into this first. A Mousse Mask is something I’ve never seen before and almost seems like a novelty product but it’s a bestseller in Too Cool For School and I just love how it works. You only need apply it to your face for 3-5 minutes before most of the mask essence actually soaks into your skin / disappears. The Egg Mousse Mask was 580NTD/25AUD.
6) BANILA CO Clean it Zero – Classic
I read so many people rave about this product as part of the Korean 2 step cleanse that I thought I must try this one out too. I currently use Bioderma Sebium H20 Micellar Water to remove my makeup (completely love it, much better than regular makeup remover) so am a little reluctant to replace it with this after. But the Banila Co Clean it Zero is an oil based cleanser that’s a raved-about skincare essential so let’s see how this goes. This super-sized tub (there is also a regular sized version available) retails for 990NTD/43AUD in Taiwan.
7) NEOGEN BIO-PEEL GAUZE PEELING WINE
This product is raved about on SOKOGLAM (a site that has fast become my skincare bible in terms of finding reviews for Korean products) so I had to give these a go! Oh and Charlotte Cho, if you ever read this, you basically got me into Korean skincare! Anyway, the NEOGEN Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine is a manual exfoliating product and smells delicious. I would know because it accidentally spilled all over my coat on the flight back home..ha! It reminds me a lot of the Arcona Cranberry Gommage scent which if anyone has smelt it, is ridiculously pleasant. Anyway, the NEOGEN product retails for 799NTD/35AUD at Cosmed.
8) KONJAC SPONGES
A new innovation that’s been taking Asian skincare by storm is the konjac sponge. I think I first came across this whilst browsing Innisfree online but they didn’t stock it in the Taipei store so then I found some in Cosmed and decided to try them out. The whole idea of using a sponge to cleanse your face is really quite different as I’ve always used my hands. It’s kind of like a manual Clarisonic and is made out of konnyaku potato which is also a traditional Japanese health food. When you buy it they’re rock solid but when you soak them in water for 3-5 minutes (I do this when I am brushing my teeth) they begin to soften up heaps. They remind me of the sea sponges you use when showering, but softer. They were 100NTD/4.30AUD from Cosmed. Find some online here.
9) LIQUID EYELINERS
I also bought two liquid eyeliners from Watsons as my Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid liner ran out. I’m super picky about eyeliners as I have extremely oily eyelids so nothing much stays put all day (kept Stila, it really lives up to its name). The Kiss Me Ferme eyeliner works pretty well in terms of staying power but I found the black colour wasn’t as dark as my Stila one. I’ve yet to try the K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo but realised just now that I’ve bought it in ‘natural black’ so it will probably be a lighter shade of black as well. I think after this I’ll go back to my Stila. I unfortunately couldn’t find it in Taipei or I would have repurchased it!
10) THINGS I WANTED TO TRY BUT DID NOT
There were so many things I didn’t need but wished I did because there were so many things in the land of Asian skincare and beauty that are much raved about. Those things are:
- Cushions: They’re like a multi-function BB/CC/Foundation/Sunscreen thing that’s liquid but packaged like pressed powder. The product is soaked in a cushion and there is a separate cushion puff which you press down to release the product. Hard to explain, but they’re very popular in Asia.
- Snail cream: Also very popular in Asia are snail products. In particular, the brand Mizon kept popping up in my research
- Dr Wu’s skincare line: Dr Wu is a Taiwanese brand that reminds me a lot of La Roche Posay which I’m a big fan of. I figured I really didn’t need anymore skincare so skipped out on trying it out, but yes, it’s popular in Taiwan!
- MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair: It’s as popular as the MISSHA essence but I think my haul was already getting out of hand & I really didn’t need another night cream right now.
Okay, that’s it! And I’ve officially also got a 10 step skincare routine to try out. I think the biggest challenge for me now is to figure out how to import these into Australia if I ever feel the need to repurchase them all again!
Do you have any Asian beauty favourites or experiences with Asian beauty products? Do share them below, I’d be keen to hear :)
Photography: myself w/ Canon EOS 7D Mark II