I don't know about you, but I have a lot of confidence in Taiwanese beauty and makeup products. You would too if you've ever seen those trending videos of Taiwanese girls and their 180-degree transformations… they take dolling up very seriously.
There's also a hit TV programme called Queen (better known by its Chinese name, 女人我最大), which features some of their local cult products. If you're headed there soon, here are some of the more popular beauty items to buy in Taiwan.
What to buy in Taiwan - face masks, makeup & more
From skincare products like sheet masks to makeup like eyeliners and eyeshadow, here are some of the top beauty products from Taiwan:
The Taiwan dollar (NT) is converted based on today's exchange rate (S$1 = NT23).
Some are available in Singapore, but they're very much more expensive - at least 1.5X the price.
1. MY BEAUTY DIARY & DR MORITA - SHEET MASKS FROM UNDER S$1 /PC
Let's start with the obvious ones - Taiwan is known for their sheet masks, the most popular of which is by My Beauty Diary (MBD). MBD masks are known to be effective - whether it's for brightening or moisturising - while remaining very affordable.
The sad thing is that MBD masks are relatively expensive in Singapore. They cost $16.90 for a box of 8 at Watsons & Guardian, which is over $2 per piece. In Taiwan, however, it's 2/3 the price at NT250 (S$10.90).
Another popular brand is Dr Morita. Like MBD, it's also available in Singapore, but only at Guardian, where the popular hyaluronic acid black mask is $16.80 for 7 pieces. In Taiwan, it's even cheaper than MBD - it's NT147 (S$6.40), which is under $1 per piece.
2. MKUP - REAL COMPLEXION CREAM AT S$25.20
Although MKUP has a range of both, it's more known for its makeup rather than the skincare products. The most popular product is the real complexion cream, which is described as a kind of miracle cream.
It sits somewhere in between skincare and makeup, because it supposedly is a super rich moisturiser, but also helps to whiten and even your skin tone - kind of like a CC cream.
MKUP is available in Singapore via the direct distributor (mkup.sg), where the real complexion cream is $45.90 (now on sale for $34.90). If you get it in Taiwan, it's NT580 ($25.20).
3. MISS HANA - EYELINER FROM S$8.70
Miss Hana is another affordable Taiwanese makeup brand that can be found at most drugstores like 86 Shop in Taiwan. They're known for their eyeliners.
The 24h waterproof gel eyeliner pencil is NT199 (S$8.70). Unlike the above two, Miss Hana is not available in Singapore stores - although you can find it via third-party resellers on Lazada and Qoo10 (typically $14.90 and up).
4. 1028 COSMETICS - EYESHADOWS FROM S$5.20
1028 is a Taiwanese makeup brand that has many beauty junkies raving about their eyeshadow and foundation products.
If you get the single pans of eyeshadow, prices are as cheap as NT119 (S$5.20). However, as usual, it's more value-for-money to get a palette (6 to 12 colours, from NT150 (S$6.50) to NT780 (S$33.90)).
The luminous high cover foundation retails at NT480 (S$20.90).
I vaguely remember seeing 1028 at Sasa before, but now that I'm looking for it, I cannot find it. It's also no longer on the Sasa website's brand listing.
5. KAI DELUXE - "CELEBRITY" GLOW BALM FOUNDATION AT S$47
If you follow the Taiwanese makeup scene, you'd know Xiao Kai Lao Shi, who is a celebrity makeup artist. As you can probably guess from the name, Kai Deluxe is his makeup line, which explains why it's so much more expensive than the rest of the drugstore brands in this list.
The most popular item is the Kai Deluxe glow balm foundation bb cushion, which is NT1,080 (S$47). That's super expensive, even more so than cult favourites like the Laneige bb cushion ($59).
The CC cream is also very popular (NT780 / S$33.90).
Kai Deluxe is not available in Singapore, but I did a search and found people selling the glow balm foundation for $60+ on Carousell.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.