As an avid fan of Daiso in Singapore, I've explored almost every outlet and every aisle of the $2 paradise. I say "almost" because there's one section I always, always subconsciously skip - the makeup department. I'm usually all for cheap $2 buys, but when it comes to my skin and face, I can't help but be a little cautious.
Last week, curiosity finally got the better of me. Man, was I impressed - they literally have every makeup item imaginable, from different shades of colour-correcting primers to freaking eyebrow stencils. Here are some of the cool stuff I picked out.
Note: There are no testers at Daiso - understandably, since everything is $2 - so I cannot comment on the quality of the products. I made educated guesses though. If you have any reviews of these products, please share them in the comments!
DAISO MAKEUP PRODUCTS - BB CREAM, EYESHADOW, LIPSTICK AND MORE
In general, Daiso has a very comprehensive range of makeup products. Perhaps it's because the Japanese have something of an obsession over looking prim & proper at all times… Even if you can only afford Daiso stuff, you must also find a way to look presentable, okay?!?!?!!
The first thing I noticed was that they have a massive range of eye, lip and cheek makeup. The most limited range of products was foundation makeup - disappointingly, there was only 1 BB cream (and only in 1 shade too). There were a ton of concealers and a crazy selection of makeup bases though.
There were a lot of mascaras, eyebrow pencils and eyeliners, but I didn't shortlist any to feature because they didn't look all that exciting.
I vaguely remember reading about Daiso setting powders too, but there weren't any when I visited the Daiso at Waterway Point (Punggol). That's the thing about Daiso - the product offerings change very quickly, so if you find something you like, you best head back to wipe out the shelves before someone else does.
1. ESPOLEUR COLOUR CONTROL MAKEUP BASE (MADE IN JAPAN)
Espoleur sounds like a try-hard Spanish name, but it's actually Daiso's own line of made-in-Japan cosmetics. I was most impressed with the selection of makeup bases, because they come in 4 colour-correcting shades.
Green balances out redness, purple/blue hides sallowness (yellowness) and yellow covers dullness. They also have SPF 27 PA++ as token sun protection. Like buay pai, leh.
2. ESPOLEUR BB CREAM (MADE IN JAPAN)
Unlike the rainbow of primers, the Espoleur BB creams comes in only one shade, natural beige. So if you're not the default Asian shade, then too bad.
It's pretty common for fancy BB creams to come in just 1 colour because they're supposed to adapt to your skin tone, but at $2, I highly doubt this one is that high-tech. Also, I Googled it and there seems to be other shades for other markets (light beige, ochre).
It's SPF 20 PA++, which is quite low, so don't skip the sunscreen.
3. STICK, LIQUID AND CREAM CONCEALERS
What Daiso doesn't offer in foundation and BB creams, they make up for in the concealer selection.
They have the basic liquid kind, which is good for covering both acne scars and dark circles because they're typically thinner with buildable coverage. If you prefer a thicker product and heavier coverage, try the stick and cream ones.
That said, they - again - mostly only come in 1 shade.
4. ESPOLEUR COLOURED MASCARA (MADE IN CHINA)
Coloured lashes are back, and it seems that even Daiso has caught on this bold makeup trend.
Mascara is one of the trickier products to get right - too thin and it won't hold the curl, but too thick and it'll clump into "spider lashes". So personally, I would rather pay a little more for a quality mascara. However, I do think these Daiso ones are worth a shot if you just want to see if a particular colour suits you.
You can get them in all 3 shades - green, pink and purple - and then once you figure out which you like, buy the real deal. One thing to note though, although these are from the Espoleur brand, they're made in China.
5. ESPOLEUR LIP TINTS (MADE IN JAPAN)
Lip tints are very K-beauty - almost every Korean cosmetic brand (including Etude House, Innisfree and Laneige) carries a range of it. It's a clear, watery tint that lightly stains your lips to give you a natural flush of colour. The Daiso line has quite a range, featuring trendy colours like pink, coral and red.
Cheap lip tints can be drying, but $2 can try lah. At most throw away lor.
6. ESPOLEUR POWDER AND CREAM EYESHADOWS (MADE IN JAPAN)
There's also quite a selection of eyeshadows, and surprisingly, they're not in weird neon shades. They actually have very "normal" colours like beige, pink and brown, so you can piece together your own Naked palette of sort.
I read some online reviews that say the eyeshadows are not very pigmented, so you may have better luck with the darker colours. The eyeshadows come in powder and cream finishes, depending on your preference.
DAISO SKINCARE PRODUCTS
That's all for the makeup. But aside from the lady face paint, Daiso's cosmetics range carries quite a few skincare products. I'm not sure if you would trust it, but they even have an acne care range as well as a moisturising essence with cult ingredients like sodium hyaluronate and sodium acetylated hyaluronate.
7. ACNE CARE LOTION (TONER) AND MOISTURISER
I am apprehensive about this… So if you've ever tried this, please let us know how it worked for you!
Both items in the acne care range is made in Japan, so that may be reassuring for some. There is a lotion (also known as toner), which is used before you apply the next product, the moisturiser.
8. MOISTURE ESSENCE (MADE IN VIETNAM)
Woah, now this one looks quite interesting. It's a wee bottle (only 5ml), so $2 is not that cheap. My guess is that it's probably only enough for about 3 to 5 uses.
Most of the description on the bottle is in Japanese, but the English bit boasts a slew of beauty buzzwords, namely sodium hyaluronate and sodium acetylated hyaluronate. Both of these are known to be "miracle" moisture-locking ingredients that help retain hydration in your skin.
I expected this to be made in Japan, but it's from Vietnam.
9. LIP BALM & ESSENCE (MADE IN JAPAN)
I'm surprised that they have as many lip balms as they do, because lip balms aren't even that expensive to begin with. You can get a stick at around $5 at Watsons.
Still, I suppose $2 is cheap for lip balms, and may equate to significant savings if you're the kind who runs through chapsticks like crazy. There's the original and honey flavour, but there's no indication of any sun protection or SPF, which sucks.
Isn't that the most important bit about lip balms?!
10. DAISO NOSE PORE PACKS (TUBE AND STICKER)
Daiso also carries pore packs, which are used to remove white- and blackheads, usually on the nose.
In addition to the pore strips, they have the liquid one that comes in a tube too.
11. HORSE OIL FACE MASK & HAND CREAMS
I'm not sure what the obsession with horse oil is, but apparently it has linolenic acid, which is anti-inflammatory and very moisturising.
The horse oil range features a fancy made-in-Japan sheet mask, as well as 2 hand creams. Surprisingly, the one in the elaborate packaging is made in Vietnam, while the "Daiso" brand on is made in Japan.
12. PLAIN PAPER MASKS
This is perhaps my favourite item from Daiso's cosmetics range - paper masks!
They come in a pack of 10, and are "blank" sheets that expand and unfold into a sheet mask when you saturate them with your own preferred product. Yup, you can turn anything into a mask!
DAISO MAKEUP TOOLS
If you really, really, really don't dare to put these stuff on your face, check out the makeup tools instead - all plastic one, so no problem. You can't get allergies from things like eyebrow stencils and silicone brush cleaners, right?
13. DAISO EYEBROW STENCIL TEMPLATE
This is a godsend for those who just can't get the shape of their brows right. Or if you draw the two lopsided.
I have a similar set from Etude House ($4.90) that comes in 3 different shapes so you can pick the one that suits your face shape (or makeup of the day), but the Daiso one only comes in one shape. It looks like the soft Korean brow style, which is what's popular now anyway.
14. FALSE EYELASHES
Of everything, Daiso has the widest range of false eyelashes in the store. And they're actually not bad.
The have a range of "designer" lashes by Miche Bloomin. I have no clue who or what that is, but everything from the packaging to the actual lash design looks like Dolly Wink ($24.90 for 2 pairs). This is the fraction of the price, so it's a definite must-buy. Apparently, the original Miche Bloomin' lashes (I assume this is a more affordable, Daiso-exclusive range) is even used by celebrity beauty blogger Pony.
There are cheaper, 3-piece value packs too, but they are ugly. Period.
15. FALSE EYELASH BLING (MADE IN JAPAN)
Okay, I admit, this one is a little bo liao… But if you're planning a night out to say, the flashy Marquee, and you need to look as extra as humanly possible, then jazz up your lash line with these false eyelash bling.
You're supposed to stick the embellishments on the falsies before gluing the falsies on, so technically they don't come in contact with your skin at all.
16. FALSE EYELASH ADHESIVE GLUE
Where there are falsies, there must be glue, right? Daiso carries quite a selection of false eyelash adhesives as well, in both clear and black colours.
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the quality of the lash glue (because I didn't buy them) - the only way is to try and hope your eyelashes don't fall off while you're making eyes at your crush. Based on online reviews, it's hit-or-miss.
17. MAKEUP BRUSHES
The more "atas" makeup brushes typically use natural bristles, which is why they cost so much. But these are fast phasing out because duh - people realised that you can achieve the same softness with synthetic fibres, which are animal-friendly to boot.
From what I've read, these Daiso makeup brushes are quite good. Reviews say they're soft to touch, and even though they're not super long-lasting (fibres may fall out), they're cheap to replace. You probably don't want to use the same brush for too long anyway.
I especially like this Disney range (pictured above), which is the same price as the regular range. Woohoo!
18. MAKEUP BRUSH AND SPONGE CLEANING DETERGENTS
The Daiso makeup tool detergent is well known for being one of the best in town. I personally use the sponge cleaning soap, and it really gets rid of all the stains on my beauty blender and air puffs.
I bought the brush cleaner once and it wasn't as effective, but that's just my experience.
19. MAKEUP SPONGES & SILICONE PUFFS
Daiso is one of the cheapest places to pick up makeup sponges - they literally have bins of value packs. I bought a few to "press press", and they're all pretty good.
If you are fancy, you can get the individually-packed ones (so $2 per piece or for 2 pieces), which I assume would be better. There are also silicone puffs (which people like because they're more hygienic) and konjac sponges.
20. SILICONE BRUSH CLEANER
I'm not sure which beauty brand invented this brush-cleaning "egg", but like all cult classics, there are fakes everywhere.
And since it's a simple, low-tech contraption, the fakes usually work just the same. However, the Daiso cleaning egg is actually considered expensive - I did a quick Google search and found sellers on Shopee and Qoo10 selling the same thing for under $2 a piece.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.